Tools, supplies to accompany the Glowforge

Almost November - getting closer… This got me thinking (along with some recent posts about calipers) about what other tools or supplies besides substrates may be helpful along side your forge. As mentioned, many users have or purchased the digital calipers ( USPS delivered mine today ! on a Sunday), but I’ve been looking (and purchasing) some other items.
Such as:
Sanding Sticks - great for tight areas and taking just a “smidgen” off a tab for a fit. While Amazon carries them - I found them at HobbyLobby and with 40% coupon , fraction of the cost. Sanding twigs look interesting as well.

Also (if you don’t have), a rubber mallet is a good idea. - I found one at the 99 cent store - I mean it’s a rubber mallet - I’m not building a house - just need to tap some tight edges in w/o marring.
Wide masking tape or paper tape for masking. Small hinges, latches, hooks (eye hooks, hangers) all depending on you use for your laser. Adhesives for wood and acrylic… paints, coatings (lacquers, spray acrylics, etc.) Just some things to keep your eyes open for if you haven’t already…
Also tools such as (possibly) needle nose pliers, tiny files, I even picked up a small butane torch for $2-$3 in case I need to smooth acrylic edges. Leather conditioner/sealer…
If machines arrive to some before Xmas - may be a hectic time to get stuff out by the 25th! :gift:

What do you think? What other things ?:thinking:


Nice finds and advice. Thank you. - Rich


A device that I refer to as a spudger, alowing you to pry tabs into place. A good steel spudger works best.

Something like this:

or a “junior pry bar” type:

But stay away from this type, they tend to bend too easily to be used as a spudger, they have many other modelling uses though…


That’s a great list you came up with. I will be saving it for future reference. Thank you


Liking the look of those spudgers.
Only bought two tools to go with the GF so far.
An acrylic line bender and a MEK flame polisher.
I was thinking of getting a new computer as well, but Apple have just put up their prices in the UK (by as much as £500), due to the plummeting value of the pound.


I used those sanding sticks for years. The rounded end is spring loaded to tension the belt, that you can advance to a new cutting surface.

Probably the most versatile tool I own is my Foredom hand piece (jewelers dremel). Flex shaft driven so small diameter. Cutting, grinding, sanding and polishing.
I have it coupled to a motor speed controller that keeps set RPM constant regardless of applied load. Very handy to precisely control material removal - from just scratching to high speed abrasion.
You don’t have to invest in a professional tool, but I highly recommend a dremel type tool!

My jewelry bench is packed with steel and diamond burrs, files, sanding discs and assorted hand tools that allow me to work practically any material.
I moved away from jewelry years ago, but the bench has served continuously as a focus for detailed work/repair or evisceration.
It will figure large in my laser crafts. I am all set.

The bench itself is an artwork. I’ma have to take some better pictures.


I’m a fortunate owner of the Foredom micromotor cordless. That is a really sweet little tool, highly recommended.


Yes, please share some photos. I really like seeing how other craftsman/woodworkers are set up for their hobbies. - Rich


A dremel is a definite tool to add to the list - I have several along with several attachments (router table, drill press and very useful flex shaft). So many add-ons available now for sanding, cutting, drilling, etc.


That is a sweet little tool!
The portability is killer. I have to have another hanging pole for the motor when I use it at the deep sink for wet cutting/grinding (one advantage of a flexshaft, not having an electrical tool in your wet hands).
Thanks for the link, With that little jewel you are well armed!


Thank you for this! I’ve thought about this a couple of times, but since I have no laser experience, all I could come up with was a) table! b) fire extinguisher. Your list is a bit more thorough than mine.


If you are going to be using proofgrade or other materials that have masking, especially if you are going to do intricate designs or lots of letters, you will be well served by some kind of weeding tool (used for removing all the little bits of masking, slightly more precise than a thumbnail).

  • I use an Excel retractable scribe,
  • A regular hobby knife with a #11 blade (i prefer excel to olfa or exacto for cutting, but for just weeding the blade quality is not important),
  • And a Specialty Materials Weeding Tool.


Anybody know the difference between that and this one?
Saeyang K-38 RED Portable Rotary Micromotor Kit Complete Set?
Search on Amazon it is 2/3 the cost but looks the same - even states: “TIP: Saeyang manufactures this product and is sold under the name Foredom” .


Good find! I suspect it’s the same unit–it certainly looks just like mine other than the name on the front. In the Rio Grande catalog regarding the Foredom unit it states that it is made in South Korea. Keep in mind that this takes 3/32" shaft bits. There apparently is another model (at least it is listed in the Rio Grande catalog for the Foredom) that takes 1/8" bits.

Edit: I just checked, and while the 3/32" model is made in South Korea, the 1/8" model is made in the US. Wierd! And apparently Saeyang does not make a 1/8" model.

I’m surprised you can’t change collets.
I have 3/32" and 1/8" for the same tool.

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It doesn’t work like a Dremel. The handpiece itself unlocks with a twist and you put the bit in; no interchangeable collets. But changing bits is really fast and convenient.

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So a big problem with the collet wrench was - finding it.
Solved that by attaching a 2 foot chain to it and nailing it to the front of the bench to one side.
Without even looking, reach to the side and feel the chain - sweep the wrench into my hand, use it, then just drop it.
Always right there. Must have saved me hours over the years.


Yeah, we do something similar with our bench Foredom (and all the other drills in the house): the collet wrench is attached to the power cord with a Velcro strap.


Me too! Here you go…
Gathering my jeweler’s tools across a few years, I really needed a higher level of organization.
About 25 years old, it has taken a beating.
Made of Vermilion or African Padauk or Purple heart, whichever term you prefer. All came from a cabinetmaker’s scrap pile. I really like this wood. When first cut, it looked like black walnut. overnight it took on the color. Oxidation I presume.
I cut down and rebuilt file drawer glides to fit. I modified the bench pin for quick-change with a vise-grip type lever. PanaVise on its own pin along with other tools for special operations. Featured in the mount is a standard pin with a third hand mounted to it.
Bottom left is the motor speed controller I mentioned, with a small motor for the buff. Bench top is “Benolex”, think 3 inch hard Masonite. That piece probably weighs 120 lbs!

First is the pliers rack that pulls out and swivels. There is a spring loaded detent on the brass post to center it.

Next is for the hand pieces for the Foredom.

Then comes the hammers

Next is the marble tool block and collets

Then the needle files

Next is where I keep the buffs. Originally intended for a soldering station with a place to keep the solder and flux with

a slab of fire brick, but the torch flame was much too close to my box for comfort. (Yeah, didn’t really think that through)

Underneath you see the business end of one of those old cast aluminum Royal vacuums with the cloth bag. Perfect for dustless grinding and polishing.
The toggle switch above the buff motor energizes the buff and the vac.

So many hours of work spent there over a couple of decades, making love to gold, silver, opal, turquoise etc.
I will only part with it when I die.

A part of me will stay with it. :wink:


Let me know at that time how much you want for it.