I was searching through some threads on tube patching, hoping to stumble across some gem which would improve my tube patching success rate which is pretty abysmally low, less than half. I was pretty surprised by how many posters are able to patch their tubes with very low failure rates. A lot of people seem to have been patching for years and have only had a few patches fail.
I only recently started patching my tubes, using a basic patch kit, I am pretty sure my procedure is the most common one, sand around the puncture spot, apply vulcanizing glue, let it get really dry, put on the patch (the ones I use have adhesive backing), apply pressure for maybe 5 minutes or so. What step here do you think is the one most likely going wrong for me? I know some people use clamps for putting pressure on the patch, and maybe that is what I need to try, since I just use my fingers which do get tired after applying pressure for several minutes at a time.
I also think I might not be putting enough glue down, since the glue is supposed to cover an area which extends a little beyond the area of the patch, so that the edges of the patch are firmly affixed... the problem is the patches tend to be bigger than the width of the inner tube, so to get enough glue down I would have to go around the tube, which is problematic since the tube is usually sitting on a table. I'm not using extra-large patches or anything, but road tubes are just not that wide. Do people sometimes cut their patches in half? I would think this would work, as long as the patch fully covers the puncture. Otherwise do I need to suspend my tubes somehow so I can apply glue to the underside?
To be clear, most of the flats I get are from running over small pieces of glass or misc. construction detritus, I very rarely get big tube blowouts and I don't try to patch these. I have noticed that I seem to have better luck with schrader tubes than presta, but this could be coincidental.
Anyhow I would appreciate any words of wisdom, since I tend to get tons of flats. Is it just me or are tubes getting pretty expensive? I feel like not too long ago they were ~ $4 a tube, now most bike shops seem to be at $6?