Double-Sided Tape

Double-sided tape is tape with adhesive on both sides. It bonds two surfaces together — in this case, your material and the Othermill’s machining bed. We sell two kinds: Scotch Double-Sided Permanent Tape and Nitto (Permacel) P-02 Double-Coated Kraft Paper Tape. Scotch tape is less expensive, but Nitto tape is much stronger — so strong that you sometimes need isopropyl alcohol to release it.

How do I use double-sided tape?

  1. Have some isopropyl alcohol handy if you’re using Nitto tape.
  2. Make sure your machining bed is free of dust, swarf, glue, or anything else that might prevent the tape from sticking or the material from lying flat.
  3. Place multiple strips side by side (not overlapping) across the back of your material and remove the adhesive backing if you’re using Nitto tape.
  4. Align your material with the bottom left corner of the bed or the bottom left corner of the alignment bracket if you’re using it.
  5. Press down firmly.
  6. For extra precision, offset your material’s z-origin by +0.005" (0.13 mm) to account for the thickness of the tape.
  7. Mill your project.
  8. When you’re done milling, use isopropyl alcohol to release the Nitto tape.

Scotch Tape tape1

Nitto Permacel P-02 Tape tape2

Brass Attached with Nitto Tape tape3

When and with what kinds of material would I use double-sided tape?

Double-sided Scotch tape works best with circuit boards and other thin, flat, soft materials, such as plastics. Nitto tape works with pretty much all flat objects: plastic, wax, wood, and metal. Nitto tape is also much better than Scotch when the material isn’t perfectly smooth.

What kinds of materials is double-sided tape not good for?

Double-sided tape isn’t a good choice for materials that are taller than they are wide because they can tip over. The exception is materials that are very soft, such as wax and foam, but there are still limits, which we estimate to be a height 1.5 times the width.

How hard is it to use double-sided tape?

Very easy!

Where can I get double-sided tape?

We sell Scotch Double-Sided Permanent Tape and Nitto (Permacel) P-02 Tape in our store. You can also buy them online or, in the case of Scotch, from office supply stores.

Are there any problems I might encounter when using double-sided tape?

If your tool mills through the tape, the adhesive may stick to the tip of the tool, along with swarf. This reduces the cutting ability of the tool somewhat. You can remedy this by wiping the tip with alcohol, which will dissolve the adhesive.

The other issue you may encounter is the material coming loose while you’re milling it. There are a few fixes for this:

  • Wipe the bed with alcohol before applying tape.
  • Use more tape (but don’t overlap).
  • Use stronger tape (Nitto instead of Scotch).
  • Reduce your feed rate.
  • Reduce your pass depth.