Duct tape alternative

Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2022 03:44 pm
Hi folks.

Duct tape is amazing stuff. The old adage is (usually) true:

If it's supposed to move and it doesn't, use WD40.

If it ain't supposed to move and it does, use duct tape.

Great for auto parts, holding wood together until ... whenever, pipes, air-ducts, bears, and small children... Well, OK, not bears.

Anyway, I have a relatively new laptop (about 4 years old). The thing works great, but the body (chassis? casing?) is, like many modern devices, plastic.

In the upper right and left corners of the housing are two tiny screws that hold the top of the casing to the bottom half from underneath. With the pressure of opening and closing the case so many times, they have snapped loose from inside so the threads of the screws have nothing to hold onto anymore. When I open the top to use the computer, the corners of the casing crack open as well.

I tried a few types of glue (the kinds that bind anything to anything -- wood to stone, glass to steel, rocks to clouds, etc.), clamping it down and letting it set for 24 to 36 hours before moving the top. Cracks open again, first time.

Yesterday I duct-taped both sides shut. Ugly-looking but it seemed to work (the casing is black so I used black tape). However, the pressure when opening the top is still so great that after a few times of opening and closing, the tape started to pull off the plastic and is leaving gooey sticky glue, white against the black, and it looks like it will just turn into a gooey mess with a few more openings.

I can of course clean it all off again with "Goo Gone", but I still need some way to hold the top and bottom of the casing together.

Is there some other kind of tape that is really rock-hard when it's been left for a while, something that just doesn't pull leaving the glue behind, something at won't stretch or flex with the pressure of opening and shutting the laptop casing? I was thinking about something like plumber's metallic tape but I'm not sure a layer of it will hold onto plastic.
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Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2022 04:01 pm
I was just reading some answers to another person's problem. Not sure if this could apply but here goes

Jun 27, 2012
A while back, my lid was cracked to hell, and the post was broken off. I took it completely apart and I used Gorilla Glue with some scrap plastic (like from a plastic binder) to reinforce it. I was very generous with the glue and applied it in stages over a few days. Overall, it was like a half an hour of work which resulted in a rock solid lid. The post hasn't even broken off.
Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2022 02:50 pm
I could try that as a last resort, thanks! I think the lid itself and the lower main casing are a bit of a different problem. Also, I'm not sure how to apply Gorilla Glue "in stages" since once you glue something, it's glued. It seems more like he applied glue and a sheet of plastic as a coating to support a wholly cracked lid, not just to join two separated pieces together. That's different from this problem, but I have not tried Gorilla Glue yet.

I have a roll of metal tape and will try that today. The duct tape has become a mess even after just 2 or 3 days. Cleanup and retry...
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Reply Sat 25 Jun, 2022 02:53 pm
Oh -- my wife asked me why I mentioned duct-taping children and bears. I told her the following from my Dad...

A man had three children, and a big brown bear as a pet. One day, behavior issues got out of hand, and to teach a lesson, the man duct-taped his three children to the bear and left them alone for the rest of the day.

The bear was very apologetic after that and there was never a behavior problem with him again...
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Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2022 06:27 am
Well, after about 2 months of various glues, cleaning messy cracked glue off, and duct tape goo clean-up, I cut strips of metal tape to the size of the problem area, and applied all in about 10 minutes.

Worked like a charm. The plastic surface was completely clean of oils and such, and the metal tape took to it quite strongly. The cracked-open separated areas on the corners are firmly and solidly shut, and nothing moves that ain't s'posed to...

Of course, the tape had a few wrinkles in it but they smoothed out by rubbing the tape with the side of a small wood dowel. Glossy smooth and shiny, like a sheet of silver metal was place there when the casing was made.

There is some Japanese and some kana on the inside of the tape roll. I asked my wife to translate and she said "Metal Air-Duct Tape"...
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2022 06:43 am
That's one of the tapes I try to keep in my collection of tape. It has many uses.
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2022 09:01 pm
I had a good-size roll for a very long time, but each time we move stuff in the home office, it all gets "consolidated" -- meaning lost, packed away, or thrown out. And usually I don't find out it was "consolidated away" until I need it... Thankfully, I found it in a box marked "Tapes" that was mostly full of cassettes, VHS, and even a couple of Beta tapes -- and several rolls of various-colored duct tape. Wife said when she asked me where the tape goes, without looking (always dangerous) I offhandedly told her "The tape box"...
Reply Sun 26 Jun, 2022 09:09 pm
I try to keep a variety of tape and glue on hand for emergencies and other projects. But always a week after I organize my materials and tools it's total havoc in there.
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