Suggestions for removing masking?

I hand peel and use gorilla tape to get off masking, but I have been doing tons of huge pieces lately with a lot of lines scored through them which means tons of tiny little squares and triangles I have to peel up. It’s getting incredibly tedious.

Do any of you have any tricks for removing masking en masse besides those mentioned above? It would be a life saver


Remove it first, in just one large piece! :wink::wink::wink: :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Sorry, could not resist!!!


I have had luck using a single edge razorblade to slide under the masking. A light touch is all that’s needed, with the blade flat and a slight side-slide it is effortless. Haven’t ever damaged a piece yet.
I had a visitor who did a lot of weeding show me how to take a piece of the mask and with a finger tip press down and drag it across the surface to roll up small pieces.

I had gotten some medium cherry proofgrade once that must have been a light tack type, because it came off so easy you could roll it off with light pressure and a finger tip. It was a joy compared to the medium tack stuff.

Beyond that, the many tokens I found cleaned up very easily with household ammonia and a quick wipe. Far superior to weeding. I just pulled off the mask on full sheets before lasering.


@jules (and now me too) swear by the plastic razor technique.

She said:

I said “no way jose”:

Then after needing it for a large piece with lots of scores…

It’s not great for removing masking from lots of small pieces, but it’s great for removing lots of small areas of masking from a larger piece.

It was what made this doable:


This wouldn’t help you, but someone may stumble across it looking for weeding advice…

I don’t mask my chipboard puzzles but I do mask my wood puzzles. Pulling the masking off 500 pieces is horrendous.

My rows and columns are different job operations. So, I mask the project and cut the columns. When that’s done, I pull that masking and adhere a new sheet. Then, I cut the rows and the outside cut, which leaves me just a few pieces of masking to pull off the finished piece.

It uses twice the masking, but at the price point, it doesn’t matter with the amount of time that it saves.


do you put a finish on your prints before you cut them? the handful of wooden puzzles i’ve done, i’ve mounted the print on the board, put the finish on top of the print, then cut. when i do that, i leave the print on the honeycomb and use a slightly damp cloth or paper towel and can wipe off almost all the schmutz on the image. then i pull everything apart, put it in a container full of table salt, and do a little shake and bake to get whatever char may still be in the sides of the pieces and go from there.


Wheeeeeeeeeeeee! (…Nitrous rules!) :sunglasses:

I’ll use the Gorilla tape on photo engraves (it’s still the best for that) and the plastic razor blade for anything angular or graphic. (If you can get it under an edge, it’s pretty zippy.)


honestly, most pieces i use my thumbnail (when it hasn’t broken short). smaller stuff i use the gorilla tape method. i’ve used a little plastic scraper occasionally as well, but i have a stiff thumbnail and seem to have better control with it.


Haha this is the technique I’ve been using. It’s kind of a pain though because I’m a software developer and used to keeping my nails short because I type a lot. However now I have my first three nails on my right hand longer than usual and it looks strange, but is necessary to clean off masking quickly.

I’ve been buying third party (or 1st party depending on how you look at it) directly from chemcast at a heavily reduced price, but the masking they put on it is terrible for weeding. If you use gorilla tape to pull the top layer of it off, it leaves the lower, meaning twice the work. I re-cover it now with other masking that weeds better, but it’s still a pain.

I’ve just ordered the plastic blades @jules recommended. They look potentially useful and I can use them with my new resin printer as well.

I’m just try to figure out if there’s another method around that I can do massive removals quickly. I might try sticking them in the oven and then using a suction table lol


oh, you’re talking about that nasty brown paper masking from chemcast? that $&#% is nasty and a royal PITA to weed. i have a few sheets that my father in law snagged from a scrap bin last fall. the acrylic is fine, but the masking is such a nightmare i’ve avoided using those scraps unless it’s tiny, simple, the only thing i have of that color, or some combo of the three.

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Why do you pull the masking between cuts? Sounds like twice the work? So the smoke doesn’t stain the sides?

Yeah I replace it with aftermarket stuff, but even then I still have to weed hundreds of tiny little pieces that don’t always come up with gorilla tape, and it uses a ton of gorilla tape.

It’s made me really appreciate the glowforge masking a LOT, and wonder if there’s a better way altogether.

Really wondering if heatgun/hairdryer will change the equation

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Yes, I have a couple of different sprays that I use (Windsor & Newton, Golden). I cut everything image side up (for a couple of reasons). On the 1/4” Baltic birch, it leaves too much smoke stain, even with an acrylic spray. With 1/8”, I think I could get away with no masking.

You’re welcome on the salt thing :wink: want something better? Go grab a bag of pool salt. It’s slightly coarser but still gets in the nooks and crannies, leaves less dust and is way cheaper.

Basically it’s like 0.15-.16 per pound. I can get off- brand table salt for .24-.25 a pound. And then Morton’s is about 54 cents per lb.


So I don’t have to weed 500 individual pieces once the puzzle is cut! The first mask comes off in one large piece, the second comes off in as many rows as I have (usually about 10 rows fit in the forge).


So I don’t have to weed 500 individual pieces once the puzzle is cut! The first mask comes off in one large piece, the second comes off in as many rows as I have (usually about 10 rows fit in the forge).

I cut all my pieces out, then tape them all up with blue tape while they are still in place in the glowforge. Then I lift the entire set of pieces out of the machine and peel the blue tape away on my workbench, which takes the masking with it. Basically it peels all the masking off in one shot.

I mask both sides of my material, so I do it to both sides. I make a “blue tape sandwich”, which is like so: Blue tape - masking - material - masking - blue tape. So I guess the full process is:

  1. Mask both sides
  2. Cut parts
  3. Apply a layer of blue tape to the top of your cut pieces (Don’t move the material yet)
  4. Pull entire tape monster out of the machine
  5. Flip material on workbench, apply blue tape to the other side.
  6. Pull the blue tape off of both sides, leaving you with hundreds of masking-free parts.

It might be even easier to use higher-tack masking instead of blue tape, basically you just need something that will adhere to the first layer of masking more than the first layer of masking adheres to the material. The plus side for blue tape are easy availability and some flexibility/precision in terms of how much you use.


Probably not a great suggestion, but a little voice in the back of my mind keeps saying
"Steam! Pressure Washer! "


ah, it was you who gave the salt thing? i couldn’t remember where i saw that. and yes, pool salt sounds good. i’ve been looking for a good salt source.

do you mean per pound or per ounce? i see mortons on amazon for .54/oz (or $2/lb in 25lb bag), but i’ve seen some generic bulk bags for $1.50 lb (incl shipping).

pool salt looks like 40lb for $29.

again, all on amazon.

and i hear you on the 1/4". i’ve only done puzzles with the 1/8". are the 1/4" ones harder to assemble? seems pretty thick for puzzles? i’ve done as large as 16 x 30 on the 1/8 (cut on the universal at work, obviously).


Per pound. I’ve never even looked for it on Amazon actually (until you mentioned it). I just buy it at the grocery store. I just today paid 6.44 for a 40lb bag of the Morton’s Pool Salt that I see is listed at 28.92 with free shipping on Amazon.

Free shipping is never free :slight_smile:

I think the 1/4” are awesome to assemble. The pieces just… I don’t even know how to describe it. Clunk into place. It’s pretty awesome.


i will be checking for the pool salt soon then.

i have a few extra sheets of the 1/4" BB at the office, may crank a small test puzzle out there this week to see how it goes. how big of a piece are you making? i’ve been doing ~ 0.75" pieces on mine.

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That’s actually quite a clever idea for an appropriate design. I’ll remember that, thanks!

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