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Tape Dispenser Project

The tape dispenser video was my first project for YouTube.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

This tape dispenser was patterned off of a white plastic model that my wife had in her office. We got it from an office supply store. It’s perfectly functional, but a little boring. I had a scrap of 8/4 walnut that I thought would be perfect for a project of this size.

HOW I DID IT

Since I was working from an existing object, the first thing I did was make a template. I keep a stack of graph paper in the shop, so I used a sheet of that and traced around the existing tape dispenser with a mechanical pencil. After cutting the walnut to length, I attached the template with spray adhesive and cut it out on the bandsaw. In the video, you see me cover the wood in masking tape; this is because it’s a lot easier to remove masking tape than spray glue. The tape keeps the wood from getting gummy.

I cut the side bevels on the table saw. The angle is about five degrees.

I cut the side bevels on the table saw. The angle is about five degrees.

To make the well in the center, I needed to saw off both sides on the table saw, cut the profile of the center piece on the bandsaw, and then glue the sides back on. As it turned out, the 8/4 walnut was actually a touch too narrow, so I ended up laminating in some 1/4 maple that I cut on the table saw. I could have done it on the bandsaw, too, but I would have needed to change blades and I like the cut quality from the table saw. That does come at the expense of a thicker kerf, but that’s okay.

Testing the dowel fit

Testing the dowel fit

The spool is cut from maple, while the axle is a 1/4″ walnut dowel that I made with a shop-made dowel maker. For the cutter, I took a section of cutter from a box of aluminum foil. That worked great.

WHAT I LEARNED

If I were going to make this project again, I would glue up the laminated blank first, then cut the template. This would save a few steps, as I would only have to cut the template shape once. Instead, I had to cut it three times. That’s obvious in hindsight, but when I started the project I thought the 8/4 block would be thick enough without adding any more material.

I would also wait until the end to cut the side bevels. Square sides would make it much easier to resaw the block before cutting the central well. I managed, but I felt silly for making the mistake.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think down in the comments, and stay tuned for my next project.

Work safe,

B.