Sunday, November 21, 2010

Going To Pieces Is Not Always A Bad Thing

Many people are surprised to learn that most types of adhesive tape can be pre-cut into pieces of almost any shape. This pre-cutting can save lots of time during the assembly of a wide range of products. And you know what they say "Time is money". Now I don't know who "they" are that first said this but it is the truth. Very often labor is a major component of the cost of a finished item. And what is labor? It is TIME.

In addition to saving time (which is money) you are increasing consistency of the finished product by eliminating sloppy cutting. This also saves money by eliminating product waste and preventing defective products that would require more time (and money) to fix or replace.

The key to using pre-cut pieces is to have a large enough requirement for them. Depending on the size and type of material the minimum order could be just a few hundred pieces. But the truth is thatthe minimum is usually 1000. A good rule of thumb is thatthe smaller the piece the larger the minimum order. Why is there a minimum order? To make pre-cut pieces requires labor on our part. You need to buy enough to pay for the labor. The more you buy the easier it is to amortize the cost of the production run. In addition there may be tooling charges that have to be absorbed as well.

The easiest way to find out if it's worth it to have the pieces made is to ask. If you never had pieces made before we can suggest the right tape and give you a price per 1000 pieces. If a die needs to be made we will quote that as well. If you haven't used the tape before we will send you samples to make sure it does what you want.

Pieces can be made on rolls or sheets or as loose individual pieces. If you are making a kit that requires the end user to apply the tape pieces you should get the pieces on sheets with the right amount per sheet or as loose pieces that can be put in the kit. By making the end user apply the tape pieces you are saving labor (and money).

Sometimes you are using the tape pieces to assemble the product yourself. In this case getting the pieces on sheets or rolls is the way to go. Notice how sheets work with both situations. The pieces are much easier to handle this way and it makes production go that much faster.

So remember; The next time you need to apply lots of tape think pre-cut pieces.

Yours in all things sticky,

Dr. Tape

"Duct tape is like the force. It has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe together."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sometimes It's Not That Sticky

When most people buy adhesive tape they want it to be as sticky and permanent as possible. Over the years adhesive development focused on this. Many types of adhesive systems were developed that allowed for very high performance bonding on a wide range of surfaces.

But sometimes the tape is only needed temporarily and then it needs to be removed without leaving a residue. These tapes are made from a variety of materials and have many different uses. By knowing what's out there you can find the one that's right for you.

Lettering Application Tape (Sign maker's Tape) -- This is a low tack paper or polyethylene tape that is used to transfer pre-cut vinyl graphics from the roll to the sign or vehicle while keeping them in register. Certain vinyls may have special requirements for peak performance.

Surface Protection Tapes -- These tapes help keeps finished metal, wood or plastic from getting dirty or scratched during processing and handling. Lettering application tape also makes a good general purpose surface protection tape for most flat or simple curved surfaces. They can be left on for extended periods but they won't do well at high temperatures or in direct sunlight.

PVC based films are much softer which means they conform to complex shapes much more easily than paper or polyethylene. In addition they can withstand being stamped or bent. This means they can be placed on flat polished metal that needs further processing. The PVC film protects the finish from damage during forming. Many PVC films have UV inhibitors in them that allows them to stay outdoors for up to a full year. This makes them an excellent choice for protecting window and door frames during construction.

Polyester based films are very stiff compared to PVC, polyethylene and even paper protection tapes. This means they don't conform to sharp or compound curves very well. Yet they are extremely durable and are the most effective at preventing scratching or other surface damage during manufacturing and shipping. If you ever see a picture of an airliner during construction it may be covered with a green plastic. That is a polyester surface protection tape. These tapes are also more expensive than most other surface protection tapes.

Carpet Protection Tape -- This is a very low tack polyethylene tape that is used for keeping carpets clean during construction or installation. It is an inexpensive way to prevent clean carpets from expensive damage.

The best way to determine which one you need is to give us a call and let us help you figure it out. That's why TAPE-RITE is here, to make sure you get the right tape for your job.

Veni, Vidi, Ductii -- I came, I saw, I used Duct Tape

Julius Caesar

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Walk the Narrow Line

Doctor Tape here!!

Well Kristen the Intern has gone back to school and left me to fend for myself. Unfortunately (for the blog) things have picked up here and I haven't had the time to write. But all that has changed!! I am re-focused on communicating and I will be updating on a regular basis.

