No woodshop is complete without a roll of blue painter's tape.
This understated consumable has a ton of uses — from preventing tearout to controlling glue squeeze-out.
And best of all, it's ridiculously affordable.
Today, I'm giving you 5 ingenious ways to use blue tape for woodworking...
So you can have a safer and easier time with your projects — and avoid some sticky situations.
A NOTE ABOUT BLUE TAPE AND SUPER GLUE
A lot of people like to use blue tape and super glue in place of double-sided tape for attaching templates to boards. But I find it inefficient.
You need to use twice as much tape (a piece for each side). It’s also more difficult to line up the two pieces accurately — and glue can get on your workpiece where you don’t want it.
Good double-stick tape has a ton of hold, leaves no mess, and makes the process a lot faster.
That said, blue tape is SUPER useful for other applications — as you’ll see in the tips below.
1. PREVENTING TEAROUT
Blue tape is fantastic for preventing tearout and getting cleaner cuts.
Slap a strip down on the area where the blade teeth will exit the cut. The tape acts as a barrier, holding down the wood fibers and preventing them from tearing out.
It's especially useful for jigsaws and circular saws (notorious for tearout), but also works great on your bandsaw, table saw, and miter saw.
2. CONTROLLING GLUE SQUEEZE-OUT
Ever glued up a project and glue squeeze-out goes everywhere it shouldn’t? Not fun.
Before grabbing the glue, outline all the shoulders of your joinery with blue tape. It blocks excess glue from dripping everywhere, and makes cleaning up a cinch.
Just make sure you don’t place the tape on the insides of the joinery where it can get stuck. A good strategy is to add the tape during a dry assembly.
3. CLAMPING MITERED CORNERS
Regular clamps don’t work well for holding mitered corners together. But blue painter’s tape works like a dream.
Lay strips of tape across the outside of the joint, add glue inside the miter, then fold the joint together. The tape has just enough stretch to act as a clamp and create a strong glue bond.
4. QUICK ZERO-CLEARANCE INSERT
If you’re cutting thin strips of wood on a table saw, the offcuts can fall through the gap in the insert plate.
To keep this from happening, place a strip of blue tape on the offcut side of the blade and seal the gap. Now your strips will stay on the table top where you want them.
You could also place a piece of tape over the entire space with the blade fully backed down. Make a slice along the back for the riving knife, turn on the saw, and slowly raise the blade.
5. MOUNTING GUIDE
When you’re mounting a power strip or picture frame on the wall, it can be hard to figure out where the mounting screws need to go. This hack makes it easy.
Lay a strip of blue tape across the back of whatever you’re mounting so it covers the mounting holes. Make sure one edge of the tape is flush with one side of the object.
Now either poke a hole or make a mark on the tape where the mounting holes are. Remove the tape, set it on the wall where you want it (you can use a level), and drill pilot holes at the marks.
Still struggling with squeeze-out? Here’s 3 other ways to control excess glue.
We now carry multiple sizes of 3M blue painter’s tape in the Katz-Moses Tools store. Stock up on your next visit!