How do you wrap duct tape and clear tape around irregular objects?

Objects such as funny shaped cardboard art and odd shaped tables. I am talking about wrapping tape, smoothly and cleanly, around objects that don't have smooth sharp edges. How can you do this?

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Do you remember when you were little, and you first learned about calculus, about derivatives, for a function of one variable, like y(x).

The promise was, if you had a curve, that looked really curvy from far away, it was always possible to zoom in, to a scale, where just in a very short interval of x or y, the curve looked like a straight line.

The promise was that you could approximate any curve, with a series of connected straight line segments, if the line segments are small enough.

Similarly, you can approximate any irregular 2D surface, of a 3D solid, with a bunch of patches, which are perfectly flat, if you make them small enough.

The Wikipedia article titled, "Polygon mesh", has a picture of a triangle mesh dolphin, that sort of illustrates this concept.


This suggests that you should not wrap the tape, but rather cut the tape into several small patches, and then just cover your odd shaped thing, with a whole bunch of little patches of tape.

I don't know if that is going to produce a result that you would call "smooth" and "clean".

I mean, there are places where one tape patch overlaps another. There are a huge number of these places, but the area where there is overlap can be much smaller than the area covered by just one layer of tape.

I used this method once, for covering the concave surface of an old, fiberglass, C-band satellite dish with aluminum foil tape. Somewhere around here I probably have some pictures of this.

Toga_Dan1 month ago

I often prefer electrical tape. It stretches a bit.

Or maybe spray adhesive + saran wrap? But I've not tried that.

Vyger Toga_Dan1 month ago

+ 1 on the electrical tape, also called vinyl tape. It now comes in many colors and widths. It is designed to stretch to fit around odd shapes especially those that happen when you splice wire together. I even use it to color code and identify various cables and extension cords.

rickharris1 month ago

My choice method involves sharp blades so use with all care.

Wrap as best you can - try not to get any wrinkles stuck together.

Cut down any wrinkles with a sharp blade, craft knife or better I use a scalple, over lap the two sides to give a smooth finish.

If you do get a wrinkle stuck to it'self then yuo can slide the blade parallel with the surface and cut the wrinkle off.


Best option I found is by using a hair dryer.
Good duct tape and some clear ones can be stretched quite a bit, this helps to avoid "leftovers" when for example the diameter to wrap goes down.
Another option is to wrap in the direction of the shape, meaning for example with a cone you don't wrap horizontally but instead at an angle.
And the hairdryer helps to shrink back stretched parts of tape.