I have been selling ATG tapes for over 30 years (they were invented in 1979) and for the vast majority of that time the most popular size was 1/2" wide. The same holds true today but there has been a surge of interest in 1/4" wide tape. We used to sell a few boxes per year of 1/4" wide ATG tape but recently we have been selling about 5 cases per month. I was intrigued by this and decided to investigate the reasons for this.

It turns out that there are some very creative stationery designers out there that are creating more intricate designs with smaller design details. This requires narrow width tapes to fit into the smaller spaces. The use of 1/4" wide tape may require adapting existing equipment or buying new equipment entirely. For pictures of the equipment as well as instructions and parts just click here:

If you are using the ATG-50 dispenser no adaptor is required. However care must be taken when putting the tape on the spindle so it doesn't touch the side of the dispenser. As always when putting the tape on the spindle only press on the white plastic core. For complete instructions see the link above.

The 3M ATG-700 (yellow dispenser) comes with an adaptor as part of its original equipment (again see the instruction via the link above). If you lose the adaptor you can still use 1/4" wide tape on the dispenser. Just be sure not to let it touch the side of the dispenser when you load it.

3M has recently come out with the ATG-714 dispenser. This dispenser is specifically designed for 1/4" wide tape. It has a built in adaptor which cannot be removed. If you are using lots of 1/4" wide tape I highly recommend that you get one (or more) of these dispensers. If you want to see what they look like go to and type ATG-714 in the search box. Then click on a link and hit documentation. I know this is convoluted but for some reason I can't paste the link in here.

In addition to narrow width ATG tapes we also have the 254M and 4965 double-coated tapes in widths down to 1/16" wide. I have to say that tape this narrow is more difficult to work with but it can be done.

On the opposite side of the coin are wide width tapes. The widest that ATG tapes come is 3/4". This is because the dispensers are only designed for that. However the same tapes are available in widths up to 54" wide. I sell it to a wide range of graphic artists who use it for a variety of reasons including mock-ups, laminating to papers or fabrics to make them self-adhesive, cutting out special shapes and more. Whatever you need it for we can give you the width you need.

So remember that tape is your friend. It is there to help you. By getting it in the size you need it can help you even more. Have a great day and keep on taping!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stick It To Me

Kristen the Intern here. Today we are talking about embossing powder and how double-coated tape makes it even more versatile.

Even individuals who don't know anything about tape have most likely used a variation of double-sided tape in their life. These are tapes that have adhesive on both sides. These tapes can be used for 1,000's of applications.

Tape-Rite offers a wide range of double-sided tape products. One of our products, 254M, is an acid-free double-coated tape that comes in a variety of sizes. It is a non-yellowing tape with adhesive on both sides. This makes it very popular for a wide range of applications in the stationery industry. It can be used for bonding papers together, envelope closures when creating invitations sets, and attaching fabrics. At Tape-Rite, you can purchase 254M in rolls from 1/8" up to 18" wide as well as die-cut strips, sheets and shapes for use in kits or custom designs.

Another popular use of the 254M is for embossing powder application when making custom invitations, cards, envelopes or whatever. The standard method of using embossing powder is to use a rubber stamp with pigment ink. After you stamp the ink on your paper the embossing powder is sprinkled on it, the excess is removed and then heat is applied. The powder melts resulting in an elegant, embossed design. So, where does the tape come in?

The 254M tape takes the place of the ink when applying the embossing powder. It gives you more flexibility in creating new designs. You can use it to make raised edges and decorative borders. If you apply it to your borders and then cut them with shapes scissors you can creat fancy shaped edges. You can also cut out various shapes using a Cricut or other cutting machine. These shapes can enhance the theme of your card or invitation. Tape-Rite's 254M tape makes embossing much more versatile!

Just apply the tape, remove the backing paper and sprinkle on the powder just like you would with the ink. Remove the excess, apply heat and Voila!, you have and embossed edge or design. If you want to know more about using embossing powder or if you want to order the stamps, ink or tape contact my good friend Beth at

Hopefully after reading this incredible blog post, you will give us a call and place an order for the 254M! Its applications are endless! If you don't believe ME, just ask Dr. Tape!

This will be my last guest blog for the summer! I will be leaving behind my role as an intern at Tape-Rite to explore Ireland for the next few months. Don't worry though, I will continue to make an appearance on the blog from the Emerald Isle!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stardream or Tape Nightmare?!

