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The greatest invention of the 20th century

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Herewith please find another impeccably researched document of historical analysis with which to waste your time.

Inventions must necessarily be judged and rated in accordance with the circumstances of the recipient.

The Internet is of no possible use to a peasant farmer living in the high Andes.
Neither is a bicycle-powered water pump (yes, they do exist) likely to be Mrs GOF's favourite toy as she pedals away for 20 minutes waiting for me to complete a leisurely shower whilst merrily whistling The Mixtures 1970's  Pushbike Song.

So, after a couple of minutes deliberation I wish to declare my greatest invention of the 20th century to be;

                                                                        ARALDITE
                                                       The original 2-pack epoxy glue

My first introduction to Araldite was in the wilds of the Sepik District in New Guinea, when I stumbled across a land surveyor camping in the jungle. His only companion was a Honda CT90 motor bike.

In a moment of intense nocturnal ardour beneath the soft glow of a Coleman lamp he had once apparently managed to overtighten the spark plug, creating a gaping hole in the engine head where once a neat metric thread existed.  He had, for 3 months, been happily motoring around with the spark plug securely Araldited back into the hole.

When I was 30 and a bit, I still possessed remnants of teenagehood when I knew everything there was to know in the world.  I convinced myself that I could build a house on the basis of the distant memory of once building a toy boat using balsa wood and icy-pole sticks.

Mrs GOF helped me build this fanciful dream project which now remains a monument (at least it has survived 2 direct hits from severe cyclones) to everything I thought I knew, but in fact did not.

Plumbing with Araldite;

External copper water pipe is normally joined using pre-soldered "Yorkshire fittings".
GOF, of course, possessed legendary skills using a kerosene blowtorch and soldering iron.  What more did he need to know?
Well, in hindsight, perhaps knowing that these fittings required a special "flux" application before applying the heat would have avoided the spectacular, multi-sourced water fountain of Trevi proportions that spurted high into the sky after I turned on the supply tap.

We "temporarily" rejoined the pipes with Araldite in 1983, and  have had no trouble ever since.

Araldite fixes holes in exhaust pipes and mufflers, and split axe handles bound with glue infused rag last for an additional 10 years.

Who needs quadraphonic sound, polyvinylchloride, ball point pens, jet travel, nuclear fission, Playboy magazine or Benny Hinn when you have the security twins of Araldite Tube A, and Araldite Tube B.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

24 responses »

  1. You must have been a consultant to the guy who built my house. Plumbing to the garage was done by burying a rubber hose … electricity was run to the garage using extension cords as wiring.BTW – I'd never heard of this product, so I looked it up. According to their website, it's not available in the US!! Not in Canada or Mexico either.

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  2. Bloody poofy new generation. Fencing wire is what holds Australia together, GOF.

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  3. "electricity was run to the garage using extension cords as wiring"I didn't know there was any more extension cords left in the world. Thought I used em all up building my place.Maybe you have Araldite by another name. I just had a look at the contents description, but it was not much help.1. Liquid epoxy resin. 2. Tertiary amine.

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  4. Fencing wire is what holds Australia together, GOF. See Snowy, therein lies the problem.When I was a boy (I know how much you need to know what follows ;-)everything was held together with orange hay baling twine, then some twerp replaced it with fencing wire. No wonder the joint is falling apart…..all the wire's gone rusty. The world needs Araldite. And I am attempting here to spread the religion. I think even Vox needs some, to stop it from inserting uninstructed spaces between lines. (above).Globet, whose employment makes her knowledgeable in the field, assures me that some electricity insulators are made from cooked Araldite, and they have many superior qualities to ceramic, and probably are even better than your fencing wire insulators.I have personally seen a very large and sexy Araldite insulator specially designed to shed snow from power transmission poles in alpine regions.It is time the UN declared a "Year of Araldite". They must be running out of subjects by now. Can't do any harm, I mean they once had a" Year for Old Farts" (phrased slightly differently I believe) and you and I survived it.

