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Saving Dry Old Masking Tape

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by amx180mph, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. amx180mph
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 156


    I am either getting older where the time goes by quicker or masking tape gets unusable a lot quicker, maybe it's both. I have used the method of microwaving an old roll of tape but it is only a very short term fix that drys out a roll even more.. Today I was in desperate need of some 3 inch tape the only roll I had was dried out to where it was unusable. Then an idea hit me I put a cup filled with water in the microwave and heated it until it was boiling. I then put the tape in with the water (not in the water) and heated it for 1 minute. I came out with a roll that was like the day I bought it maybe even better.

    I then dug around in the bottom of my masking machine and found a roll of 3/4 that was so old it had shrunk and was one of those wavy rolls. I did the same thing and it came out as well as the first roll.

    I used the 3 inch this morning and when I was done it pulled just fine. That was my first concern that the adhesive may adhere to much but it worked great. My other is after it cooled it would go back to the original state but it seems to be just fine.
  2. rogmoseley
    Joined: Jan 7, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Great tech tip! I have several rolls in the same shape, and being frugal,[ poor and cheap], saved this one on my favorites, if my old tired brain remembers it. THANKS!
  3. Rich Wright
    Joined: Jan 9, 2008
    Posts: 3,922

    Rich Wright

    Makes sense since the tape is just paper with an adhesive on one side. What your doing is steaming it which is just a way of allowing moisture to absorbe back into the dried out paper.

    Never thought about it before, but it sounds like a sensible thing to do, as long as the glue doesn't want to separate from the paper.

    Thanks for the tip.
  4. chubbie
    Joined: Jan 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,268


    I've been useing the microwave for years, never used the water:eek:
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  5. great tip thanks
  6. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,237


    Great tip!
    I am always mad finding rolls of tape here and there around the shop or boxes etc.
    Tape doesn't grow on trees.
  7. secnwind
    Joined: Nov 1, 2006
    Posts: 62


    storing it in a zip lock bag seems to help also
  8. Willy301
    Joined: Nov 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,426


    I should point out that heating water that much causes a severe safety issue. With the water that hot, if anything falls into the cup, it will explode. Even a grain of salt hitting the water allows for bubble formation that can be catastrophic. I have heard of putting a nonmetallic, solid object in the cup of water before heating avoids this, but have not tried that. If you do not believe me, search Youtube, I am certain there are videos out there showing this phenomana. I beleive it was also shown on Mythbusters. Please do not try this as the burns can be far more severe than if it was done with just boiling water...
  9. For those of you with fridges in your shop... If your vegetable crisper or some of the space in your doors is going to waste, I read you can keep tape indefinitely by putting it in an air-tight container/ziploc and keeping it in the fridge. I guess this works for all tapes.
  10. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796


    Now your wives will have something else to bitch about.:D First ovens. Then dish washers. Now... micro-waves.:D
  11. 50's dreams
    Joined: Jan 3, 2007
    Posts: 43

    50's dreams
    from colo spgs

    I love that idea. I'm always workin late and seems like when I need tape the hard wear stores are always closed
  12. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,213



    good tech for the night owls.
  13. newrider3
    Joined: Aug 19, 2010
    Posts: 62


    That will only happen with distilled or deionized water, which won't physically boil in the microwave due to lack of impurities. You've never microwaved water for tea or to make some Ramen? It's perfectly safe.
  14. amx180mph
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 156


    I Googled this and you are so correct. Most of what I read recommended putting a wooden spoon or stick into the water. I am going to experiment with using a Tupperware container with a vent hole drilled in the top and a little water sprinkled in the bottom. It should work and be a lot safer. I will post it here if it works or not.
  15. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962


    Ok- I snoped this and, while it's correct, the circumstances have to be spot-on-perfect to replicate. Simply put, get an old plastic...(or clay if you're really old school) jar and use that for the water instead, if you want to be really safe.

    I'm reading this as though you're putting it on high for a few seconds, yes? a few (say 30) seconds isn't long enough for the average 1000 watt microwave to superheat water.

