Using magnets as a jig

Just saw this on the laser facebook page that must not be named…:wink:
Unfortunatly I can’t do this currently since my honeycomb table is aluminum, but this will definitly be useful with the Glowforges honeycomb table.
Strong enough magnets should stay in place pretty well making it easy to drop in multiple objects to engrave, lining it up perfectly each time. Even though the camera can help with placement…this is goof proof so to speak…


Oh yeah! I’m planning on trying them for holding paper and card stock. I happen to have a nice collection of neodymium magnets.


Yes!! I think magnets will be very useful. I pick up a pack of these last week. :slight_smile:


I was just thinking about this today.

We have a platen table at work. It’s super handy in making sure things stay straight. I was wondering if I might be able to create some pins that slip into the honeycomb in order to use it in the same way. Perhaps something slightly smaller than the honeycomb hex with a hilt of sorts to prevent it from falling through.

Here is a picture of one if you’re not familiar with them.


I use magnets all the time on my laser. Have never clamped anything in my life.

The down side of magnets is that they chip real easy. And once chipped, collect dirt and grime fast.

So I get black smudges and smears where I place my magnets.

This may be largely because I also do metal working and sandblasting in the same general area. So there is a lot of ferrous debris to pick up.

And if you take care of your magnets (we often throw ours 15+ feet at the “magnet wall” instead of putting them away nicely), they aren’t likely to chip the chrome and start turning to powder on you.

But still… Don’t use the crappy magnets to hold Lycra to the wall as a drop cloth, or you will have to do laundry afterward. :frowning:


Yes, indeed! Now, I always keep some baggies handy to wrap the magnets in for that or to collect the metal shavings when drilling in certain areas.

One of the handiest magnets I use has a 4" piece of 1" bar stock mounted to the back. I can clamp it in the vise and put small parts on it for sanding & grinding. Works fantastic if you use a light touch.

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I wrap my magnets in Sugru. You can also add handles to make them easier to remove/move.


I’ve been on the verge of ordering Sugru so many times. I actually had an order placed at one point and then cancelled it.

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This reminds me that I have an old Magnetix magnetic building set from years ago. The magnets are wrapped in plastic, except for the ends of the rods. Those would probably be good for holding small things down.

Edited: darn auto type put “platinum” instead of “plastic” above. I sure WISH they were wrapped in platinum!

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I plan on using welding magnets because they have multiple configurations and angles and are protected by metal plates on either side. I like the smaller ones like these:

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Sugru is amazing! love that stuff. I also can’t say enough about Plastimake, I use that stuff all the time.

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that looks a lot like Friendly-Plastic. I used to make accessories for my Lego minifigs with that stuff. I wonder if plastimake is more durable than FP, because i remember it becoming brittle over time. Way fun to work with.


the stuff I’ve make with plastimake is freakin bullet proof, I’ve kinda been blown away at the abuse it can take. considering you melt it with hot water and form it by hand I didn’t expect it to be so impact resistant.

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nice. I still have a tub of FP pellets somewhere, I may have to order some plastimake to compare.

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I bought some plastimake…we had fun making stuff with it…its pretty durable!

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Before buying Sugru, make sure you have a lot of use cases, and then do not order enough.

I just threw out about a dozen bags that hit their expiration dates and then some.

Regarding the Friendly Plastic/Plastimake… there are many companies that sell the same plastic in one form or another. The ones mentioned here are all new to me.

Took a long time for me to finally play with the pellets I have. Now that I have used them I am also in love. My final nudge to use them was a kickstarter selling that plastic in various colors pre-cut and molded to credit card size and shape.

I was super motivated by the promotional video, then said “Wait… how is that different from the bag of pellets I have ignored for 2 years in my office?” The next day I brought it home and let the kids play around… :slight_smile:


Never checked if Plastimake has an expiration… hope not. :sweat:

plastimake doesn’t, but sugru has a short life span. I ended up throwing out a few sugru packets as well, it hurts.

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Pretty sure it does not. Sugru cannot re-wet. That is the source of expiration on it.

My warm-water melting plastic (Looked it up, originally called Shapelock, which rebranded to Friendly Plastic since then. InstaMorph is another company that does the same. All of it is Polycaprolactone.

From what I can find… it is biodegradable, but at such a slow rate that you don’t need to worry about it ever expiring in your lifetime. The material is even approved to be used for coating implantable devices.


Even after it’s nominally expired, sugru seems to work OK for me. Although I haven’t checked lately.

So does this mean the second thing to cut is a bunch of rectangles with little cutouts for the magnets? (I use some of the really serious ones for featherboards in the shop, but lasers don’t have nearly that kind of force involved.)

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