Super Glue (CA) as hold down

Has anyone tried using the technique of using masking tape and CA glue as a hold down?

How has it worked for you?

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I use the same technique but with spray adhesive instead and masking tape and it works pretty good!

I use masking tape / CA glue quite a bit, also for aluminium and stainless steel carving & cutting.
The key is surface area.

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Yes. I use blue tape and super glue for parts that are difficult to clamp. I’ve only had it fail once when I forgot to tighten a collet:

yep, I use it from time to time. Usually on really small pieces or really large pieces. CA glue and activator.

It’s my preferred way of holding down materials. I do have the clamp set, and use it, but the CA/blue tape method is really effective.

With a comparison cost of double sided duct tape vs. superglue, I can’t help but wonder if the tape is actually cheaper. They do the same thing.

IMHO the main attribute of masking tape (two layers) with CA in-between is that it form a rigid bond. It solidify the two layers together.
Double sided tape is flexible/gummy in various degrees, but not stiff by any stretch.

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@BruceKamp. I use it all the time. Here is a video

In addition to @HaldorLonningdal’s comment, double sided tape will get softer and release if you’re cutting anything that generates and conducts heat. The bond also releases with coolant.

Thank you everyone. Very helpful.


I watched the video, as this is a " hot" new way to hold parts on the guitar forums. Anyway, from what I see, you have two layers of adhesive contacting the table and the part, with the superglue in between. Now I’ll agree from my years of using different double sided tapes that there is a difference among them, but I can’t help but wonder if heat and solvent wouldn’t react to the blue tape the same way as double sided tape.

I know heat releases superglue via a cyanide type compound smoke ( that’s what I hear anyway), so I’m not sure that there is a big advantage here.

I used to use Manco double sided carpet tape. That came in an outdoor and indoor variety. The outdoor was fiberglass reinforced and the indoor was cloth. I used both, with the cloth being easier to remove from the wood. ( that’s 99.99 % of what I cut). Manco was sold to Duck I believe and that product became unavailable to me locally. I then tried Shur tape and Duck brand double sided duct tape, with the duct tape the better resultant tape. The Duck duct tape seems to be all plastic and adhesive and thinner than the cloth tapes.

Now depending on the surfaces being taped and the amount of tape used, I’ve actually broken parts trying to get them off the router. That means one has to do some experimenting with it. Clean surfaces impact the tack as does pressure. I’d imagine the same thing holds true for tape and superglue.

I’m not a huge fan of superglue due to the headaches I get from the fumes, but maybe I’ll give it a shot some time. I do know I don’t want superglue coming in contact with the wood. The tape residue if there is any comes off with acetone.

I use blue masking tape and if I “soak” small parts with say WD40 or alcohol the tape will loosen up.
I have also carved quite aggressively with larger parts for up to a couple of hrs with no issues despite some excess fluid.
CA do solidify the tape making it more resistant against soaking.

I had the same issue when I used double sided tape when cutting acrylics, it was tough to get off the board and the part clean-up afterwards was a pain.
Blue masking tape on the other hand hold firm but yet release - and cleanly - with little effort.

I need to pry it off the board but with a wedge and gently providing a lifting force it will let go.
CA dont go through the maskin tape and for me have left no “CA bleed” into the wood to be carved.

I hear ya on the fumes.

I use carpet tape for many things because it sticks like nothing else on the planet. My only concern was removing my workpieces. I haven’t used it yet out of fear, haha.

On YouTube, NYC CNC has some great videos using the tape n glue method running on his big industrial HAAS machines. It all depends how aggressive your cuts are, and making sure you have enough area taped for the cut. But in my experience it doesn’t take as much as you think to hold work secure (with the tape/glue method)…and when cutting small parts it is great to line the tape up under them so that tabs are not needed. You don’t have to run solid tape under your project…just a couple strips in strategic locations…and like everything else, you learn with use how much is needed and where.

On a piece that is 3 x 18 ( a guitar fretboard blank) I’d use two 1/4" wide pieces on the jointed surface sides, and one about the same width down the middle. I would pry it up upward after machining with a wood chisel. Here is where you need to use some caution. I’d pry it up just enough to then get a scraper under it and then work it down to the opposite end. The fret slots in the fretboard would make the wood more breakable. I found out the hard way years ago that trying to pry it up at one end only is a mistake.

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That’s a good idea. I usually use some 20lb fishing line and just run it under the work piece back and forth to break the adhesion. I usually affix my workpieces with clamps, but when I’m cutting something from edge to edge, or I’m resurfacing a piece for fine detail, I’ll use adhesives.

I really like using cheap self-stick tile. It gives me maybe a .03 on my depth of cut without getting into my spoil board.

NYC CNC: AMAZING Cheap CNC Fixture: Superglue! WW185