Bodging it big time with Sugru

mumblings

I enjoy bodging. Not the original meaning of the word (turning green wood on a pole lathe) — though I would love to be able to do that — but the modern English sense of cobbling together a fix for something which may look a bit inelegant, but does the job well. You might call it a hack, but I prefer the word bodge. Whatever word you use, a bodge is a satisfying thing. You might have some slightly broken object which you don't want to have to replace, and the bodge will make it usable again, or it might improve on the usability of a poorly designed object.

However, the successful bodge needs a suitable material: it needs to be able to stick stuff together, form a permanent bond and be durable when exposed to water, heat and so on. Superglue and duct tape are all very well, but they tend not to last very long, and don't work on a wide variety of materials.

Enter Sugru. Sugru is a brilliant, silicon putty-like substance which you can mould at room temperature, but which hardens after about 24 hours and sticks to a wide variety of different materials. It retains some flexibility after hardening so that you can even apply it to materials which flex, and the fact that it is silicon based means that it has a grippy, non-slip finish. On top of all that, it's waterproof, heatproof and can even go in a dishwasher.

As soon as I heard about it, I knew I would find it incredibly useful and ordered a pack. So far, I have given my soap dish little raised legs to help it drain water properly and stop it slipping off the basin, and made toothbrush holders to grip our toothbrushes on the tiled wall next to the basin (they are little electric toothbrush heads that get lost in a normal toothbrush holder). I've also reinforced both sets of my custom-moulded earbuds to stick the earplug material more firmly to the head of the earbud. The blue earplug material is great, but it doesn't stick to plastic, so I was finding that it was continually falling off the earbud itself. A bit of Sugru in the gap worked brilliantly, reinforcing the more delicate earplug material and forming a strong bond. Both pairs are now really comfortable, stay in my ears when I'm on the move, and are more sound-insulating than they were before. If you look on the Sugru gallery, you'll see that it is possible to do the same kind of thing with Sugru alone. However, since it sticks very well to skin as well as other materials, I wasn't keen on putting it into my ears, and using cling film as some people have suggested sounded a bit fiddly. The earplug material is a bit softer and more comfortable and expands a bit with heat to form a tighter fit, so using both materials together works well.

Using Sugru is a little bit addictive. You know that old saying, "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"? Well, when you have Sugru, everything looks like something that would be improved by having a blob or two of Sugru on it.

[Disclosure: I'm not affiliated with the company in any way, just as massive fan of the stuff!]

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