Spray adhesive: Perfect for patterns
When choosing a spray adhesive to apply paper patterns, you want one with a gentle hold -- just enough to keep the pattern in place while cutting. Look for words like "temporary" and "repositionable" on the can, and avoid those with words like "permanent" or "high-strength." A good spray adhesive shouldn't make the paper pattern soggy, and should allow you to reposition it on the workpiece if necessary. In the WOOD? shop, we prefer using 3M's Spray Mount Artist's Adhesive for those same reasons.
To properly use spray adhesive, begin by spraying the back of your pattern, as shown top right. Let it sit for 15-30 seconds. Unlike most gluing tasks in woodworking, you're not racing a setup time; in fact, applying the pattern immediately after spraying will often, depending on the adhesive used, create an even stickier bond.
If you rush the job and the pattern bonds a little too well, no worries. After machining the workpiece, simply apply mineral spirits to a rag and rub it on the pattern to dissolve the adhesive (below right).
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