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Sealant Tubes

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Is there any way to keep the small tubes of sealant from drying/hardening at screw cap? Even the small tubes are so expensive and they harden quickly.

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Only thing I have found that helps somewhat is to tape up the open end.

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I have a system:

  1. carefully clean the threads
  2. replace the cap
  3. place tube in Ziploc bag
  4. roll air out of bag and seal
  5. place in fridge
  6. wait
  7. remove from fridge
  8. dispose of responsibly

To be sure it is a stupid system, but it's mine and I love it uncritically.

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2 hours ago, weightless said:

I have a system:

  1. carefully clean the threads
  2. replace the cap
  3. place tube in Ziploc bag
  4. roll air out of bag and seal
  5. place in fridge
  6. wait
  7. remove from fridge
  8. dispose of responsibly

To be sure it is a stupid system, but it's mine and I love it uncritically.

Truly the voice and wisdom of experience.

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Leave them on the shelf at the marine store. Failing that, remember that most are cured or catalyzed by moisture. Marine air is full of moisture. Before screwing on the cap very quickly squeeze out a bit, wipe off clean, and quickly seal. The less catalyst trapped inside the better. Then follow the above rules from @weightless.

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I just use duct tape. Or electrical tape. And a long screw to plug the end. It's easier to remove the hardened plug of caulking that forms around the screw if you just pull it straight out.

I typically get many months out of Sika 291 or Lifecaulk.  3M products - not so much.

Lee Valley sells these lovely caulking tube condoms.  https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/supplies/adhesives/45858-nozzle-caps

25K8080-nozzle-caps-pkg-of-20-f-60.jpg

Great for parties. Tell your friend that you can't give your cat birth control pills but you have these. Bit of a struggle to get them on...

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1 hour ago, Zonker said:

I just use duct tape. Or electrical tape. And a long screw to plug the end. It's easier to remove the hardened plug of caulking that forms around the screw if you just pull it straight out.

I typically get many months out of Sika 291 or Lifecaulk.  3M products - not so much.

Lee Valley sells these lovely caulking tube condoms.  https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/supplies/adhesives/45858-nozzle-caps

25K8080-nozzle-caps-pkg-of-20-f-60.jpg

Great for parties. Tell your friend that you can't give your cat birth control pills but you have these. Bit of a struggle to get them on...

Oh Zonker, I see a youtube video and an abused tomcat in your future...

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I showed my daughter a video of "Ozzy the desk weasel". Its adorable but does remind me of our last cat who would randomly attack you and then run away.

She starts googling " do weasels make good pets ? "

The first answer is NO!  Thank God...

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My middle daughter was lobbying for a ferret for a long time. We "compromised" on a mouse...Now she's Guinea Pig curious.

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10 hours ago, Zonker said:

I just use duct tape. Or electrical tape. And a long screw to plug the end. It's easier to remove the hardened plug of caulking that forms around the screw if you just pull it straight out.

I typically get many months out of Sika 291 or Lifecaulk.  3M products - not so much.

Lee Valley sells these lovely caulking tube condoms.  https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/supplies/adhesives/45858-nozzle-caps

25K8080-nozzle-caps-pkg-of-20-f-60.jpg

Great for parties. Tell your friend that you can't give your cat birth control pills but you have these. Bit of a struggle to get them on...

or it fits your and/or his tiny dick just right- sorry couldn't resist.

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One thing you can try is to take a small square of plastic sheet (cut from a poly bag or whatever), fold it over the top, then screw the cap down over that. Sometimes works. But I usually use the Weightless method. 

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3 hours ago, IStream said:

My middle daughter was lobbying for a ferret for a long time. We "compromised" on a mouse...Now she's Guinea Pig curious.

gateway pets...

 

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For some things, I get away with shoving a large nail in the open end.  Hopefully so that the head doesn't interfere with the cap.  Pull out the nail to open a passage to free goop.  Most of the marine sealants, I end up cutting off the spout to get the second use.  Then cutting off a bottom corner for the third use. Then throwing the rest away.  

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Squeezing out a little, tightly capping it with electrical tape then replacing the cap if you can wedge it on may help.  Although as the owner of an aging 35 foot keelboat that we race pretty hard, hustling to save $12 three times a season seems like maybe my rubric for evaluating cost/benefits is out of whack somewhere.  There might be other ways to save $36. 

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I use a mix of the above. Squeeze fresh. Plug w screw. Wrap with aluminum duct tape. Put in bottom veg bin in fridge. Keeps over a year. The carrots complain but i invite them to learn how to share. Family complains too same answer. 

