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A little fun

August 26, 2015

Found this tape dispenser at work in a dusty box.  It’s old, made of metal and weighs a ton. It doesn’t slide all over the table like the stuff we have today.  It comes from an era when taping stuff was far more of a daily task, and consumers demanded a more satisfying taping experience!  A more elegant adhesive device for a more civilized age.

Something about it endeared itself to me.  There’s a warehouse in the back of my office space so I decided to make this a little lunchtime project.


First, I cleaned it up.  This tape dispenser has obviously seen some action.  Oh if it could speak. What stories could it tell!


Next, I sanded off the original paint. First with 80 grit, then 120, then 320. With such a small thing, it made for quick work.

I looked up this particular model.  It was made by 3M back in the 1950s!  3M was originally known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.


Then I hit it with the buffing wheel and some jeweler’s rouge.  The metal was surprisingly soft and workable. It was so shiny after buffing, my cell phone had trouble focusing.


Next I hit it with a coat of primer.  I went to the local Michael’s and picked up some model paint.  Probably a dumb move – model paint is ridiculously over-priced.  But anyway, then I shot it with a coat of gold.


Next I masked off some of the gold with scrap-booking tape.  Then I shot it with many coats of metallic red.  The glitter doesn’t really show in the photos, and looks like imperfections, but it’s super shiny and rad.  I decided to go with an EM/Woodrail cabinet art kind of theme.  My masking technique leaves a bit to be desired, but not bad for a first effort.


Then I hit it with a few clear coats.  After a few days, the clear coat was set up so I wet-sanded with 1500 grit to take out some of the orange peel.  Then I polished out the wet sand with some Meguir’s auto swirl remover.  Then I put on a coat of wax.

Voila!  Nice and shiny!


Now I can tape stuff like a KING.  I’m the envy of, well, no one.  But like a KING!


  1. Jonny 0 permalink*
    August 27, 2015 11:01 am

    Nice! We can be tape buddies.

    hmm, k, no.

  2. August 27, 2015 9:52 am

    Hi Johnny,

    I have one just like that! It’s my fave! BTW: 3M stands for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing.


    Michael Schiess Executive Director Pacific Pinball Museum

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