Stacks of tape rolls were starting to pile up on my workbench so I decided it was time to make a holder to get things organized. I designed the holders to work on a cleat wall and also work on a regular wall. These racks also have an optional shelf to make it a flat shelf when not being used specifically for rolls of tape.
Easel Pro Software by Inventables – Link
The tools I used on the project were as follows:
- X-Carve 1000mm CNC Machine by Inventables – Link
- Router Bit – 1/4" Downcut Bit
- Various clamps – I like the Bessey EHKL24 – Link
- Random orbit sander
- Shop vac
- 9/64" drill bit
- Tape Measures (my favorite two):
Fastcap PMS-16 Auto Lock ProCarpenter Tape Measure – Link
or FastCap PSSR16 16 ft Standard Reverse Measuring Tape – Link
- 1/2" Baltic Birch plywood (used for all shelf components)
- 3/4" Baltic Birch plywood (for my french cleats)
- Various sand paper
- 1-1/4" long #8 construction screws to attached shelves to frech cleat or 2" long #8 construction screws to attached shelves to wall
- General Finished Water Based Top Coat (Satin) – Link
- Titebond Wood Glue – Link
XFasten Tape you see in the video:
– XFasten 1-Inch Double Sided Woodworking Tape – Link
– XFasten 2.5-Inch Double Sided Woodworking Tape – Link
– XFasten 2-Inch Professional Blue Painters Tape – Link
– XFasten 2-Inch Professional Grade Red Gaffer Tape – Link
– XFasten 2-Inch Professional Grade Black Gaffer Tape – Link
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NOTE: If you plan on using any tool for a project please make sure you are familiar with the tool and all of the dangers associated with it. If you are not familiar with a tool then you should ask someone who is to show you the proper way to use it. A lot of communities have classes at local colleges on the proper use of tools and machinery. There are also local woodworking clubs that offer classes at very reasonable rates for beginners. I highly recommend using these resources for your safety and for the most efficient use of the tool.
Always wear eye and hearing protection. Always work safe with the proper safety equipment and guards on your tools.
The parts of this shelf are very easy to create in Easel Pro software from Inventables.
Create a Rough Sketch
I started out the design of by creating a side view of the shelves in Easel. First I drew a circle the size of the largest roll of tape I had on hand. Then I created the two sloped shelf pieces using the rectangle tool.
Next I drew in the side piece of the shelf. I made this 5.25" tall, which is just under the vertical spacing of the cleats on my shop wall. This allows something to be added or removed from the wall on the 6" spacing.
The last thing I did was add the vertical back piece and the french cleat.
*Designing Actual Pieces *
Next I used the the dimensions from this side view to draw the actual piece to be cut by the X-Carve CNC in a new drawing window.
The first piece I drew was the back support of the shelf. This piece is the one that will be attached to the french cleat and will also support the sides which in turn support the bottom pieces of the shelf. This piece is just a simple rectangle. I am using 1/2" plywood for my shelf and I wanted the overall width of the shelf to be 15". I also wanted the back piece to be rabbeted into the side piece by half of the thickness of the plywood. That makes the back vertical piece 5.25" tall and 14.5" wide.
The lower shelf pieces that hold up the roles of tape I decided to make the same size of 2" wide and 14.5" long to match the back vertical piece. The shelf pieces will be mortised into the sides for extra strength.
The front shelf piece does stick out past the front edge of the side support so I rounded two corners on the front edge so they don’t have a sharp corner on them. To do this I rounded all of the corners on the rectangle using the dialog box and giving is a 3/8" radius. Then I edited two of the corners by double clicking on the piece and editing the grips to make those two 90 degees again.
The side support was next. I decided this should be a square with one corner clipped at an angle. Since the back was 5.25" tall I made this the square dimension. By double clicking on the rectangle and editing the nodes I was able to clip the corner at close to a 45 degree angle. I left about a 1" flat area on the top of the side piece and a 1-1/2" flat area on the low side of the vertical edge.
Next I had to add the rabbet to the back edge of the side piece. This needs to be 1/2" wide, but because of the radius of the router bit, I expanded the cut area of the rabbet by 1/4" to the top, bottom, and past the back edge of the side piece. This eliminates the little radius pieces that don’t get cut by only making the rabbet the side of the side piece.