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45 minutes ago, Phtt said:

I use a mix of the above. Squeeze fresh. Plug w screw. Wrap with aluminum duct tape. Put in bottom veg bin in fridge. Keeps over a year. The carrots complain but i invite them to learn how to share. Family complains too same answer. 

Put it in a big freezer ziploc or wrap in Saran - keeps the smell transfer right down.

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Inhibiting cure of various polymers is a known property of various materials and chemicals. Might be fun to try some. 

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Never leave the cap off fir more than a few seconds.
On cartridges, rubber band  a few layers of plastic bag over the tip. Mdkevtge bag big enough to hold about a teaspoon of caulk. 
Fill the bag with caulk. For the next few days you will be able to Rio off that home made cap and use the rest of the caulk. 
when the usual exit hole becomes clogged with cured material, use a nail to  poke a hole just behind the cap and dispense through that hole. 
 

if you aren’t going to use the caulk soon, give it away . Lots of folks have dropped off half used new tubes at my shop and I have been happy, if I have had one at the right time,  to hand them an opened partly used tube So they can go install a cleat. 
 

“Can I give you $20 for the last few inches of that tube of 5200?”

When  the nearest stocking store is twenty miles away and traffic is at a standstill , that $20 is money well spent 

 

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17 hours ago, IStream said:

My middle daughter was lobbying for a ferret for a long time. We "compromised" on a mouse...Now she's Guinea Pig curious.

Guinea pigs are excellent pets for kids. They don'ttake up much space, don't eat much or do much else, don't mind being picked up and don't live very long.

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7 minutes ago, Fleetwood said:

Guinea pigs are excellent pets for kids. They don'ttake up much space, don't eat much or do much else, don't mind being picked up and don't live very long.

Tasty, too.

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On 5/19/2020 at 12:00 AM, Zonker said:

I just use duct tape. Or electrical tape. And a long screw to plug the end. It's easier to remove the hardened plug of caulking that forms around the screw if you just pull it straight out.

I typically get many months out of Sika 291 or Lifecaulk.  3M products - not so much.

Lee Valley sells these lovely caulking tube condoms.  https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/supplies/adhesives/45858-nozzle-caps

25K8080-nozzle-caps-pkg-of-20-f-60.jpg

Great for parties. Tell your friend that you can't give your cat birth control pills but you have these. Bit of a struggle to get them on...

I was going to mention the LV tubes. They do help.

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6 hours ago, WGWarburton said:
6 hours ago, Fleetwood said:

Guinea pigs are excellent pets for kids. They don'ttake up much space, don't eat much or do much else, don't mind being picked up and don't live very long.

Tasty, too.

My wife is Argentine and had Guinea Pigs as pets when she was a child, so we've been considering every aspect of this proposal...

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On a caulking tube, I've had the best luck using a piece of packing tape. Fold it over the end leaving maybe 1/2 or 1" beyond the tip. Stitch the sides down tight against the tube tip. Then squeeze the gun to fill up the end of the fold. Hard to describe. This seems to seal the end better than any other way I've come up with, and if eventually it hardens down into the tip a bit, you have a handle of well hardened to pull the plug out. Good for several months in normal temps on 3M stuff. 

I don't know if it keeps Guinea pigs fresh. 

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Interesting. I'm just starting to fix a bunch of Lewmar ports that are leaking due to degradation of the gasket that's supposed to seal the joint between the upper and lower halves of the hollow extruded aluminum frame. When it wears out the lower half fills up with water, which then slowly drips out on the inside of the boat via the fasteners threaded into the back side of the frame. I've gotta get the old gasket out and plan to re-seal the joint with sealant. I'll try your trick when I'm done. On the sealant tube, not the pigs.

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17 hours ago, Kenny Dumas said:

Inhibiting cure of various polymers is a known property of various materials and chemicals. Might be fun to try some. 

Alcohol inhibits the cure of polyurethane. Make sure it has evaporated if used for surface prep. Might work to dip the end of the used tube in alcohol before re-capping. I'm sure the secret to storing the tubes is hidden deep in the secret documents at 3M.

The reaction of the goo with moisture in the air is instant, like fully underway in a few seconds. Two takeaways from this: First, if you are spreading a bead on some part (a portlight frame) figure the surface of the bead has cured before you can stick the part down. Once the surface is cured it will not stick to anything. You only hope is that in clamping the part the bead smooshes out uncured material from its inside. Second, your goofing around with sealing the tube is too late. In a few seconds enough moisture has mixed in with the material to cure a solid plug. Figure some way to wipe away goo while capping so there is no exposed material remaining under the cap.

