Make Gorilla Tape Sheets -- Best way to remove lots of small bits of masking

I make puzzles – often with a delicate surface covered with masking tape that other methods of masking tape take either too long or destroy the finish to use (peel of each piece, stick pieces to Gorilla tape and peel off, soaking off, rubbing with magic eraser, not using at all…)

The best way that I have found to quickly remove all the masking without damaging my final surface is to – while the project is still in the Glowforge – cut Gorilla tape and stick it on to cover the whole sheet of cut and scored plywood. Then remove and peel off as an entire sheet!

This takes me no more than 10 minutes in all, vs several hours to stick pieces individually to a strip of gorilla tape then peel off. In fact, it saves me so much time that I am now masking the back after a near final sanding to reduce sanding time and dust, then removing with the sheet o’ Gorilla tape.

I made a video on the TikTok if you are a visual learner!

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I can echo that. Although I have plenty of other types of duck/duct tape, I bought a roll of Gorilla Tape specifically for removing masking after it was suggested here years ago. It lives alongside my machine, and that’s all it’s used for.

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I refer to this as the tape sandwich. I use blue painters tape, much easier to deal with.

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I wish blue painters tape had enough grip to pull off the masking that I use, it would be half the price and not nearly as chemically smelly!

Once I tried 3M’s version, Super Tough heavy duty, since my Lowe’s was out of stock. Did not work at all.

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I’ve never had any luck with blue 3M tape on Proofgrade or my own masking.

That said, the blue stuff is designed to be moderate grip so it doesn’t damage adjacent painted surfaces, so it’s not surprising to me.

One big roll of Gorilla tape was expensive but it’s lasted me years. I don’t use big strips, for the most part. I tear off a couple of inches and “stab away” at designs.

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Yeah blue tape works on unfinished Baltic and hardwoods really well. It wouldn’t work well with something really smooth, like acrylic or prefinished wood, the masking adheres too well.

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… which makes sense.

The Purebond Maple ply I use does not have a “finish” but it is sanded, and as smooth as glass. My masking sticks almost as well as proofgrade.

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I use gorilla tape for this as well, but I’m usually weeding engravings not cuts, so strips work just as well. This is sped up, but in real time it was 6 minutes.

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That’s exactly the use case for me. Delicate/complex designs.

For simple stuff like large shapes, I often just use plastic “razor blades”

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What a great idea. The how-to video is very handy to show how to use the tape. Thanks very much for tutorial!

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One thing I have found as at least a first try is that the sticky part of any tape will bond hard to the sticky part of any other tape. Therefore if you put the stick part down and drag it parallel to the surface and perpendicular to the edge you are dragging from, it will curl that edge, and as soon as that happens sticky will bond to sticky and the rest of that bit will come off easily. Sometimes you can just rub it over many tiny bits and drag parallel to the face and get the whole batch. I have been doing some coasters of late and the design on the front has tons of those little bits but if I remove the clean back first I can quickly use it to weed the front in that manner.

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Have you ever seen @jbmanning5’s cross-cut double masking trick?

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Yes, it is very cool! since I’m not making strip-cut puzzles (the standard jigsaw that everyone is familiar with) that would be a nightmare to try to alternate cut shapes so as to be able to do that. I was jealous when he posted it :sweat_smile:

Pic for example of what I’m working with :smile_cat::

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Love Gorilla tape, and wouldn’t want to de-mask without it.

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I have been using Duct tape, but now I really want to try this Gorilla tape out. Definitely want to get some before my next project with tiny details.

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Gorilla tape for living hinges for sure. And full sheets the best!

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I’ve also had success with 91% isopropyl alcohol. Pour some on, let it soak into the masking until you see the color change to more translucent (about 10-15 seconds) and then wipe with a paper towel and it all wipes off in a few wipes. I’m not sure how it works on finished proofgrade materials but I it doesn’t harm any of the shellac finishes I’ve had on maple/oak thus far.

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Try it first on MDF or acrylic scraps to make sure it does not eat them before using it there. A lot depends on what the other 9% is

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No issues with acrylic. No idea with MDF…

It often dissolves the glue holding the sawdust pieces together as well as the adhesive :grimacing:

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