Masking Material

What does everyone use for masking the bed for part placement? Ive recently switched to just laying down some blue tape, cutting out the outline of the part then placing the part and engraving the verbage.

Just wondering if there is another material that might be better suited for this? or maybe even a better way in general.

Edit: Thankyou for relocating this post, Ray!

Are you looking to provide a consistent item location for repeatability, a masking product suggestion to protect the item itself while the job is processing or protection for your bed surface? I ask as it is not clear to me by the way you phrased the question.

For simple jigs or pockets to hold items in the same place for repeatability, I have used cardboard with good success. But you can use anything that will provide good depth, easing and speeding item change (replacing the finished item with new).

Masking the item itself is also common to protect the surface from potential residue exposure. I personally use a product used in the signage industry known as ‘transfer tape’. There are several manufacturers of these tapes and the offer a couple of different tac levels as well. These products can be found on the web but can be a tad pricy for some. Plain “Blue” tape works too but can be a bit harder to weed out remaining or leftover tape after cutting.

Protecting the bed…I would again point to cardboard. :slight_smile:

I don’t like wasting stuff, so I use a sacrificial board, like they do on a cnc router. I can get months of usage out if it.

Im not really trying to protect the bed, or the part in this case. Just trying to locate the part on the bed so the engraving ends up where they need to go if that makes sense. Yeah ive been using the blue tape, but its kindof annoying to clean up, so i was hoping for something better. Ill give some transfer tape a shot if i can find some for a decent price

Dont the outlines kindof bleed into eachother making it difficult for part placement?

posterboard, matboard, cereal boxes, …

Not sure if you are doing multiples of the same size piece or not but I assume you are.
Here is my method for alot of things I engrave that I may do multiples of the same size but I may only do one or two batch runs here and there and may change to a different dimension. IE…coasters I may change to a different shape or slate trivets I may do a half dozen of one size then maybe later on a different size.
I do not want to make jigs for things that I may not do again so…
I get a piece thin sheet steel. I position the first piece down. I then use small magnets around the outside, maybe 4 or 3 or whatever. I align the laser to my position and engrave. Pull the piece out and drop another one in with the magnets as guides.
One piece of steel…maybe 6 square magnets and a few rounds and thats all I ever need.
Not high tech but works and I only need a those couple items.
Now if it is a piece I will do multiple times a year consistently then I build a simple jig but thats not often.

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Anything I happen to have around, usually cardboard taped to the bed.

Oh, this is the EASIEST answer of all! Bandit Signs! That’s right. Go around and simply pickup those ugly littering illegal coroplast bandit signs on the side of the road and you will have all of the BEST sacrificial spoil board you will ever need. I always use these for indexing. (That is when you are going from one machine to another and need to place an object on the bed exactly for engraving).

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