"Always Right" Honeycomb Pins for Assuring a Right Angle

After posting my Straddler Pins last night, I came to realize that they’re more useful as “fence” guides for keeping things straight than as hold-down pins. That got me thinking how hard of a time I have with squaring up material on the bed before lasing. I found that the Straddlers do a decent job of making a corner when placed perpendicularly, but that it’s possible to misalign them if you’re in a hurry/not paying attention. So I modified the design to make the “Always Right”. When locked together, this pair of pieces will always give you a right angle fence stop to push your material up against.

The interlock between the two pieces is very snug, so much so that I don’t recommend separating them once they’re together. I also found that interlocking them before inserting them into the honeycomb is easiest. This may indicate that I have the notches slightly off, so I may upload a revised version later if I find this one problematic in use. I actually put a dot of wood glue in the notch, interlocked the pair (lay them top-down on a hard surface and push firmly), then inserted them into the honeycomb to dry. Edit: superglue works great as well.

As with the Straddlers, I made these out of proofgrade draftboard. Here are my preferred settings:

Engrave: 1000/65/1x/270 [zooms/pews/passes/LPI]
Cut: 183/100/2x [zooms/pews/passes] (I feel like this method chars less than full power/1 pass)

With these settings, creation time is approximately 1 minute 47 seconds per pair.

The SVG file has the text in vector format, but I also left the font version hidden in case you want to change font or add the name of your spouse/in-law/person in your life who’s always right. :wink: Font is Ariel Condensed, which I thought most people likely have access to. If you decide to rasterize the text and engrave on vary power, a similar depth can be achieved with color hex code #8c8c8c.

Lastly, a few tips:

  1. These can be a bit tight in the material after cutting, but I’ve found that tipping the material up an inch or two and dropping it back on the honeycomb helps knock them loose.

  2. First insertion into the honeycomb may be snug, and a little material might shear off. This guarantees a tight fit and shouldn’t happen after the first time.

  3. When removing the interlocked pair from the honeycomb, I recommend using two hands and grasping each side between its respective pins, then pulling straight up. If you try to rock the interlocked pair, you’re likely to snap the pins.

  4. The finished piece does not seem to fit as well/stay as square if assembled backwards, so be sure to assemble with the text facing the inside corner. Unless that doesn’t fit your particular honeycomb well, then try reversing it. Every machine is a bit different, as others have pointed out.

Hope everyone finds this helpful!

Always Right v2

Edit: v2 Uploaded 8/13/2021 4:13pm PDT
Made some slight adjustments to the position of the notches and removed an unnecessary curved corner (didn’t affect stability, but wasn’t meant to be there). Also, straightened edges on top side of pins. The two pieces still fit together snugly, and the whole thing goes in straighter/more easily in the honeycomb (previously, one of the arms would slant slightly). Still doesn’t work quite properly if assembled backwards, so heed tip #4 above.

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Thanks, I will print these too.

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Thank you. This is an easy solution to squaring material.

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Just FYI to those who have commented/downloaded already: I made a slight change to the file, altering the hidden font text layer so it stays aligned if you change what it says. No need to re-download if you don’t intend to change the words. This will just make it easier if you do.

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Another good one. You are on a roll!

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Be careful: the angle here is not always right, and it is also not necessarily aligned with the laser gantry. These kinds of tricks are only useful for “good enough” rotational alignment, and not of much assistance in terms of placement.

The crumbtray is not uniformly orthogonal, and it can move/rotate inside your glowforge. Ergo, neither its position nor its orthogonality can be relied on for highly accurate applications.

As always the best way to do what you’re trying to ensure here is to install crumb tray boots to prevent the tray from moving, and then cut a corner jig as needed. It will give you absolute certainty of positioning and orthogonality as accurately as your machine can do. ( as for perfectly 90 degree angles, not all glowforges are perfectly square… in fact none of them are, there’s tolerances here.)

Boots:

Jig:

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This excellent information; thanks for the write-up and links! The Always Rights are definitely an imperfect solution for trying to attain a “perfect” right angle (like you said, nothing is perfect…there are always tolerances). I really should have framed it more as a “quick set” solution for getting straight-cut pieces relatively straight on the bed. I know I like to play chicken with the edge of material on cuts so as to save as much as possible, and it’s always harder when you realize you put something down a bit crooked. The Always Rights can help with that, but they definitely don’t guarantee anything is perfect. There are so many variables to account for!

