Not Losing Tiny Pieces Into the Tray

Does anyone have tricks for not losing tiny pieces into the tray once they’re lasered?

I’ve been doing a lot of tiny inlay, and have been having to either sort through the junk in my tray (which involves taking the whole thing out) or cutting like 5 of every tiny piece to get one that doesn’t fall through the holes.

Any magic suggestions?

I put a piece of aluminum foil on the tray below the material.


Do you get significant flashback this way?

I tend to use more “laserable” materials, like a piece of baltic birch ply or something. My theory goes like: If your settings are correct you should be able to cut your inlay pieces without fully cutting the baltic, and you’ll have all the laser energy absorbed by the underlayer, so no flashback.

I reuse my baltic scrap over and over, it takes a long time before you need to replace it.


Oh that’s a good idea. I’m (mostly) cutting 1/8" so I could easily put another 1/8" under it


Nothing that’s been an issue. All my inlay work has been with masked PG materials. mostly acrylic.

mm, interesting. I know aluminum is pretty good at absorbing IR, maybe it’s enough.

Perhaps the thing to do is glue aluminum foil to a permanent backer like baltic, and you’d have a reusable small parts crumb tray drop in?

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Just using scrap ply is probably better. I just told them how I had done it.


The foil is useful to know for the rarer times I’m doing 1/4" inlay, so thank you!

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