Lowest safe temperature for storage of glowforge (coolant, does it expand.. freezing point)

MSDS still exist for it, mind you, even if not hazardous. Curious what they are using, myself.

I’m sure that it does and I’m sure that you are!

Well, that was dismissive…

But you be you, I guess.

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From the US OSHA website… Emphasis mine.

MSDSs that represent non-hazardous chemicals are not covered by the HCS. Paragraph 29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(8) of the standard requires that “the employer shall maintain in the workplace copies of the required MSDSs for each hazardous chemical, and shall ensure that they are readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their workarea(s).” OSHA does not require nor encourage employers to maintain MSDSs for non-hazardous chemicals.

From an MSDS auditing firm…

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a safety document required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that contains data about the physical properties of a particular hazardous substance. MSDS sheets are created for a variety of hazard[ous] materials including compressed gases, flammable and combustible liquids, oxidizing materials, poisonous or infectious material, corrosive material and dangerously reactive materials.

I am not a lawyer (and refuse to use the acronym for that :face_with_raised_eyebrow: ), but unless the coolant contains a substance known to be hazardous to the end user, GF is under no obligation to provide an MSDS.

If there are non-hazardous additives to the (presumably) water, GF has every right to protect their trade secrets.

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Not dismissive. If the material is non-hazardous, Glowforge is under no obligation to release their coolant recipe or an MSDS for it. Lots of people are curious about what it is - curiousity isn’t an obligation to release those things either.

Hey let’s all be laser friends.

I had a good point earlier about shipping. It implies that the coolant can take lower temps. Or they’d be in trouble.

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I suppose I could open my tank and put a drop in the freezer to see what happens. ;-). I think i saw a cap on it. Hmmmm

We were able to obtain this secret spy camera footage of a Glowforge employee filling the coolant tanks.


Perhaps I should have Stated my original question much more clearly:

will my coolant freeze at 32degF???

will anything damaging happen at all below certain temperatures, if so, what?

It is now 38degF in my glowforge room. But I know you’re shipping these things and it’s sub zero outside in the shipping climate.

Your move glowforge…

Super interested in this as well. It’s cold as all heck out here- temps got down to 5 degrees yesterday. Those shipping trucks aren’t heated, and neither is my garage… I might be in trouble!

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History has shown that there is pretty much zero chance of getting info beyond the officially posted storage temperature limit. That is 40F. You might get a response that says something like, the company has not tested at temperatures outside of the official limits.

Of course the company knows that the shipping environment is harsher than the approved storage temperatures. That does not mean that I can bring it from zero to a 70F room and immediately turn it on. Just asking for trouble. That said, folks will attempt to operate or store the machine at temperatures outside of the approved range for which the unit is warranted. Presumably people more financially well off than I.

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OR… since the delivery trucks ARENT heated… and they’re still shipping glowforges… REALLY, it’s probably going to be just fine…

But until I hear more specifics, I’m trying to keep my shop above 32deg F… been hovering around 38 - 42 last few days… non heated garage. Try to keep the big door down as much as possible. (It basically gets residual heat from the house)

Really would like an official word. NOT just reading me the manual “40 is recommended for storage”… we get it. but we also realize, it’s not likely that’s the limit - nor is this DETAILED enough to tell us what actually COULD happen so that we could make decisions FOR OURSELVES… (garage is the only place I have to put this). And given that I think GF is shipping in this weather - 40 seems WAY TOO CONSERVATIVE - so I think we’re missing part of the truth here.

There’s “recommended”…
Then there is reality.

What will really happen to a GF stored, powerless, at 30. at 20. at 10. at 0. at -10…
I want to know

OBVIOUSLY, we let it warm up SLOOOOOOOWLY… and never ever power it on at those sub 60 temps… Yeah, I get that

Have a unit working it’s way across the country. Delivered to a hub in Illinois this morning when the temperature was -9F. It will be loaded for delivery to my house when it’s about zero F. Not so much worried about the delivery temps.

Figure it will take 4 to 6 hours for the coolant to warm once it’s in my house with it turned off. I put a remote temp sensor inside my current GF as a test and you would be surprised how difficult it is and how long it takes to get the inner components to a working temp once it gets cold.


@rpegg that is super interesting. Thanks for those details!

So two glowforges? That will be fun!

That is great info at least- I was surely gonna be excited to time my open-box-to-first-print time, but thinking about what you’ve said, I’ll be waiting overnight before firing it up!

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No. Mine was in an unheated truck at 9F and then in my garage at a similar temp for several days. It never got over 10F. When I brought it inside I left it for a day to warm up before I powered it up and it’s working fine.


So the only remaining detail that will be useful to know…
Does the GF ship with the coolant evacuated from the laser tube, or is it fully filled in the glasstube…

I seem to remember lots of bubbles my first time turning it on, but I failed to notice if the coolant was simply evacuated until first power on or not… (Having the coolant evacuated could allow the coolant to expand safely during shipping)

Anyone letting their GF go below 32F for the winter after having used it? :slight_smile:

I do not believe it’s in the tube when shipped. The color of the tube changed when I powered it up.

Having the coolant evacuated could allow the coolant to expand safely during shipping

So we still have the question, what happens to the tube & coolant at sub 32F temps… I dont know that I saw an answer to that above. But the -9F temps during shipping is very interesting, we know it survives that (though the glass may not be in contact yet with any fluids)…

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This is what I meant in my other post about “self heating mode”. There is something on the order of 800W of demand when the unit is running. I think I read that somewhere. Even when running in a coldish shop (with coldish shop makeup air flowing into the unit), the unit still heats up when you use it. Presumably there is a way to make the unit draw some power without turning on the laser.

The question I had was whether the unit could be programmed (as a feature request) to draw some power automatically to heat itself in a standby mode to keep anything untoward from happening in the instances when the ambient temp drops below 40F.

For example, running the coolant pump intermittently would create heat and also keep the coolant from freezing, if in fact there is an issue with it freezing at some certain temperature.