Laser safe masking tape?

I have gotten some wood off Etsy to use in my Glowforge, but it does not come with the masking tape on it like the proofgrade material does. Im scared to not use any tape for the burn marks to be in my design and not look good when I stain the project.
What is everyone using that is safe to use in the glowforge. I have tried to find conversations about it, but no one really comes out with anything that can just be picked up at the store. (everything is ordered online)
I have seen that people talk about the blue painters tape. Is that a good option? Or should I try to get the off white masking tape made from scotch? (that can be purchased at Office Max or Home Depot)
Thanks for the help.

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If you walk into a sign store they might have it. It’s a specialty item, so online is often the best way to get a good deal.

Depends on your use case.

It tends to be really sticky, and may adhere a bit too well to your material. Too sticky could lead to pulling up wood fibers, or being punishingly difficult to remove. Also, blue tape sets up in about 3 days, so don’t leave it on or it’ll probably grab your material so hard that you’d wish you never used it. That being said, it can be used in a pinch, though the widest I’ve ever found it in store is about 3", so it’s kind of a pain to work with.

As for:

Sandpaper takes that right off. Test the cuts to find out what the minimum power you need is, and then just sand your pieces briefly at like 400 grit, good as new. I rarely mask hardwood projects if they’re larger pieces [like boxes or trays, etc], I’m going to be sanding the project anyway.

My test method:

If you overpower your cuts you’ll get much worse flashback, and then masking or a sacrificial layer of cardstock underneath the part will probably be needed to protect the back surface. You generally want to cut at the fastest hottest speed you can get reliable cuts with, and most flashback issues go away.


I recommend AGAINST blue painters tape. It leaves a residue, or at least it did for me. SignWarehouse has the best tape, and if you get the 12" wide it is amazing.

What you want to look for with any masking is the TACK–low or medium, depending on the material you’re putting it on. If you use masking narrower than your project and need to more than one piece, BUTT the edges together, do not overlap them, else it will affect the cut/etch to some degree.

In a pinch, painters tape is easy to find, though maybe not the Low Tack (the stuff designed to minimize paint bleed under the edges is usually not low tack). But you can find much wider masking (often sold as use with vinyl stencil) on-line. Advantage to having wider than your project is there are no seams to worry about, and you can always trim it down to what you need & use the excess later…

And if you find what your using is too tough to remove–before applying it, press it gently against some surface a couple times to “detack” it–as long as it doesn’t pick up any dirt, it can still work as a masking. But only recommend that as a “make-do” option until you get better match of tack to the project material…


It’s much easier to use the real stuff than try to piece together thin tape.
If you don’t have a sign supply store in your area (example: McLogan in Los Angeles) you might be able to buy a roll from a shop that makes vinyl signage.

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