How I prepare Baltic Birch

This is how I prepare Baltic Birch for cutting or engraving.

Using a random orbit sander, sand with 220 grit paper.
Stain to desired color.
Sand with 400 grit paper.

With the wood smooth, there are no marks from cutting on the top of the wood. On the bottom there are some marks. If both sides need to be clean, tape the bottom of the wood.


Thanks for the tip!

What are you using for masking?
I’ve tried 3 commercial masks, plus painters tape and regular masking tape. I’m still looking for something that will approach proofgrade.

TransferRite Ultra Clear 1310 Medium Tack Transfer Application Tape


I agree with TransferRite Medium Tack Application Tape. I don’t use the clear as the non-clear is cheaper. But the quality and tack level is perfect. And the 6" roll is great for many hardwoods and reduces tape waste. I have been using USCutter as a supplier for a long time for vinyl supplies so I trust and recommend this supplier. And my vinyl squeegee is great for application of the tape.

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You might want to be leary of the clear transfer tapes and stay with a more natural paper transfer tape. I believe a large percentage of the clear are PVC-based.

@jbv might know better. He does a lot of vinyl work.

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you are right that a lot of the clear tapes are pvc-based, but luckily that transferRite 1310 is polypropylene. Manufacturer’s info page here has the data sheets for it.

I use the paper-based TransferRite 582U and 592U, which is what ABI Tape (the manufacturer) recommends for laser-masking.


Thanks for clarification. Sometimes it’s not what you know, but who you know!