The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

A New Use for Mineral Tack

Click for Source and learn yet another amazing use for mineral tack!

Click for Source and learn yet another amazing use for mineral tack!

Mineral Tack is like stick tack. For all I know, it might be EXACTLY like the stick tack I remember from grade school. I was mesmerized by the way the teacher carefully tore off a pea-sized wad and placed it on the reverse of an illustration before she mounted it to the blackboard.

This teacher needs to hold the images. See how inefficient that is? If only she had stick tack!

This teacher needs to hold the images. See how inefficient that is? If only she had stick tack!

Mineral tack is used to secure a specimen to its mount, usually a clear acrylic specimen box. I won’t bore you with the history of the gunk, or how it comes in different colours and consistencies and different capacities to retain suppleness and stickiness. Nor will I debate the appropriateness of using mineral tack when shooting photos. In some photography circles it is considered a cardinal sin if even the tiniest scrap of the glop appears in the image.

This image from eBay is an example of how the specimen, in this case a diamond, is mounted to the foam in a Perky Box.

Nope, none of that. What I do want to tell you is this: I’ve slept soundly for two nights and am feeling better for it. Thanks to the fact that mineral tack is a great way to block the speaker port of an out-of-order smoke detector.

Note: Don’t get alarmed (!) or alert the Fire Marshall. This is a temporary fix until the man of the house, he who has the electronic know-how to switch out detectors, returns home later this week. Thank you.

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50 replies

  1. Like they say, use the right tool for the right job. I would have resorted to duct tape – but mineral tack? Where do I get it? I can think of all kinds of uses, such as mounting grandchildren to a wall until their mother comes to pick them up….

    Liked by 2 people

    • I give credit to my husband for suggesting that I use hot glue. That sounded like too much effort – you know, finding the gun, finding the glue, is the chord long enough to reach, will I fall from the stool, will Montgomery propose to Alicia…

      Then I thought, chewing gum! But was fresh out of Double Mint. What to do, what to do… and then… 💡

      Like

  2. Oh my Maggie, I didn’t realize you were STILL being harassed by an insistent smoke alarm!! I had a similar incident a few years ago (while Gilles was away of course). The 2 hours it took me to figure how how to get it to stop felt like a lifetime.
    You are a BRILLIANT problem solver. That is one use for sticky tack I would never have considered. Necessity really is the mother of invention 🙂

    btw – I LOVE that stuff!

    Like

  3. Yea Maggie – you got some sleep!

    Great idea on how to silence that alarm without resorting to damaging the thing beyond repair.

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  4. Very resourceful of you ! Sometimes…the simplest solutions work best.

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  5. Do you think tacking some of that stuff in certain areas of face and neck could suffice as a DIY facelift?

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  6. HAH!
    Our last house had them all hard-wired in — and I’m not kidding when I say there were more than a dozen of them. So, when one loses battery power, they all chirp. In intervals. I could NOT stop it. I tried and tried for almost an entire day. Since we rented that home, and it had high ceilings, I had to call maintenance out. He took them all out, turned the power off, put all new batteries in each one, put them back, and turned the power on. I will never live in a house where they are hard-wired, ever again. I almost lost my mind!
    Everyone has a list of once-a-month chores, right? Give the dog a pill, check the furnace filter, test the smoke alarms. Batteries are fine by me! 😀 lol

    Like

    • Gad, that must have been a nightmare.

      But, see? This is the value of social media, right here! Because I had it figured that we’d buy an exact replacement. But wait! You’ve given me an idea, Joey! Why not buy battery units to replace this wonky unit and the rest of similar vintage? Why not indeed! All in favour? Aye! Motion passed! (Reiner is not here to vote, though. That means I don’t have a quorum and the vote is illegal. Well, phoey.)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha, now not only do I know what that sticky stuff they put on my medical journals to hold glossy fliers in place is, I also have a new use for it! Then again, I probably wouldn’t. My luck I’d have a fire the one night I blocked my smoke alarm…

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  8. Very resourceful. I’ve never heard of this gunk before, but Im already thinking of times I could/could have use(d) it.

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    • Thanks Dan.

      Yup, as for uses, tack is right up there with duct tape, I imagine. When I was googling for images for the post I noticed many sculptures – possibly for prototypes – I didn’t read further. The material remains quite pliable for a very long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. “Mineral tack,” huh? Out here in California I think we call it “earthquake hold” and put it under vases, etc. to keep them in place during a tumbler. Enjoy your sound slumber!

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  10. And to all of the photo snobs out there who can’t hang wit ha dab of stick tack in their images? [Rasberry!] Seriously. :0) I remember back when I was a NOOB photog. and was told that blurry, grainy images were totally “amateur” and “not ok”. I purposely set out to make that my style. (And did.) Do whatever you like, I say. Never heard of stick tack. interesting!

    Like

  11. All I can think to say is, “Tacky tacky tacky.”

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  12. Reminds me of Chic’s story (upon which he dined out for years) about filling a neighbour’s burglar alarm with Selleys something-or-other. Effective, this kinda thing, Maggie ! [grin]
    I’m glad you’ve been able to get some sleep; I reckon you must’ve been fairly cranky …

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  13. This made me laugh so hard!!! Oh Maggie…! We had a smoke alarm in the kitchen that was super sensitive. I mean if water boiled, the darn alarm went off. I got so ticked off, I figured out that I could twist my dish towel and jump up and hit that alarm and shut it off. Thankfully, we had the ceilings redone and I told the painter to take the damn thing down. Now, I can boil water in peace, thank you very much.

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    • 🙂

      Don’t quote me, but I think that in our county there are bylaws that make it illegal to NOT have a smoke detector on every level of the house. Which makes it incredibly challenging to locate them away from steam or heaters or… flailing dish towels.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Loved this Maggie. It took me back to a time when the smoke alarm went off for no reason… and trying to stop it was so tricky. Took the batteries out eventually, when a ladder was located. It’s such a horrible scream. I think using your mineral tack was very creative. 🙂

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  15. Did you deliberately not use the brand name? Only, where I’m from, that’s all we call it. I’ve never, ever heard it called mineral tack or sticky tack. Always blu-tack. (Even if you can buy it in Spiderman colours now.)
    Brilliant solution. I’m going to call you Maggie Macgyver from now on.

    Like

  16. (Aw, gee, fellas. You knew someone had to do it, so you left it to me? Only ’cause you knew I was compelled by this sort of thing? Nice.)

    Boy, Maggie. You sure stuck it to that alarm, didn’t you?

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  17. I am really pleased that I brought you pleasure 🙂

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  18. I once resorted to knocking the smoke detector off of the ceiling with a broom handle in the middle of the night – and then, when it STILL kept beeping, I wrapped it in about five towels, shoved it into a pillowcase, and put it in the downstairs closet so I could get some sleep. However, because it was wired in, apparently I disrupted some circuit, because then all of the smoke detectors started that incessant beeping! I hate those damn things!

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  19. Too funny. You begin all serious and informative and end on a strange note. You certainly inspired your readers, frustrated smoke detector alarmists.

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