I hadn’t come across the tray boots before, but those are great! I’ll definitely be making a pair. I recently made a non-consumable jig for cutting/engraving four coasters at once. It’s a piece of 1/8-inch-thick dry erase board (from Lowe’s) with four 4-inch squares cut, and a guiding cross-hairs scored in the middle (I pre-cut 4-inch squares of material on my table saw and place them in the jig, then make my coasters no large than 3.8 inches in any direction). The dry erase material is nice because smoke/soot wipe off with a cleansing wipe.

I cut the jig to be the same width as proofgrade material because that at least sits consistently snug with the sides. Pins at the top and bottom help keep it from shifting vertically, but I hadn’t considered the risk of the bed itself shifting. The boots will definitely help prevent that. Making that jig was also what taught me that the GF isn’t square itself, because I quickly realized that my crosshairs didn’t work as well if I put the jig in upside down (relative to the way it was cut).

Also, thanks for reminding me of the word “orthogonal”. Trigonometry is definitely the most useful math I took away from formal education, but I’d somehow forgotten that word.

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One of my favorite tips about making consumable cardboard jigs is to turn your cardboard at an angle before you cut (anywhere 30-60 degrees will work). The corrugation supports both edges, and you don’t end up with a “soft” edge like you do if you cut a side parallel to the corrugation folds.

Also, with tiles/coasters, if I’m doing a hole instead of a corner I like to make my jig holes 4.25" on a side, and seat them in the bottom left corner for lasing. It makes it much easier to get them in and out of the jig and saves me from having to be precise with the size of the pocket. Nothing worse than realizing your holes are a tiny bit too large.

I’m a big proponent of disposable jigs, I think they are the easiest and most precise way to ensure high accuracy. Even if I make a reusable jig, I always seat them in a consumable jig… sort of a compound double-jig.

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Just what I’ve needed, thanks. :heart_eyes:

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That’s a great tip about the cardboard. I’ll remember that!

The 4x4 squares in my reusable jig allow the initial wood cuts to become disposable inner jigs because my coasters are always 3.8" on their longest edge. I do designs with multiple levels of engraving/remasking, so I just cut the specific shape of the coaster out along with the first level of engraving, then each subsequent run it gets placed back in the precut 4"x4" square (now a disposable jig) which is taped down inside the reusable jig. At the end, I remove the disposable jig and use it to help me align cork bottoms before discarding (or keeping for scrap, if there’s enough material left).

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(A little off topic, but hey, it’s a forum!)

Got any examples of the end result of your process? I am guessing that if you’re multi-masking you must be painting things?

Also, ever tried pre-sticking the cork to your wood and cutting in one shot? Cork can be a little tricky to dial in with settings and it chars pretty badly but I’ve had good luck with it.

Build notes here:

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So simple and it took…how many years before someone thought of that? VERY smart idea. :blush:

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I considered pre-sticking the cork, but I do a lot of painting and it makes the odds of getting paint on the cork pretty high. I’ve had good luck with cutting self-adhesive 1/16" cork with the wax backing paper facing up (to act as a mask) using 350/full. Nice, clean cuts and nearly no charring (outside of the blackened outer edges, but I actually like that.

Here are some coasters I’ve made that use multi-level masking and painting.



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Really great!! Thank you for sharing. I will be making a pair of these when I get back home.

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Oh that’s good color work. Nice.

A-thank you, fellow human and/or sentient fungus.

I really like your dice tray. The finger joints are very clean-looking. I saw that you said you intentionally cut them too long and then sanded them down. I think that was a great choice, especially with the purpleheart. I’m not generally huge on natural wood colors (it’s an earth tone thing with me), but PH is one of the rare exceptions.

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Check out redheart too. It can skew cool and get away from earth tones. Bonus: redheart and yellow heart both fluoresce under a black light. It’s cool stuff.

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Oooh…you just hit my Interest Button. I’ve been doing a lot of research into fluorescence and its applications in first response equipment. How powerfully do red and yellow heart fluoresce? Are they resilient enough woods that they could be used in tool handles? Would the cost be prohibitive?

Feel free to tell me to buzz off and google all of this…I certainly could, but conversation is enjoyable.

Edit: doing a bit of research, I’ve found that black locust may be my best bet for this application. It fluoresces brightly and is strong enough to be an axe handle.

I’m definitely curious to play around with red and yellow heart for craft/GF applications though.

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Aren’t you in luck! Turns out I posted about these things.

https://community.glowforge.com/search?q=@evansd2%20fluorescent

Which gets you:

I posted about yellowheart but never did post a picture, whomp.

Update! I just took and added pics. Yellowheart fluoresces almost white color, it’s crazy.

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Thanks for this one as well!

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