Let’s talk about woodcarving

Let’s talk about woodcarving 2017-06-26T23:59:57-04:00
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Double-sided tape

In a lesson I was watching recently, Mary mentioned that for holding projects she now prefers golf grip tape.  Is there a specific type, size, brand preferred?  Any cautions about using it?  I noticed that some of these brands refer to the use of a solvent to activate the tape or other reasons.  Mary, any additional information on using this type of holding process would be very welcomed.  Is there any problem removing projects from their base when using this tape?  Is that one of the reasons for the solvent?  Have others in the forum used this and have additional advice, experience, etc.?

Hi Ron,

Here is a little history of my double-sided tape adventures. I used to use Suretape (double sided duct tape from Lowes, also referred to as carpet tape) and it worked great. I could brush denatured alcohol along the edge and it would release gently most of the time.  And then I left my carving on for over a year and discovered there was no way of releasing it from the background. I tried every type of solvent, and even attempted to put it in the microwave, hoping heat would soften the tape. Have you ever taken up old carpet that was held down with double-sided carpet tape? Yup - it is all dried and crispy.

So that is when I turned to trying double sided golf grip tape. It releases with Lacquer thinner, or if your carving is sturdy enough, place a flat chisel between the carving and backer board, and do a slight twist to release the tape. Do this at several locations along the edge (careful not to do this at fragile areas) until it releases. The tape can be removed easily after this.

Most golf grip tape is the same, so if you purchase it at a local sports store or golf supply store, they should have it. I tried to purchase it online, and have not had very much luck, and can't really recommend any specific brand because so far, they all seem similar. Depending on the size of carving, I use either the 1 inch wide or 1/2 inch wide. I don't completely cover the back side, but put 2 or 3 strips and it holds tightly. If it tends to loosen when you carve, clamp it tightly after taping it. If there are any small, fragile areas, add a little extra piece of tape there.

Hope this helps!

Thanks, Mary.  Great overall advice, as usual.  I do notice, though, that many if not all of the golf grip tapes say they are solvent activated, which I presume means they're not sticky until the solvent it applied.  Or am I way misunderstanding this.  Somewhere along the line I remember you indicated not to use a solvent activated golf grip tape.  I don't play golf and not familiar with golf clubs, so when reading about these tapes I'm not always sure I know what I'm reading really means.

Any golf grip tape is sticky as is, without doing anything to it. The only thing that the solvent does is release the tape when finished with the carving. I am not a golfer either, and remember someone telling me that you rap the tape around the golf handle, brush solvent over the tape, then slide the handle on. Once the solvent dissolves, the double-sided tape is re-activated and the handle sticks. Makes sense to me... maybe I should take up golfing so I make sure I know what I'm talking about 🙂