    So, no need to panic.
  16. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,805

    from nipomo, ca

    :eek:OTT - someone just mentioned that putting a cd in the microwave produces spectacular results but limit it to 4 seconds:D Maybe the wife wouldn't mind - if you leave it in longer that 4 sec it stinks up the surroundings.
    Sorry - this has nothing to do with saving old tape. Just a sophmoric tidbit.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  17. The O P said he first heated the cup of water to a boil.
    Then put in the roll of tape and ran the micro for another 1 minute to
    achieve the rejuvenation. Just re-running that info for some who now
    don't seem to recall just what was done.
  18. olddrags
    Joined: Oct 19, 2006
    Posts: 477

    from ky

    Great tip, I'll sure give it a try! Thanks
  19. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962


    Correct... I totally missed that line for some reason. In my defence, I often forget what I had for breakfast. The conversation goes like this:

    Q: What did I have for breakfast?
    A: Who the hell are you?
  20. Willy301
    Joined: Nov 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,426


    You need to reread the OP, he spoke of heating the water to boiling and then reheating it again....dangerous!
  21. The microwaving water thing is if you heat it for three minutes or more at a time. It can super heat the water, then when you open the microwave door the water explodes out of the container.

    As stated, any impurity in the water will prevent this from happening. Have you ever thrown boiling chips in a kettle? Same idea; some salt, a wood spoon, whatever, will prevent this from occurring.
  22. gotit
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 360


    I don't understand how there could be problems. Tap water boils at 212* at sea level. Super heating it will make steam very fast.

    On the other side of things have you seen a light bulb in the microwave? It makes some crazy light show till it bloelws up at 30 sec or so.
  23. fordcragar
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 3,180

    from Yakima WA.

    Great idea, thanks for sharing.
  24. bonez
    Joined: Jul 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,493

    from Slow lane

    I had a cuttin disk on a grinder break in a few pieces once, that got scattered all over at speed missing me by pure luck....
    Now i always turn it by hand...makes grinding a pain but its safe.
  25. Only with distilled/de-ionized water and only in a glass container. Use tap water and a few shakes from the salt shaker and you will have no problem. Hot water humidifiers have a note that salt can be added to increase the rate of boiling. Same trick chefs use to boil water faster when using it to do things like hard boiled eggs.

    I make my hot water for brewing iced tea all the time in the microwave. 2 cups purified water in a glass measuring cup for 4 min 20 seconds. Some purified water does this violent boiling and some doesn't....which is a good indicator of how good the purified water is. Walmart purified water, by the way is it boils just as fast as tap water. When you pull it out, if not boiling it will not boil until you drop/put something into it. Carefully move it to the counter and stand back and touch the surface with a spoon gently. It may boil out of the container a little, but at arms length you are safe. Only way its going to completely jump out of the container is if you have a very small amount of water in the container....1 1/2 to 2 cups just boils very rapidly.

    You have a better chance getting hit by lightening, than you do by "exploding" tap water in a non-glass container.

    And this is a great tip....don't know how many rolls I have wasted over the years, because they dried out.
  26. amx180mph
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 156


    I got up early and stole a imitation piece of Tupperware from the kitchen. I drilled a hole in the lid, put a few drops of water in, added the tape and microwaved for 45 seconds. I got excellent results with a role of junk tape. It is a good thing I save crap like the unusable tape and dried up paint you just never know.

    I hope this changes this thread back to what I intended and gets rid of the safety police. I made a cup of tea this morning in my killer microwave just the same. Now I just have to explain to the wife why we have a piece of Tupperware with a hole drilled in the lid.
  27. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,660

    R Frederick
    from illinois

    I go through tape so damned fast, it's unimaginable that I'd ever have a roll long enough for it to dry out anyway. I usually have the opposite problem, I can't keep enough around.
  28. BigNick1959
    Joined: Oct 23, 2006
    Posts: 639


    With the price of tape getting nuts! thats a great tip!
  29. After a little misunderstanding about thirty years ago, I am only allowed to put food in the oven or microwave. I bought one of those little quartz clock movements and was going to make a clock out of a cow pattie. Sun drying was not getting the job done, so..........

  30. Same here.

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