Suggestions for removing masking?

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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Approximately the same. .72” is about the average of what I do (going by square inches / number of pieces).

Biggest problem there is finding wood without voids. I get it even in BB. I’ve debated draft board with a veneer back but the cost is too high. I’ll figure something out :slight_smile:

i’ve been very lucky with BB and haven’t run into any voids, at least not where i’ve cut.

Got a wrap package for the high gloss black console in the model 3, and @Jules words were ringing in my ears when I saw this fall out of the package…


A freebie! :sunglasses::+1:


You sir are a genius.


Could pulling the first layer be optional? Especially If you used a higher tack second layer, seems like you could skip the first pull?

Maybe? It only takes a few seconds to pull it since it’s all in one piece. Then, I’d have to buy another big roll of transfer tape. And I surely would put the higher tack paper on first… cuz that’s how I roll.

I had a eureka moment. That’s one of those things I usually see someone else do and then think, why didn’t I think of that?


For most of the little fiddly bits, I’ve found that a damp cloth and rubbing it from an edge works great if have have some pull up already, but can save the thumbnail or thumb pad–mostly.

I’ve become a big fan of the plastic razor blades. :slight_smile:

Grandchildren also work well, for a while. They tend to lose interest halfway through and then you’re left to peel the rest yourself.