Cleaning a bit that dipped into double-sided tape

I goofed yesterday when trying to allow off the thickness of the double-sided tape. The tape in question measures 0.010" thick, but I moved the decimal point and allowed only 0.001". Of course, in the final pass of the milling, the bit dug into the tape and left a sticky mess, both on the work and on the bit. I had made this mistake once before and used solvent to loosen the adhesive, but it still left quite a bit behind.

This morning, I remembered that I’ve used clear packing tape to remove adhesive residue before and decided to give it a try on the bit. This worked so well, the bit looks practically brand new. It took a little work getting the packing tape into the spiral, but the tape is thick enough to protect my thumbnail from the cutting edge of the bit. The packing tape’s adhesive pulled the other adhesive right off.

This all came about because I wanted to use double-sided tape (XFasten) to hold parts without using tabs. I measured the thickness of the tape and lied to Carbide Create, telling it the stock was 0.510" instead of the actual 0.500" and used bottom of stock as the zero reference. I then used the BitZero V2 to probe XYZ with the BitZero on the lower left corner of the stock, then probed Z with the BitZero on the wasteboard. The stock in question is supposed to be 1/2", but it varies a little across a piece, so is difficult to use the top of the work as a reference, thus the bottom of stock reference.

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I use a spray-on resin cleaner from Trend that works really well

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paper towel with acetone here, quick wipe of the endmill after each cut


Off topic a bit, but I use two layers of painter’s tape (blue) and machine bed zero. 0.010" is what I use as the Z-zero offset for the thickness of tape and glue.

Instead of trying to keep track of what I changed in the data file, I just add 0.010" to the Z-zero (after using BitZero) and reset Z-zero at the machine.

Now returning to your regularly scheduled thread topic.

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I use a piece of paper with a couple of layers of blue tape to act as a shim under my Bit Zero when I’m employing blue tape and superglue for work holding. It works great and results in what I refer to as “blue tape porn” where the top layer of tape is burnished but uncut.
6 inch Corian Trivets


I try to avoid most chemicals because I’m working in a very small room (less than 10’ x 10’) which is my office at home. I have plenty of the packing tape and it doesn’t emit fumes nor is it a fire hazard. As to acetone, most of my bits have depth rings and I don’t know how they would react to acetone; much depends on what kind of plastic that is use in the depth rings.

My goal is to get to the point Lester did, leaving none or an extremely small amount of wood on the tape without the tip of the bit actually pulling up the adhesive of the tape. Even blue painters tape has an adhesive that will clog a bit if the bit digs into it. Maybe not as much as the tape I use, but anything that sticks to the bit reduces its ability to do its job.

I use the painters tape and super glue when no using my cam clamps. My #251 bit has a fish tail and gets the blue tape on it. I use my thumbnail and then get the mineral spirits out to clean off the glue residue. If you are in a confined space simply take your bit outside and put the tip in a small cup with mineral spirits, acetone or denatured alcohol to dissolve adhesives.

I do not like the double sided tape for a couple of reasons. The stuff is squishy and can make your project not level. The second one is your issue with the residue left over on the project and the spoilboard as well as your bit. You should try painters tape and super glue. You still get the residue on the bit but there is no residue on the spoilboard or the project if you keep your tape seams tight and do not over do the superglue.

I’ve had no issues with residue on either the workplace nor the spoil board unless the bit has dipped into the tape; that will transfer some of the adhesive to the material. I’ve got it dialed in now and no longer experience the bit dipping into the tape and the tape holds very well. As to squishyness, I haven’t had any issues with it. The XFasten tape holds the workpiece very well and there is no movement of the pieces being cut. Of course, if I were trying to cut very small pieces, I’d have to use tabs because the tape wouldn’t be solid enough.
Yes, I could take things outside and use the chemicals, but that’s a lot like having to take the dust bucket out after every cut to clean out the vacuum filter/bucket if you don’t have a dust separator (I don’t, yet, but it’s on my list of items to get. The vacuum I use is a Ryobi hand-held unit that works well, but I do have to empty it after cleaning up after every job. It’s mostly a matter of dumping the dust out of the collection container, but the filter does need to be blown out periodically. Actually, I’ve been using my house vacuum cleaner to clean the filter, so I can avoid having to go outside to do much of anything.
In any case, I wasn’t saying using double-sided tape is the only way to go. It works well for me and I was offering some help for someone else who chose to use double-sided tape and ran into the issue.

It doesn’t always go so well :shushing_face: If I need to clean adhesive or just resin from MDF/plywood, or pitch I use CMT Formula 2050 Blade and bit cleaner. It does a bang up job and has a pleasant citrusy smell:


I had some Rockler blade and bit cleaner that I ran out of. I just bought a gallon of the CMT stuff. It cleaned my blade on the tablesaw very well.


I put a little bit of GooGone in an endmill case and just let it soak in there.


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