View Full Version : A little tip that I thought I would share

wayne mcwilliams
12-28-2011, 11:51 AM
Hi everyone and Happy Holidays. I have been a member for a little while but I have never posted because I too was new to engraving and didn't feel
that I had anything to offer. However this tip has helped me tremendously in not ruining any product and I thought I would share it with you. It may have been posted before but I never seen it. When I am engraving any piece for the first time I always want to see how the engraving is going to look on it before I engrave it for good. Sometimes it is to check out how the size of a font looks or if the logo is big enough or on cylinders, if the logo needs to be distorted to fit the curve. I always Blue tape the actual item and engrave it at a fast speed and low power setting. This way the only thing that happens is the blue color is engraved out of the tape. This works every time and has been a huge help in not ruining any product. I have a 75watt Epilog Legend 36EXT and I always run the blue tape pass at 100speed, 15power and 400dpi. It's not rocket science I guess, but when I first started engraving I ruined a few things and it got a little expensive replacing them and then the light went off in my head about trying the engraving on tape first. I havn't had to replace a thing since!.
Hope that this helps,
Wayne McWilliams
75w Epilog Legend 36EXT

Dan Hintz
12-28-2011, 11:53 AM
Welcome, Wayne.

Yep, quite a few of us use the blue painter's tape exactly as you describe... it's easy to peel off, makes a good contrasting mark, and it's (relatively) inexpensive.

Mike Null
12-28-2011, 12:13 PM
Welcome to SMC. Good tip. For items where tape won't work try some scrap clear acrylic.

Martin Boekers
12-28-2011, 2:21 PM
Welcome aboard! I use tape a bunch! Wish there was a cheaper tape!

Rodne every consider importing cheap colored tape and ship it to the USA?
I'll bet there are a bunch of us that would do a group buy. (case or two minimum ea).

Something to think about. I think tape as a whole is over priced here.

Wayne keep participating, sometimes the "newbies" have a different perspective and come up with some great
ideas many of us overlook!

Larry Robinson
12-28-2011, 6:42 PM
Nice tip, thanks.

Martin Safranek
12-29-2011, 4:24 AM
Hi everybody,

thanks Wayne for your usefull tip. Please can somebody post link with blue tape ? Im from Europe and some equipment isnt available at out stores and some here common expresions are not known to me :o) same problem i have with DNA :o) i expect that this is technical ethanol .... i guess :o) but im not sure .... im sorry for my silly questions.

Thank you.


Dan Hintz
12-29-2011, 6:40 AM
Just Google 3M ScotchBlue Painter's Tape... comes in various widths.

Martin Safranek
12-29-2011, 7:40 AM
Thanks a lot for hint now im found it :D


Jeff Belany
12-29-2011, 11:25 AM
I do the same thing with the blue tape all the time. But save yourself some more time and drop the resolution to 75 dpi instead of 400 and it goes REAL fast. You're only checking position, not quality. 75 dpi saves a lot of time. Try it.

Jeff in northern Wisconsin

Rodne Gold
12-29-2011, 12:01 PM
We use 1m wide rolls of paper based low tack sign vinyl application tape and cut masking to size. Used either to mask or do do low powered test runs *we get a whiteish tape that has a grid printed*, it's so cheap and one 100m roll lasts such a long time , its not worth importing from china. I think the stuff costs about 20c a sq ft. Will look into it when I go again to china tho (end april) In all likelyhood Shipping from South Africa to US will kill any savings.

Bruce Larson
12-29-2011, 12:52 PM
i just use either plain masking tape or transfer tape on larger items. 100 speed 15 power.

Dan Hintz
12-29-2011, 1:00 PM
We use 1m wide rolls of paper based low tack sign vinyl application tape and cut masking to size.

i just use either plain masking tape or transfer tape on larger items. 100 speed 15 power.
I think you guys are missing the point... the blue tape is used because it provides a relatively high contrast mark when lased.

Rodney, if you can get something that size in blue, I'd be game for an order :)

Rodne Gold
12-29-2011, 1:56 PM
The white and even the brownish tapes have plenty contrast for test engravings. As far as I know , the blue machinist tape is pressure sensitive which is not required to see the mark. For me to import from china , the saving has to be at LEAST 50% on local prices and there is a also a point in terms of yearly consumption/expense that has to be breached, For EG , unless I use like $10k a year
It wouldnt be worth it , to save lets say, $3k per annum and have to import a 6 month to 1 yr supply and deal with consolidated freight , customs , shipping and the chinese.