# Pass The Duct Tape

#### TimeWarpedSR

##### Member
Hey Guys, I'm glad to be aboard and on cue, I come from a small town with a tech group that believes firmly in getto-rigging and duct-tape (gaff tape is to expensive for us). I am The Light Mistress (head light tech) and work along side my good friend TechiesDoItInTheDark who is are resident Sound Mistress. As she, I am still in awe over a large collection of tech minds in one place!

#### Van

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Hey that's ok. People use duct tape all the time. Maybe your Admin will understand the usefullness of real Gaff tape when you turn in a huge overtime bill for "removing duct tape gack from cables"

Welcome aboard.

#### soundlight

##### Well-Known Member
You can sometimes find places that are willing to give away free "sample rolls" of gaff tape. I gave up on duct tape one day, and went to the local theater supplier (half an hour a way), and got ten or so sample rolls of ten yards each. Powerful stuff, the gaffa. But yeah, I know the kind of situation that you're in - substandard theater. Luckily, my college has so much more stuff than my high school, so that I can actually design with light instead of just make sure that most of the stage is lit from one or two angles.

#### Chris15

##### CBMod
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Departed Member
Welcome to Controlbooth.

Van, you must be using different gaff tape... It was only a fortnight ago that i spent some HOURS cleaning a customer's cables to get the gaff residue off with a bottle of turps. It's a right pain when you have to check a cable for damage and the customer has had tape on it for what must have been many months if not years.

#### Van

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Welcome to Controlbooth.

Van, you must be using different gaff tape... It was only a fortnight ago that i spent some HOURS cleaning a customer's cables to get the gaff residue off with a bottle of turps. It's a right pain when you have to check a cable for damage and the customer has had tape on it for what must have been many months if not years.
Well good gaff won't do that. that's why it was invented, so as to not leave goo behind when applied to cables and soft goods. That being said I did recieve a case a couple of years ago that had been sitting in a warehouse and got too hot. The goo stuck to everything. BTW I prefer a citrus based cable cleaner. It smells better, is biodegradable, and doesn't harm the rubber.

BTW, Excellent use of the english language, I wonder how many people here don't know what a "fortnight" is?

Fight Leukemia

#### Chris15

##### CBMod
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Departed Member
Are you telling me that the word fortnight does not find common usage over in the states? Wierd.

And now that I think about who the client in question was, they probably were using the cheapest "gaff" they could find... And am I inferring correctly that turps does not do nice things to the rubber jacket of cabling? What about PVC sheathed cables?

#### Schniapereli

##### Active Member
...I don't think I have ever heard (...saw) someone use the word "fortnight" casually in a sentence. (...correctly)

All of the cables of ours that had gaff tape on them are all gooey and sticky. The gaff has been there for a pretty long time, and it's disgusting. I sometimes tape some audio cables up with it, if it needs to be tight, and because our scotch tape is flimsy, but only if it's for a short time.

Maybe we just have stupid gaff, but it works pretty well for short-term uses. Left on for a long time it becomes gross.

#### Van

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Hey chris check that old thread that has been dragged kicking and screaming out of the archives of Control Booth on "removing icky gaff goo" or something like that. there are several good insights on cleaning cables. I for one prefer WD-40 or citrus based cleaners.

#### Kelite

##### Well-Known Member
<Well good gaff won't do that. that's why it was invented, so as to not leave goo behind when applied to cables and soft goods.>

The reason the duct tape is so much cheaper in cost (and performance) than gaffer tape, is because the rubber compound for duct tape is reclaimed (recycled) latex. This once-used and worn out rubber adhesive is purchased on the open market cheaply, mixed with elastisizers, and applied to low thread count PVC coated cloth.

Yes it will work, and yes, it will leave memories of a tight budget on cabling, carpet, scenery and set pieces.

Good quality Gaffer tape is virgin latex rubber that has been calendared (squished) between hot rollers until a uniform thickness and consistancy is achieved. It then is applied to a high thread count (ease of tear) PVC coated cotton cloth.

Duct tape will work in a pinch, but the time it takes to remove the goo doesn't make good $en$e in most instances.

(And yes, Apollo sells Gaffer tape, in case you're wondering. )

#### PARchild

##### Member
I know that this is a rather odd and off topic question, but if one does happen to use cheap gaff tape how long does it take for the adhesive to "goo" onto the cable? Many times that I have been working up in the catwalks of my theatre I have come across not only gooey cables, but gaff tape stuck to the railings for so long that the adhesive has 'crystalized' (not quite sure how to refer to it) onto the rails. It is an PITA to get off and I have always been curious as to how long it takes gaff to do that since usually it doesn't leave residue. Silly question, I know but that kind of stuff seems to interest me.

#### Van

##### CBMod
CB Mods
I know that this is a rather odd and off topic question, but if one does happen to use cheap gaff tape how long does it take for the adhesive to "goo" onto the cable? Many times that I have been working up in the catwalks of my theatre I have come across not only gooey cables, but gaff tape stuck to the railings for so long that the adhesive has 'crystalized' (not quite sure how to refer to it) onto the rails. It is an PITA to get off and I have always been curious as to how long it takes gaff to do that since usually it doesn't leave residue. Silly question, I know but that kind of stuff seems to interest me.
I think the answer could best be summed up by Referencing this,

The world may never know.

#### PARchild

##### Member
Oh dearie me, that was quite a hilarous answer for a stupid question.... at least I recieved a good laugh for the day! Thanks Van.

#### Van

##### CBMod
CB Mods
No that was not a stupid question and I was just being my smart-ass self. I think the amount of time it takes for Duct tape or gaff tape, for that matter, to crystalize, is dependant on a ton of different things like realtive humidity, temperature, exposure to sunlight, etc. etc. but you can bet it's usually a goodly long time.

Remember my motto, The only stupid question is the one not asked. Unless it's the one that has been asked and answered nine million times because some people refuse to use the search feature built in here. < I know it's a long motto, but I'm a long winded guy.>