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Author Topic: Black repair tape  (Read 3421 times)
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Dolphinboy
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« on: March 19, 2009, 04:22 PM »

I was looking for black tape to use for reinforcing, repairing and making the nose to leading edge transition snag free etc. on my dual line kites.

At first I tried insignia tape and it does work but it's not as adhesive as I would like and plain comes of easy in most places. I tried some from a couple of different sources with the same results. Then I met someone flying a kite one day with regular Duck tape for a nose repair and he said it "works good" but it looked terrible. I knew there had to be something that "works good" and "looks good" too. At a local auto parts store I found some black repair tape that was essentially black Duck Tape but fairly thin. It worked (stuck well) but was shinny black and like I said kind of thin too. Better but not nearly good enough.

I decided to look at some of the tape manufacturers web sites (3m, ShurTape) to look at different types of tape available and saw some very interesting choices. Who knew there are so many choices of tape?

Gaffer's Tape -
What is Gaffer's Tape? Gaffer's tape is used in theaters, movie and TV sets to tie up / tape down audio visual cables, electrical cords etc. It's flat black so it won't reflect stage lighting easily.  It's basically flat black, cloth, sturdy Duck tape.

Gaffer's Tape seemed to be the type of tape I was looking for but I couldn't find any for sale locally. Back on line to order some ShurTape brand Gaffer's tape.

Anyway, Gaffer's Tape turns out to be the Real Deal for kite repairs. This stuff goes on all my kites now. On the noses for added protection (especially UL's) I also make rub patches for the US, smooth the nose / LE transition, reinforce yo-yo stops and on and on it has many uses. I am so glad I found it, it really is super stuff, sticks well and it looks good too. If it gets dirty or sandy, no big deal just peal it off re-apply some new tape, the cost is pennies (or less) per use.

Because it's so sticky straight off of the roll it's hard to cut it & make smooth shapes and straight cuts. I struggled with this at first until I thought about the Insignia tape I had originally used, it was pre-backed with a waxy type paper. The trick to using Gaffer's tape turns out to be make backing for it, just like tape you can buy that's pre-backed. To make backing, stick it on old label backing or wax paper. I use some old FedEx shipping label backs I save from my business but you can use whatever you can find. Then you can use scissors to cut what ever shape you like easily. You can be very precise like this - it works like a charm. The finished cut tape looks great.

The tape I bought comes in a 2 inch wide by 60 yard roll so there's not much of a chance I'll ever run out.

Since I've "discovered" Gaffer's Tape I found out other kite flyers use it already. I met Lam Hoac last year and he puts it on all his personal kites too (same brand also). He even used it for wrapping lower spreaders @ the center T and for "caps" on the stand offs. It turns out I was just rediscovering what some others already knew, that Gaffer's tape is great for kite reinforcements / repairs. Kite minds think alike, I guess.
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James -
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 09:00 PM »

Thanks for the pointer, I just read a review on different tapes for strength, water proofing etc. The winner there was Gorilla Tape but Gaffer's Tape was not included. Have you tried it? Just wondering if it stacks up since it is widely available and black too, although probably with a shiny surface.

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Dolphinboy
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009, 09:58 PM »

Since i found the Gaffer's I've seen the Gorilla tape. It's super strong black duck tape. I'm sure the Gorilla would function well but the slick finish wouldn't look as good especially on a sunny day, in my opinion, anyway. If someone were to use it, you could put backing and cut / trim it just like the gaffer's tape.
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James -
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ezme6
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 04:27 AM »

Lam uses a good black tape for the nose and LS rub points on my kites. Real sticky and real light and very flat in color. I can't remember what it is called.
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Dano
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 09:19 AM »

So which one are you using James?

Shurtape PC-628 Industrial Grade Gaffers Tape,
PC-672 Professional, or PC-665 General Purpose ?
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DD
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 09:45 AM »

Gaff tape, comes off clean and doesnt leave residue.
If you pull out the phone book and look under lighting, stage, sound etc and ask if they sell it.
Or contact your local large concert/symphony hall they may pass some along.
Lastly you could try your local stage hands union, I'm a card carrying member
I have gotten most of my rolls for free and used it for years, but then i have worked the shows to get them Smiley
Most shows that roll down their own floors; ballet, sesame street, etc use LOTS of it to hold the seams of the marley together and will toss rolls with not alot left on them.

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Dolphinboy
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2009, 10:36 AM »

So which one are you using James?

Shurtape PC-628 Industrial Grade Gaffers Tape,
PC-672 Professional, or PC-665 General Purpose ?

I'm using the ShurTape item # PC 621. Although I was exhibiting products at a podiatry school last month and the people setting up the displays had a roll of Suretape that looked a little different than what I have.  I was going to write the # down but forgot. So you're probably ok with any but I'd check the thickness. There are also several different colors so make sure, if you can't see it in person, you get black or whatever color you want.

It does come off fairly clean too.


Edit:
I just went to the shuretape web site and it says # PC-621 industrial grade cloth duct tape. The place I ordered from just said black Surtape Gaffer no item #. I guess the vendor subs the 621 for gaffer and lucky for me it works well. The one I got works and looks great but I'd get the premium waterproof matte P-691.

 I think I'll try some of the P-691 next. I hope it looks good and I'll order by item #.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 11:37 AM by Dolphinboy » Logged


James -
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2009, 06:53 PM »

I used to use gaffers tape for photography.  It's great, but the adheasive has crumbled on some pieces that I have had stuck to whatever after several years.  The adheasive could easily be different on various brands, but just a warning if long term use is considered.  

The cool thing about gaffers tape is the combined strength of the bond and ability to pull it up without residue.  So, if replaced before it ages too much, it should be fine.
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Matt
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2009, 05:22 PM »

on the subject of tape does anyone know what prism uses to detail there kites?? it seems to be pretty much bullet proof on the QP's they use it for what looks to be an applique nice touch and the thinner part are not sewn thanx KO ps where do i order the suretape   found the tape great stuff glad i ordered 2 
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 08:17 PM by ko » Logged

have fun kurt
c2thew
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 07:07 PM »

thanks for the review
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