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Heat shrink tubing

I have been making displays out of aluminum tubing that I cover in
shiny, black heat shrink tubing. The problem is that I only can find
it in 6" lengths. I buy it at Radio Shack and have tried to get
longer lengths there, at Grainger’s and many, many local electronics
stores both independent and chains. I have also tried Micromark,
from whom I get the aluminum. They only carry clear shrink tubing.

Anyone have a solid lead as to where I can get shiny (not matte),
black heat shrink tubing with no lettering for 1/8" (3mm) tubing?
Nothing else seems to work, paint is uneven and wears out quickly and
blackened or oxidized metal isn’t shiny enough and eventually
scratches. Thanks in advance,

Larry Seiger

A couple of vendors you might try aRe:

  1. McMaster-Carr Supply
  2. Digi-Key

Try Newark electronics 1-800-4-newark. They supply all sizes and
most are available on a roll.

MCM Electronics carry heat-shrink tubing in 4’increments or in spools
of up to 70’. You can reach them at or
call them for an catalogue that will blow your mind (you’ll see things
in here that you had no idea that people made things like this) at
1-800-543-4330. They also carry them in various colors.
Good luck, Dan

Hi Larry,

 Anyone have a solid lead as to where I can get shiny (not matte),
black heat shrink tubing with no lettering for 1/8" (3mm) tubing? 

Try MC (800-645-7270 or Their catalog lists 48" &
6" (item #s 03111341 & 03111358 respectively) long pieces in 1/8".
The catalog doesn’t indicate wether the finish is shiny or matte. The
material is a multi-wall, semi-ridgid polyolefin with a 2.5:1 shrink
ratio, if that helps.


For heat shrink tubing, or darn near anything else, try McMaster-Carr
Supply, at They have four pages of
different heat shrink tubing, by the spool if you want! They have a
huge selection of materials and tools for all kinds of industry, no
minimum order, and great service. I’m not affiliated, blah, blah, but
have been happily ordering odd things from them for many years now. A
great place for stuff if you like to build your own equipment.

Jack Reisland

Larry, Tap Plastics carries a “plastic dip” for covering tool handles,
like pliers. Comes in all colors. Dries “shiny”. If you only dip
once, it should be about the right thickness to cover your aluminum
tubing displays. Dunno what you might use for a thinner, see if the
label gives any indication. I beleive MSC and Manhattan Supply may
also carry it. A little pricey, but goes a long way, and lasts

Tip: Use up the whole can once you open it. You can dip all those old
pliers and other bench tools that might benefit. Needle file
handles…and such.

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School

Larry, Try MSC Direct:

Go there, type heat shrink in the quick search box at the top of the
page and click the Go button. I don’t know if it’s glossy, but a quick
search on my part shows that you can get at least some of it in 48"

I’d also try

My experience with these two industrial suppliers has been excellent.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can send mail and
they’ll do the search for you and get back to you very quickly.

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts, USA, where most people are
wondering what happened to summer but I’m enjoying the return
of spring.

Tap Plastics carries a "plastic dip" for covering tool handles,
like pliers. 

Brian, I’ve been told that the plastic dips you can buy at the
hardware store take four hours to cure and are not very durable. Is
this something different?


Hi Larry, This may not qualify as a “solid” lead, but you might want
to check a boating supplier… used for shrink wrapping wiring on a

Might pan out…

Dave Sebaste