Using Double-Face Tape

Pros discuss a wealth of applications for specialty double-sided tapes. July 9, 2005

Is anyone using double face tape (3M automotive acrylic or urethane or 3M VHB) for temporary or permanent installations? Since I have started using it, I have kept finding new applications for it, and it saves lots of time. I started by using it to apply drawer faces to drawers with the drawers already installed in the cabinet openings. I would then slide the assembly out and put in a reinforcing screw from the back.

Before then, I was always mounting the faces with the drawers outside the cabinets, and hoping they would align when the drawers were put back in. Now I've started using the tape to put up cabinet crown molding if it has a finish, which would be hard to match putty to for nail holes (like glazed finishes), or cannot be easily screwed from the back side. It seems to hold like a rock whenever you can use it on an adequate surface area for it to get a real bite. The stuff is incredibly tenacious on most surfaces even though it was manufactured for contact with automotive finishes, metals, etc.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor F:
I couldn't live without my two side tape in the shop. My latest discovery involved having to turn a bunch of faux bamboo molding on the lathe. Each bamboo turning yields two pieces of flat backed faux bamboo molding, so instead of the traditional glue and paper joint between the two halves of the turning blanks, I substituted double sided tape and clamped the halves together with a vice and it worked like a charm.

After turning, I used a chisel to start separating the halves and then pulled them apart the rest of the way by hand, and no wood was torn and there was no paper joint and glue to scrape off. Is the VHB really strong enough to hold crown molding to a cabinet for the life span of the work?

From contributor D:
I just received a roll of Fast-Cap Speed Tape to try out, and I was planning on using it in just the way you're describing. Also, I may use it for quick repair work in the field when spraying glue is impractical, like on existing toe-kicks which have delaminated.

From contributor R:

Locally I pay $16 per 3/4" X 11' roll, which is just enough to do one average kitchen. I've always thought this was kind of high, but I guess it is worth the time saved.

From the original questioner:
I remember another great use for the acrylic or urethane versions of this tape. They are usually 45mm or 20mm thick, and come in black, grey, or white. When I make square edge formica tops and I have to attach the splash to the top of the deck (typically 4" high splash), I use the 5/8" or 3/4" wide tape between the edge of the splash and the top of the deck. After just pressing down on the joint in a firm manner, you can turn the assembly upside down to put in screws or staples without clamping the splash to maintain the position. The tape remains to act like a gasket to keep water out.