Masking recommendations


#1

A little while ago, I bought the TransferRite Ultra 582U Medium Tack Transfer Tape from UScutter (Uscutter. USCutter? None of those seem right…). It’s big and relatively inexpensive, but thats the only thing I like about it. It constantly seems to peel up, which is moderately annoying, and it seems to smell terrible when it cuts, which is super annoying. I need something stickier and I want something less smelly. I’d rather something harder to remove than struggling to get it to stick.

Ive also used Post It Labeling Tape, which is great in comparison, but it’s pretty thick and would be crazy expensive to use on a large area. Not to mention time consuming because it comes in label dimensions, not masking dimensions.

Does anyone have any other recommendations?


#2

Huge threads abound about this. Just search masking.

Here’s just one:

https://community.glowforge.com/t/use-vinyl-transfer-paper-as-masking-for-non-proofgrade-materials/11672

Also this might help:

https://community.glowforge.com/t/masking-not-adhering-to-wood-well-try-sanding-your-piece-first/20181

#3

Ive searched. There are lots of threads mentioning the one I have (which is why I have it, although I’ve yet to see anyone mention the gross smell, so maybe you kids are all champs). 2 or 3 mentions of other brands of vinyl transfer paper, but from what ive seen it looks the exact same, so I’d be hesitant to spend another $45 without asking. Beyond that I’ve masking tape mentioned and an expensive tape, which is why I said I’d used post it tape but wanted larger and cheaper. Ive also seen sanding (trying avoid that by using masking) and acetone/alcohol (trying to avoid that by masking.

Maybe there just arent any more masking options.


#4

How are you applying it? I think most of those adhesive types are pressure sensitive (which is why they have virtually unlimited “open” times). Have you tried using an ink brayer or one of the little squeege deals?


#5

this this and more this. if you’re not using something to press it on properly, it’s not going to stick. i use a squeegee and almost never have issues. most of the times i do, it’s because i’m using an unfinished BB and i didn’t clean the surface before applying.


#6

I squeegee it on. It usually starts peeling up during the cut. I the air assist is pretty strong, but sometimes it looks like the heat is whats causing it to lift.

But still, the majority of the problem is the smell, or Id just try the high tack. Does no one else notice a bad smell when,they use it? Maybe I got a bad batch or something. Lol.


#7

maybe you did get a bad batch? i haven’t noticed any odor i would attribute to masking. and i’ve used it on the GF and on a universal.


#8

Oh really? Maybe I actually did. Its not bad enough that you would smell it over, like, acrylic. But its a very, very un-wood/paper-like smell.


#9

next time i run something w/the 582u i’ll be extra conscious of smell and let you know if i smell anything, but i do tend to notice changes in odor in general.


#10

Thanks! I really appreciate that.


#11

Yeah the masking does have a smell, that’s why I immediately throw the bits in a sealed bin after weeding. I also try to take my recently cut pieces outside to let them gas out for about an hour before I weed.

I’m with you on the sanding part, I never want to sand the smoke marks off, it’s a total pain. My previous post was about pre-sanding to help with adhesion, I find if I do that it rarely peels at all. I use a standard 4” paint squeegee that I got at an art store for most stuff. I’ve also made a few 1” pieces of plywood that I’ve sanded a nicely rounded edge to for when I really need to press down hard. The shorter edge lets me apply more force across a smaller area… it has helped on a few jobs.


#12

Do you find the pre-sanding to be easier than the post-sanding?

I guess I’ll keep looking for a nonsmelly version. I haven’t cut proofgrade stuff in a while, but I don’t recall that masking having a smell. And the tapes I’ve used don’t smell, so maybe there’s something somewhere :slight_smile:


#13

Oh absolutely, the sanding is way easier when you do a whole sheet as opposed to individual cut-out components.

It doesn’t take much sanding, about 5 solid strokes over any given area with a sheet (sanding block) of 400 grit was plenty. It’s just enough to knock all the weird surface ridges off.

You might need to do a bit more depending on how rough your material is, but mine looked flat at first until I inspected closely. Sand it quickly, get all the dust off and I was good to go!


#14

I use this stuff with good results: https://www.johnsonplastics.com/glassguard-6-x-100yd-paper-mask-for-laser-engraving

It doesn’t smell and doesn’t peel up. My primary medium is leather, but I’ve also used it successfully with wood, acrylic, glass, bone, and stone. Also comes in a 12" roll.