When Not To Use VHB Tape

VHB tape is wonderful stuff to stick things together. It was created for attaching windows to things, with no fasteners. However, I just had an illustrative example of when not to use it.
I was very impressed with the VHB tape on the lunar lander dome. It had a steel frame to stick to.  Straight and smooth.
Maybe out of inertia, I also put it on the little triangular windows of the lunar lander. Later I realized the tape looked too wide on those tiny windows and I vowed to trim it back when I bought a tall enough ladder to reach.
I got the ladder.  It turned out that all I had to do was push a bit and the windows folded back in. So I could then remove the tape.
Two lessons. For VHB tape to work well, the contact surface must be both flat and smooth. Many of you can do that. I seem to not have that skill nor ability in hard to reach places.
The second lesson is the VHB tape must be kept dry. Due to no ladder, I could not protect it with my caulk.
My triangular windows are now stopped in and bedded with caulk.  The caulk can span the sketchy surface and gaps.
If you can do and flat, fair and smooth contact surface, go for it. If not, use adhesive caulk, like the System 3, two part polyurethane.

In contrast, I have a solar powered motion light stuck above the front door.   It was stuck on with a couple of strips of VHB tape.  Turns out the light is defective and won’t work.  I not only can’t  remove it, I can hang from it.  And swing.  Gonna take a chisel maybe.


3 thoughts on “When Not To Use VHB Tape”

  1. Kurt:
    When the lunar lander is completed you should reach out to the cable network HGTV folks for a interview. They have a program on people who are searching for, building and living in mini homes. Some are glorified trailers others are stationary like your lander. It might generate sales of the Lunar Lander plans with instructions generating some extra revenue for KHSD.

    Don’t give up you day job as a boat designer because I have enjoyed following your work for over 20 years. I am going to purchase a set of plans for one of your 19-30′ trimarans soon and would be sad if you became a land lubber.


    Tom Edwards

    1. Disney has promised a segment when I get done. Not slowing down on the boats at all. I think I have 8 or 10 going on here now. I felt was important to move house building along with marine composites tech.

  2. Try bit of mig welding wire tied between a couple of handles to run behind you problem light, we have unstuck really large areas of sika bonding by sawing a wire back & forth in/against the bond line.

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