This page contains general HOW TO Pointers that don't fit anywhere else


The topics listed here so far include:

How To Remove Masking Tape From Pages

Recently (Aug 2012) John C posted, "...I have the chart but it is in bad shape. The problem is it looks like the chart was used and taped over many years ago and you remember how the old tape turned yellow? Well somebody tried to copy it and the yellow tape caused problems and it's a mess."


In response, Dean C posted this, "Guys, the use of masking tape will eventually yellow and present a problem; Answer:  get Energine Spot Remover; take a rag, use your finger, dip it in the Spot Remover, gently rub the masking tape, let it sit for a few seconds; gently peel the tape off; may need to re-apply; it will remove it (I got this from a Librarian at my university) who also turned me on to library book tape, non corosive,will not age or yellow.  If you have the masking tape on the front, try a small strip,it may take the notes with it, but the tape will come off".


Thanks, Dean, for a great pointer!

How To Tape Pages

Read the material below, for sure! But before you read that, watch THIS VIDEO on "Binding Short Booklets" which also shows you how to tape pages. You will probably find the entire video of interest, but if all you want is how to TAPE pages, jump to about 7:22 in the video.


We have all tried to read music that had pages badly taped together. Either it's folded and won't unfold, or the tape covers things you need to read, or the adhesive oozes out from beneath the tape and sticks to other things it shouldn't, or it gets old and turns yellow and cracks, or it comes undone and creates a big mess. Witness the item above. When taping pages together, it is critical to use the right kind of tape.


There are several kinds of tape that have been recommended by group members. Here's a discussion of the two that garnered the best reviews so far.


In a discussion in May 2015, some members (Including Al L and Bob D) recommended Micropore #1530-0 1/2"x360" hypoallergenic medical tape.


Bob said:

I used to use Scotch tape (or the Staples version), but saw too many tape failures. For the last few years I've been using 1" 3M Micropore surgical tape, which seems to deal better with folding and unfolding - it's thin but durable and it stays flat.


Micropore seems to have more fold cycles in it than Scotch tape.

I recently found this tape in a local Walgreen's - it took about 20 minutes of searching, but I finally identified it because it had "Micropore" printed on the INSIDE of the spool. It is also available from Amazon, here.


More recently (May 2016), Jon B recommended Filmoplast P. In a posting, Jon said:

Parts with multiple sheets are spliced with Filmoplast® P by Neschen (comes in 50m x 2 cm rolls). 

This is also THE ONLY type of tape that should EVER be used to repair or splice sheets.

It is museum quality restoration film and works fabulously for this purpose.   

I have not yet tried this, but plan on trying it soon. It is available from Amazon with free Prime shipping, for about $20, 3/4" x 164 ft. See it here. 23 Customer reviews give it 4 out of 5 stars. The low-rating reviewers seem to have gotten a bad batch of it.


If you go to Amazon and look up Filmoplast P, you will also see other kinds of tape intended to repair paper and books, such as Transparent Mending Tissue, Lineco Document Repair Tape, and Scotch Book tape. I would be interested to hear reports from group members who have used these.


HOW I TAPED SHEETS TOGETHER: I did this on a 49-page concert band score, so it was a sizeable project, using 25 sheets of paper printed on both sides.


I cleared a space at the table and set out the pages, a cutting board, the (1" Micropore) tape, and a single-edge razor blade.


I would line up two pages for taping, pull off enough tape to cover the entire seam, and carefully place it down the seam, starting a wee fraction down from the top. I would gently press it down the seam until I got to the bottom, where I would pick up the razor blade and gently slice the tape a wee fraction above the bottom. It took a bit of practice to slice gently enough to cut the tape without cutting the paper beneath.


At first, I tried taping them in order, but it quickly became apparent that one stack would be higher than the other stack, resulting in uneven alignment. So I would tape two pages together, place them aside, then tape the next two pages. Then I would join the two-page stacks together into a four-page stack and set that aside. I'd repeat that, then join the four-page stacks into an eight-page stack. I repeated this process until the project was done.


The results were quite satisfactory, except for a minor issue, where the spine of the bound score was fatter than the rest of the pages. Even so, the spine was much slimmer than if I had used a plastic comb or wire spiral binding.

How To Construct RISERS From Plywood and Plastic Buckets

A huge THANK YOU to Greg G for providing us with the plans to "Greg's Right-Size Risers."


Of these risers, Greg says,

These risers really are very sturdy.  Like walking on your living room floor.  No bounce.  It makes me wonder if a good quality half inch plywood would be enough?  Maybe I'll try one panel to see.  


I have not yet tried these on uneven ground.  We do lots of outdoor gigs in the summer, so that is a concern.  If you feel like joining the design-build club, that is something to ponder.  Putting slabs of plywood under the buckets as shims is obvious, but may be slippy.  Maybe drill holes in the bottom center of the bucket and the shims and insert a large spike as an anchor?  Or have a carriage bolt attached to the shim sticking up through the bucket hole?  Stack two buckets with hunks of wood in the bottom bucket to adjust height when more than a couple inches is required?  