Stardream paper has become one of the most popular types of paper used in the stationery industry. Its pearlescent finish adds to the appeal of any project or stationery item. The paper is coated on both sides and has a finish that gives it a high quality look.

Though the look of your finished product is enhanced when using Stardream, the paper also has a dark, sinister side that no one ever realizes until they begin to use it. The coating that I previously mentioned is a UV coating made of silicone plastic which makes Stardream one of the most difficult papers to stick to. This becomes a real challenge when putting together detailed invitations or crafty projects.

Lucky for you, TAPE-RITE has a specific product intended for use with the stardream paper. Our 7502X transfer tape for ATG dispensers is a hi-performance grade tape that works very well on Stardream and other papers like it. The 7502X is available in two different sizes, 1/2" and 3/4", both in 36 yard rolls. It has superior holding capabilities that make it the perfect tape for use on Stardream and other papers like it.

In addition to being effective on the Stardream paper, the 7502x can hold similar hard to stick papers or plastics. It can also be used on lighter papers if you are looking for a tape with a strong amount of adhesion. In fact, the adhesion level of the 7502X is 150% stronger than the standard adhesive ATG tape! The 7502X is economically priced in comparison to the standard-grade despite the enhanced level of adhesion. The 7502X works in any ATG dispenser.

So, if you use Stardream and you need a tape that really sticks, call TAPE-RITE! If you have another inquiry regarding a specific application, give us a call too! We are here to solve your sticky problems!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sex, Lies and Hexayurt Tape

As we make our way towards September, we are approaching the annual Burning Man Festival. The Burning Man Festival is held every year prior to and including Labor Day in the Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The festival began in 1986 and gained its name from the ritual of burning a wooden effigy on the Saturday before Labor Day.

Since Burning Man is aimed to be an exercise in self-sufficiency, those who attend are required to provide their own shelters. Though tents are one option, hexayurts have become a popular alternative. Hexayurts can be made out of a variety of sheet goods including plywood, OSB, coroplast and more. Not only is it an inexpensive shelter, but it is easy to make and can be broken down and re-used.

Why are we discussing hexayurts? One of the most important materials when making your hexayurt is using the right kind of tape to hold it together. We have this tape! It's called bi-directional filament tape. Bi-directional means the re-inforcing fibers run lengthwise and crosswise giving the tape tremendous strength.

While hexayurts are widely used at Burning Man, they provide a valuable housing solution for other situations as well. They are ideal for disaster relief or as a temporary place for refugees. Using 5 individuals, a simple hexayurt can be built in 2 hours. In addition, people now use hexayarts for backyard sheds, greenhouses, camping shelters or even inexpensive housing. Though the basic hexayurt can be made at a low cost, as more people begin to explore the building of hexayurts, their features are becoming more advanced. Based on both the materials used to build and the interior amenities, hexayurts are now becoming more expensive and luxurious. To learn more about hexayurts and view videos detailing the building process, go to:

At Tape-Rite, we sell bi-di filament tape specially made for assemblage of hexayurts. If you are interested in more information regarding tape used for building a hexayurt, please visit:

For general information on the Burning Man Festival, visit:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Wonders of ATG Tape!

This week, I will be guest blogging for Doctor Tape. I am Kristen, the intern. I started at Tape-Rite in June and I will admit I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had always been aware of tape and its uses, but I would never have known how many kinds were in existence or how many things people actually use tape for.

My introduction to the world of tape began with a lesson on the ATG dispenser by the one and only Dr. Tape. I soon learned that the ATG system would become my best friend as I began to work with Tape-Rite's Stationery and Craft & Hobby customers.

Though loading the dispenser seems daunting at first, transfer tape has simplified the work of those involved in the Stationery, Hobby and Arts & Craft industries. The tape can be easily applied using the dispenser to attach papers, plastics and more. Tape-Rite highlights three different grades of this tape, ranging from standard to extra thick grade, making it essential for any application. To jump right to the instructions and avoid reading the rest of the blog, click here: (We really think you should read the rest of the blog though!)

The standard-grade ATG tape is acid-free and preferred for lighter papers. The acid-free formula makes it possible to use in sample books, because the tape won't ruin or discolor the paper. The next level up, which is 150% the adhesion level of the standard, is the hi-performance grade. It is made in order to join together hard to stick papers or plastics, which is a common issue when developing invitations or cards. The most intense ATG tape, the extra thick grade, is successful in putting together even the most heavily textured papers, including those with a linen finish. The transfer tapes can be purchased in widths of 1/4", 1/2" and 3/4" for both small projects and larger ones.

