Introduction: Wicked Fast Increments on Table Saw and Drill Press Using Sacrificial Measuring Tape Tape

About: Programmer, woodworker, problem solver, problem maker.

I have not seen this used before, yet I use it frequently. Therefore, an Instructable is in order.

Measuring tape masking tape. It's a roll of masking tape that's printed like a tape measure. I saw it at Walmart a few years ago next to the camouflage duct tape and realized its potential.

  • Very fast evenly-spaced dadoes on the table saw with minimal setup
  • Very fast indicators for offset patterns
  • Stick tape on screw organizers & wood bins for quick checking of screws & wood thickness

Sacrificial incremental tape, where have you been all my life?

Watch the 6-minute video.

Step 1: Is It Accurate?

It depends on your tolerances, but it's worth noting that it's not 100% accurate. It's off by 0.01" per inch - about 1/32" per foot. For most utility purposes, that's well within acceptable tolerances.

This is for the times when speed > precision.

Step 2: Parts List

Here are the parts involved in this Instructable:

  1. 20 Yards Measuring Tape Tape (inches)
  2. 14 Yards Measuring Tape Tape (mm)


I use affiliate links. Here's my stance:

Step 3: Incremental Dadoes on the Table Saw

You can stick the tape on either the:

  • Workpiece
  • Crosscut fence

Sticking it to the Workpiece

  • Handy when the workpiece is long.
  • Align the increment marks (on the board) with the crosscut fence.

Sticking it to the Crosscut Fence

  • Handy when cutting dadoes in multiple boards.
  • Align the increment marks (on the crosscut fence) with the edge of the board.

If the board is longer than your tape will allow, make your incremental cuts as far as you can, and leave the workpiece positioned as it was for the last cut. Then, draw a line on the workpiece that's aligned with another increment on the tape. Then, proceed with the additional increments.

See the video where I show all of this.

Router table: same concept applies here as well.

Step 4: Increments and Patterns W/ Drill or Drill Press

Magic happens at the drill press.

Similar to the Table Saw, you can stick the tape on either:

  • the workpiece: handy when drilling in a single, very long board, or using pattern cuts!
  • a drill press fence: handy when drilling multiple boards

The extra dimension at the drill press

So far, we've only talked about linear spacing. Measuring tape tape has several points on it that can be used as guides for 2-dimensional patterns. Those points are the ends of the lines.

No marking or center-punching necessary!

Step 5: Stick It to Places You Frequently Measure Short Things

Reduce the number of times you play hide-and-go-seek with your real measuring tape.

Place this near:

  • Screw organizers
  • Wood bins
  • Work benches
  • Toolboxes

Step 6: What Else?

Surely this stuff can be used for other things outside of woodworking. If you have any ideas for additional uses, leave a comment!


Also, I'm still working on building out my YouTube channel, and this production style is faster to produce than the previous 3, so I plan on throwing this style into the mix (but still doing some that are more thorough). If you have any input on the recording/production styles, I'd love to hear it. If it's something you'd like to follow, be sure to subscribe.

Tape Contest

Participated in the
Tape Contest