Help Preventing Pieces Flying and Tabs

Hey guys, so I’m at somewhat of a loss here and hope someone can help:

I cut signs out of wood on my Shapeoko 4 and one of the biggest problems I continue to have is pieces getting cutout and messing up the calibration on the router because it starts shaking since the piece is stuck but fully cutout.

I’ve tried multiple things to fix this issue but it keeps coming up. I try to make tabs but even when I have tabs sometimes the small pieces will mess up the entire job. I could make the tabs bigger, but I still can’t figure out how to get rid of the tabs especially in the small spaces where its harder to sand it down. Just sounds like one big headache if I made stock sized tabs.

I recently tried strong double sided tape which works great but even then some of the small pieces will fly and mess up the calibration like I said. Also with that - it’s IMPOSSIBLE to remove the finished product from the waste-board when using tape because its so strong and requires so much force that I’ll end up breaking the piece if I try to pull it off. I can’t even seem to pry it off the tape is so strong.

I really just need help on how to prevent things like this and hoping some of you more experienced folks could let me know the process you use when it comes to preventing pieces from coming loose and if you use tabs how you get rid of them completely after the cut. Thanks!

Look up masking tape and super glue for work holding.

Basically put masking tape on the bed and the material and glue the making tape together with super glue. Much easier to remove than 2 sided tape imho.


I second the “blue tape and super glue” approach. It works very well and is easy to remove from the piece and the wasteboard after cutting.

1 Like

Tape & glue here too, it changed my CNC life for the best. I dislike tabs very much, and using double-sided tape about as much.
Illustration of tape & glue workholding in this section of the ebook

Tape & glue is not a very practical solution for very large pieces, but for medium to tiny pieces, it works wonders.


I probably should’ve clarified that the cutouts I’m making are signs approximately 22x22 inches in size. Is this too big to use the tape and glue? Hoping so, it seems like everyone likes this method

Technically it works for any size, but for large pieces it will just be a bit more tedious to apply tape across the length of the stock. I should have mentioned too that it only works if the bottom of the stock is flat/even

Try it and you will find out if you like it or not too much.


I used “Removable Carpet Tape” on my 3018 with no failures.
Not knowing for sure what you are cutting I can only guess.
Some people say it is hard to remove the tape but I have not had trouble, unless it is thin material. I broke a part that way but being careful and aware of the issue it worked well.

I’ve used the blue scotch tape

The blue 2090 tape with regular superglue and spray activator to do wood, aluminium and plastics. Once you get a reasonable surface area it’s very good at holding stuff down.

On larger parts you don’t need to cover the full surface so I put the tape where I know there’s going to be a part cut out.

Also, on the tabs, I have on some parts where I really didn’t want to sand the tabs on complex shapes left tabs with the 1/4" main cutter and then gone back full depth with the 1/8" just to knock through the tabs. This puts little strain on the tape holding the cutout down as it’s not rubbing both sides of the cut.



It is totally personal, but for me, double-sided tape is made by some non-corporeal devilish entity that lives beneath the ground on which I stand.

I understand its usefulness, but boy-oh-boy it is sticky and messy. And sticky. And messy.

If you have a recommendation on brands that deviate from this experience, that would be good to know.


Double sided tape…


I need to do more testing but so far this has been pretty nice to work with…

Still don’t recommend cutting through it though.

That’s a new product for me and is available this side of the atlantic too. I’m tempted to see what its like, for other applications. I’m totally sold on blue-tape-and-CA-glue for my CNC stuff though.

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.