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New tool -- self-fusing rubber tape


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I just discovered a new (to me) tool for my kit -- well, if you call a kind of tape a tool. It's self-fusing rubber tape...



You remove the plastic backing, trim it to a suitable width, and wrap it around a joint that you want to secure. As you pull it tight, it conforms snugly to the joint, and the loose end sticks to itself, ultimately creating almost a solid rubber wrap around the joint.

I just used it to repair some old prescription sunglasses. You know how prescription glasses are (intentionally?) built so that the little screw holding the frame tight around the lens eventually comes out, loosening the frame so the lens drops out and, as luck usually has it, right into the water where it's lost forever. Well, wrapping a thin strip of this tape around the now screwless joint creates a snug, secure, waterproof bond. Though it's a bit ugly, it saves me the $100-200 for a new pair of Rx sunglasses.


The screw on the left is the other screw, the one that connects the temple to the frame. The now-empty frame screwhole is under the rubber wrapping. The bubbly stuff is the remnant of an attempt to fix it with gorilla glue, which worked until the first significant torque broke the glue bond.

I also used a wider strip of the tape to secure the strap on a pair of diving goggles to the mask itself, in a way that's impossible to describe or photograph.

I wouldn't be surprised to find numerous uses for this stuff on a paddle or fixing stuff back at home. Anybody else use it? Its designated commercial use is to further insulate and protect electrical splices from the weather.



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It is also called self-vulcanizing tape. It is usually available at your local HW store. At Everyday Wireless, my last employer who tracked school buses and their passengers, it was part of the standard field service "kit". It is also popular with HAMs, especially when they go out on "field day" (or whatever it is called) to talk to other HAMs (mostly as an excuse to get away for a weekend). As I recall, we stocked product from McMaster Carr (if you like hardware - you've got to see the website) and distributed known part numbers from recognized HW stores so installers could call for stock availability. The bonds, if properly applied with most product we found, were water tight and survive power washing though they weren't tested or rated for immersion.

A note of caution, while the stuff is not Ice and Water Shield some/all of the repairs you make will require a utility knife for removal and some method of gunk removal.

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A note of caution, while the stuff is not Ice and Water Shield some/all of the repairs you make will require a utility knife for removal and some method of gunk removal.

I haven't removed any yet, but I'm not convinced it will be gunky. Remember, this is not adhesive stuff. It's stretchy rubber that conforms as you wrap and pull tight. The stretched rubber fuses to itself "naturally" as you wrap, perhaps aided by the heat of your hands, so there's no adhesive to keep it wrapped either.

It's really more for binding and splicing things together than sealing holes or cracks. It requires wrapping to work, so it can fuse to itself. The joint is relatively waterproof, but the main issue in a kayak is that the stuff, being rubber, does not deteriorate and slip off when wet, which happens when the adhesive on normal electrical-type tape contacts water.

I think it's worth carrying a couple of small 1/4" strips for eyeglass repair, if nothing else. I'm just betting there will be other applications, especially for larger widths (the roll I have is 3/4", but it does come wider, I believe).


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