A holiday week is a good excuse to stray a bit off topic so this is my chance to tell you about Goop. It is by far the most versatile glue I’ve found. Okay, I promise to tie this in (though weakly) to electronics. Goop comes in a fat toothpaste tube and squeezes out clear with the consistency of molasses. It sticks to most anything, fills voids, sets up in an hour or two and cures overnight. Unlike epoxy, there’s no mixing, it’s slightly compliant (not brittle) and cleans off your fingers just by rubbing.
In my family, my use of Goop is legendary. Depending on the results, their comments range from praise to ridicule.
There are countless household uses but I need to tie this to electronics. I have improvised or repaired many electrical plugs, adapters, chargers, wall warts, etc. from my extensive salvaged junk collection (my son calls them my starship parts). Fragile soldered connections are embedded in Goop for mechanical strength, strain relief and insulation. It generally takes a two or three layers to fully cover a splice like shown below. Try it next time you need to make an adaptor or fix a broken connector.
My son-in-law calls these “MacGyver jobs” and treasures the MacGyver charger and MacGyver microphones fashioned for his special needs. My son thinks I’m nuts.
I owe another connection to our integrated circuit business: You can find Goop branded several ways—Household Goop, Plumber’s Goop, Automotive Goop and Marine Goop. In big box stores you’ll find the differently branded versions in different departments. But I came across Goop in my friendly hardware store and all four types were hanging in one location, all with different prices. (Stay with me… I’ll make a connection, here.) I did some searching. Maybe there are small differences in the various versions, I’m not sure. Household Goop is the cheapest. Marine Goop is the most expensive (not too surprising). If they made aeronautical Goop I bet it would be even more expensive. Maybe it’s just marketing, I don’t know.
You may be aware that we do similar rebranding of integrated circuits. I’ve been involved in rebranding of the same IC, for example, to serve both industrial and audio markets. I’ll assure you that there are reasons, however, for differences in pricing. The testing is different and the yields are different. DC accuracy specs are not so important for audio applications so we can relax our test limits on offset voltage, drift and other tricky specs that may affect our yields and test time. In some cases, packaging techniques may be slightly different with compliant chip coatings to reduce stress that can cause offset and drift. There are real cost differences.
There is a marketing angle, too. Different data sheets can bring focus to the specs, issues and applications that are important for the intended market. We can use language and descriptions that are familiar to the engineers working in that industry. For you, this has real value.
Now, back to Goop. I do a lot of MacGyvering in electronics and many other household jobs. I keep my Goop handy but I’m always looking for better stuff. If you’ve found a particularly useful MacGyvering trick, glue or otherwise, you need to share it with all of us.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to your suggestions.
p.s. My other favorite MacGyvering media include cardboard and defunct bicycle tubes.
GOOP sounds cool - although a more formal chemical or structural description would help, for the many non-US readers.
I find that hot-glue is similar in universal fix-it flexibility - it sticks like you-know-what to a blanket, hardens in a minute and is almost clear.
The only down side is that it can re-melt or soften in applications that get hot.
I wonder if anything similar to GOOP is available in Australia?
I use Goop on a daily basis for building circuit prototypes in the dead-bug/Manhattan style on plain single sided PCB a la Jim Williams' method.
Goop holds down my discrete components as well as the small PCB islands glued on to the main PCB.
Andrew--Sorry, mate, I have never seen a generic chemical composition of Goop. The cautions in the labeling indicate that it contains toluene and petroleum distillate. This may help you find a similar product that is branded differently. Can anyone help Andrew?
Fred--Sounds like a good job for Goop. I can't begin to recall all the ways I've used it.
Yes, I'm the same kinda guy as you Bruce! I use it to fix/mold just about anything! It sticks to plastic better than most other glues. It's a good insulator, strong and yet flexible. I have also used it in high temperatures (higher than specified in the datasheet) and it still hold like a Terrier! I have used it to hold together a test fixture so that it can be boiled in mineral oil at 125C for thermal testing. I even made a small steam jet car with a nozzle made of Goop, with Goop holding the metal parts together despite the steam trying to push the boiler tank apart. My wife thinks I'm crazy (she may be right!).
Hahhahhaha! I love it!
Have used GOOP many times.
Lately have used Black Liquid Electrical Tape more.
It has a nice black color that blends in with most Black electronic equipment.
It also somewhat self levels if needed.
You can get Liquid Electrical Tape at most any Hardware/Home improvement store.
It works so well, we use it in production equipment.
Another product that I like very much is Magic Putty. It is a strong rigid Epoxy putty that can be drilled, sanded and filed. It sets underwater and dries like a white pottery piece or porcelain.
Bruce, here is my 2 cents, as well.
I have used the Goop for various applications, and it is great for many of the MacGyver scenarios. However, in general, I prefer to use Silicon glue (RTV) when the setup time is not critical. For quick setup time, I use small amounts of hot glue or duct tape to hold thing temporary while the Silicon glue cures, and then remove the hot glue dabs or duct tape strips.
I found the Silicon glue much more flexible than Goop, and you can get a large amount of it real cheap if you visit your hardware store calking section, and look for the fast setting Clear Silicon calking supply. You get about 5 to 6 tubes worth of Silicon glue for $2 to $4 and you can use it for calking around the house, fixing sneakers, fixing automotive minor leaks or punctures, car door jam seals, leather seat upholstery repair, or electrical cable repair (as you have demonstrated above). you can use lubricated cellophane paper to sculpt it while it cures (for car door Jams, gaskets, etc.) and peal it off relatively-easy after it partially cures (for reapplication, if needed). It comes in variety of colors, I like to use the white and bone color to fix the leather seat rips, and the black or blue colors for electrical wires and automotive gaskets (trunk or windshield gaskets are good examples). Consequently, Silicon glue has become my liquid Duct-tape. :)
The only drawback is the curing time is more than an hours. However, the slow curing can be beneficial for further trimming (or sculpting) after the first 15-20 minutes. (Note: To sculpt it with bare hands while it is semi-soft, first apply some hand lotion to your fingers).
The Silicon glue lasts about 20 to 30 years without losing its elasticity, and it is water proof. I have even used it to temporarily fix a leaking automotive gas tank for a week, before deciding to take it to a repair shop and minimize my fear of gas tank explosion.
Frankly, I have use silicon glue in last 20+ years for many hot and cold, moist and dry applications, and it has never disappointed me. Silicon glue is also ideal for very high voltage circuits (CRT fly-back wires, or high power RF amplifiers, etc.) it has a very good dielectric properties and it is not combustible when applying it. Note: the Goop is not so spark friendly when wet!
FYI: Goop safety data sheet at: www.edhoy.com/.../52191_and_52192_MSDS.pdf
I have also used high temperature silicon glue as the gasket for small engines (lawn tractor) and it has held up for last 8+ years without any oil leaks. However, I would not recommend trying that with the Goop.
I agree with Warren, however I found that goop is a lot stronger than the silicon rubber products.
The disadvantage wit Goop is that is does seem to get dry and brittle after a couple years or more, whereas silicon rubber, as mentioned, stays flexible for years. I beleive it says on the tube that it has various names but is all the same stuff.
Another glue worth mentioning is Gorrila glue. Very strong and it expands as it cures depending on moisture, so good for filling in larger gaps. Don't get it on your hands or you will have dark stains for a couple days. Not really used where you need flexibility. It seems very similar to expanding foam but thicker and a lot stronger.
Now if I could only find a glue to fix the crack in my John Deere garden tractor's plastic hood.
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