Tuesday, May 7, 2013

ToolBox Tuesday: ATG Tape Gun

Are you shocked?  Tool Box Tuesday has come back!!!
I will put my best foot forward to get some fabulous tools out there you won't be able to resist.

Today's tool is the Scotch Brand ATG Tape Dispenser or Gun.  I purchased my pink one from Micheal's, in the store.  You can also get them at Hobby Lobby, Joann's, etc. useing a 40% off coupon.  Otherwise, you can purchase them through an online store like Amazon for around $20.
The gun usually comes with a roll or two of the tape, and additional rolls can be purchased at the previously mentioned sites and locations.  

When I purchased my first ATG, it took 1/2" refills and I could not find the refills in a single store!  After a few years, Micheal's started carrying this pink gun and it's refills.  It holds the 1/4" tape.  Some time ago I had a big project that required helpers, so I purchased a second gun.  I was so glad I did because the 1/4" tape can be found in just about any major craft store. 

 Just last week I was in Micheal's Craft Store and saw that they now carry the 1/2" guns and tape.

What is the difference between the 1/4" and the 1/2"?  Well, first, you only need one gun.  A simple adapter can be purchased to change a 1/2" tape gun to a 1/8"tape gun.  I don't know if it works the other way around though.  The 1/4" tape is cheaper than the 1/2", but the 1/2" would be more sturdy.  Back when I helped Carrie from EnvelopMe.com with her invitations we used the 1/2" tape.  I do find that the 1/4" tape is perfect for scrapbooking.  As I went back and looked at my scrapbooks last month, the ones using the Scotch ATG tape were holding up very well.  I would highly recommend purchasing one if you are into scrapbooking, card making, or just find yourself doing paper projects on a regular basis.

Now, one of the hardest parts of the ATG gun can be loading it with the tape.
Grab your roll of refill tape.  I purchased this box of 2 tape rolls, 1/4" wide, at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon {can you say "cheap"?}.  I have also found some smoken' hot deals on Amazon for ordering the refills in bulk.  Just search ATG refill, but be certain you are buying the correct width tape.

This is where I need to pipe in and say that I had SEVERAL boxes of photo splits and tape runners from a scrapbook company in my scrapbook boxes.  After they sat in storage for a couple of years, I couldn't get the splits or runner tape to come off the paper they came on!  I had to run down to HobLob to get this Scotch tape in order to get my pages done.

I finished this roll off in one day last month when I was on my scrapbooking spree.  Normally you can expect them to last a while, but I had a full day of scrapping and blew through the first roll.  Changing the roll, or inserting your fist one can seem overwhelming, but it really is simple.  For starters, open the clear plastic shield. 

Next, there is a little lever holding all the used tape onto the roller.  Turn that black lever counterclockwise to loosen and remove it.  

Now you can just pick up the used tape in one handfull.

The red plaid tape is still attached to the black roller on the right.  Simply unstick the tape and remove it completely.

You also need to remove this white spool that used to hold the full tape refill.  When you want it off the roller, just press the tab {shown being pushed by my index finger in the picture above} towards the center of the roller and pull the white spool off.  Once that is done, you are ready to install a new roll of tape!

If this is your first time loading the ATG, this is the step where you should begin.

Refer to the picture above when installing a new roll.  You are going to put the fresh roll of tape onto the roller closest to the rubber applicator wheels.  Put the tape roll on so that the red plaid portion is facing downward when you pull it towards the rubber rollers.  When you are certain you have the tape facing the right direction, push the white plastic spool into place so that the black tab clicks into place over the spool.

The next step is to pull the tape piece over the top of the first rubber roller {the striped rubber roller shown above}, then under the second {smooth rubber roller above}.

Once you pull the tape over that smooth roller, keep pulling until tape is out far enough to reach that far right black roller.  Notice that the black roller has a couple wide open grooves.  Those grooves are for the lever that holds the used tape in place.  To the left side you can see a small portion of black spool that has small slits on both sides.  That is the business point responsible for securing the open end of the tape roll.

Insert the tape into the farther away slit, along the inside, and then out the second slit.  If your roller is not in the same position as mine, go ahead and roll it around until it is in the same basic place.  I know that my description is not the super clearest, but refer to the pictures or email me if you are still confused.

Once you have the tape wrapped in the farther slit, along the inside of the roller, and back out the slit closer to the center, secure the sticky part to the black roller and you are ready to roll!

Slowly turn the roller clockwise until it is wrapped tightly around the roller.

Once the tape is tight, place the lever over the inner roller, locking the lever in place inside those wider slots.  Turn it slightly clockwise until the lever is secure.

Now shut the clear plastic cover and you are ready to get sticking!  Press the tape to your paper, pull the trigger and slowly roll the gun in a downward motion until you no longer see red plaid paper on the smooth rubber wheel.  Once or twice I had the tape stick to the tan backing after the red plaid tape end was clear of the rubber rollers.  You might need to pull the tape loose with your fingers if this happens, but it should run smoothly after that.  

I like to run the tape along two sides of my photo, then maybe a smidgen in the middle to secure that down, but not always.  For a 12x12 piece of pattern paper, I would probably run the tape along the  two whole side edges of the paper, then perhaps 2-3 inches along the center of the top and bottom edges of the paper.  Again, I like to put a dab in the center of the pattern paper so that it will stick to the scrapbook page without bubbling. 

What I love about this tape is that it is super sticky, cheap, clean {no gooey mess on the table after like with wet adhesives}, AND acid free.  It even works well with velum!  You can see the edges of the tape if you are using velum on dark paper, but if the paper is lighter, you can't see it at all {in my experience that is}.

 The only things tricky about this gun are loading the tape {got that covered now}, and remembering to pull the trigger of the gun while trying to roll the tape.  It will not dispense if you do not pull the trigger.

Once you have that down, you will LOVE THIS ADHESIVE!!!
I guess I am still a kid at heart because I think the ATG gun is so fun to use.  My kids always want to try it out and I end up having to take turns with them.  The good thing is I can send them all to bed when I am tired of sharing ;0}  Then I get to play with the toy tool all by myself for the rest of the night.  I might have to go scrapbook a little now.  I am suddenly in the mood to use me some ATG Tape Gun!

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