Handsfree Magnetic-Base Tape-Measure




Hi! Here goes my second instructable...

I was busy trying to build a jungle gym for my kids when this inspiration hit me. I had to mark two pieces of metal square-tubing for welding joints (to create a ladder) and my tape measure kept on falling off. After a while of struggling I had the idea of adding a magnet to the base of the tape measure!

So the idea is to glue a magnet onto the base of your tape measure and cover the magnet with a small piece of cloth so that the magnet don't scratch your work surface.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies...

You will need the following:

  1. A tape measure (Of course.)
  2. A magnet. (I salvaged a magnet out of an old hard-drive.)
  3. Super glue. (Or any other strong, fast acting glue.)
  4. A small piece of cloth. (This prevents the magnet from scratching any metal surface.)
  5. A pair of scissors. (To cut the cloth.)
  6. A pen/pencil. (To mark the magnet outline.)

Step 2: Gather the Heavy Duty Tools.....

These are only necassery if you have a hard drive magnet. Use one of these items that you have available to separate the hard drive magnet from the piece of metal that it is glued to.

Step 3: Safety First!

Please make sure to use proper eye and hand protection when working with the hard drive magnet and other tools. Also ensure you use the super glue in a well ventilated area.

Step 4: Prepare Your Magnet...

Use one of the mentioned tools to grip the metal piece of the hard drive magnet and bend it away from the magnet slowly. (Please use gloves and eye protection as I am not sure if the magnet could shatter). I also wrapped the whole magnet and vice-grip in a cloth, just in case the magnet did something funny. I must add that I have separated many magnets with this procedure and not one has ever shattered. But rather be safe than sorry....

Once the magnet and metal are far enough apart, use a screwdriver to gently pry the two apart.

Step 5: Cut the Cloth..... (Not the Cheese!)

Now place the magnet on the piece of cloth and mark out it's outline. Use the scissors to cut out the shape.

Step 6: Prepare the Tape Measure...

Scrape the base of the tape measure with the scissors to ensure the surface is clean and ready to glue. Place liberal amounts of super glue on the magnet and the tape measure and stick them together. Hold them firmly together for a couple of seconds to ensure a good bond. (If you used a different type of glue, you can of course clamp the two pieces together for a while.)

Step 7: Finishing Touches...

Finally, glue the piece of cloth onto the magnet. Ensure that the glue spreads all the way to the edges of the magnet so that it won't come loose with usage.

And you're done!

Step 8: Usage...

You can now measure any metal surface with total hands-free ability! Even upside down!

Hope you enjoyed this instructable! Comments and questions welcome!

Good day!



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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    What a brilliant idea! As with all of the best ideas, it is simple, but it's effectiveness outweighs it's simplicity. Thanks for educating me.

    1 reply