I have been engraving on bamboo and it wasn’t looking quite right until I realized I should be taping my wood first. I tore a little piece of the masking off the proofgrade material and my engraving looked great. I am engraving small pieces of bamboo only. Can I use regular masking tape from a hardware store or does it release chemicals. Or where can I buy the exact masking on the proofgrade material?
This thread should get you started. (I searched for “masking source” – there are lots more!)
Keep in mind that the tape you use adds a very thin layer so if you’re doing fine engraves, it might engrave the tape and not the wood.
There’s nothing really wrong with hardware store masking tape other than it’s a pain to use for lasering. Unless you’re just doing small projects the skinny width is really inefficient to apply and you have to be extremely careful to avoid gaps or overlaps between strips or you’ll get a mark at that point in your engraves. Follow @geek2nurse’s advice for 12" masking and you can avoid all that
I do keep a few rolls of 2" tape on hand for testing cuts/lifting out pieces and keeping little cut bits together.
In my limited experience, the cheaper masking tape you might find at bargain stores works better than the normal stuff you’ll find at the big-box stores. It’s crap for painting, but perfect for use in the laser.
Only for small parts/areas, not for masking off large areas - for that you need the wide sheets as posted above.