Gaffer tape is like duct tape, but it’s flat black in color, with a better fabric substrate for strength, and lacking the plasticized surface coating. It grips very well, but can be peeled off afterwards without leaving behind any adhesive residue.
I love the military OD-green 100mph tape, it’s far better than duct tape, but I like gaffer tape even better still. I always carry some gaffer tape for emergencies, wrapped around a stub of a pencil for compact portability.
@Euniceandrich@mbimeh@werehatrack they make gaffer’s tape in nearly every color you can describe for the film and stage industries (though the neon colors may be labeled spike tape, and some of the blues and greens may be labeled chroma tape or key tape or something similar, but they are all made the same way). It’s more expensive than most duck and even most actual ducting tape, but it’s also much more useful in most situations. If you leave it on long enough, or the day is hot enough, however, the residue does stick around at least somewhat. It’s definitely an improvement over nearly anything else, but it’s not no residue ever.
@mbimeh The 100mph tape supposedly got its name because helo repairs would hold at a hundred miles per hour. I don’t know whether that was true, and I would definitely prefer not to ride in a helicopter repaired with tape, but the old OD-green tape had a million uses. It was strong, easy to use, and didn’t need a cutting tool. We all carried some around in our backpacks. Then in the late '70s, the Army went to a cheaper version that was quickly dubbed “50mph tape” and continually downgraded thereafter. Sometime around 1980, one of my newbie soldiers wandered in and asked, puzzled: "Why is this stuff called “five-mile-per-hour tape?” I still miss the original stuff.
@chienfou@Euniceandrich@mycya4me My recollection is that you’re right; by the time that high-bias chrome became widely available, 8-track was on the way out, so I don’t think chrome got used there. It required some fiddling with the electronics to produce good results - and then it was very good indeed.
@Euniceandrich@mbimeh I always think it’s funny to find old pictures of prototype electronic stuff (sometimes quite high-tech and expensive) labeled with Dymo because, well, it was the best thing going at the time. And pretty much everyone had one.
@Euniceandrich I still have my Dymo embossing labeler as well, but I also picked up a Dymo made for actual metal tape; it embosses into the metal, which can be self adhesive or not. Tape came in rolls but not in the little plastic cassettes. And it had a hole punch so you could put a hole at each end of a metal label to use for a screw or rivet to hold it in place. Neat little tool.
That’s fascinating. I always thought the original was duct tape since that was the use. I thought duck tape was a brand that was a takeoff on that purpose. Now I wonder why the original was “duck”??
@chienfou The original “duck tape” was made from a fabric called “duck” and had a waterproof coating on top. Modern air ducts are metal and should be sealed with metalized tape, not fabric tape. When I bought the current house, I spent a few miserable hours in the crawl space removing “duct tape” on the ducts and replacing it with metal tape. All while using a string of choice words for the manufacturers who named it “duct tape” and the owners who took the name literally.
D’oh… that makes sense. I’m familiar with the term canvas duck. Just didn’t put it together. I think the old cloth duct tape was used prior to the availability of the metal. I don’t remember seeing that around 30 years ago…
(And it turns out that the cloth name is based on the Dutch word for duck…)
@chienfou@rockblossom Most of what is sold as duct tape is not suited to that task. The good stuff is not sold at the big box stores. The kind I prefer still has a woven fiber layer, but the adhesive bears no resemblance to the stuff on the common silver type, and the results provided don’t either. A good foil tape works well too, but even there, much of what is available to consumers is not good. Since yours worked, I’m guessing that you got some of the good foil stuff.
Yes. Vast improvements have been made to the product. I don’t think that negates the fact that it was in fact “duct tape” originally. And used successfully as this such. That’s kind of like saying that a 1958 t-bird was not a car because it doesn’t have as good specs as a 2023 Porsche…
@chienfou@werehatrack The ducts under my house were installed correctly with the right tape, but one section was moved to the side for a repair on a water pipe, which broke the joint seals in three places. Those joints were rewrapped in the silver “duct tape” of legend. I went to Lowe’s and asked someone in the HVAC section how to remove the mess and what to use to reseal. Response: remove the tape with patience, elbow grease, and a lot of curse words, then reseal with aluminum foil tape, which they had in stock. Done and done. I had to learn how to wrap the metal tape because, once touching the duct, it could not be repositioned. My repairs are not as neat or pretty as the original, but they are holding just fine almost 3 decades later.
It’s known to us locals as the best version of duct tape around!
With General Dynamics Electric Boat being one town over from where I grew up I’ve known about this stuff since I was a little kid. What I didn’t know was how legendary this stuff was to more than just the locals!
@xobzoo Not that I know about, I’m actually surprised that EB green could be found on Amazon. Growing up, since the age of around 8, I always thought that the ONLY way anyone got it was knowing someone who worked there! (Could have been my naivety though.) It’s probably known around here as the most coveted and stolen item from the workplace! I’ll have to check with my son and see if that’s still the case, he’s been building subs for about 8 years now.
@ebatch I bought the Gorilla version of Flex Seal tape to patch a leaky rain gutter. While applying the tape, I accidentally touched the sticky surface - I think it took a couple layers of skin with it when pulling it off - stickiest stuff I’ve ever encountered!
(And the gutter never leaked after the repair.)
This is a terrible question. I love all my tapes equally; having to choose the best one would be like having to choose my favorite child, if I had children. (Don’t tell them, but I like my zebra-print duck/duct* tape the best.)
*Covering my bases in light of the conversation upthread.