Holding pieces in place

So I’m working on a complex cut with fine details and small pieces on 1/8" walnut. I’d like to keep some of these pieces in place and remove the waste pieces once completed. Since the smaller pieces risk falling through or out of place, does anyone have any tips or tricks for something like this? Masking tape backer? Sit on top of acrylic? Any other ideas?

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Welcome to the forum.
Some people have put a layer of aluminum foil under their material to stop the small pieces from falling through.

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This - or clean your tray prior to cutting, and then shake out all the tiny pieces once you’re done :slight_smile:

I’ve heard people mention the Seklema mat, a sticky mat for the laser bed that holds paper, fabric, etc. in place for fine cuts.

I haven’t tried it and can’t vouch for it firsthand, but it might be worth checking out. At $150.00, though, it’s a bit more expensive than tin foil.

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This is one thing I would suggest NOT to do…could be a fire hazard. I use a Seklema mat as @Doppler suggested, but mostly for working with paper. I’m not sure it would ‘stick’ well enough to use it with 1/8" material. The aluminum foil thing might work the best for what you’re doing.

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I use a Seklema and they’re great. And, in case you ever consider buying one, mine was about $80, not $150. Mine is about 12" x 12", so I’m thinking the $150 one must be quite a bit larger.

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As @Xabbess says lean toward no on acrylic. A wasteboard of MDF or 1/8 plywood (not Proofgrade, any other flat wood board) sprayed with Krylon Easy Tac or 505 Spray & Fix work nicely and can be reused almost indefinitely. They’re both temporary hold spray adhesives and a ton less $$ than a Seklema mat if you’re just experimenting and not doing production runs.

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Yes, I was looking at the 12" x 24", which would need to be cut down to fit the Glowforge bed.

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I agree that the Seklema mat is not a good choice here. I am using an 1/8" acrylic corner jig on mine right now (to hold paper – the acrylic is not getting hit by the laser) and, it stays good and stuck. I had to pry it off with a scraper. FWIW.