Edit 07 May 2010: Folks – Duct tape is not the same thing as Gaffer tape. Gaffer tape comes from specialist camera equipment suppliers and is very, very expensive. I can use Google pretty effectively and if I could have turned up actual Gaffer tape with a quick search or two, believe me, I would have done. What’s the difference? Read on! :)
I’ve been looking for Gaffer tape for ages and at last my search has come to an end, twice in the same week.
What? Surely you can walk in to any DIY shop or visit ebay to pick up a roll of Gaffer? Same as Duct tape – right?
Duct (or should that be Duck tape?) tape is great stuff. It should be part of everyone’s repair and first aid kits.
But if you’ve ever used it (and really, who hasn’t?) then you’ll know it’s sticky.
Really, very sticky.
Which is rather the point. It sticks like… well, you know what.
But it’s also a drawback, you stick it on something, and when you want to peel it off, some of it stays. Or, worse, some of what you’ve stuck it to, doesn’t stay.
When the film and theatre industries started using it for sticking cables and other things that they didn’t want covered in glue, that became a problem.
So, they invented Gaffer tape. Named for the head of the lighting department on a film crew.
Its surprisingly hard to find. I eventually stumbled across it in the obvious place; professional camera supplies.
In the USA Adorama supply a 50 yard roll (they still use measurements that are impossible to convert between ;) and in Europe Calumet do it in a 50M roll (they also have a large selection in their US shop, and also in those odd measurements!).
It’s a specialist item, so, as the Wikipedia article has it; “[it] is therefore not a consumer good“.
Meaning it’s not cheap.
But if, you want to make things using tape or if you find yourself having to repair something that you don’t want to get covered in residual glue, it might be just what you need.