MAKE:TNT Tools 'n' Tips

Self-Fusing Rubber Splicing Tape

by Jonathan Foote

As seen in MAKE 05 Toolbox

If you do any kind of electrical work or home repairs, you likely rely on heat-shrink tubing and/or electrical tape to seal and insulate wiring splices. But even the best vinyl electrical tape will eventually disintegrate into sticky black goo, and heat-shrink tubing needs a heat source. (Plus, if you are like me, you never have the right diameter handy.)

The pros have a solution: like other sticky miracles, it comes from 3M, and it's called "Linerless Rubber Splicing Tape." It fuses to itself to form a nearly perfect waterproof bond. To use it, and tightly wrap your splice. The result is a neatly insulated tube of tough black rubber. It also works great on anything that needs protective wrapping or a better grip, such as elderly extension cords or sports raquet handles. i even use it to bind rope ends so they don't unravel.