Last week we introduced you to some tapes that are handy to have around the shop, here we'll round out that list with a couple more tapes you'll want to keep on hand.
UHMW slick tape.
Ultra-high-molecular-weight (UHMW) polyethylene tape is another great product to keep in the shop. This “slick tape” is perfect for making parts slide more easily. UHMW tape is perfect for use with jigs, fixtures, or on the face of a table saw rip fence. It also works wonders on wood drawer runners. It not only makes the drawers function effortlessly, it also helps prevent wear on the runners. I like to use UHMW tape on my pipe clamps, as shown at right. It allows me to easily position heavy workpieces for glueup. It also makes glue cleanup a snap. Any glue that squeezes out onto the clamp can simply be “chipped” off with the light touch of a scraper. In addition, the tape keeps unsightly black stains off my workpieces.
High-friction guard tape.
This final tape is not really a “tape” in the true sense of the word. There is no obvious adhesive, and it will only stick to itself, not other things. Comprised of a cotton gauze coated with a latex compound, high-friction guard tape is perfect for protecting your fingers when doing carving work, as below. Plus, it holds its shape well, allowing it to slip on and off your fingers easily. Guard tape is also useful for improving the grip on hand tools. The high-friction nature of this tape makes it an ideal wrap, as shown below. For many people, purchasing any tape product is often an afterthought when they’re on the way out of the big box store, and less a primary concern. But a little planning before your shopping trip can ensure that you have the right kind of tape on hand to meet several workshop needs.