Tape measure trick…

8 Mar

For those of you who wish there was a way to dock your tape measure, but still have easy access to it, this is for you!


I like to wear a shop apron while woodworking. My apron doesn’t allow me to clip a tape measure on my pants as it blocks access. I also don’t like having bulky things in the pockets of my apron that get in the way of me leaning forward and/or weigh down my apron.

My solution is to keep two tape measures in the shop, by the stations I use them at most. At my bench and at my table saw / band saw. One of them docks, out of the way, while the other gets tossed around the work bench.

The trick…

One of my tape measures I’ve adapted to be magnetic, and I slap it up against the nearest metallic surface and know that it’ll be RIGHT there when I need it next.

I like that the nearest metal surface can just "hold my tape for me while I just do this one thing..."

The simple steps…

1) Get a magnet. In my case I threw one in with an order from Lee Valley and it cost $1.50 but I imagine magnets are available loads of places.

As you can see the magnet already has a hole in the center that is countersunk. The magnet also comes with a mating metal piece that can be affixed to your bench if you'd like to dock your tape there.

2) Take off the metal clip on the back of your tape measure.

Keep that screw handy.

3) Use the same screw you just took out of the tape to fasten the magnet in place

That's all it takes! A few seconds and $1.50 I imagine you could even drill a hole into any magnet, but it does have to be a strong magnet.

My tape lives happily ever after…

... the end.

3 Responses to “Tape measure trick…”

  1. ChrisHasFlair March 9, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Hi Samantha,

    Great tip – simple and practical. I’m going to have to pick up some magnets now!


    • Warped Boards March 9, 2012 at 11:59 am #

      The inspiration for this post was a product I saw that converts your tape measure in a similar manner to clip to your belt. This can also be achieved by hanging the left over clip from your tape off of your belt- or something else metal like a belt buckle.

  2. Olly Parry-Jones March 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    A great tip, thank you.

    Magnets can be used to hold all manner of tools around the workshop (spanners, etc.) just where you need them.

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