Product: Office Supplies
Twisted Rubber Band   (+4)  [vote for, against]
Lays flat when doubled over

Whenever I use a rubber band, I almost always double it back over whatever I am trying to secure. For example, if I am trying to put the rubber band around a deck of cards, it is never tight enough. So I put it over the deck, stretch it out, twist it once (into a figure 8, with the cards stuck in one of the holes) and fold the other hole back over the top of the deck. One twist like this is usually enough to make the rubber band tight enough, but it always frustrates me that the rubber band no will not lie flat (since there is a twist in it).

So I propose that they make rubber bands that already have the twist in them. That way when you double them over, you effectively “undo” the twist. Sure, you could end up making it twice as bad if you twist in the wrong direction, but I think that would be pretty easy to see as you are twisting. And yes, I know they make rubber bands in all sorts of sizes, so I could just find a smaller rubber band, but that never seems to be what I want, strength-wise at least.

But wouldn’t these twisted rubber bands be far more difficult and expensive to make, you ask? Sure they would – but that’s a small price to pay for my peace of mind.
-- luecke, Jun 10 2004

FAQ: How is rubber band produced?
Large rubber tubes are sliced into bands. (Scroll down to Q7.) [jutta, Jan 15 2005]

Animal Rubber Bands
The current level of rubber band technology - silicon bands that snap into animal shapes when left alone. [jutta, Jan 15 2005]

different colours on each side to differentiate from the normal bands.
-- po, Jun 10 2004

You could just use smaller rubber bands but where would be the fun in that? Have a twisted pastry item.
Instead of a mixed bag of twisted and untwisted, how about a whole bag of Mobius bands? The average would be the same, but unfortunately they couldn't be coloured to suit [po].
-- angel, Jun 10 2004

surely one twist in the band makes it a moebius loop!
-- po, Jun 10 2004

Mobius Bands gets a (+) from me.
It's so simple I can't believe it hasn't been thought of before.
-- silverstormer, Jun 10 2004

These would each have a 360 degree twist, not the 180 degree twist of a mo[e]bius band.
-- FarmerJohn, Jun 10 2004

Simple and sweet. +
-- phundug, Jun 10 2004

Band eight (+)
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 10 2004

[po] lovely color idea, but I agree with [FJ] that these would be doubly twisted… plus I’ve seen what happens to most of the mobius ideas around here. I’m not about to walk into that mess.
-- luecke, Jun 10 2004

Would there have to be different versions for left and right twisters?
-- kbecker, Jun 10 2004

-- doughy, Jun 11 2004

[Twisted Rubber would be a great name for a band, but I guess that's not the point.]
-- DrCurry, Jun 11 2004

There's only one wrinkle--this problem can be solved simply by using a longer rubber band, and TRIPLING it, which is a configuration that does lay flat.
-- 5th Earth, Jun 11 2004

One word: gumband.
-- dpsyplc, Jun 11 2004

how about a band w/ a circular cross-section?
-- nick_n_uit, Jun 12 2004

You won't get a positive vote from me...but you won't get a negative vote either. Seems like a good idea, but it's not THAT much of an inconvenience.
-- Pocketassreturn, Jun 12 2004

[nick_n_uit], you took the words right out of my fingers.
-- Ling, Jun 12 2004

//but it's not THAT much of an inconvenience.//

Sure it is. Good thinking, [luecke]. +.
-- lintkeeper2, Jun 12 2004

//no will not lie flat//

I'd prefer half-size rubber bands, using two in parallel, to avoid the cross-over intersection.
But + for the effort!
-- Amos Kito, Jun 12 2004

an elegant solution to a retarded problem. just what consumers buy!
-- changokun, Jun 12 2004

How are rubber bands made? I could imagine that they might be cut from an extruded rubber tube. If that were the case this would be much more complicated to make and therefore more expensive.
-- brewer, Jun 12 2004

Yes, this would be more expensive. But the simple Mobius rubber band would be worth doing, just to have lying around, just to see the look on the one visting geek's face who absentmindedly picks it up and realizes the impossibility of the object they're holding (given the traditional manufacturing process).

Maybe you could just pour the bands into a mold. (Unfortunately, you can't cut wider Mobius strip rubber bands into thinner Mobius rubber band slices - to understand why, try it with a strip of paper.)

[How would you get what appart? The mold pieces? You would just treat the rubber band as any other irregular object -- the mold boundaries wouldn't align with edges or sides.]
-- jutta, Jan 15 2005

How would you get them apart?

Maybe a pair of small rollers on the extruder could stamp out the twists?
-- tiromancer, Jan 15 2005

this is a very strange idea indeed
-- benfrost, Jan 16 2005

//lays flat when doubled over//

My rubber band can do that, but only when it's sick...
-- robinism, Jan 16 2005

I like this because you could give the bands to the sort of uptight people who get upset if you put a pencil in the pen compartment of their desk tidy. It would unsettle them greatly.

EDIT: Many apologies [lueke], but it's just occured to me that this might include the sort of people who get upset about a twist in their band when used around a deck of cards. [5th Earth] may have the solution here, he is able to have his bands untwisted both when wrapping objects and when on his desk.

I am glad that I have devoted so much of my Sunday morning considering this thorny issue.
-- wagster, Jan 16 2005

It sounds to me as if you are doubling the elastic band around the deck of cards across their narrow face, left-to-right as it were. Would the offending band still be too long if you went top-to-bottom around the deck instead?
-- Canuck, Jan 16 2005

random, halfbakery