flatBack Sticky Stuff!

Anyone remember that Devo song “Freedom From Choice”? Where the song lyrics go something along the lines of “Freedom of choice / Is what we got / Freedom from choice / Is what we want.” That is somewhat the situation we find ourselves in at the moment.

Just what should be put between our flatBacks and the places we wish them to stay?

“Something sticky!” is the rallying cry from the crowd.

Ah, were it so simple.

Turns out, we all have a whole bunch of different surfaces. LOTS of surfaces. Hard ones, rubberized one, flat ones, textured ones, painted ones, metal ones, plastic and glass ones, laminate ones, tile ones, even wood ones: painted, bare and now fake. It used to be it was either “double-sticky tape”, or a more aggressive fastening device: “nail or screw, y’er choice.” But now, the adhesive geniuses around the world have come up with all these “application-specific adhesive technologies” that are precisely tuned to a specific surface.

That’s why, in the flatBack clip packs, you get the most brain-dead, cheapest, easiest and non-damaging attachment method I could find: small and large 3M™ Command Strip™ adhesives. They hold pretty well, but only a couple pounds. The are “compliant” in that the foam takes the stress, so they “move”. They seem like they could do the trick for “most lightly-textured stable surfaces”. If those work for you, that’s awesome! I suspect for many they will be perfect.

But for those of us with, well, more-precise requirements, the 3M VHB™ tapes are amazing. The thinner, gray ones, like XXXX seem to be the best. You want some conformity because of the way the flatBack clip bottoms are shaped from the 3D printing threads. I personally would shy away from the clear, gel-style tapes, as they seemed to pull off more readily. The foam takes definitely took hold and were quite willing to slightly sacrifice themselves before detaching from the part or the surface.

The only surface I really had any problems with was the raw wood. None of the tapes held onto that very well, and yet ONE of the test items in raw wood DID stay in place. Go Figure.

Onward and upward!