The last thing to do on the side piece is to create the mortises for the two shelf pieces. I created a 2″ × 1/2" pocket cut area and then ran it through the dog bone generator app within Easel so the rectangular ends would fully fit in the mortises. I made a copy of this new dog bone pocket area and then placed them end to end centered around the 3" mark from the edge of the rabbet cut on the back vertical edge. Then I rotated then at 10 degrees in opposite directions and spaced them a little over 1/2" apart so we can add a shelf piece later. I also moved these recess cuts 0.2" up from the bottom edge of the side piece.
You will notice that the dog bone at the front edge of the side piece sticks over the front edge a little bit. That is because the front shelf piece will stick past the front edge as well. You might need to modify the display order by bringing the main side piece to the front so it takes precedence in carving.
Now that you have one complete side piece you can select all of the elements and make of copy of it and paste it in the work area. While all of the pieces in this newly pasted piece are still highlighted you can right click on it and select Flip Horizontal. You now have a matching side piece for the other end of the shelf.
Bonus Flat Shelf
I added two additional pieces to the cut file so you can convert this to a flat shelf if you want. One piece is the shelf itself and the other piece thin piece is what will be glued to the bottom of the first piece so it can hold the shelf in place. The thin strip fits down below the two slopes pieces of the tape roll shelf.
The main shelf piece also has two rounded corners where it sticks out past the front of shelf side pieces.
Cutting out the parts is very straight forward since all of the pieces can be cut from one piece of plywood and only using a 1/4" downcut bit. I used 1/2" baltic birch plywood for this project, but you can use whatever you like. Make sure you adjust the sizes of the pieces in the cut file if your pieces are thicker than 1/2".
The Easel file you can download does use tabs to hold the pieces in place. These can be removed after cutting with a flush trim bit on a router.
This is a fairly easy process since all of the piece of the shelf should dry fit together without glue. For my shelves I did not glue the french cleat onto the back of the shelf. I used screws instead and explain this in a later step.
If your two lower shelf pieces are a little snug you can sand the ends to make the fit a little looser.
I added glue to the rabbet and the two mortises on the side pieces and spread out the glue in those areas.
Next I added the two lower shelf pieces into the mortises.
I then added the other side piece, but I didn’t fully push the side in place. Instead I laid the assembly flat on my work bench and then added the back vertical piece for the shelf. With the vertical piece added between the rabbet areas you can now push the ends fully on and clamp in place. Make sure your reach vertical piece does not slip out from the rabbet areas. I had this happen on one of my glue ups.
If you decide to cut out and make the flat shelf pieces you will need to glue the thin strip of 1/2" plywood to the bottom of the larger piece of plywood. I suggest marking the location of this thin strip by turning the shelf upside down and holding the flat shelf piece in place so you can mark a pencil line on the bottom of the shelf at the back edge of the front sloped tape roll shelf. I found that by using a 1/2" ruler with a 90 degree end piece I could stick the ruler through the opening of the two sloped shelf pieces and check that the line I made was in the correct location. Once you make this line you might want to move it 1/32" or a 1/16" back so the shelf can drop down in more easily.
If once you glue this thin piece on to the flat shelf and it is slightly too tight to go in place you can always sand the back edge of the shelf to loosen up the fit.
This shelf should also store vertically in the back opening between the rear sloped shelf and the back vertical piece. See the video for more on this.
I sanded all of the pieces to 180 grit and then added two coats of General Finishes water based topcoat High Performance satin finish with a light sanding between coats. Since the shelves are fairly irregular in size, using a spray finish might be quicker and easier if you have that available. The type of finish is really up to you.
Since I wanted to have the flexibility to use these tape shelves somewhere else in the garage like attaching it to the side of a work bench or a wall without cleats, I connected the cleat to the tape roll holder with a couple screws.
I pre-drilled two holes into each of the two cleat pieces at 1" in from the side pieces and 5/8" down from the top of the vertical back piece.
The cleat pieces I used were made from 3/4" plywood to match the cleats on my wall.
I really like having these rolls of tape in one easy to access location and the flexibility of the cleat wall system is always nice for quick and easy location changes on the wall. It’s great to not have rolls of tape stacked up on the work bench and having to shuffle everything to grab what I need.
If you have any ideas on how to make this better then please let me know as I am always looking for suggestions on how to improve on my projects.
Please let me know if you build one of these as I would love to see it.