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  5. And I am attempting here to spread the religion. Hmm, the Araldite religion. You might have something there, GOF. You'd have to think the adherents would stick together. Sorry…Did we survive the year of old farts? No-one told me that, either….

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  6. We "temporarily" rejoined the pipes with Araldite in 1983, and have had no trouble ever since.Right ON!The Duchess has made many a plumbing repair job using J-D Weld.

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  7. Did we survive the year of old farts?We've survived a whole mess of stuff Snowy.Real and/or imaginary 😉

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  8. The Duchess has made many a plumbing repair job using J-D Weld.The Duchess is my role model too.

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  9. We've survived a whole mess of stuff Snowy.

    Real and/or imaginary ;-)Just so's I know, GOF. I rely more and more on you young people to tell me what's going on, these days…

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  10. I rely more and more on you young people to tell me what's going on, these days… Make an exception for me Snowy. It would be equivalent to allowing the blind man to lead the guide dog.

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  11. Araldite is also good for gluing power boxes to hardened steel floors along with the sawn off heads of screws. That was a trick from the legendary Pissy. I have often wondered if some poor soul nearly killed them self trying to unscrew the glued in heads at a later date.

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  12. Oh, Christ. She shouldn't be anybody's role model! She can be nice, don't let me completely tarnish her image but…My parents were terrible parents but they make a good couple! My grandmother raised me. My parents certainly taught me a lot! I'm a pretty tough cookie, all said and done, and that came from tempering!

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  13. I'm a pretty tough cookie, all said and doneI had reached that conclusion…..I plan to always be nice to you 😉

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  14. Thanks Peter. I always consider the "undoing" implications before I Araldite.I often wonder what happened to the surveyor when it came time to put anew spark plug in his motor bike.Who is the legendary Pissy?

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  15. My father was a huge fan of Araldite. When I was in the midst of selling a house the front door kept coming away from the bolt in the wall. Someone told me to put toothpaste in it and it would set and "hold" everything. It worked – at least for the 6 months we were in the house! Of course I wouldn't advocate it for something that was load bearing!

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  16. I suspect there are better ways to hold a house together.There is original Araldite, and then more recently they produced " 5 minute" Araldite….a reference to its quicker "setting" time, but most of us who have used it conclude it more appropriately refers to the time the repair job lasts before it breaks again. Original Araldite needs a 24 hour setting time.I have no idea why I think that information is of any use to you given that GOM advises it is not available in the US 😉

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  17. Pissy was a bloke I worked with. He was the Master Tradesman and I the apprentice.Here is a link to a piece I wrote about him for Harlot's Sauce. Pissy could drinkOf many famous sayings my favourite was "Never spoil the finish for a hapeth of tar".Taught me heaps including not to follow his path to the demon drink. If you read the story you will find some fair justification for where life took him.

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  18. Thanks Peter, I will check it out.

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  19. My father swears by Araldite. He has for years and years. I still remember those twin tubes from his garage, and I believe he always has 2 or 3 unopened packs just in case. Everything with him is just in case. I think his original carport was built from asbestos and Araldite, though it was long ago removed (properly!). I remember him being rather annoyed at having to pay someone to remove it properly. As a brake fitter/builder he swore asbestos put hairs on your chest. I don't think he or anyone else back then realised that the large cloud hanging above their heads in the factory would be slowly killing them now.

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  20. It is interesting that you have Araldite, but GOM says there is none in the USA…..perhaps it has a different brand name there.I hope your father did not suffer any ill effects from asbestos.

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  21. I think it's contributing to his current health state, among the various other things he's been left with. Such is life, I suppose. Who said hard work never hurt anyone.

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  22. I am sorry to hear that PG. It is one thing when bad things in life happen through "misadventure" but quite another when Governments and Corporates cover up known possible bad outcomes for human health.

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  23. Sadly that seems to be the way of this world. And to think, a cynic at my age.
    Still, on to happier things. I wonder if perhaps a carefully positioned blob of Araldite would've perhaps resolved your previous computer problems and left you with a machine in fine fettle…

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  24. One day I'll get around to that old computer….at the moment I am so happy with the laptop using comparatively so little of my precious electricity.

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