Good morning everyone. After a busy couple of days, it feels good to be home.
On Friday morning, Keith asked me if I was up for a trip to Halifax. While many times it is hard to think of a ‘good time’ to get away, we both realized that this would probably be our last opportunity to do so this year. Here in Nova Scotia the weather is always questionable at this time of year and we have learned from the past that driving in the winter months isn’t always the smartest thing. The city is a three hours’ drive on a good day and the forecast was clear for the next couple of days so we decided to head out.
There were many things we wanted to accomplish. Besides picking things up for the impending holiday season, there were some things I needed for work here that I wanted to look into. It turned out to be a successful trip in both senses, as well as a nice chance to get away for a couple of days and spend a night in our favorite hotel.
One of the things that I was most interested was seeing if I could find the double-sided masking tape to possibly use for attaching the pattern to the wood. I realize that there are many ‘good’ ways to attach the pattern, but I wanted to see if I could locate the tape and try this out.
I had previously written about the frustrations we were having regarding the use of spray glue. For a while, we were using Elmer’s Spray Adhesive:
But in the past year or so, it seems that the quality has declined. It seems that either the glue comes out sticky, or clumpy or doesn’t come out at all sometimes. On the non-production work, we use blue painter’s tape along with the spray. Using the blue tape ensures easy removal of the pattern without leaving a residue, as well as helping the wood not to burn, eliminating the need to add packaging tape over the surface of the pattern when cutting hardwood, as I do most often. However, with the decline in quality of the Elmer’s, there are times when even a thorough spraying isn’t enough to stop the pattern from peeling off.
To me, it is as if the contents of the can don’t mix thoroughly, even with shaking the can for a good length of time. It is frustrating when one use causes strings of glue to come out and the next time you may get blobs and another time you may get a fine mist, as desired, but the pattern begins to lift as you are cutting. All from the same can! We have purchased this product from several different places and still see the same results, so we can’t attribute it to a particular batch or lot. We have in our possession three partially used cans that we try to use on things that are pre-taped and we err on the side of putting too much, just to finish what we have.
We also tried an alternative product by Krylon called “Easy Tack” which we have had more success with:
We feel this product works a bit better, offering a more dependable bond, but we find it is hard to locate. The store that carried it in Yarmouth (Zellers) is going out of business and we are having a bit of trouble locating it in our area. Michael’s has it, but it is more expensive there than Zellers at $12 per can. We were fortunate to have a coupon for 25% off though and did pick one up while we were there.
So we are back to the tape for an alternative. I did find the Painter’s Mate Green Dropcloth Tape at Home Depot. This tape is made here in Canada. It is distributed by a company which is located in Avon, Ohio, United States. called Shur Tech Brands (1-800-321-0253) yet, when I go to their site, they say that you need to call a company called New United which is located in Florida to find it (1-800-800-7343). The link to the Painter’s Mate Green is here: http://paintersmategreen.com/Products/Double_Sided_Dropcloth_Tape.aspx
It is a bit confusing, I know. But I think that using this product may be one of the best alternatives if you are NOT doing a lot of production work and really want consistency as far as keeping the pattern in place yet being able to remove it easily. I can’t wait until the next time I cut and can try this out.
The tape costs about $8.00 a for 25 meters long and 36mm wide roll. (That’s 1.41 in wide by 27.3 yds. for those of you in the US) Some of you may see that as a bit expensive, but when you consider the cost of using the spray adhesive AND also adding a layer of tape over your scrolled project (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND to avoid burn marks) it really isn’t too bad. As I said, the cost would be too much for production work, as well as the time involved to tape the pieces. We typically don’t apply tape over the four layers of 1/8” birch we stack cut for cutting our ornament kits without any problem whatsoever, so we don’t consider it at all.
But for normal cutting, I think this may be a good alternative. Many people like Scotch Super 77 spray adhesive, and I have used the product and it is quite reliable, but the cost for it here is about $18 a can, and that is pretty steep. Plus the fact that if I can eliminate a spray altogether, it would make me very happy. Applying a layer of tape is much easier and cleaner and there is no mess or fumes whatsoever.
In any case, it is worth looking into. 3M makes double sided masking tapes that are available in the United States, but they are quite a bit more expensive. I would think that the best bet if using this method would to try to call the above phone numbers and locate some Painter’s Mate tape in your area.
Well, this is getting long and I need to get going. I am certain that I will talk more about our adventures as time goes on. I hope that some of you found this information helpful and have some success in finding this product in your area. If you do, please let me know so I can pass the information on to other. You can post replies here. :)
I wish you all a great Sunday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"