Last updated on : 8.7.2014 - Select Items Listed Your Satisfaction And Value Guaranteed
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Copyright:   Mike Sillett


1. Intro
2. Materials
3. Tools
4. Construction

8 Track Tape Pressure Pad

1. Intro

Some people like Records, some CD's others Reel-To-Reel. They're all okay but 8 Track is the 'Real Hobby'. Those that really want to get 'Into It' are the 8 Track Aficianados.
With eight tracks you can fix all kinds of things. With a Record, you get a scratch and you're done. Same with CD's. Reel-To-Reels provide a bit more of a challenge but let's face it, you thread the tape and that's about it.

With eight track tapes you can have all kinds of little problems that require your expertise. You may have to adjust the height of the play and record head on the player/recorder so the channels play correctly, clean the capstan, clean the solenoid, replace the conductive splicing strip, replace the pressure pads, fix a tight-wound tape, or one that just feeds itself all over the floor.
Wow, what an array of potential problems. And if you fix them, one or all, WHAT A GREAT FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. I'm sure we all had that feeling at some point.

This tutorial will take you through the steps to make those critical little things, one of the many essentials needed to make the tape play correctly, or even play at all - the PRESSURE PAD.

Once you have this technique under your belt you will have the world of music awaiting because you can pick up these eight track tapes at very reasonable prices, that is - CHEAP. Most people don't have any idea what keeps these tapes going. It stops playing or the splice separates and to the thrift shop or garbage it goes. Can you imagine, Elvis, The Beatles and The Velvet Underground thrown in the trash because the tape separated. OH MY!

This project is reasonably easy and the parts are easy to get and very inexpensive.

2. Materials

( 1. ) Sponge rubber, closed cell, weatherstripping ( 1/4 inch thick - width should be at least 1/4 inch. wider is okay but will require trimming )
( 2. ) An empty laundry detergent jug ( we use Tide at our house )
( 3. ) Clear packing tape


The Weatherstripping can be purchased at most hardware stores. I use Ace hardware's variety.

From the laundry jug cut a bunch of strips 1/4 inch by 2 inches. They will look like this.

photo of a piece of plastic strip cut from laundry jug

A plastic strip ready to be made into a pressure pad.

3. Tools

( 1. ) Scissors,
( 2. ) Razor blade

4. Construction

Use the scissors to cut a piece of weatherstripping slightly longer than the plastic strip.
You can trim it after it is attached.

photo of a cut being taken from roll of weatherstripping

Taking a cut of weatherstripping from the roll.

peeling paper from weatherstripping

Peel the paper from the back of the weatherstripping exposing the adhesive.

What you want to do is apply the plastic strip to the adhesive on back of the weatherstripping.
I like to align one side of the plastic strip with a side of the weatherstripping as I apply it. Either side is fine, whatever is easiest for yoiu. That way I will only need to trim off the other side of the weatherstripping that is in excess.
Press down with your fingers to make sure the adhesive adheres real well.

applying plastic strip to the weatherstripping

Here the plastic strip is almost fully applied. Ah, almost done.

Now it's time to trim the pad. You want to use a nice sharp razor blade and run it right along the edge of the plastic strip.  Also, if needed, trim the length at each end.

trimming the pad

Time to trim off the excess weatherstripping.

All trimmed and now ready to apply the clear tape.
The clear tape provides a slippery surface for the 8 track tape to glide over.

trimmed and ready for tape

Trimmed and ready to have the clear packing tape applied.

Now take the partially completed pad and stick the surface directly onto the clear packing tape. After it is stuck on real good just cut the tape and trim off that tape all around.

applying the clear packing tape.

Weatherstripping trimmed and being applied to clear packing tape.

Cut off the excess packing tape along each edge and at each end. The only place that should have that clear tape on it now is the top surface of the weatherstripping.

trimming the clear packing tape.

Use the scissors to trim off the excess clear packing tape from the edges and at each end.

Many of the eight track tape cartridges have an obstruction right in the middle where the pressure pad goes. To get by that obstruction you will need a gap in the center of the pressure pad.
Take your razor blade and make two parallel cuts about 1/8 inch apart as near as possible to the middle of the pad. It is good enough to just eyeball it.
You can get a good idea where the gap should be by holding the pressure pad near the area where it will go.

Cutting a couple of slits in the center.

Cutting the slits so that there will be a gap in the middle of the pressure pad.


Showing the slits that were cut in preparation for the gap.

Showing the two slits that were cut down to the surface of the plastic striip.

The two slits that are cut down to the surface of the plastic strip allows you to pull out that little 1/8th inch area so the gap is where it is supposed to be.

showing the gap on the pressure pad.

Showing the gap in the middle of the pad.

That's it. All done. Now just put it back in the cart.
When you get the hang of it you can zip these things out real fast, about 5 minutes. They will last many, many years.

Now all you need to know is how to replace the conductive metal strip.

Eight Track Tape Pressure Pad

I sell these on occasion for $5.00 a Dozen plus $2.00 shipping in the U.S.A.

You can buy a dozen or you can make your own using this tutorial.

Feel free to copy the information for your own use.

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