Positioning a jig on the floor of a Glowforge Plus

I’ve been trying to prepare a jig to engrave 1 1/2 inch wood blocks on the floor of the GF so I can invert them and engrave the opposite side. I’ve seen several ideas, many of which had magnets to help keep the jig in position while turning over the blocks, etc. I just learned from GF staff that my unit doesn’t have any area of the base (except for 5 small nuts) that responds to a magnet. How are others addressing the issue of keeping a jig in place while adjusting the work.

Thanks for any help you can give.


Tape works, but having a jig that you can precisely place will work anytime so having one corner match the bottom right corner and run up that side to fix the rotation will work any time. Then you could use the tape to hold it in place.


This was designed to make the tray stay in place, but something like this that you can cut a groove in it and in your jig so once they’re in place in the machine your jig hooks into them would make it a repeatable solution…


This question is outside our team’s scope. I’ve moved it to the Beyond the Manual so the discussion can continue there.

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Huh that must be newish? My interior is fully magnetic, I wonder if they between aluminum and steel at some point?

Anyway I don’t have any great ideas for you, just thought that was interesting.

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You’re over-thinking this. Just cut it oversize so it seats against the front door and one side rail. Even if it is moved while rotating the blocks, just slide it back into the corner.

Better yet cut a corner compound jig, an L-shaped piece that sits against the rail and front at known position, then slide any other jig into that. You can reuse that L piece over and over, just design all other jigs to sit in that corner.


Overthinking is one of my strong suits! I did come up with solution of sorts that I think will let me place oversized items in the GLOWFORGE and let me rotate or reposition them. I’ll see if I can post a pdf of the idea, but here is how I’d describe the solution: Make two inverted T shaped pieces about 1/4" thick and with the riser about 1" tall. Total height would be 1 1/4" from base. Place them on the floor of the GLOWFORGE and tape in position. These will support a piece of cardboard or other material for a jig. Under the carboard, between the two risers, I will put a “protective” piece of material. I will set the alphabet blocks on top of that after the cardboard is cut to create the jig.
If I have something smaller than the 1 1/2" blocks, but still too big for the crumb tray, then I’ll just add layers of material under the "protective piece to raise the top up above the level of the cardboard jig.
I have struggled with an idea to hold the cardboard in place on the risers. One idea is to use o-o’s and evansd2’s idea to push the cardboard corner into the left front corner of the GF. One I came up with was to use push tacks (flat head). Not sure if they’re magnetic or not.
I’ll try to put my design idea (I’m a linguist not an engineer) on this note.

tablejigforglowforge.pdf (25.8 KB)

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As for the magnets, buy a magnetic whiteboard on amazon. My GF pro has magnetic base but my plus does not. Here is a post on how to mitigate it: https://www.instagram.com/p/CP8PG8aHNpa/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

As for keeping a jig stable, just move to coordinates for the specific use: https://community.glowforge.com/t/reinsertable-grid-file-and-tutorial

Hopefully technology will make a more ideal solution in the future.

Set this in the base of the GF: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D4NZCW8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I was quite surprised the the bottom of my pro held the shielded magnet so I almost could not get it loose. However it may be a change in design that the newer machines have stainless that is less magnetic.

Do you put any sacrificial material on the whiteboard surface for the first jig cut out? I love the idea of the whiteboard and stacked magnets to place and hold the jig. I’m also fascinated with the marking and positioning grid approach to allow for repeatable engraves.
After I finish my first major project - the Harry Potter Monopoly set, for my four grandchildren and two God daughters, I have decided I’ll start making simple alphabet blocks for my three great grandchildren. I won’t be as elaborate with them as the project example I saw, but someday I’ll try some of those too (@shogun made a beautiful set).

I do not anchor down the magnetic whiteboard. When I cut I remove it from the GF and put in the crumb tray. But that doesn’t mean just putting sacrificial items on the whiteboard wouldn’t work if you choose to cut with it in.

I am sure there are other options out there. A magnetic whiteboard was just the first solution that came to mind when I got in the plus. I actually like using the whiteboard better because it protects the base of my GF and I can slide it all the way to the back to align things with the back wall of the GF.

This is what my setup looks like:

Looks pretty handy. Do you recall what the item name was at Amazon? I’ve seen several that might work, but the glass top on yours looks useful.

I’m confused about one thing: I thought you used the magnet sheet with stacked magnets to set the height of a jig to place pieces in. How would you remove the sheet without disturbing the location of the jig? Or did I miss something?

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Yup! This is mine: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D4NZCW8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Which jib are you talking about specifically? The grid one? If so then yes, you would put down the magnetic whiteboard, then the magnets, then the grid, and then you would put whatever you are engraving on the grid. The photo I posted with the marble slab might of been confusing because I was just using the whiteboard and the magnets (I happened to not have a need for a grid for the specific marble example). Here is another photo of my setup if I was to use the whiteboard, magnets, and grid (the whiteboard and magnets are under the grid and what are holding up the grid):

Ahh, now I think I understand. I’ve been thinking I needed to place a cardboard (or other Cheap material) jig in place to hold items that don’t fit on the crumb tray. I see now what you’re doing, I think. You have the magnet sheet and magnets to allow you to position the grid board for whatever height items you have. Then you use the location on the grid to place the items in the same place each time, whether it’s repeating for new items or turning an item to engrave the back or sides (e.g., block sides).
Did I paraphrase that correctly?

I just realized one of the things that has caused some of my confusion - I don’t have the alignment feature in my GFUI. There isn’t any nine-square grid, nor any way to put in location coordinates on my machine. I’ve sent a support request email to find out if my machine doesn’t have that feature or I am looking in the wrong place.

You don’t have this little ruler in the bottom left corner when you have a piece of art selected (clicking on it opens the fuller menu)?

Thanks! I’m away from the GLOWFORGE right now, so I’ll check tomorrow when I crank it back up.

@stevegrimaud Sorry, I think I took for granted on where in the setup to start. Basically, when things don’t fit in MY GF with the crumb tray in, then I remove the tray and gather the following items:

These are just my preferences and there are many other flavors of these types of setup. I post a good amount of videos on my Instagram that show how I setup for many different things. I just use Instagram because it allows for videos which are much more helpful. https://www.instagram.com/mydogsthinkimsewcrazy/