A vulcanizer? I thought tires were hand-laid of individual strips of rubber, not molded as they are today.
My brother was a tire builder for Uniroyal until the mid 90's. He built up the tires with various materials and layers then they were installed in the molds and tread and sidewalls were all cooked up together.
Very cool. I've never seen how tires were made, always wondered.
I worked in a retread shop in the early '70s. Like being in hell in the summer months but one of the better places to work in the winter. Rubber for the treads came in long strips to wrap around the casing once the casing was ground down to the cords. Grinding was a dirty, messy, dusty job. You looked like a coal miner at the end of the day. Cooking the tread would last for 6 to 8 hours and had quite a smell. Did passenger tires and 10.00/20 truck tires. One bus company had us mold slicks and then cut zig-zag grooves in them with a router. Why they did that I never could figure out because it didn't save them any money it was more labor intensive. The molds were heavy and you had to change them when changing tread designs and very easy way to be badly burned if you need to change before they completely cooled.
Thanks for the info! I'm surprised at how much hand work still goes into making a tire.
Boy, That video brings lots of memories from when I worked as a mechanic at BF Goodrich. Those were bias plys they were using and had no steel. You could see the thick tread that was being applied that had just been extruded and cut to length.
Processing the raw rubber involved mixing it between big rollers after adding carbon black which gives the tire much better wear. It is super fine and I still find it on my hands from some of my tools after many many years gone from there. Going to work at Ford Assembly Plant was a much better job...
I was lucky to have not had to work in the Curing Room hot with lots of steam
Some good photos of an early tyre factory here: