Bruce has a collection of preferred adhesives.

Here is a list of what and why.

If you have other suggestions, please share them with us!

Blue Tape

Blue Tape

Blue painters tape from 3M and others is a great alternative to masking tape. This tape is wonderful for holding items in place during the install process. It is clean and leaves no residue, as long as you remove it within a few days and it doesn't get a lot of heat.

hintBruce seriously recommends AGAINST leaving this tape in a loco for more a few days (one week?). It will be come hard to remove and leave a nasty residue over time!

Carpet (white) Tape

White TapeAnother item from the home improvement store. This thin white tape is used where thermal conductivity is needed and the tape will not see extremely high temperatures. One place where it SHINES is in holding down decoders with an internal metal heat sink (for example the SoundTraxx Tsunami) to a metal heat sink, such as the shell of a metal loco or a metal weight in a plastic loco.


Bathtub Caulk

A gem from the hardware or home improvement store Is bathtub caulk. This easy-to-apply adhesive will conform to lots of variations in dimensions. It can be removed easily and is available in a clear version! It cleans up with water and has no noxious or flammable fumes.most commonly use PolySeam Seal, but most any of the products on the market will suffice!

Bruce most commonly uses PolySeam Seal, but most any of the products on the market will suffice! Acrylic caulk is all that is needed. Silicone is just a waste of money in this situation.

Bruce likes it for making speaker enclosures or attaching speakers to frames; laying track and road bed; mounting motors, etc.

hintMake sure to keep any adhesive off the speaker cone or surround!

A little goes a long way, so Bruce recommends the 8 ounce or so tube with the plastic cap for the most ardent user. For more casual users, find a smaller tube, if possible, or be ready to throw out a partially used tube.


Foam (gray) Tape

Gray Tape

hintBruce does NOT recommend the white foam tape that is readily available. It degrades with time and temperature and will eventually crumble. Who wants little pieces of foam tape in the gear lube on your trucks?

He uses a foam tape made by 3-M for outdoor use. It is their product number 411, and is available at home improvement and hardware stores. It is gray with a red protective cover.

This tape is used to fill many needs:

  • to hold down decoders to motors - thermal isolation is desired
  • to hold down decoders and other items in locos anc cars
  • to hold down items where a bit of additional height is desired - the tape itself is 0.06 inches thick - multiple layers may even be used!

Here is a testimonial for "gray" tape: Bruce installed a D808 (30 amp stall current) decoder in a USA trains G-scale GP9 for a customer here in the Phoenix area. The loco ran outdoors for a year before the decoder failed for some unknown reason. The drive transistors shorted, drawing huge currents through themselves. The transistor cases were reduced to powdered plastic. The clear shrink tubing over the decoder was black from the heat. On the other side of the shrink tubing was the gray tape holding the decoder down. IT WAS UNFAISED! PERFECT, with a year's worth of outside running and a massive failure next to it



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Information on this site represents Bruce’s experiences and opinions. They are presented without warranty as an example of ways to utilize DCC products. The user is solely responsible for any use made of this data.