My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #879: More on Tape for Applying Patterns

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-18-2012 01:25 PM 4969 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 878: On the Road Again! Part 879 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 880: An Awesome Weekend and Full Day Ahead! »

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:

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 ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

8 comments so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

4031 posts in 2256 days

#1 posted 11-18-2012 01:51 PM

Welcome back! Glad you made it safely.
I have used two products you don’t mention. Glue sticks work great on paper patterns. Applied generously to the paper, it sticks very well and the adhesive doesn’t seem to penetrate deeply so when the paper is sanded off (or moistened and peeled off) there is little residue. The other product is rubber cement, a kids school project adhesive. Again, applied to just the paper generously and quickly stuck to the wood, it will peel off when done. If applied to paper and wood (both surfaces lightly), then the bond is much more permanent.

I find that the rubber cement and 3m 77 penetrate the wood enough that it has been worth my time to stack a waste layer just to hold the pattern.

Just some things I’ve experienced.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2941 days

#2 posted 11-18-2012 02:06 PM

Thanks Dan for your input. I really like posting as many options as possible to give others choices. That way people can choose what works best for them and what they are making. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View grandpabill's profile


2 posts in 2183 days

#3 posted 11-18-2012 06:54 PM

Hi Sheila: This may be something that has already been covered but I have had good luck with Loctite
spray adhesive “General performance 100”. I used to use a product from Duro that Lowes Stores carried but
they no longer have it and started carrying this Loctite product. I have had no problems with it except learning how much to use and how long to let it tack up. Cost is reasonable, I think I pay about $6 -$7 for a 13.5 Oz.

Bill W.

-- Bill W, Ohio

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6858 posts in 4001 days

#4 posted 11-18-2012 07:16 PM

Hi Sheila,

Isn’t it amazing how such a small thing can turn into such a big thing?

I have similar problems with Ezee-Feed production on occassion. For example, HTC Products made the 22” roller we use on the side of our infeed unit. It was so convenient just to include one of their rollers in with the shippment, as it was well packaged, and included a mounting bracket.

Unfortunately, they discontinued making it, so now we need to purchase the roller from another manufacturer, fabricate a mounting bracket, paint it, and package it in it’s own box, so it isn’t banging around loose in our crates. What was quick and easy is now an extra thing to deal with.

However, life goes on, right.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Druid's profile


1766 posts in 2817 days

#5 posted 11-18-2012 10:53 PM

Hi Sheila,
I’m sitting here looking at my brand new can of Elmer’s Spray Adhesive . . . haven’t used it yet . . . now I’m thinking of trying to exchange it for some Stencil Adhesive Spray carried by the local Home Hardware store for about $8.
The description states – Adheres stencil to almost any surface (plaster, wood, etc.) Allows stencil to be moved several times with just one spray (similar to a sticky office memo pad) Will not leave a sticky residue on walls
Have you tried any stencil sprays before? I wonder if this would grip well enough to do the job properly?

I’ve used 3M™ Super 77™ in the past, but that product does not know the meaning of “let go”.

Curious to hear what works best.


-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2825 days

#6 posted 11-18-2012 11:47 PM

Welcome back. Funny, I used to live about 15 minutes away from Avon, OH. When our Ford plant closed it’s doors in Lorain, OH, they moved the production of the Ford Econoline van to Avon Lake, which is right next door to Avon. Thus, the reason for me moving/transferring to the Kentucky Truck Plant, back in ‘97.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2094 days

#7 posted 11-19-2012 03:19 AM

Hi Sheila,
Good to hear you had a good trip. I’ve been using the Elmer’s spray adhesive and now half way through the can it sprays a sticky mess which does not adhere to anything. I bought a small can of Elmers Craft Bond and used it today. It seems to work OK so far. It was the only thing I could get in a small can (4oz) size. I have also tried the stencil spray and stencil glue stick in the past. I found the glue stick works better. I’m keeping my eye out for the double sided masking tape as I think that could give a good result.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2941 days

#8 posted 11-19-2012 11:42 AM

Thanks for the information on the Loctite, Bill. I don’t see it here in Canada much, but I used to LOVE Loctite products when I was in the States. They usually have quality stuff and I am sure that lots of people will give it a try.

Lee – you are SO right! It does seem the small things can easily snowball into something so much larger. It is easy to add things in when they are accessible, but like your roller, if even part of the item(s) change, it can throw your entire production out of kilter. We have seen that in the recent past too. We love to include color photos in our patterns, but that is only possible because of our current print set up. When we were having trouble with one way back, we immediately got not one, but TWO back up printers (they were cheap) that are still in the box. It is peace of mind to know that if and when this one dies, we still have good solid back up and won’t be stranded. It is the way we will survive!

John – I haven’t tried the stencil adhesive. The Easy Tack is similar to that though. While it does a much better job than the Elmer’s, I do find that on some of the intricate things, it does let go a bit. Nothing bothers me more than that, as I have mis-cut many pieces due to trying to hold down the pattern when cutting. This happens mostly on the smaller and more intricate stuff, as the pattern loosens up as you are cutting small curls and tendrils.

Roger – I saw something funny like that on our trip. Some of the metal rods that I bought (for some future projects – stay tuned) were manufactured by a company from Chicago that was located on South 63rd Street – less than a mile from where I grew up! I grew up o 58th and Rockwell, on the South Side. It is funny how it brought back memories of my grammar school years and the ‘old neighborhood’! Life can be strange!

And Anna – What you describe is EXACTLY what we have been experiencing. How frustrating is that?!? I used to have no problem at all with the sprays, but since when I use a spray, I need to tape the pieces anyway, I figure why not spend a bit more for the tape and not have to wonder if it will work or not? I like consistency. Yes, the tape is a bit costly, but at $8 a roll for 25 meters, it will cover a pretty decent amount of patterns. So why not try it.

I will certainly let you know how I do. Maybe I will video it in the process and you can all learn with me. :)

Thanks all for your input! Your ideas and thoughts really help a lot of people!

Have a great day!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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