Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tales of the tape

Sometimes I think rod builders would be lost without masking tape. It has numerous uses, from building blanks up to take reel seats through holding rings in place as they are being whipped in place to marking rod sections so they don't get mixed up. So hardly a day goes by without me using masking tape for something or other.

To a casual user of the tape it probably seems like all tapes are the same, apart from coming in different widths. Not so to the connoisseur. There are very sticky tapes, hardly sticky at all tapes, ones that can be left in situ for ages and leave no residue, others that almost need scraping off after a couple of days, or ones that peel off overnight of their own accord. They all have their uses. But then there are nightmare tapes...

Ones that stick to themselves and tear as you unroll them. I've had rolls like this which clear themselves and work fine once so much tape has been used. These tend to be the individually shrink-wrapped ones. The shrink-wrap seems to compress the edges of the roll so the layers adhere to each other. In extreme cases I've taken to slicing through the layers with a sharp knife to get to the easy to use layers. At the moment I have some really frustrating tape. I bought a batch of it that was listed as the same as a previous batch which had been perfect. This stuff is awful. The edges of the rolls are not compressed, it just sticks to itself for no good reason and drives me mad as it tears every couple of feet. More than once I have hurled a roll of it across the room in frustration.

It must be playing on my mind because I dreamed about masking tape last night. Some really nice creamy stuff that peeled from the roll like it was oiled silk and adhered to the blanks perfectly!