All of the ATG tapes are similar to rubber cement on a roll. They are pure adhesive with no internal support. Though very sticky when putting together your projects, this means that it can be wiped away if you make a mistake. Also, if you are using the tape to add narrow trim or something else smaller than the tape's width, you can easily wipe away the excess producing a clean, professional result. Because it eliminates messy glue, the ATG system helps speed your production and development of new products.

Since the loading of the ATG dispenser is the most important step to using your transfer tape, we have put together a step by step photo guide to help you on your way to mastering the ATG system:

If you have not yet used the ATG system and you are looking for a simplifed way to join together paper or other materials, you must try it! If you have already mastered using your ATG dispenser, give TAPE-RITE a try for all your ATG tapes! After all, we are the "Specialists in Specialty Tape!"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why tape? Why Tape-Rite?

Many people aren't aware that adhesive tape is a relatively new invention. The very first adhesive tape was created by a division of Johnson & Johnson called PERMACEL. The first tape they created was that white cloth bandaging tape. It was developed at the request of the US Army during World War I to hold bandages in place on the battlefield. After the war PERMACEL was spun off as a seperate company. They recently shut down the company and sold off the brand name but the tape lives on!!

After the war more types of tape were developed including masking tape for painting cars, cellophane tape for office use, duct tape for sealing heating and cooling ducts, filament tape for strapping bundles together, vinyl electrical tape and so on. As more and more modern materials were developed many were turned into tape for specific applications. In fact adhesive tape is on the cutting edge of advanced materials application. Today's tapes are made from polyester, Teflon, Tedlar, Kapton, PEEK and more.

Why so many types of tape? Because as industry adopts modern materials and manufacturing techniques they need tapes that can perform under the conditions presented by the situation. Whether it is high or low temperatures, high shear stress or any number of other requirements modern adhesive tapes can do the job. In fact new tapes are hitting the market at a record pace to keep up with up with industry demands.

This brings us to TAPE-RITE. We bill ourselves as "The Specialists in Specialty Tapes". This is not just our motto, it's the central driving force of our business. We are constantly in contact with the dozens of manufacturer's we represent to stay updated on the latest products and their applications. Our company's President, Andy "Dr. Tape" Machover, is often asked to talk at symposiums about adhesive tape with other leading industry experts. This constant contact with others in our industry means we can provide you with all of the options available for your requirement.

So if you're stuck for the right tape (stuck, it's a tape joke. Get it?) give us a call and let us solve your sticky problem.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's a Sticky Business!!

Welcome to Tape Talk brought to you by TAPE-RITE, "The Specialist in Speciality Tapes." I am Dr. Tape, the world's leading authority on adhesive tapes. In this series of blogs, I hope to unravel the mysteries of adhesive tapes.

TAPE-RITE was founded in 1952 by Irwin "the Tape Meister" Machover. This makes us one of the oldest (and largest) tape converters in the USA. Over the years we earned a reputation of having hard to find tapes on the shelf in any size required. Today, TAPE-RITE is run by a second generation of Machovers- Andy and Geoff. When we were young, our father instilled his love of tape in us by having us come in on weekends and holidays to sort and pack tape (at slave wages I might add). But his foresight paid off. Today, we continue our tradition of high quality, wide selection, large inventory and competitive prices so you can get the tape you want when you need it.

Today's adhesive tapes are highly specialized formulations designed for superior performance across a wide range of applications. This does not mean that every tape works in every application! Your choice of tape will depend on a wide variety of factors, including location, environment, life cycle of finished product and other influences. The more information you can provide about your application, the easier it is for us to get you the right tape for your job.

A good example of this is plastics. There are hundreds of different plastics in use today. Many of them have surface characteristics that make it difficult to stick to them. The use of the wrong tape on one of these plastics will result in adhesive failure and will compromise the integrity of your finished product. By identifying the type of plastic you are using, we can avoid this.

The same holds true for certain papers, painted surfaces, and metal finishes. Never assume that any tape will just work unless it's designed for the application!

Down the road, we will be looking at specific tapes and their uses. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and we will be glad to help you.

Until next time, remember, IT'S A STICKY BUSINESS!