Double-sided tape is tape with adhesive on both sides. It bonds two surfaces together — in this case, your material and the machining bed of the Bantam Tools™ Desktop PCB Milling Machine. We sell two kinds: Scotch Double-Sided Tape, which comes with the milling machine, and High-Strength Double-Sided Tape. Scotch tape is less expensive, but High-Strength Double-Sided Tape tape is much stronger — so strong that you sometimes need isopropyl alcohol to release it.
How do I use double-sided tape?
- Have some isopropyl alcohol handy if you’re using High-Strength Double-Sided Tape tape.
- 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. We recommend cleaning it with a 91% isopropyl alcohol and a lint free wipe.
- Place multiple strips side by side (not overlapping or wrinkling) across the back of your material. Remove the adhesive backing if you’re using Nitto tape.
- 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.
- Press down firmly.
- To account for the thickness of the tape, enter the tape thickness measure in the software. The tape thickness value goes in the Material Placement (Z) field. Scotch tape tends to be about 0.003" thick. High-Strength Double-Sided Tape tends to be about 0.007" to 0.008" thick.
- Mill your project.
- When you’re done milling, use isopropyl alcohol to release the Nitto tape.
Scotch Double-Sided Tape
High-Strength Double-Sided Tape
Brass Attached with High-Strength Double-Sided Tape
When and with what kinds of material would I use double-sided tape?
Scotch Double-sided tape works best with thin, flat, soft materials, such as plastics.Scotch Double-sided tape works best with circuit boards that have larger features, such as boards that can be completely milled with only a 1/32" Flat End Mill. If the features are small enough to require using a smaller end mill, then High-Strength Double-Sided Tape is usually a safer option.
High-Strength Double-Sided Tape works with pretty much all flat objects: plastic, wax, wood, and metal. High-Strength Double-Sided 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. For materials that are taller than they are wide, the Precision Fixturing and Toe Clamp Set is a preferable option.
How hard is it to use double-sided tape?
Where can I get double-sided tape?
We sell Scotch Double-Sided Tape and High-Strength Double-Sided 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 91% isopropyl alcohol before applying tape. Allow the alcohol to completely evaporate before placing the material onto the bed.
- Cover more surface area with tape. The strips of tape can be next to each other. Just don't allow them to overlap or wrinkle, or pick up pieces of debris.
- Use stronger tape. If you're using Scotch tape, then switch to using High-Strength Double-Sided Tape.
- Reduce your feed rate.
- Reduce your pass depth.