If you are planning to use a CNC laser cutter to cut or engrave wood, it is important that you understand the steps you need to take to prevent burn marks appearing on the surface. A piece of adhesive tape placed onto the surface of the wood will help to stop any unwanted burning of the wood. As well as protecting the wood from the laser, the tape also helps to prevent any damage which could be caused by debris or gas created during the cutting process. Below is a guide to 3 things you should do when applying tape before using a CNC laser cutter.
Cover the entire surface of the wood
If it is feasible, you should cover the entire wooden surface that you will be working with tape. You should do this, even if you only plan to work on a small or isolated area. The hot gas and fumes which are created by the laser can create burn marks on areas of wood which are distant from the site of the cutting or engraving. By covering the entire piece of wood in the tape, you can be certain that it is protected.
Flatten out any bubbles which form in the tape
Once you have applied the tape to the wood, you should carefully check it for any air bubbles. If you spot any raised areas of tape, you should use a squeegee in order to flatten the tape and squeeze out any trapped air. Doing so will ensure that the tape is securely attached to the surface of the wood and that no hot gas or debris can come into contact with it.
Use low tack tape
While using tape can help to prevent burn marks on a wooden surface, it can also result in a build up of residue when it is removed. To avoid this, you should make sure you use which is low tack. Low tack tape has less adhesive added to it and so is less likely to leave a sticky mess behind on the wooden surface once it has been removed.
Whenever you are working on cutting or engraving wood using a CNC laser machine, you should ensure that you have prepared the wood by applying tape to it. If you would like further information or advice about using a CNC laser cutting machine, you should contact a specialist contractor, like one from Australian General Engineering, today.