Atlanta Glowforgers, got any material sources to share?

Michaels charges 8 times what Atlanta Hardwoods charges, AND their wood has an annoying label to peel off. I’ll add it but with caveats.

Yeah-- Good for emergency projects. Not for much else.

Yep you’re spot on. The big box stuff is extruded and will engrave with a lot (really a whole lot) less contrast than cast acrylic. The cool LED acrylic stuff is made from cast. Extruded is also more brittle and creates sharp edges when broken.

But it’s okay for picture “glass” in frames or even overlaid on top of a plaque or something you want to keep clean & dust/dirt free.

Also, be careful because the big box stores tend to keep Lexan next to the acrylic. Lexan is generally awful to cut with the laser - prone to creating slaggy messes or catching fire.

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Do any of the Atlanta folks work with local maker’s spaces? I have a very large project idea for the Dragoncon parade that would benefit greatly from a group of folks working on it.

Just as an aside. Ikea is opening a store in Marietta. No opening date yet.

I met the guys from the Marietta maker space at the maker faire this year, seemed like a cool bunch. I’ve never been to their location but their site is:

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Looks like they’re having an open house/grand opening at their new location on Saturday Jan 20 - I definitely want to check that out!

Atlanta Hardwoods is a solid deal for MDF and plywood, but I just got a crazy good deal.

I found a 4’ by 8’ sheet of 1/8" MDF in the “bargain plywood” section for $6. It had a couple of small chunks missing from it, no problem.

They cut it down for me, comes out to something like 35 cents per GF-sized sheet. Sweet!

EDIT: Sadly, they are out of business. Check original post for an update.


Nice score…

I ended up placing a large order of various materials from Amazon. And totally forgot about the makerspace open house…

Freeside Atlanta
Address: 675 Metropolitan Pkwy SW suite #6066, Atlanta, GA 30310
Hours: Open 24 hours
Phone: (678) 824-4176

They are a member only makerspace (no day passes, no per project) but for the $80/Mo (don’t quote me on that I could be way off, for some reason that’s the # stuck in my head) you have 24 hour access via gate code to what I have heard is a quite a makerspace with lots of equipment. If you call ahead to make arrangements they with give you a tour.

I never went down there, but only because I think I may actually own most of the tools and equipment they do, and some they don’t.
I am a total tool monger (or tool whore, depending on who you ask.)

Freeside Facebook page

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Unfortunately, Atlanta Hardwoods sold to Rugby Architctural Building Supplies. I have updated the main post to reflect that. Rugby has very good prices on Baltic Birch ($14.50 for a 5’ by 5’ sheet) but unfortunately does not offer cutting services. Too bad, Atlanta Hardwoods was a great source.

A battery powered 5" circular saw and a few minutes in that parking lot should take care of that. :slightly_smiling_face:


I’m looking at one right now. There was no beating the convenience and accuracy of asking them to cut it down at the store, but I’m looking at a 18v ryobi. Should be plenty of power to make it through 4 or 5 sheets in a session.

In a heartbeat. I use one of those for 90% of my circular saw work. It’ll handle 2-by stock easily too.

Keep an eye out for holidays - the battery packs will be half off (2 batteries for price of one - might be running now because of Father’s Day).

I can run through a pack and then pop it in the charger and by the time the second ones runs out of juice the first one is recharged.

Grab a clamping rail too so you can just line it up and zip the saw down. And if you have an outfeed roller stand bring it with you so you can rest one end on the trunk and the other on the feed roller. I have an expandable table thing they had on sale a year or so ago - it’s aluminum with a scissory type action to open up and can actually hold a ton of weight.


Clamping rails are cheap at Harbor Freight, just FYI.

I am “fully invested” in Ryobi cordless (18V) tools, made the decision a few years back and have almost all of them. I still have “real” power tools but when you just want to miter some trim or slice up a large board, they are invaluable. A sharp blade helps!

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Here is a bit of an update for Atlanta acrylic sourcing:

Piedmont Plastics is very friendly, they have one long front desk to talk to sales reps at. Although they are a very large supplier of acrylics (think of the businesses that make signs for Home Depot, etc.), they also have lots of large scrap. I spoke with Ryan, who hooked me up with a colored mirror sample pack, a clear/patterned/black sample pack, and then off-cuts from the warehouse. He said that their scraps go to the recyclers, and I was welcome to come in anytime to select material out of their recycle bins. The warehouse requires close-toed shoes, like any warehouse. Like seriously, this guy hooked me up with about 100 lbs of offcuts of silver mirror acrylic, the equivalents of 18 or so glowforge-sized acrylic sheets in clear, red, green, blue, and home depot orange ;p ;p ;p

Ryan suggested checking out N.Glantz and Calsak Plastics, but we couldn’t get to them before they closed that day.

Johnson Plastics Plus though, meh. Their front office is basically order pickup, they have some products to look at, but nothing that you can buy there unless you are picking up an order that you put in online. They will happily give you a catalog though.

Atlanta Plastics, either no longer at the Google Maps address, or not a storefront.

Don’t forget the Restore, we picked up 2-3 sheets of grey marble coaster-sized hex tiles for about $3.


Awesome scrap friendliness. I got scraps for free from Professional plastics, but they were not the most open about it, and only let me do it because “I had purchased from them before”. I mean I get it, they don’t want a bunch of scroungers coming in and dumpster diving, but like your source, they were just going to recycle them.

I’ll add your source info to the top post, thanks!

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Good info, thanks!

Sucks they’re closed on weekends!

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we bought some stuff from Rockler. Not really happy with the quality. Their thin stock was all narrow (i think the biggest was maybe 4" x 24"x1/8"? and cupped or warped. That’s the kennesaw store, so maybe the other location is different, but…