I saw a post over at Lifehacker today touting the old idea of slapping a little heat shrink tubing around a tool and shrinking it down to create a custom “grip,” and that got me thinking about the various ways I know how to accomplish this — and what ways you as Toolmongers might know that I don’t.
My favorite method is PlastiDip. It’s been around forever and works pretty simply: just open up the tub/can and dip the handles of your favorite pliers or whatever in. Pull ’em out and let ’em dry and you get a protective, grippy rubber-like coating.
A few years ago they started offering PlastiDip in a spray can, which lets you literally spray it on like paint. I picked up a can to coat a couple of little plugs for the headlight washers the guy who originally bought my (now gone, thank you) Porsche 944S2 didn’t bother to add to the options list. The plugs shipped from the factory in primer white. I didn’t want to bother painting them to match, and I’d already learned the hard way that it’s damn near impossible to create a decent-looking finish with gloss spray paint from a can — and flat or semi-gloss tends to erode pretty quickly in the weather. So I sprayed them with the black version of PlastiDip and they ended up looking pretty decent. Admittedly, I wonder if it’d really stay attached on a wide, flat surface, but I never found an opportunity to try it (though I think the can’s still out in the shop).
I’ve seen people do all kinds of crazy stuff, though, from wrapping tools in rope to dipping epoxy-molding custom-shaped grips. What’s your favorite custom grip solution, or do you just like bare tools bare?
PPS: Think I’m crazy for PlastiDip coating washer plugs? This guy did a whole car.
(Thanks, nrkbeta, for the great CC-licensed photo.)