Does anyone else get nervous when

you have a nice piece of material, you think you’ve planned everything out right, but you only have the one and it’s time to hit the blinking light to start the cut?



I put a piece of paper over the material, lower the power to minimum and test run a square outline.

… just to make sure all is where I expect it :slight_smile:


YEP- THAT TIP is fantastic, and you can cancel the moment you see it starts in the right spot.
Thank you.


I’ve done that.

still didn’t help me tonight. i did several test pieces to test kerf on finger joints. had it working nicely, friction fit, but not too tight. but there was enough uneveness in the thickness that my joints are a nightmarish fit at best. trying to do some hand sanding w/sandpaper wrapped around the end of a small sheet of wood to see if i can open them up a little w/o making the fingers not fit evenly. but i’m not holding out hope. :confused:

condolences, that’s a bad feeling

Ugh. Time for a planer, perhaps?

I have always had to do at least a little sanding. if you just taper the end a bit, it will line up and then a clamp or even a rubber hammer can get it the rest of the way. Getting that first millimeter is the hardest.

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a planer doesn’t help in between the finger joints :frowning: if it was just the major flat surface, i could sand the snot out of it with a random orbit sander.

my hand skills are lacking. or i need to work on my setup for doing it. struggling keeping them even. there are gaps in the first one. :confused: will practice on the rest of this one, but it’s still frustrating. a nice piece of 1/4" crotch maple.

If you have a way to clamp it it gets pretty easy. My finger joints are often 3 mm in 1/4" plywood but in solid wood more like six or eight, Under that circumstance if you glue 220 or150 grit sandpaper flat to a piece of straight 1/8 scrap then minor sanding is very easy, i usually get it tight on three sides and then clamp the paper to the stick between two other pieces of flat scrap to assure it is flat. alternatively it is not hard to find metal files that are less than 1/4 inch thick and they also do a nice job. I even have a few needle files for when i need to work on very small openings.

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Speaking of finger joints…

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mine are much smaller than that. 1mm finger joints on 1/4". i was using 220 taped to 1/8" scrap. i need to get a vice up in my office shop. or maybe when i get back to it, i’ll use a clamp to the desktop.

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That is just nuts. Not only is there a carved 45 degree cut but a width of the saw in each cut, not so possible on a Glowforge due to the 45 degree cuts but it would be ash if you did try that with a laser, even then it manages on end grain but would be fun to see them try that on side grain :slight_smile:

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Once again mind working on a different axis I guess… See “thickness” and think board thickness (or would be z from the crumb tray & laser moves in x & y…) and not the dimension of the finger joint…

1mm finger joints even on maple end grain seems way pushing it. I went from 3 to 6 as the edge grain was splitting. If you are staying in end grain, the width at the top and bottom of the cut would be different and would need something like a metal cutting saw, perhaps a hacksaw blade to even out the opening. Even the char from the laser would be significant. Perhaps some 220 or even 400 grit “wet or dry” sandpaper put on with CA glue to the sides of the hacksaw blade. As I measure my small keyhole saw, the blade is almost a mm and even some tiny x-acto saw blades are 0.6 mm. My jewelers saw blades are 0.3 mm and useful where the laser did not cut all the way through but are fragile.

That would be at least 4mm. well within the range that you coulf find needle files.

That’s a Great tip!

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