In Shop Blog, Techniques

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These excellent Tajima Tapes are the prizes for the Ugly Tape Contest.

If you’ve got the worst of the worst, we’ll send you the best of the best.

My Popular Woodworking blog series about measuring tools, squares, and tapes we use: “Precision Instruments” is now complete. Now, I thought it would be fun to have a little contest for readers of this blog. As I confessed, I’m a bit of an obsessive when it comes to quality tape measures having spent years searching for the best ones. It’s simple: I like my tapes to be as accurate as my very accurate rulers. As I found out after years of searching, they’re not easy to find.

A few years ago, I ran across tape measures that I really like: the premium line of Japanese made tapes from Tajima tools. I like them so much that I’ve given a number away to woodworking friends and students.

While writing the article, Tajima Tools sent a few samples of different tape configurations for use in photography. Now that the series is over, the time is right to give these new tapes away to our readers. I have a couple of brand new Tajima tapes looking for a good and deserving home. In this contest, we’re going to focus on the later. Those that are most deserving of these premium tapes. In other words, we’re looking for readers who have the ugliest tape measures. We’re talking beat up, crunched, ugly, wrinkled and just plain sad tape measures that for reasons only known to you, you’ve kept around long past its expiration date.

To be clear: this is no beauty contest. This an anti-beauty contest. In this contest, the ugliest tape measure wins a Tajima tape. So, send me your worst.

Here’s how the contest works

Using your cell phone or tablet, shoot a picture of your ugliest tape measure and post it on Instagram with the hashtag: #uglytapemeasure. That way, everyone can see the collection of photos of ugly tape measures by searching with the same hashtag. If you don’t have an Instagram account, you can enter through the form below this post and I’ll put it up on Instagram for you. For non-Instagrammers, you just need to go to and put “uglytapemeasure” in the search box to see the results. Check Instagram frequently to see the latest entries.

The contest is open from now through April 15th, when we’ll announce the winner. So, dig through the drawers in your shop, reach deep into that old toolbox and find your worst tape measure, shoot a pic and post it on Instagram with the tag: #uglytapemeasure. Who knows? You might just end up with a beautiful and accurate Tajima Tape to replace it.

Tim Celeski

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