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3 Ways to Use Gaff Tape

Ways to Use Gaff Tape

Crewmembers become familiar with endless amounts of equipment over their careers, but there are some highly specific tools that can fly under the radar until a peculiar job pops up. Gaff tape is one of the most synonymous pieces of equipment in the world of theater, but most crews don’t come across it until their first day assembling a stage arrangement. 

This type of roll isn’t just an essential piece in creating a safe layout on set; it’s also the key ingredient to fixing unexpected accidents or obstacles. If your crew is taking on its first theatrical rigging job, here’s a peek at the tape that holds everything together.

What Is Gaff Tape?

Gaff tape has many names, including gaffer’s tape and gaffer tape, and it is widely used for virtually any adhesive needs on set. Made with heavy cotton materials, this tape is waterproof, pressure sensitive, and resistant to high temperatures. Gaff tape is typically more expensive than traditional duct tape, because it serves very specific purposes that other rolls can’t replicate. It’s important to understand that gaff tape isn’t a long-term solution to fix issues or bond items, but it can be essential to on-the-fly obstacles that pop up on set. 

How to Use Gaff Tape

Gaff tape is a necessary tool for every hand on set, and here are three ways to use it for your next industrial stage job:

  • Securing cables

    Both film sets and stages have a chaotic amount of wires. Although gaff tape is incredibly strong, it’s also easy to remove without leaving any residue behind. That’s why gaff tape is the go-to tool for securing any cables or wires in a clean bundle. Lay a strip of gaff tape to secure wires to floors, walls, or ceilings to minimize any hazards on set. Similarly, if you’ve got wires hanging from a stand, boom, or any other extension, you’ll want to secure the hanging cables with gaff tape.

  • Labeling sets

    Typically found with matte finishes, gaff tape is preferred on stages and in productions because it doesn’t reflect light. Most industrial stage crews are required to use it whenever possible to reduce the amount of reflections around the set. You can easily label stage directions, remote controls, or safe paths to take while readying a film set or stage.

  • Making quick fixes

    Things can go wrong on set, but that doesn’t mean the show has to stop. As an industrial stage crew, it isn’t your job to make quick wardrobe fixes or adjust microphones, but you can still rely on gaff tape for your day-to-day duties. For example, you can use gaff tape to quickly cover fraying steel ropes used on set until you’re able to professionally service the wire.

There’s a lot that goes on behind the stage curtains, and gaff tape isn’t the only tool to get you through the job. At Florida Wire & Rigging, we provide endless equipment varieties to make sure that every show goes according to plan. To find the right pieces for your next stage job, give us a call at 800-846-0309.