Watch the metal tape on your venting & stay close to your machine

I’ve used metal tape to secure my venting - from GF to blast gate to exterior vent. I learned the hard way yesterday that that metal tape can let loose. I was cutting some acrylic out in the garage and ran into the house for probably less than 30 seconds and when I went back out I thought “man this clear PG acrylic STINKS!” But I looked at my duct line and found that the metal tape holding the flex duct to the blast gate had let loose and the duct line was laying on the floor, directly pumping acrylic exhaust into my garage.

The only weight hanging from the part that separated was the flex duct itself. Needless to say, It got re-taped and then attached with a hose clamp just to be safe. The top part of the gate had a clamp since the gate put extra weight on that joint, but I wouldn’t have guessed the bottom part would have let loose. In all, it was less than 2 minutes between when it fell to when I had it re-taped, clamped & sealed back up. (fortunately I had tape & a clamp readily available

I opened the garage door for about an hour and the side access door for the rest of the day to air it out plus I ran a fan in there, and 10 hours later when we went to bed the garage still stank like lasered acrylic.

Lesson learned…periodically check your duct connections, use clamps, and keep an eye (and nose) on your machine!


Bummer! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

(How wide is the metal tape you guys are using to seal these up? I’ve got a roll of about 1/4" wide, but that’s too small to do anything except patch a pinhole or two.)

The stuff I’m using has gotta be 2 - 2 1/2" wide, riding about 50/50 between the flange on the gate & the flex duct.

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We recommend using clamps for all installations (and never leaving your Glowforge unattended). Since this thread discusses what happens when you don’t, I’m going to move it to Beyond the Manual.


Leave it to me to learn the hard way!


I haven’t tried acrylic yet. I fear the smell. My current set up the hose just barely reaches the door so I’ve only done wood. When I move the machine into it’s permanant home, I will be venting out the window, is it smelly enough to bother neighbours?

Once it hits the open air, the acrylic smell dissipates pretty fast. Mine exhausts to a side path with an 8’ wall between us & the neighbor, and I’d be shocked if they could smell it. (It’s also by a 6’ gate to the front yard, and I don’t smell it there)


Oh that’s good. I’m itching to try leather and acrylic but I don’t trust my current set up as the smell is barely getting out the door. My garage smells alot like bacon after an hour

Then you need to ship something better than those spring clamps you shipped with my GF. I ended up replacing those and the vent hose, but before that, I had constant leaks at the vent port on the unit.


To me, the smell of the Proofgrade acrylic is barely discernible. Give it a try on a small project, I think you will like it.


The only problem with that is that by Dan’s own admission customers have managed to crack the case by over-tightening the clamps. So the Friendly Lawyers would have as much a problem if they shipped accessories that might knowingly cause endless warranty issues.


Unfortunately the clamp isn’t enough to prevent leaks. It would be cool if Glowforge 2.0 had some kind of airtight exhaust connector.

I’ll echo the point about tape letting go. Especially on plastic. I use clamps for mechanical security and tape for airtightness, but I’ve had to re-tape occasionally when a piece pops off and starts leaking.


There is no way to get the clamps they are shipping attached in such a way that there are no leaks. The port on the case does not extend out far enough to fully seat the clamp. Also, I cut my thumb on the clamp, because the edge is very sharp and requires significant force trying to fiddle it on there.

shipping crappy clamps that leak and injure customers isn’t something the lawyers will like either.


I ended up getting one of these hoses:

It is made out of a material that naturally creates a seal. Even without a clamp, it makes a decent seal. The only downside is that it is much heavier than the foil hose.


I’ve mentioned this a bunch, so I apologize if you’re sick of hearing me mention butyl tape, but I’ve found it to be a valuable addition to the arsenal for combatting leaks:

It’s much more flexible and sticky, with a thick layer of a rubbery adhesive that can be smushed around to conform to weird shapes and fill cracks better than the usual foil stuff. I think it’s less prone to popping off, but time will tell.


Use this tape. The adhesive is a permanent bond and it is NOT going anywhere. I’m even using it to seal a duct flange to the MDF adapter I made to fit my screen door, it’s bonded to the MDF like mad.

I got this one at Lowe’s. And yes, it’s expensive when all you need is 2-3 feet of it. It does the job (and stays put while doing it)


Re: the spring clamps for the hose, those are provided by the hose manufacturer, not GF. They’re included with just about any off the shelf flex dryer hose.
Seems GF used to add worm screw hose clamps too but stopped after seeing people couldn’t be trusted to not tighten them overzealously. Since “finger tight” is subjective it’s best to let people provide their own clamps if they wish and take on the risk of cracking the flange.


Thanks! I think we provided our own worm gear…there’s a spring thing in the box in the attic.


Might want to keep in mind that eventually the vent hose will need to be removed from the machine for cleaning. There is a screen protecting the outside of the exhaust fan that will clog over time. Mine has not created a restriction after 8 months but others have only managed a couple months between cleaning. It depends on what you are cutting.


This is exactly the stuff that let loose on me. So yeah, it can go somewhere.

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These are the clamps I am using now. My thought was that it would be much harder to crack the case with something that uses a thunb screw versus something you tighten with a wrench.