Purchasing outside material

I am so new. I looked on amazon to buy wood… Someone said if i do not buy from GF that the paper does not come on it and i would have to put duck tape all over it. Is there a clear thing say like contact paper i could use? I do not want pay and just waiste. Thank you

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You do not use duct tape but masking that can be the 12" wide and since the widest you need is 11 inches it will cover all nicely. There are many sources of wood often sold for folks with scroll saws that also work well for your laser. Proofgrade wood is finished and masked but often you will want to finish it yourself. There are also many times you may not want to use masking, You will need to plan what you want to make and buy the wood (or acrylic or leather) to what you wish to make.
Just one of many sources…

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Avoid any clear or plastic based maskings, use a paper based one like @rbtdanforth suggests :slightly_smiling_face: This will keep your lungs, your machine and your materials happy. Welcome to the fun, it may seem daunting but it’s really much easier than it seems at first.

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I personally think using thin strips of tape is cumbersome and likely more expensive. Wider paper masking is what I prefer. If I had to us tape, I’d use masking tape, not duct tape. You have to be careful and not overlap the edges because it can make for uneven engraving. If you search the term "masking, you’ll get lots of info.

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I’m reading this like there are two different things being discussed beyond not purchasing GF materials.

Masking tape keeps scorch from contaminating the wood, duct tape is used to remove the masking tape as many small pieces of masking tape will be created in some cases and duct tape like gorilla tape does a great job of pulling the masking tape off without having to weed.

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This is correct. If you want to put your own masking paper on plain wood, you can find it at some of the links provided above or Amazon also sells it:

You’ll want to use a brayer or credit card/squeegee to firmly press it down all over to activate the adhesive before printing.

Since support can’t offer suggestions on non-Proofgrade materials, i’m going to shift your post to the Beyond the Manual section where you can get some more ideas from other customers on what they use. :slightly_smiling_face:

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That link is to 100feet and is therefore much more expensive than 100 yard rolls, like double what I’d expect to pay.

Correct. Once you decide you like it, you can save money by buying a larger roll.
(I made the mistake at first of buying the full rolls of a couple of kinds that I didn’t like. At $50-$70 a roll, it wound up being a rather expensive lesson. And they take up a lot of space.) :slightly_smiling_face:

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Isn’t vinyl bad to cut in the laser? Is that link just the paper masking? (Oh yeah, it is oops)

Edit: spoke too soon, before fully reading the link. To that end @hvndve60, make sure any masking you get is laser-safe, like the paper masking Jules linked.

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Yeah, calling it vinyl weeding tape has always been problematic for me…but that’s what it is, so there is no way around it. It’s paper transfer tape FOR vinyl cuts, not tape made of vinyl.

Just like “jumbo shrimp”. :smile:

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You never had a Cricut or Silhouette, did you? :smiley:

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Thank you for the answers, everyone! Since this question is outside our team’s scope, I’ve moved it to the Beyond the Manual section so the discussion can continue there.

Five of them. (And yeah, it was a problem then too.) :smile:

Generally the type of masking that comes on a piece of acrylic will tell you what kind it is. If it’s paper it’s usually cast. Plastic masking generally denotes extruded acrylic.

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