Non-proofgrade materials; using everything but the 'baaaa'

[I don’t know how to get rid of a tag once I’ve mis-selected it; this should just be about wood.]

I scored some good finds at the local ReStore. Here are their stories and photos.

  1. Long ago, I bought a window blind that had all-wood slats. At first I thought they were ply, but it turns out they are solid. Once I FINALLY did some systematic testing, I started getting results I wanted.

I never have a ruler at hand. I don’t need super precise, just accurate with 1/4" and cm marks, and a way to attach it to me. The first one was on PG draftboard scrap, and the next ones from the slats of the blinds. I have to break them up to fit in the 'forge (btw, does that mean we create forgeries? Sorry, I’m addicted to bad puns). This means I can get two rulers and two mini-net shuttles out of one full slat.

You can see how close the tolerance was with the remaining scrap. I’m going to adjust the design of the shuttles, so there’s no cut edge on one section–this way, I can take advantage of the finished edge of the slat.

This is a really useful ruler design that I will post soon. One thing I’ve found is that it’s much easier to use if the datum is at the far end of the ruler, that is, “0” is at the opposite end of the ruler attached to me. I use a retractable ID badge holder that clips to my front pocket. Once I fix the orientation, I’ll put up the file.

  1. Just this week, I picked up 50+ board feet of cedar closet planks. They are smooth on one side, and mildly rough on the other. There are lots of knots that I’ve learned to work around. Things like inside cuts are problematic, so I’m just engraving and scoring everything but the outer cut line.

People who have a lot of wool (spinners, weavers, knitters and sweater-lovers) value cedar for their moth-repellant features. Plus, they smell really good. Here is my first mistake, and how I work around it now.

Llama, rabbit and sheep produce favorite spinning fiber. All the images came from the premium graphics. I have found that there are almost no rabbit graphics that resemble the Angora bunnies I’m used to. The one I’m using now is much more stylized, but more Angora-like and compatible with the llama and sheep elements.

Although I can cut the cedar w/out masking, it leaves a kind of greasy residue around the image (top photo). If I use a wide masking tape, i can see the knots in the wood, so I emphasize their location with pencil marks. I can see this through the lid camera and position my work accordingly.

And that’s how I spent Thursday night & Friday morning.


Nice, thanks for sharing.

BTW: I adjusted your tags for you


I to was once enamored with ceder closet planking. It looks great when cut—and smells good too. However the down side to cutting cedar is lots of oily smoke which coats the inside of the Glowforge. For that reason I don’t use cedar that much anymore in my Glowforge. :sunglasses:


Thanks very much.

Thank you for sharing your experience. (Wait till you see the next thing I’ve done…)

Tip: Household ammonia cuts the smoke residue instantly. I just did a large puzzle, and rather than weed each piece I pulled the mask before cutting. Wipe with a fingertip in a rag and it’s gone.
I have done thousands of coin tokens engraved both sides, and that saved me a week of weeding.


If you rotate the slats 30-degrees you can engrave a full 19+ inches.
I also posted these Two sticks to rule the world


Thank you for changing my perspective on using the inner space of the GlowForge. I’m on my way to your link now. :kissing:

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One change since I wrote that is the ability to mirror things in the GFUI. So I mirrored the design and made it in clear acrylic so there is no parallax.

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You mirrored the design and printed on the “back” side of the piece (the surface farthest from you)? I think that’s what I understand…

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It was the top when lasered of course but reading with the lasered stuff on the bottom the mirrored text read properly.

Oops, I should have clarified, “…when installed.”

That’s what I do with all my frosted transparent acrylic; engraved details appear to have more depth when seen from the non-frosted side.


Is it ok to cut the wooden blinds
even with the finish on them?

Wood rarely has a finish that can’t/shouldn’t be lasered. It’s not uncommon to partially finish a wood project, laser through the coating, then final finish.


SCORE!!! And yes it’s a complete sentence!

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Thank you! I feel better about using the repurposed wood!