Yikes !!! ... Masking Tape might be my most valuable tool, I can't believe how often I reach for masking tape in the workshop. I easily use it every day, often multiple times and I don't even think about it.

Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/lwgXaRxWzd8

I have been trying out some of the off-brands and I am finding they are not always consistent and I need a masking tape that is going to work for me, for example when I label something if I come back in a few months and the label has fallen off and I don't which is which when it comes to finishes or dyes, that's not a good thing... 

so, I have gone back to the 3M product, yeah, sometimes it's a bit more but at least I can count on it.

Face Edge Marking
... for example, I almost always mark the faces of my boards with blue masking tape to easily identify the best side. I don't want that tape to fall off partway through the build and the nice thing I like about masking tape, easy to put one, easy to see, and doesn't leave a residue. I am even seeing other woodworkers who have adopted my idea and I think that is brilliant that others have recognized something that works for them too ...  

Masking Tape Marketing

Double-Sided Tape Substitute
... In fact, oftentimes this little trick works BETTER than most double-sided tapes and it's easy to do. Basically, you put masking tape on both sides of the wood you want to clamp together, then run a bead of CA Glue down one side and spritz the other side with an accelerator, put the to sides together and hold them for about 10 seconds, and instantly you have a super-strong bond that can be used for a variety of things. 

CA Glue and Masking Tape

Clamping Boxes and Picture Frames
.... Smaller items that need clamping can easily be done with masking tape. You do NOT need tons of pressure when gluing, often only enough to bring the 2 sides together so they don' move ... let them set for about 30 minutes and that is enough to bond the sides, though the glue will take longer to harden and set, many types of glue are workable in an hour or so. For edge grain, like picture frames, put a thin layer of glue on each surface, let it sit for 15 minutes then apply glue over the top that thin-set and clamp with masking tape to get a good, long-term bond. 

Masking Tape for clamping boxes

... Or so it is called, and it comes in many forms, in this situation, I am using masking tape to give me an -accurate- measurement between 2 hooks on a picture frame or even a mirror (which can be much heavier) ... mark the spot on the masking tape ... 

Masking Tape Template

... then take the masking tape to the wall where you have marked a straight -level- line, attach the masking tape to that line and that is where you will be installing the hangers for your picture frame or mirror  

Masking Tape Wall Templates

Edge Banding
... Masking tape is the perfect, easy-to-use clamp for gluing thin strips to shelf or cabinet edges to disguise plywood or edge grain wood and give a "finished" look to your cabinetry.

Masking Tape Clamps Veneer

Gluing Stop
... I am not in love with this idea, but basically what you do is run masking tape down either side of your glue boards, right along the edge. After the glue dries *in theory* you peel off the masking tape along with the excess glue. That all works in theory AND it takes a TON of Tape, to do what can be done quicker and easier other ways ... this is not a method I recommend, but if you use it and it works for you don't stop because Colin doesn't like it :) 

Masking Tape for Glue Stops

Black Mark Prevention
... Here's gluing tip that DOES work and it doesn't take a ton of glue. If you use bar clamps and find that they leave black spots on your glue-ups, it because the glue reacts with the tannin in the wood and the iron clamps and creates those black spots. To quickly prevent them, put a short length of masking tape at on the bar clamps at the juncture of each board then the glue cannot touch the clamps, and presto ... no more black spots.  

Masking Tape on Bar Clamps

Temporary Labeling
... I use this a lot because many of my finishes are transferred to sealed glass containers so I need to label each one so I know what they are. This has been a big help in keep finishes and dyes fresh over long periods.

Masking Tape labels

Drill Bit Stop
... Need I say more? 

Masking Tape Drill Stops

Magnet Strength
... I often purchase magnets with a bit stronger pull than I need, in case I need them for other uses, so to weaken a very strong magnet, one or 2 layers of masking tape works wonders. 

Masking Tape for magnets

Line Masking
... And another idea that seldom works. Using masking tape on wood to achieve nice straight lines of dye or stain. It works with paint, so why not stain? Well, the issue is not the paint or stain or dye, the issue is WOOD. When you apply dye or stain to raw wood, the wood acts like a sponge and draws the dye or stain UNDER the masking tape so it is impossible to get a nice clean line. 

Masking Tape for Wood Stain

Stops and Starts Cuts
... On either a wood router table or on a table saw ... as shown in the video. I use this masking tape trick A LOT. 

Masking Tape router table guides

Here is the same technique on the table saw 

Masking Tape Table Saw Stops

Preventing Wood Tear Out
... Well, not so much. In some cases, masking tape can provide a tiny bit of reduced tear-out, but in other cases masking tape can make it worse by actually pulling fibers from the wood. I always thought that it was a lot to ask of masking tape, which consists of paper and a bit of glue ... to actually prevent tear out between a hardwood and a steel blade 

Masking Tape Tear Out
And that is just some of the uses of masking tape in the workshop

Copyright Colin Knecht