Pass The Duct Tape

TimeWarpedSR

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
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
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
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
Joined
Oct 27, 2005
Location
NJ & NYC
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
CB Mods
Premium Member
Departed Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Location
Sydney, Australia
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
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
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?
 

Chris15

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Departed Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2005
Location
Sydney, Australia
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
Joined
Nov 19, 2006
Location
Provo, Utah, United States
...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
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
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
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Location
Fort Wayne IN, USA
<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
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Location
Reading, PA
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
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
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,
http://video.google.com/url?docid=3286816997486041276&esrc=sr1&ev=v&q=tootsie+pop+owl&vidurl=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ0epRjfGLw&usg=AL29H23iQW1Zp_E0cFFpXORlFTGzekhDkQ


The world may never know.
 

PARchild

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Location
Reading, PA
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
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
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.>:mrgreen:
 

Kelite

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Location
Fort Wayne IN, USA
As Van stated so eloquently, the time it takes for the duct/gaffer tape adhesive to crystalize will be determined by a number of factors as listed. Bear in mind that good quality gaffer tape with it's virgin latex adhesive (can I say that on a forum?) will 'block up' over time- losing it's elasticity. This can be likened to old cracked tennis shoe soles as well as the tires on Grandpa's motor home when parked all year in the hot sunlight. Rubber is a naturally occuring substance that is looking forward to turning back into carbon...