I have been using double-sided tape very successfully for my projects (XFasten woodworking tape). However, if I want to cut all the way through (instead of leaving onion skin), the tape gums up the bit terribly as well as putting some of the adhesive onto the sides of the cuts, requiring a lot of cleanup.
For those who use blue tape/superglue, does the blue tape have this problem?
The reason I’m asking is that I have a few projects I want to cut out of fairly thin material. Since I’ll be using down-cut bits, the holding power of the double-sided tape isn’t as necessary. If the blue tape/superglue doesn’t gum the works up, I might try that for these projects.
Yes, I could leave the onion skin and it would be easy to get off, but the pieces of thin wood might break when I try to remove them from the double-sided tape. It really does stick well, but leave no residue when it is removed.
Thanks for the replies. Yes, I do offset my work by 0.01" (the thickness of the double-sided tape), but even so, the bit sometimes gets a little of the stickum on it. I’ll give the blue tape/CA glue on my next thin project.
I’ve gotten the gummy mess with both double sided and glued painters tape, because I’ve chosen to cut through the stock and not leave the onion skin to clean up. I’m not cutting into the waste board, just skimming the top edge of the tape is enough to cause the issue.
I use a little acetone on a cloth to clean it off the tool and the edge of my project easily. Not something I enjoy, but I like sanding off tabs even less.
I use painters tape and Titebond Medium super glue about 50% of the time. The other 50% are cam clamps with a long L bracket.
I do get some tape residue on the bits but as others said they just clean them off with solvent. If you look at your bits with an eye loupe you will see that there is also wood residue if you dont use any adhesives on the bottom of the wood.
Some of the adhesive tapes are more puffy and can cause your project to not sit perfectly parallel to your spoilboard. I know there are people hereon the forum that like adhesive tape but I can get painters tape every where and super glue everywhere if I run out. The double sided tapes are not as easy to just go and get. If you plan ahead it is all available to have it shipped to you.
So you need to clean your bits periodically no matter what you use to hold down projects.
Here is an example of a large area of painters tape. Hopefully you can see I use 2" painters tape and put the super glue on in a wavy pattern.
I’m not too concerned about the tape residue on the bits per se, but it messes up the cuts and leaves a mess on the sides of the wood. This would be less of an issue with thin wood, but with thicker wood, it leaves a mess and doesn’t cut as cleanly nor as accurately, which is why I’ve been leaving the onion skin to cut off after I’m finished.
Hold down clamps won’t work well for the types of projects I want to to with the thin wood; I need something that will hold the entire surface of the wood as many smaller pieces are cut out. I’m using a Nomad, so a vacuum table I don’t think would be useful either, especially with smaller pieces of wood (not enough surface area to do a good job of holding) as well as a very limited space (office is 8’ x 8’ and holds ALL my hobby work, so no room to spare.
If the blue tape leaves less residue on the bits, it might work for my purposes; I’ll just have to try it on some scrap material.
I stopped using double sided tape for the same reason. Endmills are easily cleaned, but the edges of the workpiece would get gummed up and cause all kinds of issues. I only use double sided tape for pre-cut stock that I’m not cutting through.
Blue tape also works on aluminum, but double sided tape is too spongy and softens as you cut. Not much concern for wood though.
You can also use double sided tape and just avoid it on the cuts, but sometimes that’s not ideal
Depending on how big your projects are I use the 2" 3m plain painters tape. There are a lot of variations of painters tape. I use an L bracket to keep my work piece square to the router. I place the material down on the spoilboard and draw with a pencil an outline of 3 sides. The forth side is the L bracket and part of the 3rd side. I place the tape down and go past the pencil line and push the tape down with my fingers. The painters tape must adhere as well as it can. Then I take my material and flip it over so the side against the fence will be facing toward the back of the machine. I place the first row of tape along that edge. Then cut tape about the same length and place it as close to the edge of the first row as possible and press it down with my fingers. Repeat this until you get all of the project covered. When I have an inch or less for the last row I just skip the tape. If you are cutting small parts close to the back edge then just let the tape over lap.
I then put my Titebond Medium CA glue down on each row in an S pattern. I then take the material and hold it up at a 45 degree angle against the L bracket and rotate the material down pulling the bottom against the L bracket. I hold pressure down for a few seconds to make sure I spread the glue evenly. You will learn by trial and error how much CA glue is enough and how much is too much. Obviously you want the CA glue to hold down but not so much it squeezes out between the rows of tape. If it does squeeze out it is not that bad but you must scrape it off the spoilboard to keep the next project from being uneven on the spoilboard.
When the project is done I use a putty knife to place under the tape on the spoilboard that I let run long and run it up under the project and gently pry up. Small parts may remain stuck to the top layer of the tape and the overlapping waste may come up in a single piece or may break up depending on how thick it is. After you get the majority off you can pick your finished pieces up off the tape and then finish removing the painters tape in preparation for the next project.
Yes, this is pretty much the workflow I use for the thicker wood projects. My main concern was for the thin wood finding a way to hold the wood down flat without having it TOO sticky so I don’t break the wood after cutting it. The other main concern was the gumming up of the bits due to the adhesive in the tape. Since I will likely be cutting quire a few parts at the same time, any build-up will ruin the later parts and make cleaning up the bits messier.
I cut a lot of carbon fiber parts on my machine. I generally load up my carbon sheets on waste boards so I can easily swap them out for different thickness material. I have tried everything and the blue tape and ca glue is the best option for reliability and consistency when cutting several parts out. I always cut 1mm deeper than I need to as the waste boards can warp overtime, so I have cut through a LOT of blue tape and never ran into an issue where it gummed up the bit or had excessive clean up.
Here’s what I’ve been using for years now without any problems. This tape is 0.00508" thick (manufacturers specs) so I offset my Z-zero for two layers (ignoring the CA glue thickness) 0.010". My bits will skim the top of the top layer of tape, because my Z-zero setting is so perfect!
This FrogTape is medium adhesion and works well on many dust-free surfaces, but particularly well on my worn out MDF wasteboard.
The CA glue I use is very good and thick. I don’t need a lot of it, because I squeeze it into a very thin layer. CA glue works better (as designed) with a very thin layer.
When I cut/carve my smaller projects, I don’t leave much (if any) waste wood (so there’s nothing to stick a nail into). Tape and CA glue is really the only way.
Put your money into the tools that don’t give you trouble along the way.