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Genius: Make a Gaffer's Tape Key Fob

Like most photographers—especially lighting photographers—I love me some gaffer's tape.

Today, a great way to carry enough gaff on your physical person at all times to fix a light mod, tack a piece of fabric to a wall for a headshot backdrop, hog-tie a captured smuggler or whatever.

Get your MacGuyver on, below.

So we are gonna make a gaffer's tape keychain fob, out of the ingredients pictured at top. That right there is 40" of gaff, effortlessly carried by default, at all times.

I totally stole this idea from one of my favorite blogs, The Art of Manliness, but they had it as being for duct tape.

No, no, no. While duct tape may in fact be more manly, gaff is what duct tape wishes it could be. And it is what photographers use because of its holding power and ease of clean removal. Don't ever mistake the two.

Be that as it may, if you are a guy—and especially if you are a dad with a son—then Art of Manliness should be a regular read. They are consistently great, and worth back-reading and/or RSS'ing.

Let's Make Our Gaffer's Tape Key Fob

Mine's a little different than AoM's version, with a stronger center and a completely encased wire. So, using the items at top, measure your pencil to the width of the gaff (slightly longer is better than exactly even, I found out) and cut it:

I used the wirecutter part of needle nosed pliers and "nibbled" an indentation around the edge of the pencil until the center cleanly snapped. Then I "sanded" it smooth on the driveway. Cause I'm a guy, obviously.

Now, we'll snip and bend the paper clip (I used a robust one) to make the connector for the keyring as shown:

Next, we'll roll it up. I went through one side of the wire, then around the pencil, then around the other side of the wire to have the tape pass through both loops for strength. Then continue to roll it as shown.

I let the gaff tape hang as I rolled it onto the pencil and the tape stayed pretty straight. But you'll still have to guide and/or adjust it. I stopped at three feet and change. Much more and it would start to feel clunky:

So there you are. Several feet of gaff at the ready. I guarantee you I'll end up needing this within a month. It's awesome.

And duct tape? Pffffft. That stuff's for amateurs.


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