View Full Version : For those interested in building a mat.

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05-20-2009, 11:25 AM
Well I've been threatening to write this for awhile now and it's finally done.

This is the process we went through to build our mat. It's made of phone books and tire shavings. It's a great mat, nice surface to work on, and really inexpensive.

Here's the link to the article:

At the top of the article there is a link to download a PDF with pictures for the text.

I hope this is useful to some of you.

05-20-2009, 01:20 PM
Very Cool! Thanks for sharing this Chris. :)

William Hazen

05-21-2009, 01:32 AM
Excellent work Chris!

Rabih Shanshiry
05-21-2009, 07:19 AM
That is really, really impressive! You might want to polish the document off by adding photos at some point and having it edited.

A great accomplishment. Congrats on your new mat!

Randy Sexton
05-21-2009, 07:20 AM
What is the very top surface that you stand on made of?

Nick P.
05-21-2009, 07:21 AM
Wow, that is fantastic. Thanks for sharing that.

I do have a small comment: my limited understanding of concrete used in basement floors, and concrete in general, is that it does remain porous to a degree allowing a certain amount of moisture to pass through it. With that in mind, I would be concerned about laying paper directly on it with no vapor barrier separating the paper from the concrete in order to avoid a future mold problem...but likely that is just me or I am misinformed.

Having had a mold issue in my basement ($1600 in abatement costs, thank you) and subsequently learning first hand how drastic the health impacts can potentially be (everyone in the building came down with bad cold-like symptoms for the same amount of time), I would not take this consideration lightly. Especially when you start to read up on the facts.....scary stuff.

But again, awesome wright-up.

05-21-2009, 08:05 AM
Just a side point,
I ve moved a few dojos in my time, the biggest pain we ran up against was running into fire marshals asking for the flame retardancy of the materials of the mat. If you are going to put anything on the floor, be ready to have those flame retardancy reports(if you can find them).

05-21-2009, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the comments.

Rabih Shanshiry
If you missed it there is a pdf link you can click at the top of the article that has several pictures of the process.

I have thought about mold issues myself. I really can't say what's going on under there. If we ever pull it up, I'll share what it looked like. Fresno is a super hot dry place though, so I'm not overly worried, but if you did live some where wet, it might be a real issue. Putting plastic down before the phone books might be a really good idea.

I've also never had to deal with fire marshals, good points!

05-21-2009, 11:10 AM
What is the very top surface that you stand on made of?

Marine grade 18gauge heavy duty tarp.

05-21-2009, 11:27 AM
Sorry I meant oz. not Gauge.

Rabih Shanshiry
05-22-2009, 07:14 AM
Rabih Shanshiry
If you missed it there is a pdf link you can click at the top of the article that has several pictures of the process.

No idea how I missed it. You certainly put the link prominently enough!

The pictures make the story even better. So cool!

05-22-2009, 10:19 AM
Thanks for the article. A good job well done!

Randy Sexton
05-22-2009, 04:16 PM
What a stroke of genius! Thanks for sharing, Nice photos.

05-22-2009, 05:33 PM
This was really fun to see. It seems like it would make for a comfy mat for moving and landing. Even though time is money, you all probably enjoyed shoveling that rubber since it was to be an ingredient in your own creation. Your mat may last and last. Arigato for sharing, which is an important aspect of Aikido.