Beginner Tool Kit

So I’ve had my GF for about a month and I’ve figured out that there are a lot of tools that make lasering easier that aren’t necessarily available on the website, and obviously can’t be endorsed by GF itself.

For example: Painters tape. Like what? It’s amazing. Found that on the forums.

So I was thinking that if there wasn’t a thread already we could start one and add our gadgets and tricks to it. I’ll add all the suggestions and links to the original post. I didn’t find anything in a forum search but if there is one feel free to point me in that direction.

Painter’s Tape - Great for engraving and keeping sharp lines without the gunk you can get. Alternatively suggested that you use transfer tape: https://www.uscutter.com/TransferRite-Medium-Tack-582U https://www.signwarehouse.com/c/enduramask-mht-130-medium-high-tack-transfer-tape https://www.uscutter.com/TransferRite-Medium-Tack-582U

Magnets - Good for holding down light projects.

Honeycomb Pins - Honeycomb bed holdown pins THESE ARE A MUST for holding down thicker materials that may have warped. Also amazing for jigs holding patterned work that requires flipping.

Knit Hook - Meant for loom knitting, but works ridiculously well for pulling up the edges of projects without moving the entire piece of material.

Hand Held Vacuum - Great for cleaning up the little pieces in the forge that are a pain to get to. I would hope it would be obvious but DO NOT USE THIS ON MATERIALS THAT ARE WARM. I mainly use this in the morning after it’s been sitting cold all night. Nobody wants a house fire.

Zeiss Wipes - https://smile.amazon.com/Zeiss-Pre-Moistened-Lens-Cleaning-Wipes/dp/B00GL64QG6/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1523402826&sr=8-3&keywords=zeiss%2Bwipes&th=1

A small flashlight

Denatured alcohol

Wood glue

Calipers!

A tool for weeding such as Gorilla tape or a razor blade

Fine grit sand paper

Baby wipes or orange clean - removes sticky residue left after engraving without masking

Check the comments for specifics!
I’ve learned so much from you guys, just hoping to help out all the other newbies.

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i highly recommend transfer tape over blue painters tape. significantly less expensive and you can get it in a lower-tack so it’s not as hard to get off of some materials.

for example, transferite 582u medium tack.

fwiw, i also don’t mask areas i engrave unless it’s a deep engrave. if there’s anything light about the engrave, it will likely create a sticky mess where the light areas are and may not even engrave all the way through the tape.

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Can I ask what the difference is between the two just for understandings sake? I had blue painter’s tape on hand but I’m totally willing to swap. Lower tack meaning less sticky?

I just ordered this at the recommendation of Sign Warehouse.

https://www.signwarehouse.com/c/enduramask-mht-130-medium-high-tack-transfer-tape

Others use the Transferrite U582, I believe. This was recommended because it should be gentler to the face of photograph paper.

The u582 is out of stock. I guess Glowforgers ran them out!

The one I bought is a little over 8 cents a square foot.

Masking tape seems to be .60-.70 cents a square foot. The transfer tape is definitely a bargain, if you can spend a little more upfront and wait on a delivery.

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And for more ideas, be sure to check out this list:

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The 582U is also available for about the same price from UScutter.

https://www.uscutter.com/TransferRite-Medium-Tack-582U

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yeah, US Cutter is where i got mine (and the link in my post).

as @jbmanning5 pointed out, cost is a big part of it. way less expensive per SF. it’s also less sticky, so for some substrates it’s much easier to deal with. it takes a little more work to adhere and smooth on, but a simple squeegee will take care of it (or even just the side of a credit card or something similar).

last, you can buy it in 12" wide rolls. if you’re masking large areas, using 2-3" strips of tape takes a lot longer and you have to be careful lining up the edges of the strips.i can mask a 12x20 sheet in moments with a single strip.

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I always use regular ol’ beige masking tape (2" wide).

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Looks like the same $9.99 flat rate shipping. I went with Sign Warehouse because they are in-state (hoping for faster delivery). However, I discovered that their flat-rate shipping uses FedEx SmartPost. Not sure about US Cutter. They sent the shipment out fast, but smartpost is very slow. Sent out 4/10 - estimated delivery is 4/17 - all within the state of Texas. :frowning:

Different levels of sticky for different materials, so depending on what you do you may find yourself with a large collection of masking material. Transfer tape comes in very wide widths compared to painter’s tape. It also seems to be pressure sensitive, so use a squeegee to apply. For the types of squeegees I have you need a handle and a blade - not necessarily crystal clear on some of the web sites I’ve seen.

You need to add a weeding material to the list. Gorilla tape or a plastic razor blade. I used my trusty fingernail Sunday and broke off a fine detail. I know better.

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the fancy squeegees are nice, but you really don’t need one of them to do this. you could literally use an old credit card, or you can throw on a cheapo like one of these for a dollar or a few dollars when you order from us cutter (or similar shop).

i have one of these that i added onto my order last fall. works great.

but you could use one of these dollar ones and be fine.

you basically just need a nice, flat edge to rub it down.

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Also good to know:

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I use the one you linked, but I have the handle as well. You don’t need the handle, but nice to have in my opinion. The ones from a sign store will match the widths of the transfer tape. Again, you could use an old credit card on 12" wide transfer tape, but it is nice to have a matching squeegee.

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Baby wipes or orange clean - For taking the sticky crud off after engraving with no masking

Someone suggested this in a post I read. I haven’t tried it, but have it in my cart, if the other isn’t available that’s suggested in the above comments. masking

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