This is an easy modification to any steel tape measure. The length of the tape and degree of precision you want will determine how much time is spent making it.
When I first entered this instructable in the "I Can Make That" contest, I intended it to mimic a new device that hasn't been marketed yet. I started receiving comments about patent infringement issues and my patent attorney (who confirmed there were no issues) suggested I remove all reference of the product as a way to stop the well-intended, but bothersome comments... Which I did. Now, being without a product I can copy, I'm no longer in alignment with the contest rules. Therefore, I'll chose the next closest product, the Inca Rule which is far enough away from the design of my instructable to make patent infringement a non-issue.
That being said, let's get started:
Step 1: What You'll Need
Here's what you'll need: A steel measuring tape, a small" diameter hole punch, a pencil (optional), and a steady hand.
I use a Roper Whitney #5 Jr. Hand Punch, probably the second most used tool in my shop. It comes with interchangeable punches ranging from .094" (3/32") to .281" (9/32"). Mine even has a custom made square punch that Roper Whitney made for me.
I suppose a small drill would also work, but it's disturbing to think of how frustrating that would be to use.
After I completed my first tape by hand (it took forever... And there were mistakes too), I made a simple guide and hooked it up to my hand punch. The guide indexed the tape every inch, so on my second attempt, I never made a mistake, and it only took me 15 minutes to punch 10' (120 holes). The instructions for making the guide are in step 4.