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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Great tip for Gaff tape (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kevin Ridgeway
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V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
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I found this on Andy Leviss' blog. Some of you know he is a magician that works on touring production, like The Full Monte several years ago. Anyways he is a bright guy concerning anything technical in the theatre.

Have you ever need to tape something down and used gaff or duct tape to form a loop? Well it doesn't hold very well because it is a loop that isn't very secure to itself. Andy came up with instruction on a gaff tape triangle that works very well.

Here it is...

This week, it’s time for a cool trick with gaff tape that I picked up while hanging out with all the film and video kids during my four years at Emerson College back in Boston. It shouldn’t be surprising to pick up a new and useful way to use gaff from film types, of course, since they did originate the stuff, but it has surprised me that I have never once run into a theatre or concert type who is familiar with this simple but oh-so-handy bit of gaff origami. So, as an early holiday gift to you (and, Seth, I do mean holiday in the generic, insert-your-holiday-of-choice here way!), here is the small wonder known as the gaff triangle.

What exactly is it? It’s a simple and secure way of making a double-sided fastener out of gaff tape. Show of hands, how many of you have tried to mount something, say, a PCC or a mic switchbox, on another surface, such as a stage floor or meter bridge? How many of you tried to do so by folding a loop of gaff back on itself to create a sticky ring of gaff? How many of you, a short while later, watched said object slide around or lift up/fall down from said surface? I thought so. This is a fatal flaw of the gaff loop, since the physics of it mean that this is always going to happen given an object of any significant weight (and, honestly, it doesn’t even work that great for holding up a piece of paper, in the long run).

Enter the gaff triangle. Basically, you’re just going to fold the gaff back on itself at forty-five degree angles until it forms a triangle that is sticky on both sides and–here’s the key difference–has all of its edges sealed. This means that it can’t lift up like a loop can, and thus holds much more securely. It’s tricky to describe in words, so I’ll let the picture do most of the talking. Just tear a six inch long piece of gaff and hold it vertically, sticky side away from you. Then, you’re going to start by folding one of the top corners down along a forty-five degree angle towards you, so that you end up with a sticky triangle looking at you. Now, you’re going to keep folding along the lowest edge of that sticky triangle until you run out of tape (with a six inch long piece of standard two inch tape, it will take five folds); the folds will alternate between folds along forty-five degree angles and horizontal folds along the width of the tape.

http://www.onefromtheroad.com/index.php?p=74

This will take you to his site which has a picture of what is happening.

Kevin
Living Illusions
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Dan McLean Jr aka, Magic Roadie
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Toronto, Canada
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Hi, Kevin!
Yep. Andy knows his stuff, I've only met one pther person with this useful, little piece of knowledge, and he's the one that taught me. Once in a while, it's bailed me out of a sticky Smile situation.
Dan McLean Jr
glodmagic
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Finally useful information on the Café' !

This takes the award in the FX section.
So sick of...
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illusions & reality
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Saskatoon, SK, CANADA
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What a simple, yet perfect solution! Thanks for sharing Kevin!

Lou
Zamboni
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Australia
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As a part-time stage manager as well as magician that's got to be the best thing I've learnt this year.
Cheers Kevin.
DavidCaserta
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Thanks for the tip, I've used the old fold back technique in the past with bad results. I'll have to give this one a try.
Mystician
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Inner circle
Wallachia
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Now that IS interesting ! Thanks.
Useful for us musicians too !
Just hanging out with the rest of my fellow dregs.
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hugmagic
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I also keep strips of gaff tape on the inside or outside of the case (depending on the case use) so I always have some with me in an emergency.

Never heard of the triangle idea. Makes sense.

Richard
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
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