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This seems to work:

  1. Get a bread loaf pan
  2. Get a can of polyester resin
  3. catalyze it
  4. put the sealant in the pan
  5. Pour the catalyzed resin over the tube
  6. Make sure the tube is off of the bottom
  7. Let cure

When it is time to use, figure out how.

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We primarily use Sika products here down South. I simply take the old nozzle off and put a new one on making sure there is some goo on the threads. The Sika tips have be cut so they are air tight. I keep the old tips. Let the goo harden then pull it out with a screw. If I’m going to use it the next day, I will purposely squeeze out a lump and let it cure on the tip. You can rip it off before use.

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8 hours ago, IStream said:

Interesting. I'm just starting to fix a bunch of Lewmar ports that are leaking due to degradation of the gasket that's supposed to seal the joint between the upper and lower halves of the hollow extruded aluminum frame. When it wears out the lower half fills up with water, which then slowly drips out on the inside of the boat via the fasteners threaded into the back side of the frame. I've gotta get the old gasket out and plan to re-seal the joint with sealant. I'll try your trick when I'm done. On the sealant tube, not the pigs.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Normally I'd leave a bit more hanging off the tip, but that was plenty to grab. 3M 4000UV in particular is VERY aggressive curing, that's why they package it in a sealed metal tube. As soon as you open the back pop top, it will start to cure from that end. But I've been able to use it for several days, maybe even a couple of weeks if kept in the fridge. 

IMG_2165.thumb.jpg.748ef693e831ee5a88bf526a517e436b.jpg

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Thanks, the picture is nice but your description was pretty clear. I've got some Dow 795 left over from a hatch bedding project. I plan to use that, assuming it's not cured into a solid block of rubber...

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19 minutes ago, IStream said:

I've got some Dow 795 left over

Tragically, that may be a collector's item now. 

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I found the best solution is simple aluminium foil such as you use to wrap lunches - fold it over once or twice into a 2" square and then put either the top or nozzle back on - have got up to 12 months using Sikaflex. Al foil is the same product they use to package it.

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I've been very successful, I think, generally getting more than a year.

  • Cap the end with aluminum foil; it is more gas impermeable than plastics.
  • Do this whenever you won't be using the tube for more than a few minutes.
  • Keep them in the fridge. Forget the bag, that sounds right but is actually worse; the RH in the fridge is VERY low because of the temperature. The bag you just sealed it in contains more humid air than the fridge!!
  • Buy the sealant in cartridges and be prepared to ream them out with a drill. Takes only a minute. Keep an old dull 1/4" drill for the purpose, if you like to be neat. But you can use any drill.

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Facking brand new tube of Lifecaulk unraveled at the sealed end while trying to draw a fine bead with it and got shit everywhere today.   Love/hate relationship with that stuff....

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On 5/21/2020 at 3:29 PM, Rain Man said:

Facking brand new tube of Lifecaulk unraveled at the sealed end while trying to draw a fine bead with it and got shit everywhere today.   Love/hate relationship with that stuff....

Just thank the goop gods that it wasn’t 5200 or Sika 11FC. 

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On 5/20/2020 at 10:47 PM, thinwater said:

I've been very successful, I think, generally getting more than a year.

  • Cap the end with aluminum foil; it is more gas impermeable than plastics.
  • Do this whenever you won't be using the tube for more than a few minutes.
  • Keep them in the fridge. Forget the bag, that sounds right but is actually worse; the RH in the fridge is VERY low because of the temperature. The bag you just sealed it in contains more humid air than the fridge!!
  • Buy the sealant in cartridges and be prepared to ream them out with a drill. Takes only a minute. Keep an old dull 1/4" drill for the purpose, if you like to be neat. But you can use any drill.

I double bag the tubes before I put them in the freezer to isolate it from my food. Don't know if it helps.

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What about thoughts on expired tubes?  I've always went by, "If it comes out of the tube, it must still be good". 

Haven't tested it with years old stuff though. 

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18 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

What about thoughts on expired tubes?  I've always went by, "If it comes out of the tube, it must still be good". 

Haven't tested it with years old stuff though. 

I’ve had old stuff, unopened, not fully cure. Not harden off fully. Like two years past date.

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On 5/21/2020 at 12:59 AM, Rain Man said:

Facking brand new tube of Lifecaulk unraveled at the sealed end while trying to draw a fine bead with it and got shit everywhere today.   Love/hate relationship with that stuff....

