View Full Version : Any ideas on how to buff a front tire with some decent precision?

Billy Golightly
01-05-2007, 11:24 PM
Heres the predicament guys, Our flat track league and tracks down here will not allow knobbie tires. And you cannot get a flat track tire in an 11inch rim. If you've got a bald knobbie tire you can probably pass, but if you don't your SOL. I'm trying to come up with some cheap, fairly precise way to either buff, burn or slice the tread off where its even for the most part. The idea I've been kicking around is make a stand for the front wheel and tire to sit on, and a piece of steel or stainless wire with a current running through it to make it hot (Like a hot water heating element) where you can rotate the tire and the wire will "cut" through the tread. I don't know jack about electrical systems though so I'm not even sure how feasible something like that would be. Input/Ideas?

Louis Mielke
01-05-2007, 11:27 PM
Sounds like as good an idea as any! Go for it!

01-05-2007, 11:29 PM
Aren't you running a 10" tire? I know they make sand tires that are completely buffed. You could look into that.

Billy Golightly
01-05-2007, 11:31 PM
Yeah I am, I'm covered. But no one else has a 10inch front wheel, everyone is running 11s. I know skat track does make buffed 11inch tires but they are super super thin and I personally just don't like the idea of that on a flat track.

Bryan Raffa
01-05-2007, 11:33 PM
tire groover!!! cut the knobs off then use a grinder stinks like a mofo!!!!:lol:

01-05-2007, 11:41 PM
I've got a tire groover if you need it, our season doesn't start for a few more months.

What about grinding the knobs off? I use a grinder on my hoosiers after every other race to take off the glaze but you could put some 20-40 grit on and take them down pretty quick.

01-05-2007, 11:46 PM
Billy, let me see if I still have the one tire at the shop. If I still got it, you can have it for actual shipping cost. I will know for sure Monday night. As far as a shaving a tire goes. We bought a machine years ago that had a tire on it that was sanded down for flat tracking. The guy we got the machine from said he used a belt sander with a course belt. He had mounted the sander in a wooden fixture so the sander would sand from side to side. He had it at a slight angle so the tire would rotate slowly. He would sand off the tread taking just a slight amount at a time until he got it down to where he wanted it. He was doing some quad tires ( for someone else ) while we were there. It was quite the set up. I wonder if he still has the jig. hmmmmm

Now if you want to use the cutting method, then I would probably use a heating element out of a clothes dryer ( heavier element ), a hair dryer ( lighter element ), a electric heater, electric stove, ect. Take one of the elements and straighten it out ( should work by pulling it tight ). Then use it in a fixture to trim the knobs off. It may or may not work, but finding used stuff to do this would be easy and cheap.

01-06-2007, 12:14 AM
Grinding is gonna suck,Like they are saying a tire Groover will do the best especially with the soft rubber,If you need one I can ship the one we use to do our pullers with,and you can use it ,it's bad Arse!!!

Derrick Adams
01-06-2007, 09:14 AM
Personally I think if I build a flat track bike I like the idea of a 12" Tri-Z hub and wheel with a nice turf tire. If you really want a trick front tire check this one.


But the other real good option is the douglas 10" front wheel with an Achieva Racer on front.

Jason Hall
01-06-2007, 12:16 PM
Billy, Get a small Air hacksaw & cut the knobs off. Then talk to a truck tire guy & get a buffer attachment for your die grinder & buff the crap out of It. Might take a long time, but It'll be cheap. The buffer attachment I'm talkin about Is what you would use to buff the Inside of a tire when patching It.

nate b
01-06-2007, 01:17 PM
I've cut tires with an electric planer. I've also used a 8" milwaukee grinder with a circular saw blade in it, that is kinda dangerous though.

Billy Bob
01-06-2007, 08:16 PM
Whats that a 500R? Burn em off ;)

01-06-2007, 08:21 PM
Could hook up a piece of MIG welding wire, hook both ends to 2 big car batteries. Let it heat up and then cut the nobs on with it. Or you could hook the wire to the ground clamp, and the other in the stinger on a stick welder. Crank the amps way up and slice right through it. We use that method when cutting HUGE chunks of stirofoam. Should work great for rubber to.

Billy Golightly
01-06-2007, 09:39 PM
I was wondering if hooking the wire up to an arc welder like that would work. I think I might try that. Thanks for the tips guys!

01-06-2007, 09:45 PM
stick the wheel/tire on the back of one of your trikes and do a burnout with it. Then buff the sides off.

01-06-2007, 11:48 PM
Billy, you can send tires to Skat Trak and have then buffed smooth for $20.00. they can do a standard buff instead of an ultra lite triple buff like we use in the sand. We have a high end tire dealer here call Les Schwab tire and they do it as well. It costs more, but a very good job. The HQ for Schwab is in Prineville Oregon.

01-07-2007, 10:49 AM
Check with local tire shops. Theres a few here that plan tires when the are out of round.

03-24-2007, 12:41 AM
I have had great results using: vice-grips, a razor blade, and a 4.5" angle grinder with a wire wheel. I grab the knob with the pliers and pull on it while I cut most of off with a razor blade. It doesnt take very long to get them off, then I use the wire wheel to buff the remaining knob off flush. It takes the rubber off very fast, but is still somewhat forgiving and leaves a fairly uniform finish when done correctly... Its free of cost, and takes hardly any time...

03-24-2007, 10:56 AM
hey, not sure if it will work for tires, but we use an electric carving knife to cut foam, styrofoam, insulation, etc.

03-29-2007, 08:22 PM
well you could put the axle/hub/rim/tire on a lathe and turn it down.
I have used a sawzall on lugs before.
If you go with grinding get the grinding wheel that truck pull guys use to sharpen tires.

03-31-2007, 03:03 AM
skat-trak will only buff ( new ) tires ..you can send them but thay must be new ......i personally use the plier and razor blade then use a 4 1/2 inch gringer with a emry pad grinding pad .....works awesome and is fast .....should be able to get any tire place that recaps to do it ..