Saturday, September 25, 2004

Re-stickering Rubik's Cubes

I re-stickered my main speedcube recently. The regular stickers that come with Rubik's Cube are usually pretty craptacular. Most speedcubers find that the stickers rarely last longer than a couple of weeks before they start looking terrible. Sometimes they don't even last beyond the first week.

Options for restickering

There are various things people have experimented with when it comes to re-stickering, eg. nail polish, scale model paint, buying replacement stickers from My preferred option is to use coloured electrical tape. It looks pretty good and the tape lasts significantly longer than those manifestly-unfit-for-purpose-lame-excuse-for-a-sticker things that come with cube. Also, once you buy 6 rolls of tape in the 6 colours, you'll probably have enough tape to re-sticker all the cubes you're ever likely to own.


In Australia, I was able to find electrical tape in 5 of the 6 colours: red, blue, yellow, green and white. I couldn't find orange anywhere. Fortunately though, the orange stickers on my previous main speedcube had not worn as much as the other colours so I left the existing stickers.

I left these rolls of tape in Australia so I've had to buy more over here. I went to a hardware store the other day and to my surprise they had orange! They did not, however, have white. This is okay though because I'm confident I'll be able to get white somewhere else. The main thing was that I found orange, which is traditionally the most difficult colour to find. For the benefit of any other speedcubers in search of orange electrical tape, here are the details of the one I bought.

orange electrical tape


Re-stickering using electrical tape is a rather tedious because all 54 squares need to be cut and placed individually. Also, the electrical tape is a couple of millimetres wider than a standard Rubik's Cube sticker process which makes it even more tedious to cut out.

Regular Rubik's Cube stickers have rounded corners which look much nicer than completely pointy corners. I can't be bothered to round all 216 corners of my homemade stickers, so as a compromise I just cut straight across the point to remove it:

I only remove a tiny little bit, maybe only 0.5 millimetres (about 0.02 inches), but it's enough to give the impression that the stickers have rounded corners.

Something else I do when restickering is I only pull of the clear laminated layer of the original sticker. I leave the coloured paper layer. I do this because the black plastic shows through too much if you put the electrical tape stickers directly onto it. As any speedcuber knows, the stickers need to have enough colour to be quite distinguishable otherwise it's no good for speecubing. Putting the tape stickers over the paper layer of the original stickers results in a much stronger colour.

If this is not an option because some of the stickers have completely fallen off then something else that works is to put a layer of white eletrical tape stickers on and then put the real colour stickers over the top. Whatever you do, you need to have something in between the black plastic and the top layer of the electrical tape stickers.

And here's the finished result...
Rubik's cube which has been re-stickered with coloured electrical tape

What do you think?

1 comment:

cubekid said...

hey thats pretty good!