View Full Version : Double sided tape as hold down when vector cutting

Robert L Stewart
08-29-2010, 9:57 PM
Hello again,

I did a search many ways but did not find much on which double sided tape to use when vector cutting various materials.

I remember someone talking recently about a tape that would last for about 40 or so applications.

I am vector cutting Flexibrass .020 and on occasion do plastic that is .060 thick. I am working on a hold down design that will take care of the perimeter but need something in the field. The double stick sounds perfect.

Does anyone have experience doing this?


Joe Pelonio
08-29-2010, 10:12 PM
DS tape will not stick sufficiently to a vector grid honeycomb, but when I use warped or really flexible material that can be lifted by the exhaust air flow, I use very thin strong DS tape known as "banner tape" to stick ity onto a sacrificial piece of 1/4" acrylic. I have plenty of "dead soldiers" where I have cut out a bunch of shapes and enough of a grid and border is left to support the material being cut.

Something like this, though I buy it locally as a sign supply. It's very thin and clear on a white carrier.


Robert L Stewart
08-29-2010, 11:37 PM

jpeg attached.

Thanks for the tape link. My quess was that the tape would not stick as there is so little surface area on the honeycomb.

The pic shows the blank of .020 Flexibrass and the shapes to be vector cut.

Should I attach this almost 5" square blank to some backing material that is 1/8" or thicker with the tape you mentioned?

It seems then I will be cutting thru both plastic and backer. I kinda see what you are saying :confused:.

I think I need to make a support system that is a bit smaller so I am only cutting the plastic shapes that are now well supported, and not the backer. I may have many of these to cut in the future so I need a fixture that will stay together and be easy to use over and over.

Almost got the concept.

Andrea Weissenseel
08-30-2010, 1:42 AM
If I need to hold down thin material, I also use sacrificial material and temporary adhesive spray


Rodne Gold
08-30-2010, 4:05 AM
The issue is removing the DS tape without any of the adhesive staying behind and of course the fact that the edge quality where the adhesive is will be compromised - apart from the hassle of removing the tape itself.
You do not need honeycomb when cutting flexi , you can just use a baseplate of anodised aluminium. If you have 1000's of these to do and they all the same , I would make some sort of template that allows you to put "pucks" or weights on the areas you arent cutting to hold em down rather than use any tapes or adhesives . Alternatively , you can make a vacuum table for these items - a frame with a hole that can accept a vacuum pipe , a solid plate as a bottom , a drilled plate at the top and attach it to a shop vac or the like.

Joe Pelonio
08-30-2010, 8:10 AM
By using a used piece of 1/4" acrylic you only need a few small bits of the ds tape to hold it down near the center to keep it flat and level.

That's not a problem for removal, as the stuff rubs off easily. By using 1/4", with the settings for flexi, it will not cut deeply into the sacrificial material, so it can be used many times.

If you have issues with the pieces flying out the exhaust, I use a piece of window screen over the exhaust vents on the inside back of the machine, that I attach with velcro and it stops them going out. Unfortunately I have not found a way to keep them from getting in the way of a subsequent cut which causes some waste but that only happens with paper and very light card stock.

Viktor Voroncov
08-30-2010, 9:15 AM
Why do not use vacuum table?

Gary Hair
08-30-2010, 11:56 AM
There is a tape made just for this purpose, it's called engravers tape. The adhesive is not terribly aggressive and will release from the bed of my cnc router and the material fairly easily. I bought mine from JDS but I'm sure you can search and find it many places.


George D Gabert
08-30-2010, 12:22 PM
Could you make a fixture out of plastic or wood that is just a little larger and use clamps or screws to hold togeter. Pieces will drop out and then reload. 2 fixtures could be used to keep the process going


Robert L Stewart
08-30-2010, 2:52 PM

I use temp spray adhesive at times in my woodworking shop. Never gave that a second thought. Oh the possibilities :)


Will try the "pucks" first and then the go for the vaccum fixture after that. A good strong vaccum table is excellent. I have used one for routing wood and panel stock for years with good results.


I have not tried the acrylic backer and dbl stick tape but must give it a go just for the reference. The good thing is that I do not see the back side of these shapes so that method may work well.


The engravers tape sounds like a good tool for ones engraving arsenal. I Found "Engraving Table Tape #D2524" from (Specialty Tapes Manufacturing). They claim it can be used 50-60 times but it's for holding engraving plates. No doubt not for honeycomb grids. Johnson Plastics also has the same tape.


Seems like some type of fixture is the cure here. Having two for the reload is a grand idea.

Thank you all for the great ideas and tips. Back to the shop :cool:. Will post of pic of the finished product when I fine tune the method.


David Fairfield
08-31-2010, 8:45 AM
In some cases, I've been able to skip the tape and make some use of the vaccum pressure from the exaust blower. But it only works if the entire vector grid is covered. So I use a sheet of 12 x24" construction paper, with a cut-out fit to where the workpiece goes. But if your material is really springy and wants to pop up, you're back to tape and clamps