Masking technique question

Has anyone wrangled a clever, compact masking dispenser/rack solution? I feel like I always wrestle with getting 20" of masking unrolled and stuck to my material.

I have a vague vision of how it could work, ideally it would be something I could deploy, use, and then store. I’m just looking for inspiration. What you got…? or are you all wrangling loose rolls of masking like I am? It’s amateur hour up in my place!


A quick search for “tape dispenser” turned up this post from Feb:

Good starting point, most likely.

I have perfected a technique…

You hold the end of the tape and allow it to unravel to the floor. Sometimes you must apply a strategically placed kick or two to assist the unwinding process.

Then with one hand holding the roll, execute a rapid sweeping motion left to right with a jeweled dagger or honed broadsword to sever the tape. Catch the end as it drops so that you do not have the tape folding up on itself - that would require having to start over.

Lift the long swath of tape and book it upon itself. Gently lay the plywood sheet down on the tape, lift and turn the whole thing which will have stuck to the wood, your hair, and the desk, and pry the tape up to unfold the second half over the back of the wood.

Smooth the results down carefully from the center out, with a hard brayer or stiff pot scraper.

Sit back and admire the results of your efforts with a glass of good red.


i have no brilliant dispenser idea.

what i usually do is unroll it upside down (sticky side up) onto my cutting pad. then i i apply my material face down. if i’m double-sided masking, i then unroll enough for the other side and just flip it over (with the tape wrapping around one end). then trim and squeegee the crap out of it.

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That’s what I used to do, as well. Now I cut it midway, makes it easier for my tiny workspace to not have to wrangle both sides at once.

Been there. That’s why I’m asking :wink:

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The guy who would have some awesome advice on this, I bet, would be @jbv


I’ve done sign stuff for years, and this is a simple solution I use.


This is pretty simply and cheap from Ikea.


@MichaelKoske my solution is similar:

A commercially available one that would work for the smaller rolls used for glowforge projects available at US Cutter (I have no experience with this particular model, just seen it here)

You could also use something like the Big Squeegee Laminating tool (

Sign warehouse has a basic taping guide here

Or go big, and get a Rollsroller!



for $13, it would be hard to beat that IKEA Mala solution. That’s super cheap. It’s longer than I need at 20"… guessing it’s an 18" usable bar? Hmm to homebrew or to buy…

The only question now it what kind of tape to get?

Exhaustively discussed here:

I’d pay good money to watch this…

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Literally lol’d… and almost choked on the bourbon I’m enjoying…

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That’s not that far off, really. :slight_smile:

For being “medium tack”, if it sticks to itself, it’s as hard to get apart as duct tape – you’re better off cutting it and starting over. It’s just hosed if it rolls back and sticks to itself.

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I made a dispenser similar to the ones posted above. IMHO it’s nigh mandatory if you want a chance to get a smooth application on a large item. For small items I hack off a piece and wing it.