Transfer Tape;Masking

Hi. I’m about a month in and am ready to venture into non -proofgrade materials. So I bought this transfer tape and I am just so confused. Is it not supposed to stick on it’s own? Do I need to take a hair dryer to it or something to make it adhere to the wood? Or did I get the total wrong stuff?

You bought a roll of clear vinyl. It is for sticking to other vinyl to transfer it from one place to another, but is made of vinyl itself as well. You cannot cut this with a laser, it will destroy your Glowforge. The fumes from burning vinyl are highly corrosive.

You needed to buy paper transfer tape, like your Proofgrade sample materials had on them. It is made of paper, like masking tape. That brand does appear to offer that product as well here:

Regardless of what brand of transfer/masking tape you buy, you will need to burnish it down with something to get good adhesion to your wood. I use a rubber brayer like this, others use scrapers or the side of a scrap of wood.


Unfortunately, yes you got the wrong stuff :frowning:
You want the PAPER type, not clear vinyl.
It should look like very wide masking tape.


Get this stuff instead:


Vinyl = this to your board


Omg! I cut 6 - 6 “ circles with some on. It wasn’t sticking so I gave up. Went back to some proof grade stuff until I figured it out. Do you think I did damage? It has been working fine, I’ve done a few little projects since using it :frowning:

Yikes, it’s possible, the damage takes a little time to appear since it’s corrosive and it doesn’t take much vinyl cutting at all to be a problem.
Suggest you read this thread and take action immediately.

According to the Tapeman Blue Website, you are fine. The stuff you linked to appears to be laser safe. It’s polypropylene and not polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
TapeManBlue Transfer Tape for Vinyl | Free Shipping | USA Made

Just beware that many things labeled vinyl are not laser safe. Plus the paper based masking works really well.


This is the stuff other Glowforge users recommended, so I bought it. It seemed expensive at the time, but it works well and lasts a long time.
EnduraMASK® Perfect Tear® Transfer Tape | SignWarehouse

Also, these turned out to be invaluable to weed the masking. (Another popular user recommendation) MINISCRAPER 20 Plastic Razor Blades Double Edged with Thicker and Thinner Edges/Decal Remover 2X Plus : Tools & Home Improvement

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My fave is TransferRite Ultra. I use the high tack for wood, acrylic, etc., and the medium tack for cardstock, paper, etc.


omg, thank you for noticing that. I could have sworn I had seen it was laser safe, but the way it worked had me baffled. Thank you…I was totally freaking out reading the replies. I will order the other stuff right now though.


Any PVC exposure will eventually corrode. It might not be today or tomorrow…but if you cut PVC - the molecules of HCL are already present inside your machine and they will slowly eat away at the exposed circuit board and sensors.

Clean your machine…thoroughly. Mine was a huge process as you can see in my post. However, for minimal exposure such as yours, a simple solution of ammonia and water with convert the HCL to a salt. Then, spray the inside of the machine with electronic parts cleaner (the alcohol in the cleaner will dissolve the salt and evaporate on its own. Let the machine vent in a well ventilated area and continue about your creations.

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