Questions about optimal setup

This forum is so awesome, I really like reading it. So I have been searching for an answer to this question, and all I really found was this post:

What I want to know is if it is safe to operate the GF when it is raining outside? I do pull my vent hose inside when not in use, but with the afternoon storms, it seems that when I get home from work it is always raining or very humid, and I don’t know whether it is safe to cut anything or not with conditions outside. Also, in that same post, @Jules mentioned that her vent has a screen on the window where she uses it. I started out doing that, but I stopped when I saw two distinct vent hose sized circles of dust/debris/lint, whatever it is, on my screen. Since then I have started raising the screen when venting but that brings new worries about bugs coming in. Any advice there? Thanks in advance!

When it’s raining outside - yes
If it’s storming so hard that water is getting inside your machine (that would have to be some major winds) probably not (probably not safe to use any electric appliance to be fair)

You can buy (or use your glowforge to build) a piece of wood/acrylic/corrugated plastic that covers the width of your open screen that has a 4" hole cut into it to slide your vent hose through. That’ll take care of bugs :slight_smile:
This is an example of a purchasable one:

ideally you’d cut a dedicated vent hole :slight_smile:
I use a louvered dryer vent solution, you might be able to make a custom screen rig that includes a louvered solution? I’ve seen lots of posts about magnetic quick release vent setups, that might be a good solution combined with a louvered vent setup?

It really all depends on how much time, money and effort you want to expend here.

My setup:

Oh sorry, I do have a board with a hole in it that I use to run the hose through. The thing I worry about is bugs getting in the hose. And when I forget to lower the screen after taking out that setup, I sometimes find spiders and what-not camping out in the gap. So I was wondering if it’s ok to have my board, with the hole in it and the hose hooked up, right outside the window but inside the screen if that makes sense.

The quart sized V-8 juice bottles are exactly the size to fit a 4" hose so if you cut the bottom to leave it so it flapped closed and cut the top to fit the hose and then hot glued that to your board with the hole in it it would be able to stay long term and provide you a quart of juice in the bargain. it will also seal the Glowforge exhaust without the need of bands for easy off and on.

I have seen this solution before, I just wish I didn’t hate V8 :slight_smile:


I guess there are a number of juices and other drinks in the same bottles. V-8 was just what I used.

I know, and I do appreciate it :slight_smile: I am going to try that at some point, and I’ll even sacrifice a bottle of V8 if I have to (my grandmother loved that stuff and tried to make me drink it all the time, probably why I have an aversion to it lol). But now the rain has stopped so I think I’ll go laser something, even if I don’t know what exactly at the moment.

Seriously, you guys are awesome, I do appreciate the help!


You’re fine using it in rain, or snow. If you just hung the hose outside all the time, with nothing like a louvered port on the end, I would worry too.

When you are lasering the exhaust fan is blowing air out the hose. Not much to you, but to an insect it is. If it can fight its way into your glowforge against the power of that fan you should seriously consider moving for your personal safety. During your pauses in lasering, it’s pretty unlikely, or you’re experiencing a very large and heavy hatch; like the mayfly hatches we used to see at my parent’s cabin. I would be exhausting through the screen during that large of a hatch.

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This is what I made but I know you can buy 4" quick disconnects online.

I use the Glowforge anytime I wish (i.e. heat, rain, snow, below zero cold) but never leave it connected when I’m not using it. Also as long as it connected I leave it turned on so I have positive airflow out of the laser cabinet.

There’s also these: Glowforge mounted blast gate that allow you to leave your hose in the window, but still lock down so nothing from outside can come in :slight_smile: