Adam Savage and the MAKESHOP Tape Rack

On occasion, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has received a visit from a familiar face, from Mr. Rogers to the Very Hungry Caterpillar. This fall, fans of the Discovery Channel television series MythBusters might have recognized a particular guest in the Children’s Museum when he came to visit MAKESHOP: Adam Savage–maker, artist, and TV host (among many other titles). During his visit, Savage highlighted a MAKESHOP staple that has generated questions and admiration from visitors of all kinds: our tape rack.


I love this tape cart. I may do something similar. Spotted in a maker space in Pittsburgh.

A photo posted by Adam Savage (@therealadamsavage) on



Yesterday, Savage revealed his own take on our tape rack, which he’s using to store and dispense a variety of spool-able materials:

New in my shop, inspired by the rack I saw at @pghkids!

A photo posted by Adam Savage (@therealadamsavage) on

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about our tape rack.

Q: What is it?

A: It’s a metal pipe structure roughly five feet in height with horizontal rails/rods that are easily removable, and the entire structure is on wheels.

Q: Where did it come from?

A: According to Anne Fullenkamp, the Museum’s Director of Design, this tape rack came from a (now closed) Pittsburgh store called Used Store Fixtures, Inc., and was originally used as a hanger management rack. You can see similar models here:


Q: How do you remove a roll from the middle of the rail or replace a roll of tape?

A: The beauty of our tape rack is that the horizontal rails are not fixed to the outer frame of the rack. We can easily lift them to replace a row of tape, as demonstrated by Teaching Artist Devon:


Just be careful not to tip the rail, as it can cause a big mess!

A woman struggles to keep many rolls of tape on a tipping rod.


If you’re interested in making a custom tape rack, here are some tutorials for more inspiration:


Update: Tested.com uploaded the tour video! Check out our short follow-up post here.

Molly joined the MAKESHOP team in November 2013.
  1. Jessica Reply

    Is there a shot he will return to the Makeshop? We missed this me my six year old would probably joyfully cry if she got to meet him.

    • Molly Reply

      Hi, Jessica! As far as we know, this was a one-time special occasion. But you’re not alone–many visitors expressed regret that they didn’t get a chance to see him. He is scheduled to return to Pittsburgh for his March 7, 2017 performance of Brain Candy LIVE!, and we’d love to have him back at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (but no guarantees). You can find more information on his tour on the Brain Candy LIVE! website.

  2. Pingback: MAKESHOP » Adam Savage Tours MAKESHOP

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