And so an oeuvre was born. Berg and Nyberg, whose noms de duct are Jim and Tim, collected 162 tips for 1994's The Duct Tape Book. That was a hit, so the boys produced a sequel—cleverly titled Duct Tape Book 2—Real Stories—featuring actual uses culled from readers' letters. Together, Duct I and II sold a hefty 300,000 copies.
Despite all it had done for them, duct tape would soon have a rival for Jim and Tim's affections. One day, says Jim, he tried to open his toolbox and found it had rusted shut. Reaching for a can of WD-40 to loosen the hinges, he was struck by its versatility. "Well, hey," Jim thought. "This is another power tool!" Now, in WD-40, the third volume in their toolbox trilogy, the authors tout the aerosol lubricant's little-known uses, from untangling fishing lines to preventing "buildup of squished bugs" on cars.
Inevitably, success has fueled fantasies of a Hollywood deal. Still, Jim is keeping his day job, and Tim is maintaining a grip on reality as well. "We're just normal guys," he says. "Maybe a little goofy." But nothing a bit of duct tape couldn't fix.