Christmas Ornament and Adhesive Residue

I generally use the blue masking tape/cyanoacrylate glue method for hold down. With the new dust boot this is even more true because the boot is wide enough that I would have to double my stock width to use clamps which means a lot of waste on these small (6x6") pieces.

Unfortunately with these ornaments there are a lot of small cuts all the way through the material which results in a lot of adhesive residue inside the little nooks and crannies. I switched to regular masking tape so at least I don’t have the ugly blue gum, but the adhesive is still there and looks like fuzz growing out of the holes. You can clean it with Goo Gone if you can get a q-tip inside but its a real pain. Particularly for the holes smaller than a q-tip.

So…any suggestions on an a hold down strategy here? Right now I can only think of either removing the dust boot for these jobs or to making the the stock really wide to accommodate the clamps and the boot.

BTW. Helpful hint for fellow rookies. With small detail like this I had to switch from profiling to pocketing because the little “pucks” would sometimes break loose and jam the small end mill, resulting in either bit breakage or throwing off the x-y position.

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Threaded inserts. Use a bolt with a washer (I use plastic washers and bolts). Cheap and low profile. You just have to drill some holes in the wasteboard and either thread the holes or use inserts. Or if you have t-tracks within reach, get some t-track nuts and use bolts (you will need shorter bolts for this method) and washers.I use this method all the time with my Suckit dust boot.


I made ornaments last weekend. First time using my resently upsized shapeoko (now xxl). I don’t have a permanent work holding method figured out and needed to finish the job quick.

Here’s what I used:

It worked great - 3 strips (top middle bottom) on the back of a 1/4" piece of oak and nothing moved. I did not use tabs. No residue - the tape is thick foam and in my option helps save the spoil board. I did put a lot of pressure to be sure I had a good bond/level surface. I know I’ll be using this more often. Hope this helps.

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Yeah I probably should try the direct bolt idea because I do have the inserts. Only used them with clips previously but direct bolt would solve the problem with a minimum of waste.

Just to be clear I am using scroll saw patterns so there are a lot of cut through holes–not a solid piece of wood with some engraving.


Really nice John!!!

I recently made a boatload of ornaments. Initially I had similar problems with work holding. In the end I did this:

For the outside profiles I just used 2 sided tape and made a whole bunch of blanks.

For the inside carving I made a jig, which while a little slower than 4 at a time, caused far fewer failed pieces:

I ended up doing the majority this way and it worked out great!


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