Devil In A Tube, all of it

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On 5/19/2020 at 11:48 AM, ryley said:

gateway pets...

I used to think they were gateway pets to a dog or a horse.

Now I've learned that dogs and horses are gateway pets to a tortoise. They're the ultimate Gen-Z slackaholism pet.

For the tubes, I squeeze out all the air until the stuff comes out, and then cap/nail it, then usually throw it out on a year or so. Once in a while, something comes up and I'm able to use it.

Opposite thing though, I still have tubes of assorted lubricants left over from the 1970s, no apparent degradation, they seem to work the same as the new stuff.

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On 5/21/2020 at 1:47 AM, thinwater said:

I've been very successful, I think, generally getting more than a year.

  • Cap the end with aluminum foil; it is more gas impermeable than plastics.
  • Do this whenever you won't be using the tube for more than a few minutes.
  • Keep them in the fridge. Forget the bag, that sounds right but is actually worse; the RH in the fridge is VERY low because of the temperature. The bag you just sealed it in contains more humid air than the fridge!!
  • Buy the sealant in cartridges and be prepared to ream them out with a drill. Takes only a minute. Keep an old dull 1/4" drill for the purpose, if you like to be neat. But you can use any drill.

I refrigerate them prior to opening, fully prep all surfaces to be sealed, and when it comes out of the fridge I RUN to the work site, caulk like a madman, then RUN back to the fridge immediately. Seems to work pretty well for small jobs if you can keep the sealant in the tip from coming up to curing temperature. On a bigger job where it has more time to get warm, I know I'm going to lose some or all of the tube and have found that the methods described above to squeeze out a blob limit the loss and make reopening a path easier.

I use screws and drills to reopen a path when needed. Never thought to leave a screw in there for that purpose. A screw from my shop is generally going to be above 80 degrees and will transfer that heat deep into the tube. Also never thought to leave a screw in the fridge for that purpose but now that I have thought of it I will try it.

 

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Squirt a bunch of goo into a bottle cap. It hardens there and you can easily pull the plug out after a couple of months. This tube of caulk is about a year old. I have been using dibs and dabs every month or so. No freezer needed. 

 

IMG_3224.jpg.5ee03642587900103789667075e459ff.jpg

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On 5/22/2020 at 6:20 PM, Leeroy Jenkins said:

What about thoughts on expired tubes?  I've always went by, "If it comes out of the tube, it must still be good". 

Haven't tested it with years old stuff though. 

14) Can I use your products after the expiration date?

No.  Sika products should never be used after their listed expiration date. Additionally, all Sika® Aktivator and Sika® Primer containers can only be used for 1 month (if use is frequent) or 2 months (if use is infrequent) after they are opened for the first time, or until the end of the expiration date marked on the container (whichever comes first).

If a Sika product’s “best before” or “expiration date” is marked with only a month and a year, the actual expiration date in these cases is considered to be the last day of the month / year noted on the product’s container as the “best before” or “expiration date”.

 

https://usa-industry.sika.com/content/usa/industry/en/index/resources/Sika-Industry-FAQ.html

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Had a tube of Sika 291 that I needed for a project and tried using a vacuum bag (food saver).  Squeezed a bit out of the tip, wrapped/taped it up, placed in foodsaver bag, vacuumed and sealed.

Didn't look at the SDS, but thought that the vacuum might flash the solvent out, but it held a seal and was still under vacuum until I opened it over the weekend... and found it was mostly cured.

Luckily the side of the tube blew out while trying to dig/push it out the end and I was able to seal my new ports in with the remainder of the tube.

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13 hours ago, wlrottge said:

Had a tube of Sika 291 that I needed for a project and tried using a vacuum bag (food saver).  Squeezed a bit out of the tip, wrapped/taped it up, placed in foodsaver bag, vacuumed and sealed.

Didn't look at the SDS, but thought that the vacuum might flash the solvent out, but it held a seal and was still under vacuum until I opened it over the weekend... and found it was mostly cured.

Luckily the side of the tube blew out while trying to dig/push it out the end and I was able to seal my new ports in with the remainder of the tube.

Poking a hole in the side of the tube is standard practice for me....

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8 hours ago, Fleetwood said:

Poking a hole in the side of the tube is standard practice for me....

Pretty sure we've all done it.

Maybe if they sold sealants in sheets of individual doses, like some pills are sold. Break the seal and use/lose it all but leave the other pouches of sealant unbroken.

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On 6/6/2020 at 2:23 AM, Fleetwood said:

Poking a hole in the side of the tube is standard practice for me....

Less of a poke, more of a forceful ejection, lol

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