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My reading so far tells me that latex is damaged by light and oxygen, and that like most chemical reactions, the damage varies with temperature.

Also someone said "Wrap in paper not in plastic" . . . why? - Rubber tends to arrive in clear plastic bags?

Storage suggestions seem to be:

1. Bare, in cold water, with light excluded . . . ??? E.G. in a bucket with a lid, in the shade outdoors. Would winter freezing be good or bad???

2. Wrapped up (in what?) in a fridge, but not a freezer?

3. Like (2) but in a freezer bag, suck most of the air out, seal, then wrap in something light-proof?

Also, I don't use catapults daily, so I put them in a carton with a lid - or should I put each one in a freezer bag, suck the air out, seal the bag, wrap it in light-proof paper and put it in the fridge or freezer?

(My wife has put up with worse, like liquid mixed Epoxy resin for boatbuilding, put in the fridge or freezer to delay its reaction).

Fun, innit?

Mike
 

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When I mentioned wrapping rubber in paper, it was in reference to model aeroplane competitors who are keeping rubber stockpiled for up to 20 years. Most of us wouldn't even have rubber older than 20 months. I'm using rubber I got four years ago and anything that was stored in my black plastic tool box in ziploc bags seems to still be in excellent condition. Rubber that was stored out in the open has degraded significantly.

Ask yourself how long you need your stocks to last. Any dark, dry, confined space that doesn't get too warm is going to be fine for well over a year. Best practical, simple option for most of us would be an airtight, opaque, plastic container with the rubber in archive quality (acid free paper) envelopes. Even that is really overkill given how quickly we'll get through a roll of rubber.
 

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When I mentioned wrapping rubber in paper, it was in reference to model aeroplane competitors who are keeping rubber stockpiled for up to 20 years. Most of us wouldn't even have rubber older than 20 months. I'm using rubber I got four years ago and anything that was stored in my black plastic tool box in ziploc bags seems to still be in excellent condition. Rubber that was stored out in the open has degraded significantly.

Ask yourself how long you need your stocks to last. Any dark, dry, confined space that doesn't get too warm is going to be fine for well over a year. Best practical, simple option for most of us would be an airtight, opaque, plastic container with the rubber in archive quality (acid free paper) envelopes. Even that is really overkill given how quickly we'll get through a roll of rubber.
Thank you Ash - very helpful and practical!

It's noticeable how quickly ordinary household/office rubber bands harden and become useless.

Mike
 

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Thanks for all the answers.

I shall buy some black plastic postal envelopes or small black plastic carrier bags - floppy style, so that they can be wrapped close round the rubber or slingshot/catapult and kept in a cool place.

That should keep out most of the light and oxygen.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I looked briefly for small black plastic bags and found some "small" 13" x 8" x 18 "bottle" carrier bags, very cheap but in lots of 100 minimum.

I don't like waste, so I am still looking.

Meanwhile, Jenny said brightly, "Cut up a big black rubbish bag?".

I had several of those, so my rubber and catapults are now wrapped in several layers of this.

Mike
 

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I store my latex sheets and tubing in clear Ziploc bags with the air squeezed out. The bags are kept in the fridge crisper drawer. Another step would be to put the Ziplocs in large envelopes but I'm not concerned with the bit of light they get when I open the fridge. Some guys will even add some baby powder to the bag but I don't..

I still have at least a full .030" latex sheet that I bought from Tex about 3 or 4 years ago (stored in fridge). It still looks fine and the bandset that I cut from it a few months ago works great. I have tubing that's a couple of years old and also works fine.

Last year I made a set of latex flatbands for a local guy who always left his slingshot in his truck. After the summer he showed me the bands. They were much darker in color and the ends were wavy and shriveled up on the edges. A mild tug resulted in very minimal stretch and they easily broke. Leaving bands in a hot vehicle and exposed to the light will degrade them within a short time. The amber latex has no UV protection either.
 
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