Fire is Bad

For what it’s worth, that advice directly contradicts the manual.

If the crumb tray is removed, use extreme caution to ensure that the laser only strikes
laser-compatible material, and does not touch the metal bottom of the unit which could cause a reflection and damage the unit.


People tend not to share failure for a number of reasons, but it is important to do so and has great benefits to others. Thank you for sharing this experience! It will keep me safer!!!

Maybe, just maybe, you can license these photos to @Dan for a brand new GlowForge and he can use them in some manner in the GF User Documents to educate and remind current and future customers to understand risk and best procedures.

I do really stupid stuff periodically when I have a Brain-Fart (just recovered from a table saw kickback) and have toyed with the idea of starting a Go Fund Me page titled, “Help Tim Recover from His Stupidity” in order to fund the cost of damaged property and medical costs. Just an idea for you.

I have three rules when I start a project:

  1. No one dies
  2. No one gets hurt
  3. No property is damaged

Unfortunately, not all rules get followed perfectly.

Again, thank you for sharing your experience and photos!!!


For some reason whenever someone is scared of one of my tools it is always the band saw. I tell them unless you stick your hand right in the blade this is not the tool that will get you. It will be the table saw or the drill press.


Aw jeez. Table saw kickbacks can be brutal. I’ve seen people get pretty messed up by that, drill presses, and lathes slinging stuff into them. I’m shuddering even trying to type this. Glad you’re recovered.


Thank You for the information regarding your situation. I only use wood, acrylic, ceramic and leather in my forge & I keep watch all the time & sit next to my forge the whole time it is running. Even playing it safe you can still have a problem.

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I have been using table saws for 56 years, since I was 14. Never an accident with a table saw!!! I am a crazed safety nut most of the time because my Grandfather lost a few fingers and that made a great impression. I ALWAYS used a blade guard and riving knives. Pretty good safety record!

I took the blade guard off to use a sled to cut a bunch of pen blanks. My wife wanted some wood squares cut for a pop bottle rocket base for my grandsons. I used my hand circular saw but when she wanted them to be perfectly square, I decided to run them thru the table saw without replacing the guard or knives. Thought just cutting a tiny fraction of an inch off would be ok!

Wow, was I wrong. The kickbacked 3/4 inch piece of plywood was like a flying surgical knife frisbee. Injury not serious, but educational. Now I will always re-install the guard and knives.

Ironic, that I was in the garage this morning and found part of the kick backed piece in the back of the garage. I even had the saw outside in front of the garage.

I tried to respond to you @markevans36301 too at the same time but don’t know how to include two people in the same response. Is that possible to do in Discourse?


I’m sorry your glowforge is no more – that must be devastating – but I’m glad everything else outside of the glowforge is alright.


Although, I haven’t cut anything requiring the removal of my crumb tray yet. I plan to use tile as my back stop material. It won’t catch fire, and based on all the tile etching forgers have been doing it’s obviously pretty darn laser compatible.

Sorry to you lost you GF. Glad to hear it didn’t end up being worse.


Not possible to respond to more than one person in a post but you can @ or quote as many as you want. Works out the same.


Really sorry this happened. I’m glad you are ok and that no other property was damaged.


:+1: Tiles are my go-to backstop, plus they are of uniform thickness, so stacking them allows you to reach the focus range with a number of different materials.

Like this, for example. :sunglasses:


Tile is a great suggestion! Hey @dan… any chance you want to give an idiot who torched his GF a discount on a new one?? Ugh.

Also, I can take some higher quality pictures if you need to show what can happen when there’s a fire.


My table saw response was actually meant for you, but I hit the wrong reply button! @rmaker1952 ended up being the unintended target, sort of like getting hit by a virtual kickback! :slight_smile:


Every year I do a Google search on ‘Lathe Accidents’ before I use my lathe for the next year. There are some beyond gruesome accident photos, usually involving catching loose clothing in the fast rotating chuck. The photos are sobering and increase the probability of me not going ‘brain dead’ for even a few seconds when using one.


No worries. I’m tracking this thread.

Another tool that gets people is a sander/grinder like we all have.

And I learned my tablesaw lesson the hard way too. After being super cautious forever, one more cut got me. Pro top: Don’t trim your fingernail with a table saw, especially with a dado blade attached.


There is a lot there that would not be covered under Warranty but I would guess that it might be repaired cheaper than the price of a new one. Looking at it , it looks much better off than this one.

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I don’t know about Dan, but there are any number of folks here (myself included) who would be happy to give you a referral!

So sorry this happened to you. If it’s any comfort, looking at the burned out chassis tells me it did just what it was supposed to do: keep the fire contained as much as possible and limit your losses.


So sorry for the conflagration. Glad it was able to be contained. Thanks for posting this topic. It isn’t easy to post a mistake, especially of this magnitude. I can’t imagine how bad this feels.

It will help us all learn to improve safety.

For all those who are reading this topic and haven’t been following a lot about materials and safety, cardboard has some intrinsic characteristics that make it liable to catch fire. The corrugations allow fire to propagate outside of the influence of the air assist in a normal situation. With the foam sheet on top, that does make it more likely that the cardboard catches on fire.


Ouch!!! Lol on having a blade attached, I guess if you didn’t put a blade on the motor spindle, it couldn’t do much damage!!!

After using a chainsaw for 50 years, in shorts in the summer time, I finally got a pair of chaps!!!

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Yeah I’d kick back my referral bonus too. Together with the buyer discount that cuts $1000 off a new one right?