Weeding...the hated task


#1

It appears that next to designing, weeding is definitely one if the more time consuming tasks. So while I’m sure there’s no best solution for all I’m curious what the pre releasers are finding is best? Any ideas for products that don’t exist yet? I know for die cut vinyl hooks work best. However it appears for laser cut transfer tape, Gorilla tape is the best solution so far. Anyone know of stickier tape that won’t wreck the substrate?


Short tips and tricks
#2

I’m not PRU, but from what I’ve seen from PRU posts and some official videos, Gorilla Tape or Duck Tape, pressed down on the masking is really useful for weeding. Where I intend to start my weeding testing is with pressing down one of these two, probably Gorilla, on the entire mask of my cut piece, then using that to peel the masking.


#3

Depends on the project. For something that is mostly cut with just a bit of engraving, a fingernail works fine. For complex de-weeding, yes, gorilla tape. Be warned, the stuff is not cheap. Effective but NOT cheap.


#4

And Glowforge is why I will be buying their stock.


#5

I use a combination of things, depending on what I’m weeding. :relaxed:

For the low LPI engraves, which leaves behind very fine slivers of masking without a lot of smoke residue, the Gorilla tape is unbeatable.

For starting large area removal - i use a vinyl weeding hook, which lets you pull up the material without getting smut all over your fingers.

For detailed deep engraves, with lots of small islands that can be covered with a heavy layer of smut from the smoke, I use a plastic razor blade in a holder that @jbv had recommended a while back - it lets you easily scrape up the masking material without damaging the surface finish. The tape does not stick as well when there is heavy residue on the masking, and you can pull off small islands in a deep engrave if you are too rough with the tape.


#6

No matter what tape you use for weeding (Gorilla, Duck, etc.). Don’t spread it over the spots to be weeded like you would the mask. It’s wasteful. Use the tape to get at the more detailed areas or to just peel up the edges of larger sections for you fingernail. Use the same piece of tape over and over again until there is no unused sticky area. I haven’t put a significant dent on my first roll of Gorilla tape in 2 months. Haven’t found weeding with tape to be that big of a deal.


#7

I’m with @Xabbess, weeding is the reveal - and I find it enjoyable… if a little tedious.
Reminds me of stone cutting (lapidary) where the final glory isn’t known until the polish. With the wood grain concealed by the mask on :proofgrade:, the full beauty comes when it is peeled.

The preapplied mask does have a drawback because of it, I noticed on cherry ply I did that tree on, a line where the veneer met. It was very subtle, but it reminded me of an horizon in the distance. I could have made use of that had I known it was there.


#8

So here’s another question. I’m assuming that you want to use the minimum tack transfer tape that actually sticks. Any idea what the proofgrade uses? What tack transfer tape do you recommend?


#9

for heat insensitive materials, you could also investigate adhesives that release when heated.


#10

Are there really any heat insensitive materials that you can cut with a GF? Soaking in a solvent that doesn’t hurt the material, on the other hand, could work.


#11

wood is the obvious one but there are others; it’s not like heat release adhesive needs to be very warm.


#12

That’s fair, but then storage and transport of the materials becomes an issue because trucks can get hot in the summer.


#13

ish. but that’s not much of an issue, it requires a bit hotter than most trucks get and it isn’t like you’re shipping items with the material on it. you’d only need to get it to your house. so i guess if your fedex route requires a multiday desert trip it won’t work for you - but it probably will for most.


#14

I think we’re in the minority, here. I find it therapeutic and somewhat relaxing, though granted…also a bit tedious.


#15

I also expect our fondness of it will fade to a degree as time goes on. :wink: