Blue Tape Rules

Many of you know or have discovered that I have a passion for blue painter’s tape. I think blue tape rules in the woodshop. Here’s a bit of history.

In the 1920s Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (known today as 3M) hired Richard Drew to travel around promoting the company products to automobile shops. The product he was pushing was sandpaper. Drew noticed that many of the shops struggled with different tapes. The sticky tapes of the day would not hold enough or would hold so much that paint was removed when the tape was peeled off the cars. Drew moved into the lab to develop a new kind of tape. 3M’s Scotch tape was the result.

In the 1980s painters began to notice problems again. Sometimes areas would show signs of tape when the tape was removed. (My guess is that paints changed and new formulas were developed.) Back to the drawing board went 3M. In 1988 the company released ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape.

All I can say is, “Thank you.”

Where I Use It

I use blue painter’s tape when working on projects with inlay. It’s great to hold a couple of pieces together as you assemble fans. It has replaced veneer tape in my work. (I like the way you can stretch the tape over a seam and it holds the seam tight.) I have to admit, however, that I don’t do huge amounts of veneer, nor do I place much veneer in vacuum bags. If I did I may turn more toward veneer tape.

I guess you could say that I go overboard at times.

I especially like blue painter’s tape when adding stringing around the edges of tabletops, as you can tell from the photo of the top on my Pembroke table, which is the next online course coming out to 360Woodworking members. Again, the tapes ability to stretch and hold is perfect in my opinion. Plus, it’s easy to remove the tape after your glue sets.

— Glen D. Huey



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2 thoughts on “Blue Tape Rules

  1. I use the green tape, 2060. It has a stronger tack and is resistant to lacquer, in case I need it.

  2. I disagree with Keith. I’ve tried the green tape 2060 and think the blue tape by 3M is still better.
    I use the hell out of blue tape; from real small glue up clamping, to string inlay, to assisting small miters.
    I also have it in different widths for different applications.
    I buy it in the multi-pack and my shop wouldn’t be complete with out it.
    Good article Glen.

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