How to make a better tape holder

You probably recognize this story: 
You have different types of tape in your workshop.
By putting them in a drawer, they get mixed up, and they fill the whole drawer. 

Also, every time you need that certain tape, it always happens to be the one at the very bottom of the drawer. 

Or is it just a conspiracy of tape rolls against us?

After the umpteenth annoyance at that messy drawer, it was time to straighten things out and organize my tape rolls. 
I wanted to make a holder for these tapes, so that they are always together and easy to use.

As an additional requirement, I wished I could bring them to the work spot individually, and not have to carry the entire box of tapes.

PS: If you want to know what kind of tapes you need for woodworking, check out my article, 7 Types of tape for woodworking you should have.

Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.

Ebook part 1 woodworking basics

No more messy drawers​

In this blog, I will discuss the solution I made for my needs, and hope to inspire you, so you can solve this problem too.

Before we dive into the blog, you can watch the video first. In that video, I will show you how I build this tape holder/dispenser.

In the blog post underneath the video, I will describe step by step the actions you need to take. I also will list up the materials and tools you need for building this tape holder.

Watch the video here & learn how to make a tape holder

Here you can watch the video and see how to make a tape holder.
After watching the video, you can continue reading the step-by-step guide to making this tape holder yourself. 

How to make a tape holder step by step

Now that we have gone through the list of what we all need for this project, I will explain step by step how I made this tape holder.

Collect your materials and find the best wood.
Together we will build this tape holder that you will enjoy for a long time.

Step 1 | Making the center disks​

As the first part of this project, we will make the center discs that the tape roll fits over.
For this, we will use MDF 18mm (0.71″).

The diameter of the inside of a tape roll is 75mm (2.95″).
With a hole saw of that diameter, or slightly larger, we will cut out the circles.

We need 2 discs per tape holder.
Depending on how many tape holders you want to make for your project, multiply the 2 disks by the number of tape holders you want.

How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

We will now connect the 2 disks together.
We will do this by applying wood glue between the two discs.

To make the discs fit together perfectly, we use a piece of threaded rod over which we slide the discs. 
With a washer and nut on both sides of the disc, we can press the discs together.

We do this by tightening the nuts in opposite directions.
The high pressure we put on the wood glue, through these nuts, will strengthen the connection.

As an extra reinforcement, and because I immediately loosened the disks after the next step, I used brad nails. 
If you do not have a nail gun, but you do not want to wait until the glue has completely dried, you can use normal nails.

How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

Due to the threaded rod, we used to align the discs and put pressure on the wood glue, we can now easily sand the discs.

If your hole saw with which you made the discs in the first step is slightly larger, you can now also sand away the excess wood to the desired diameter.
This allows the tape roll to fit perfectly over the discs.

By tensioning the threaded rod in the drill press and rotating the discs, we can sand the sides smooth.

To sand the sides nice and flat, I use a flat board on which sandpaper is glued.
By sliding the back of the plank over the stand of the drill press, the finished result will always be flat.

After sanding we can remove the threaded rod again.

Attention: if you have not used nails, wait until the wood glue has dried sufficiently.

How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

Step 2 | Making the body​

To make the body of this tape holder we use MDF 6mm (0.24″) and MDF 18mm (0.71″).

We start by making the side in MDF 6mm(0.24″).

For this part, we will cut pieces from 13cm (5.11″) to 19.2cm (7.55″).

To work safely I suggest you use a crosscut sled with a stop block placed on it.
Like that, pieces for the different tape holders you want to make, all have the same dimensions.

After cutting out, we can determine the center point where the disks should be.
For this, you can use the template that you can download above. 
Transfer the dimensions to the workpiece and also draw the lines.

Along these lines, we can cut off the excess wood with the jigsaw.
Always saw at a small distance from the line, later we update this with the drum sander.

How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS
How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

Once the workpiece has been cut out, we can mount the discs on the side.
For the connection, again we will use wood glue and with some brad nails we keep the pieces in the right place.

A trick that I use to lower the discs perfectly on the drawn center is the following:

  • Insert a long screwdriver through the center hole of the disk.
  • Place the tip of the screwdriver on the cross that determines the center.
  • Now just lower the disk, and voila, they are perfectly in the right place.
How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

Now we can continue cutting the rest of the pieces we need.

For this, we use MDF 18mm (0.71″) so that we can make a solid tape holder.

To cut out these small pieces we use the crosscut sled with a stop block.
In this way, the pieces are always square.
With the crosscut sled, we can easily make the same pieces over and over, for as many tape holders that we want.

The dimensions we need are on the free plans, but I will list them below.

Per tape holder you will need the following pieces :

  • 1 piece of 5cm by 9cm (1.96″ by 3.54″)
  • 1 piece of 5cm by 11cm (1.96″ by 4.33″)
  • 1 piece of 5cm by 15.5cm (1.96″ by 6.10″)
How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

The 18mm (0.71″) parts we just cut can now be attached to the side.

Apply glue to the joints and hold in place with nails.

How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

Now that the body is ready, the edges can be trimmed.
With the drum sander, we sand the cut we made with the jigsaw to the drawn line.

After this step, we can update the edges with the router to obtain a beautifully finished end result.

How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

After trimming the edges, we can apply a knife to the front of the tape holder to tear off the tape more easily.

For this, we use a hacksaw blade.
With the angle grinder, we saw small pieces of 3.5cm (1.37″) long.

With CA glue, we can glue these pieces to the tape holder.
Apply some Ca glue to the back of the hacksaw blade, and spray the accelerator where the blade should go.
Press the knife on the tape holder for a few seconds, and you’re done.

How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

Facts about CA glue

  • Super glue, cyanoacrylate, and CA glue are all different names that describe the same adhesive, Cyanoacrylate. … However, they all refer to the same kind of adhesive. 
  • Super glues bond through reaction with moisture, both on the material surfaces they are bonding to, and moisture present in the air. 
  • It is an extremely strong and fast-setting adhesive available in three viscosities: thin, medium, and thick.

Step 3 | French cleat system​

To attach these tape holders to the wall and quickly disconnect them when I need them, I chose to work with a French cleat system.

To make this French cleat system, we will choose a piece of wood at least 10cm (3.93″) wide and 18mm (0.71″) thick.

After adjusting the angle of the saw blade to 45 degrees, we can cut that piece of wood to two equal pieces.
Do this by sliding the wood along the fence.

We now divide one of these pieces into pieces of 3.5cm (1.37″) and attach it to the back of the tape holder.

To attach this piece to the tape holder, we use wood glue and nails.

How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

The other piece with the angle of 45 degrees needs to be attached to the wall, as shown in the photo below.

How to make a better tape holder_FREE PLANS

All you have to do now is hook the tape holders into the French cleat system, and you are ready to use them.

Now our tape rolls are organized, and you can easily unhook the tape you need and take it to your workplace.

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