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  #1  
Old 03-09-2015
Rubato Rubato is offline
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Default "Preserving" adhesive/sealant tubes

Okay, what's the secret?

Sikaflex 291, 3M 4200 or 5200 - I use these maybe twice a year, each time I have to buy a new tube because the old one has "dried up" on me. Is there a secret on how to seal the tube up after the first use so that next time you need it you don't have to buy a new one?

Inquiring minds want to know....
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Old 03-09-2015
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henryr henryr is offline
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I've heard various things (saran wrap over the tube, place in ziploc), but none seem to really work.

I did find a West Marine Seattle some small tubes of 4200. Just right for doing one job. I wish they made more of those (and sold them here).
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Old 03-09-2015
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Schnick Schnick is offline
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Butyl rubber in rolls does not 'go off' in storage. Also a product at WM, Boat Life or something? Not a silicone. But it seems to have about 4x the shelf life after opening compared to 4200 or 291. The tradeoff being, it still seals well but has much less adhesive characteristic I think.

You can try to seal the end with saran wrap / fingers off rubber gloves etc, but it will always go hard in the nozzle. If you can put a plug in the tube that goes all the way in past the nozzle, then at least you can often get a second use out of it.
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Old 03-09-2015
Gordo Gordo is offline
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Quick answer from someone who uses a lot of sealants, caulking and tube of glue. You can't reseal it for more than a couple weeks. It has a shelf life once opened. It is like wine. The best is to actually let the end go hard and it creates it own plug. Sometimes you can pull it out other times you can cut the nozzle a bit lower. But it is not meant to last forever.

Last edited by Gordo; 03-09-2015 at 10:59 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2015
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Manana Manana is offline
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If you are not planing on a major job, buy the smallest tube available. Most Sikaflex and 3M sealants are available in a 8 oz. to 12 oz. squeeze tube size

Murphy's Law: The tube will have completely dried/cured the day before you need it next.
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2015
Gordo Gordo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manana View Post
Murphy's Law: The tube will have completely dried/cured the day before you need it next.
Murph's got enough laws, we'll call it the "Trev's law of curable substances"
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2015
Dave Dave is offline
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I put a screw in the end, as close a fit to the opening as I can find. As Gord says, it will cure around the screw and seal the hole. If you're lucky, you will be able to pull the screw out and it will be good to go. But as the others say, it won't last forever.
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Old 03-09-2015
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Krikkitman Krikkitman is offline
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You just need to figure out some critically important reason why the sealant absolutely MUST cure inside the tube into a solid mass. With this figured out, implement the reason, and Murphy's law will dictate that the sealant therefore WON'T cure inside the tube. Easy!

On a more serious note, I squeeze out a blob of the sealant and pull it down around the edges of the nozzle, leaving a good blob on top. I let it skin then stick the tube in a ziploc bag, being careful to squeeze the air out. This normally gets me a few weeks of dwell time, sometimes several months. And usually when you pull off the blob, you can extract the finger of cured sealant from inside the nozzle at the same time.
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2015
ShawMac ShawMac is offline
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I'll second butyl tape, and it is way cheaper. I can buy enough butyl tape to bed every fitting on about 5 boats from Lordco for about $20. Unfortunately finding white is more of a challenge (Princess Auto has it) but grey and black are pretty common.

Oh, and I have had a roll for two years now and it is still usable.
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  #10  
Old 03-10-2015
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Steve Steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
Murph's got enough laws, we'll call it the "Trev's law of curable substances"
Except I don't think Trev is curable.
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