October 30th, 2015

Low Tack Masking Tape - Tested

I've been doing some decorating and had need of some low-tack masking tape. I've tried five different (named) types because it's hard to know when you're looking at a packet or Internet page what you're going to get. Here are the results...

The tapes I've tested are:

I should make it clear that I have no affiliation with any of the manufacturers or retailers. I'd like to think I'm a reasonably accomplished DIYer, I'm not a professional. I'm also not doing anything scientific here, there are no lab tests - it's all been done in my lounge and kitchen and is mostly just my opinion. My lounge has recently been replasted and painted white by the contractor. The paint hasn't adhered to the plaster especially well in the corners and so is susceptible to coming off when tape is applied to it.

3M Scotch-Blue #2030

Appearance: Sort of fabric-like feel but papery to use
Stickiness (tack): Pretty strong (not "low tack")
Takes paint off when removed: Yes
Paint 'bleeds' under it: Yes
General: A good basic tape for general use, but not suitable for delicate surface work. Actually won't take off paint terribly badly, but takes off more than you'd want in delicate surface tasks.

FrogTape Delicate Surface

Appearance: Yellow, smooth papery tape
Stickiness (tack): Pretty strong (not "low tack" despite the name)
Takes paint off when removed: Yes
Paint 'bleeds' under it: No
General: Apart from avoiding paint bleed, this tape doesn't do much to set it apart from other (ordinary, cheaper) tapes. I ended up using it to stick to plastic window and door frames. It did a good job there with sharp lines and no residue on removal (after about a week). But of all the tapes I actually tried on paint, this one took off by far the most of it - definitely not good given the claims on the packaging.

Tesa Wallpaper Tape 7006

Appearance: Yellowy papery tape
Stickiness (tack): Very low (sort of like a post-it note)
Takes paint off when removed: Very occasionally when stuck down hard
Paint 'bleeds' under it: A little
General: This is a great low-tack tape. It practically falls off the roll, and doesn't accidentally stick to surfaces very easily. I found it almost never took any paint off when used after sticking it to my teeshirt first. I didn't leave any of this up longer than a couple of hours, but it all came off easily with no residue.

Cleenedge Low Tack Masking Tape

Appearance: White smooth paper tape
Stickiness (tack): Very strong (feels more sticky than Scotch-Blue)
Takes paint off when removed: Didn't try, but I'd guess yes
Paint 'bleeds' under it: Didn't try
General: Seems to have smooth, sharp edges, but not at all "low tack" and as far as I can tell easily surpassed by many other, more easily available and cheaper tapes. Might find some use in precision work where the high stickiness is not a problem.

Tesa Precision Mask Sensitive 4333

Appearance: Pink, smooth plasticy feeling tape
Stickiness (tack): Low-medium
Takes paint off when removed: Occasionally
Paint 'bleeds' under it: I didn't see any, but didn't use much of it
General: A high quality tape, which I could imagine being great for masking off intricate shapes. I used a fair bit of this on the walls, but it took too much paint off to keep using it. For slightly less delicate use I can see it being good to use though.

In summary:

Lots of tapes claim to be 'low tack' but really aren't. FrogTape is apparently doing lots of marketing, but the altogether more humble Tesa 7006 is actually a better choice for delicate surface work. I've bought a load more of it to do some other jobs around the house, and will probably use it for most of my masking needs from now on.

August 18th

Rude Coffee

Bought this at Fine Grind, Tunbridge Wells:
Rude CoffeeRude Coffee

August 7th

Fun at Hinges and Brackets, Maidstone

Oh the jolly japes:
Fork HandlesFork Handles

August 4th

Coofer Cat Now Secure

I've finally got into this decade and bought myself an SSL certificate, so is now on HTTPS only.

I'm told that Google consider the http and https variants of a domain to be completely separate. That means that doing this possibly risks your 'SEO' because Google sort of delists the http site while creating the https site. We'll see how that goes...

PS. On my... I just realised this is my first post of 2015 - in August!!

November 19th, 2014

Coofer Cat Now On Tor .onion

I just created a Tor .onion service for Coofer Cat. I was only doing it for the fun of it, but my word it's easy. There's lots of proper documentation on t'internet, but here's how to do it:

1) Install/run Tor somewhere near to your web server
2) Edit /etc/tor/torrc and enable the hidden service
3) Restart Tor
4) Look in /var/lib/tor/hidden-service/hostname for the name of your hidden service.

Coofer Cat is on http://3j2s3chksdayguny.onion/. Because that's hard to remember, I just put a redirect on too (hitting this up isn't a hidden service though).

August 22nd

Sucky EU Regulations Ban Powerful Vacuum Cleaners

Reported in various mainstream places, not least this one, we find that "the EU" has been busying itself with making sure we don't buy powerful vacuum cleaners. Apparently, this is the best way we can reduce Europe's carbon footprint.

I am slightly bemused by this whole thing. Which? reckon that one of their best vacuum cleaners costs £27/year to run (on average). That doesn't seem like a massive amount, so presumably there's not all that much carbon involved in vacuuming up Europe. This change in regulation isn't likely to cut the cost by anywhere near half even, so again, not likely to reduce our carbon by all that much either.

For example, I'd imagine that putting loft insulation into every house in Europe would do far more to cut carbon emissions than any of this piffle. We've had a rise in "Eurosceptic" political parties of late - whilst I disagree with most of what they stand for, on the other hand, maybe they've got a point...?

August 15th

3D Print an Elephant in 1:1 Scale!?

A chap called Joris has modified a bunch of 3D printers to be able to print really big objects. He's now printing an elephant in actual size! There's a live camera feed of the printers working (camera 2 is probably best to see it working).

It's all happening at Schiphol airport - I wonder if you can go and see it "in the flesh"...?

August 11th

No Parking! (Unless...)

No parking unless you happen to be the City of London parking patrol, in which case, double yellows, with little stripes on the kerb, right by a corner is perfectly fine.

July 25th

Open Source Fame

Featured on YoumagineFeatured on YoumagineI just posted a pretty simple object to Youmagine and they've featured it!

If you're wondering, it's a little cover for the power button on our LG washing machine to stop the kids pressing it when we'd rather they didn't (for whatever reason it's not included in the child lock feature).

In other open source showing off news, after years of writing Perl (I could probably count the lines of Perl I've written in the millions by now), I've written my first CPAN module - it's a Gcode interpreter that aims to simulate an Ultimaker 3D printer:

Gcode::Interpreter::Ultimaker (with the code on github).

May 20th

Cat by day, Internet sensation by night ;-)

A few flashes of my family throughout, but most of it starts at about 2:48. The unpaid shill at the end ruins it all though ;-)