Introduction: Tape Tower
If you're like me, you have lots of rolls of tape in your garage or shop area. They take up lots of room and don't stack well by themselves.
In this project, we'll make a Tape Tower to help tame that clutter by allowing you to organize your tape and keep it neatly stacked where it's handy and easy to see.
I designed the tower in AutoCAD, and laser cut it out of 6 mm acrylic, but you can use hardboard, birch ply, whatever, as long as it's 6 mm thick. Due to the many types and power levels of laser cutters out there, I won't go into details on power and speed variations, but for my 100 watt machine, I used 90% power at 9 mm/sec.
All of the outside corners are filleted, and all the inside corners are designed with reliefs to help prevent stress cracks.
You can either use acrylic cement to glue the vertical pieces to the base, or you can use the hardware specified later in the project to screw it together.
The files are available on Thingiverse. You can find them Here.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials
You'll need access to a laser cutter or a CNC router. If you decide to fasten the pieces with the screw and nut, you'll also need to countersink the hole in the base so the flat head screw sits flush (or slightly below flush if you choose not to use the rubber feet).
- The screw I used is 18-8 stainless steel, hex drive flat head, and it's 1/4-20 x 1" long. If you want to buy a box of 50, you can purchase them Here.
- The tower is designed for a specific nut with a flange to provide maximum clamping force and help distribute the load. It's a 1/4-20 Round-Base Weld Nut. A bag of 100 can be purchased Here.
- Alternatively, if you just want to make 1 or a few of these, I'm making the hardware available in how ever many you want at a price much lower than buying in bulk. You can check that out Here.
- You'll need a piece of 6 mm cast acrylic, birch plywood, or hardboard.
- Rubber feet for the base (optional). I bought mine Here.
Step 2: Cut Your Material
I used acrylic for this build, but you could also use birch plywood or hardboard. It just needs to be 6 mm thick. I used a laser cutter, but you could also use a CNC router, although it might have problems with the inside corners due to the small relief cuts.
Step 3: Assemble the Vertical Pieces
The two vertical pieces are slotted to slip over one another in a cross pattern.
Bend one of the lower legs over slightly so you can insert the Weld Nut into its slot. This will key the vertical pieces so they will stay locked together.
Step 4: Prep the Base and Final Assembly
Countersink the hole in the base so that the flat head screw sits flush, or just slightly below flush.
Insert the tabs of the vertical assembly into the slots in the base, with the countersunk hole facing down.
Insert the screw through the base, and into the Weld Nut. You may have to hold the flange of the nut at first while tightening the screw, but it will soon hold itself for final tightening. Don't over tighten the screw or you may crack the acrylic.
(Optional) Affix four rubber feet to the bottom of the base.