Stupid line hack 🤦‍♂️

For the last year I’ve been using snips to trim waste from partially cut sheets, or even just breaking the waste off by hand. The leftover stock is easier to store this way, and I can make better use of the precious edge material by placing the now-smaller scraps in the center of the bed.

The other issue I have is the plethora of stock available in 12x24 which must be cut down to 12x20 to fit the bed. I happen to have a table saw but it’s a bit of a pain to drag that out for one or two sheets of stock. And not everyone has a table saw or bandsaw just laying around so that 12x24 stock can be a problem.

Well, the other day the thunderbolt struck and I felt retroactively stupid going back a year because the solution is so obvious. I whipped up a file with two straight lines. One vertical and one horizontal. In retrospect, even that was over-engineering it because the GFUI lets you move unattached line endpoints anywhere so you can make any angle you need and any length.

So instead of breaking the waste off by hand, I can now grab a line, position, copy, paste, repeat, and let the GF do the hard work for me…

Below is a screen shot where I’m trimming waste from a partially used sheet. (Please ignore the shims under the bottom. My proofgrade maple hardwood curled up and the shims are keeping the remaining stock flat on the bed.)

The other use for this hack is for the Pro Pass-Thru feature. From now on when I need to trim 12x24 stock I’ll just feed it into the pass-thru slot and cut 4 inches off the end with one of my handy-dandy lines!

I hesitate to post the file since it’s just two lines, but I think it’s obligatory for this category so here ya go.



In case you ever want other shapes, there is a free file of lines, squares, ovals, circles etc.

I subscribe to the Premium features so I have a line at my disposal at all times, but for those that don’t subscribe your hack will be helpful for sure.


Here it is…


I have a Pro and usually do not cut the 4" off but use it turned around for designs that are not more than 12" long. I also buy 18" x 24" stock and do the same thing, and for 4’ x 8’ cuts at 19" get you 5 pieces at 19" x 48" I use in a similar fashion.

I do use a scroll saw on scrap as I can make all the cuts faster than I can set them up to run on the Glowforge.


Cool. Thanks! I’ve downloaded it. Looks like it will come in handy.

I don’t have a scroll saw but I can see where that would be fast and easy. Last couple of days I have been working with small stock and when I arrange my project I just add the cut lines to trim the waste in the same job. Not as fast as taking a batch to the scroll saw but pretty streamlined.


This is exactly what I’ve been doing, too! :smiley: I have premium, though, so I just use the lines available there.


Where a scroll saw is not fast is making a long straight cut and I do use the Premium straight line to cut a slice off a long (19"x 48") or the 8"x36" PG boards in half to use rotated. I have several designs that take almost exactly 18" so accuracy is the difference between getting 2 usable pieces or just one.

1 Like

I hadn’t thought about using lines on the GF to cut like that either. I’ve just used a little hacksaw or break them by hand. I’ll have to do this, as I have two totes that are full of scraps I need to reduce to useable pieces. Thanks for sharing!


Great idea

1 Like

Nothing stupid about it.

I have a ‘bookmarked’ folder (I’m on Mac but pretty sure WinDoze supports the same) called ‘laser stuff’ where I keep everything laser-related, and a ‘basic shapes’ folder in there. I have individual files for every common shape, including lines. Over a dozen, including unusual stuff like my ‘brand’ that I engrave onto the back of stuff I give away.

I rarely use them as it’s so quick and easy to create outlines in Inkscape, and most designs I cut are irregular shapes anyway, but I have used the lines to trim down over-sized pieces a few times like you describe. Most recently on hardboard for door panels on a cabinet I am slowly chipping away at.


I was channeling David Letterman’s “Stupid Human Tricks” there. Which, I suppose, kind of dates me.

What prompted me to post was the number of metrics on which this hack scores at one or other end of the Bell curve, particularly the very high scores for utility and obviousness contrasted with the extremely low scores for learning curve and execution time. That’s a rare combo in my experience. Anyway, I felt a bit stupid for not thinking of this sooner, but not so much as to stop me from posting, hence the title.

Glad to see a couple of responses indicating this was helpful. I suspected I might not be the only one who hadn’t thought of this. :grinning: