User Input

User Input: The Handyman’s Secret Weapon

There have been a number of inventions and discoveries that are responsible for launching man from the age of the neanderthal to the glorious creature that he is today. Fire. The Wheel. Sliced Bread. Pizza Bagels. This list would be far from complete, however, without including that staple of all households: Duct Tape.

The most common form of Duct Tape was originally created by Johnson & Johnson during WWII for military applications, initially to seal ammunition cases. From there the uses exploded. One such famous use was on NASA’s Apollo 13 mission to adapt the CO2 scrubbers from the command module to work in the lunar module. They used it again on Apollo 17 to repair the lunar rover’s fender. Duct tape is even included in the supply list in the spaceflight operations manual for the ISS. If an astronaut goes mental on board, official procedure is to restrain him with duct tape.

One of my all time favourite uses was by Red Green on The RedGreen Show. He used a lot of duct tape over the years, and always called it “the handyman’s secret weapon.” I was originally going to include this video in last week’s Milk Crate question, but I’ve found another use for it here:


What’s the best use you’ve ever seen for duct tape?

[“User Input” is the AtomicToasters Question of the Day™ asking you, the teeming millions, to answer our pressing questions.]

  • OA5599

    Beauty pageant contestants use it to lift and enhance their natural assets.
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    • Deartháir

      Having done enough theatre that I should be on a first-name basis with Liza Minelli (dodged that bullet!), I can verify that the creative costuming uses for duct tape back stage can be… intriguing. I recall a particular incident involving a delightfully curvaceous girl and a Wonder Woman costume…

    • dmilligan

      And it works as an impromptu hair remover too, for those little touch up jobs.

      • OA5599

        My wife's wedding dress was designed intending that tape would be used to help show off the goods. We had a lunchtime reception, with the ceremony beforehand, and she got taped up in the morning.

        She made a quick change into more casual clothes before the end of the reception, but didn't have time to deal with the tape until the end of the day. If you are the type of person who gets the ouchies over pulling off a Band-aid, you probably won't want to try removing two boobs' worth of duct tape that's been stuck on all day. I'm pretty sure she shed some skin cells.

        • dmilligan

          Oooo, that's some bad ouchies there, in an especially tender area. As a gentleman, I'm sure you did your best to ease her pain.

  • johnnymac09

    I had the opportunity once to be in the live studio audience of the Red Green Show. It was fantastic, and he certainly opened our eyes to many uses for Duct Tape over the years.

    The best use I have ever seen was when my step brother used it as a fan belt. His broke late one night and he needed to get home, he said it didn't last long and he had to stop a few times to make another one, but he got home without a tow truck and we were able to fix it the next day.

    • OA5599

      When I change out belts as part of routine maintenance, I typically take the worn belt and toss it into the spare tire carrier (or keep it with the jack on vehicles with exterior spare tire storage). I suppose a roll of duct tape takes up less room, but won't last as long as a typical used belt.

  • chrystlubitshi

    i remember when i first discovered Red Green back in the mid 90s… i couldn't believe it. it instantly became a family gathering/TV show every night as our Local PBS showed re-runs every evening after dinner time. love it to this day!

    • PowerTryp

      He's coming to Calgary in September for his Wit and Wisdom tour. I'm really excited.

      • chrystlubitshi

        crap. i missed all the US dates on the tour… i didn't know about it…. that sucks… hope you get to go and enjoy it!

  • aastrovan

    Plumbing leak,window seal,rattle reducer.

  • McQueen

    Steady bearing fix for when you in the boonies

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