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  #11  
Old 10-10-2008
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Originally Posted by artbyjody View Post
Maine, I actually do purchase the stuff through local hardware stores here. Its usually in the screen door sections.
That's cool! None of the hardware stores or home centers around here carry it. I've searched high and low!!
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Old 10-15-2008
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I got curious after Main Sail's earlier piece on butyl tape, so I got some from the online RV place and used it when rebedding locker hinges. Impressively sticky stuff.

Considering that it seems to stay sticky for a very long time--I think MS showed something that had remained pliable and sticky for over a decade?--and seems easier to work with than a caulk gun full of Sikaflex, I'd like know what its limitations are, if any. Is butyl tape suitable for all above-waterline hardware rebedding jobs? Say for stanchions, clutches, etc?
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Originally Posted by arf145 View Post
I got curious after Main Sail's earlier piece on butyl tape, so I got some from the online RV place and used it when rebedding locker hinges. Impressively sticky stuff.

Considering that it seems to stay sticky for a very long time--I think MS showed something that had remained pliable and sticky for over a decade?--and seems easier to work with than a caulk gun full of Sikaflex, I'd like know what its limitations are, if any. Is butyl tape suitable for all above-waterline hardware rebedding jobs? Say for stanchions, clutches, etc?
I've used it on every type of mechanically fastened devices that you can think of and it works great.

Limitations include feathering a joint and smoothing over the bead. I can't think of any use on deck where I would not use it. As i said 80% of my boat has yet to need re-bedding. My genny tracks for example were done at the factory with butyl nearly 30 years ago and they are still bone dry with not even one drip..
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  #14  
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OK then, MS, I'm going for it. Butyl tape it is. Thanks.
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Old 10-15-2008
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Actually, most of the hardware stores DO carry butyl tape just not where you might think it is. Look for a 3-6' long roll, 1-2" wide, in the PLUMBING section or the ELECTRICAL section. I've bought 3M's prime quality "butyl self vulcanizing tape" in Home Depot, right next to the other 3M electrical tapes, it is used to waterproof cable and antenna splices. These tend to harden up over time, not rock hard but layers fuse. Regular butyl "caulking" tape will stay gummier longer.

Sometimes they stock clear silicone tape--which is pretty much the same product, doesn't quite self-fuse as permanently but can be used as a gasket material just as well. Sold in the plumbing sections (along with butyl) as a hose/pipe leak patch material, too.

I'm assuming the tape is going to be laid down flat as a gasket under the hinge panel--not stuffed in the screwhole. Either of these should work as a gasket material, without needing to buy a huge roll from a special place.
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Actually, most of the hardware stores DO carry butyl tape just not where you might think it is. Look for a 3-6' long roll, 1-2" wide, in the PLUMBING section or the ELECTRICAL section. I've bought 3M's prime quality "butyl self vulcanizing tape" in Home Depot, right next to the other 3M electrical tapes, it is used to waterproof cable and antenna splices. These tend to harden up over time, not rock hard but layers fuse. Regular butyl "caulking" tape will stay gummier longer.

Sometimes they stock clear silicone tape--which is pretty much the same product, doesn't quite self-fuse as permanently but can be used as a gasket material just as well. Sold in the plumbing sections (along with butyl) as a hose/pipe leak patch material, too.

I'm assuming the tape is going to be laid down flat as a gasket under the hinge panel--not stuffed in the screwhole. Either of these should work as a gasket material, without needing to buy a huge roll from a special place.
I have both self vulcanizing tape and glazing quality butyl ribbon or flat tape sitting in my shop. They are NOT the same product!!!!!!!! I would never even consider using the self vulcanizing tape over the glazing grade butyl.

The stuff I use is very, very, very gooey and sticky and comes stuck between waxed paper as it can not go onto a tape roll or it will be destroyed trying to un-roll it. There are a few grades of things called butyl but self vulcanizing tape IMHO is not one I'd choose for re-bedding deck hardware.

Perhaps in some parts of the country you can find butyl glazing tape in home centers and hardware sotres but not here. RV stores are the only places I've seen the flat version in colors like gray and off white. Again, I would NOT suggest using black if it can be avoided. I used black on my port lights but only because I could not find a source in the diameter needed in gray or white..

Black Round Butyl Tape:

Keeping the black off the gelcoat:

As you can see I used 3M 101 polysulfide to seal the trim ring to the exterior and the butyl to seal the port to the cabin. This kept the black butyl off the gelcoat..
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 10-15-2008 at 04:49 PM.
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A lot of 'better' junk yards, window companies, and windsheild installers carry the black butyl tape, the window places, and steel siding companies often carry the grey or white variety.
I've picked up the black butyl by asking a windsheild installer who was working in the parking lot, gave him $6 for two rolls, don't know if it was a good or bad price, but we were both happy with the transaction so it wasvalue for value.

Ken
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The stuff I got from the RV supply link Maine Sail provided last time is like very sticky putty in a strip--can be molded to itself just by rolling it between your fingers. It's 3/4" wide and maybe .1 inches thick. I'm planning on using it as my surface "gasket" material and around screw heads and in the deck screw hole countersink. Overall, I like the gray color--it blends in with metal amd looks OK where it shows against the white gelcoat. And you can sort of cut it with a plastic blade to trim after it oozes.
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When working with the butyl tape, leave the paper backing on, for as long as you can. That will aid you in getting the same thickness over all.
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Old 10-16-2008
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I used this to rebed a 35 year old stern quarter extrusion. It's great stuff. I associate it with automotive window installers.

There are crannies on my boat where a little "overflow" is still malleable and "new smelling"...from 1973.
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