Popular Woodworking 2008-08 № 170, страница 16

Popular Woodworking 2008-08 № 170, страница 16

■ The Wood Whisperer ■


The Magic of Masking Tape

Find magic in the mundane using this humble problem solver.

o of the most important lessons I've learned as a woodworker is to never underestimate the seemingly mundane. I have found great utility in common household materials: old Tupperware, measuring cups, shelf liner, string, Dixie cups and old T-shirts, just to name a few. But here's a fair warning: Don't take these items out of the house without permission. Certain family members might not appreciate their favorite coffee grinder being used to pulverize shellac flakes!

One item, however, deserves to be purchased specifically for your shop and stands out as the ultimate multi-tasker- masking tape. Just when I think I have exhausted its list of uses, I come up with another way to incorporate the sticky stuff into my workflow. As a result, I buy this stuff by the case!

Origins of Masking Tape

To understand the real magic of masking tape, we should first learn about its origin. Masking tape was invented by the 3M company, in 1925, at a time when the company's primary business was abrasives.

A clever employee, Dick Drew, saw a need for a less aggressive tape in the automotive painting industry, and realized his company already had two of the key ingredients, which are paper and adhesive. Soon after, rolls of this moderately sticky paper were being mass-produced and they soon found their way into homes and shops everywhere.

So here is a quick introduction to some of my favorite woodworkingshop uses for mask-

^)nline EXTRAS

To watch a video of The Wood Whisperer as he demonstrates these masking tape techniques in his shop, go to:


Buy it by the case. Masking tape, a multi-tasking u tance hanging on my tool rack. Take it out of your t

ing tape. Although you can use regular masking tape for most of these tasks, my preference is for the blue painter's variety. It holds well and leaves little to no residue. The green tape works well too, but I reserve that for special applications where 1 need increased holding power and greater chemical resistance.

Hidingfrom the Finish

The one function of masking tape that should be obvious is, of course, masking. When creating a two-tone finish, proper masking is

irkhorse in the shop, has earned a place ofimpor-~awer - it's not just for painters anymore.

essential. I most often use blue or green tape, along with brown paper, to protect specific areas from the accent color.

For most woodworkers though, the most useful type of masking comes into play while applying finish on projects prior to assembly and during assembly. On some projects, it just makes more sense to finish the components prior to the glue-up. The risk we run, however, is getting finish on our joinery. The finish seals the wood and the result is a much weaker glue bond.

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