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Gear Guy

Using Grip Dip To Color Code Gear

I was looking for a way to I.D. the Wallnuts I just added to my rack, and found some Grip Dip by Homax Products, Inc. I've used this type of product f...

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I was looking for a way to I.D. the Wallnuts I just added to my rack, and found some Grip Dip by Homax Products, Inc. I’ve used this type of product for coating the handles of tools, and figured it would be a good way to color code my nuts and add protection to the clip-in loops. As I was dipping the nuts (getting buzzed on the fumes), I wondered why the manufacturer didn’t do this in the first place? Then I wondered if perhaps the dip wasn’t good for the cable. Have I ruined a new set of nuts?

Rest easy, your nuts are fine. Grip Dip is nothing more than dippable plastic, and won’t harm steel wire. I suspect that the manufacturer doesn’t dip the wires because doing so would increase the cost of the product without adding a real benefit because there are better methods for color coding, including andonization and colored swage wraps, which Wallnuts have by the way. Also, adding the bit of protection to the clip-in loops is probably unnecessary as nut cables are difficult, if impossible, to wear out. You should be cautious about dipping the swage, however. The plastic dip could trap rust and moisture, which could quietly and secretly corrode the cable.

But let’s get to the real issue, your substance-abuse problem. That sweet smell wafting off your Grip Dip is toluene, a solvent used to liquefy the plastic. This stuff will melt your mind faster than a double shot of 12-year-old Laphroaig (cask strength), and is linked to tumors, tremors and worse.