I'm also still working on a suitable cart.  I was hoping to just attach swivel casters to the bottom of a lid panel and stack them all up,  but ADA wheelchair guidelines call for 32 inch clear openings in doors.  Assuming most performance venues will have wheelchair accessible doors and ramps, it would be nice to build transportation that fits.  The lid panels are more like 34 inches wide with the disks sticking out.  So, the panel cart should hold the lids on edge and stay at or under 30 inches wide, including the cart itself.  All this is still in the design stages here at muppet labs.  


Stay tuned.  



You can download photographs and plans FOR NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY by clicking here.


Thanks for a great project, Greg!

How To Construct Music Stands for Swing Bands

This website gives you full instructions on how to construct music stands for your band, out of that corrugated plastic that many "For Sale By Owner" signs are made of. The material is called Coroplast©.


Click here to go to the website.


I (David) had a neighbor build a set of these stands for our swing band before I found this group, so I couldn't tell you about it then. I ordered black Coroplast from a company in New Jersey (I think). I found them on the internet, and they shipped the material to Mississippi by truck, charging only $35 for the delivery. The neighbor-builder put them together in about a week, and they've been serving admirably ever since. He even made four of the stands about 10" higher than the others for the trumpets, so they could see them better while standing. The higher ones are a bit wobbly, but not bad, and are certainly usable. We sealed the edges with black electrical tape, and you have to look twice to see it's there.


We just (May 2013) heard from Henry Mason, the developer of these plans, and he has requested anyone who builds these stands email him with any feedback you might have on them; he would like to improve the plans, and include any feedback in his next version of the plans. Email him at . THANKS, Henry!


In a recent (Feb 2013) posting to the group, Greg G. said this about these stands:

I made a set of stands exactly (well, almost exactly) like the ones in the link, and we love them.  


We have 24 inch stands for all the horns when seated, and 40 inch stands for those standing.  We tried 30 or 32 inch stands with a steeper angle, but the trombones didn't like them.  They prefer to play over the top of the shorter 24 inch stands. 


The 24 inch height makes best use of the corrugated plastic sheets, but also allows the audience to SEE and HEAR the musicians.  One of my pet peeves is a band hiding behind tall music stands.  Looks (and sounds) terrible.  Get the right prescription bifocals and use the shorter stands.  


I made a special top 32 inches wide for the bass player, who often has three pages of music and no hands to shuffle them.  Same base, just a wider top.  


The only thing I did differently than the plans is to run the strips glued to the front edge of the top for the entire width, rather than a short piece in the middle.  It looks better, stacks better, and I had lots of strips left after making the 40 inch bases.  


I made bags with buckle straps and loop handles of a tough black fabric that hold five stands each.  That makes transport easy.  You could also make boxes out of the corrugated plastic.

I found white duct tape works very well to clean up the appearance of the front edge of the stands, as well as the top edge of the shelf.   


We hang banners with the band logo on the front, but are considering having the print shop that sold us the Coroplast print the logo directly on a sheet and then cut it apart to make a few more bases.  That will look more professional.


Where To Purchase Big Band Music Stands

If you prefer not to build your own music stands (as in the section above), but would rather just BUY them, here are some sources (well, just one source as this is being written) where you can purchase music stands for big bands. If you know of any other sources, please let me know.


POLY BAND STAND by Em-Bee ideas. Group member Steve had this to say about these (thanks, Steve!):

We've been using stands purchased from Em-Bee Ideas. We bought 16 stands around 1990. For the last 13 years we have used them on at least 50-60 gigs a year. So far they are still in great shape. Maybe a little dirty. Being poly stands, they are very light and easy to clean. I keep them in  $10 suitcases from a Salvation Army thrift store.This band is not exactly careful in their handling. Only drawback is windy weather can be a bit problematic.


Em-Bee people were very easy to work with. Gave them a business card with our logo and they put the logo on each stand.




and group member Jon said:

I use the PollyBandStand and love it!

Jon also pointed out a couple of places (EBay and to purchase used stands. (Thanks, Jon!)


In doing some additional research in September 2019, we have found the following additional sources, but as yet have no feedback from any group member about the quality, integrity, reliability, or usability of these sources. If you have used any of these, or know of others, please let us know.

  • Big Band Stands - - available in 24", 30", and 40" high priced in pounds sterling; will print your graphics on the front. Also has cases and carry bags available.
  • Music City - Their Music Stands Page Here - They have three pages of music stands, including several different kinds of big band fronts. Seems a bit expensive.
  • Music Treasures - Their Band Stands Page Here - Several commercial big band stands listed. Seems a bit expensive.


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