Masking tape for non proofgrade wood

Have been using my glowforge for about a week now. Have only used proofgrade materials so far. But am now gonna try non proofgrade wood for the first time. I’ve read the multiple threads about the recommended masking tapes. But when I was at Lowe’s today, I didn’t see that they had any of those. So I just bought Scotch 3M masking tape. Is this safe to use?

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Yes, it’s just relatively expensive. There are some good choices on Amazon for a lot less money.

Use a credit card or scraper to rub it down to activate the adhesive.


I got Scotch Masking Tape, 1.88 in x 60.1 yd, for $3.98

The link you provided was 6 in x 100 ft for 17.99

So I could get just over 4.5 of the scotch masking tapes for that cost, giving me a total of 1.88 in x 811.35 ft

If you do the math, it appears you get more surface area with the scotch masking tape I bought?

Did I buy the wrong masking tape? I am wondering since obviously you were expecting it to be more expensive.

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Oh, go ahead and use what you have. Be sure to adjust the settings for the thicker masking tape. When you want some similar to the kind that shows up on Proofgrade material, you can shop around Amazon and some of the vinyl stores for paper transfer tape. (That is just an example of what you are looking for, not necessarily the exact one you should buy.) :smile:

just keep in mind, if you’re using 1.88" wide tape, you’ll take a whole lot more time applying it than 6" or 12" wide (my preference). not only that, any place you have an overlap there could be differences in engrave (or even cut) and any place you have a gap, you’ll have char there. my time (and hassle) are worth more than that difference.

i buy transferrite 582u from


Another thing about tape that is less than 12 inches is gaps.
If you have a tiny gap or overlap on the tape edges, it will show in the finished project.

That is what got me using just the 12 inch wide stuff.
I use the same stuff for wood, leather and plastic.
Light squeegee with a putty knife and good to go.
Don’t forget to do the back also if the char//flashback is to be avoided.


Yeah, come to think of it, i do use the 12" wide tape as well…big time saver. (Try that one instead.)

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I also roll up the mask off of proofgrade when called for (5,000 tokens I didn’t want to weed), and save it on the 12" wide roll I have. I paid for it, no reason to trash it.


Thanks everyone. Will definitely go to the 12 inch!

The other benefit to the transfer tape is that you can get it in versions that are less tacky than masking tape making it better for fragile finishes, paper, etc. But I use regular masking tape for small items that can handle it.


I wish you could get 12” in different colors. There are times where it’d be handy to be able to easily tell front from back.

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I have a charcoal pencil and put the thickness in the upper right on front.
Know the front and thickness at a glance

I do a similar thing, which is handy, but I’m referring to cases like where you’re doing inlay and need to know front and back of the cut pieces.