Who locks his Glowforge?

In the apartment complex I live in, we have a community / craft room.
My apartment is not really big, so in theory it would be best to have it downstairs in that room, but it’s accessible by everybody in the house. While I don’t think there’s vandalism, there are young kids and leaving my Glowforge open for everybody to inspect “Hm, what’s that - never seen such a device before…” would not be what I want.
That’s why my Glowforge currently resides in my living room.

Does anybody here have a good way of locking the GF - maybe a hint for a good piece of furniture that allows to lock it, but still once its open gives unhindered access?
I’m in Switzerland, so the solution I’m looking for should be available locally or importable at decent cost.

Thanks for your inputs

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A simple bar across the front of the lid that goes across the button would do the trick. it could even be made of wood or covered in leather with a small padlock. If someone was intent they could break it, but as you point out, that is unlikely :slightly_smiling_face:
Alternatively, if the “bar” was a leather cover that you could lock down it would accomplish the same thing but look less rude.

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That would keep the GF locked, but I still believe in peoples creative ways to want to figure out what this is, so I’d rather go for a completely enclosed option - if that exists. It’s house where kids walk in, in theory somebody could bump a basketball against it. And if something breaks, nobody will admit it. I was thinking more of a locker or a workbench with a hood if such thing exists.


You might look for a big lockable toolbox but you will need to have a way to get air in in the back right corner and room for a 4" hose going out the back as it does now, and hopefully access to an exhaust location to get the smoke outside. The top of those rolling toolboxes are usually pretty big but you will need to make sure the glowforge would fit. (or possibly a big barbecue lid that would go over and lock to a flat bench-type toolbox.)

The winning point there is all the shallow drawers that you could lock as well to keep all the materials in :grin: Something like this with a removable cover you can lockdown…

Alternatively, if you could rent a closet and lock that down and have something like the above table to roll it out when used?

Make a large box that lifts off and locks to the box bottom (on which the Glowforge sits)? Maybe out of plywood or even MDF. For optimal effectiveness, paint it with camouflage or, at least black. :grinning:


A while back I was slumping glass into a plate mold made from an actual plate. I promised the pottery shop owner I would drop by and show her some when I had some to show. So when I stopped by she had a couple of customers who immediately jumped to the conclusion that these were the ceramic plates made see-thru.

So when asked I told them I was using a transparent glaze :slightly_smiling_face: They did not believe her when she told them I was pulling their leg as they had heard of transparent glaze and thought she was holding back on a big secret :rofl:

So in that spirit let me suggest that transparent paint might work better than even black.


If you’re not worried about vandalism and just want to keep people from opening it, maybe make a leather or nylon strap that the GF sits on. Then you can just wrap it around and padlock it when you’re done. Kinda something like this.


Maybe make a cart and add a upside down box and lock it to the table top? I used ikea furniture to make a craft table.


Several owners have shared pics of their machine on a slide-out shelf under a workbench. If you did that, you could have a panel that goes over the front to protect it and keep it from prying eyes.

Obviously you’d need some serious sliders but even the cheap ones I got from Amazon are rated for 100lbs (45kg) each. I used a pair to make slide-out shelves for my pots and pans.


Although the supplies might be slightly more expensive in Switzerland, it may be easier just to byuild your own enclosure. A sheet of 9mm ply, some screws and some hinges for a lid that opens all the way up. Make it with a bottom sheet, maybe add some solid foam insulation for noise on the sides? You can put a hole in the back for the vent. If you can get the the ply cut to size for you at the Obi- even better. You could probably have it built in an hour. Just curious - where in CH? I am relocating there this summer. Any idea if there are a lot of GF’ers in Der Schweiz?

Thinking “outside the box” here (ha!) it occurred to me you could buy a larger storage container that would fit over the machine, cut a hole for the vent hose if you need it permanently attached (I remove and re-attach mine every time I use it), and put a couple of right-angle brackets thru slots in the lip to put small padlocks on - or even just one side with a lock, the over bent over like a hook so it can’t be slipped off.

Something like this.

Add some text, “This is a delicate laser cutter, please don’t mess with it”… :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


In some circles an invitation to attack.

I personally would be very hesitant about moving it to a community room, simply because I’m not a trusting person, and of worrying about it getting knocked around. Even if no one messed with the Glowforge itself, if it did get hit by a ball or something, or someone knocking into the table, I would be afraid of it getting knocked out of alignment, especially knowing it needs to be level to work properly. To me, it’s just too expensive of a machine to take the chance of it getting damaged or stolen by others.

Of course, on the other hand… You could invite all the residents to come see it, show them what it can do, explain the fragileness of it, and let them know that if they pay for the materials, you’d be willing to help them make items they’d want. Maybe you could even start an “apartment complex business,” where everyone contributed by designs/materials and sold the products. If they have a vested interest in it, they may take more care in making sure it isn’t damaged, stolen, etc. Of course, I have absolutely no idea what you do for a living and how busy you are, etc., to even want to do something like that.

Good luck. I hope you let us know what you end up doing.


That would be the way to go in any case, but I think the main issue is not having enough room in his flat. If there was a storage spot to put it out of when needed that would be a way to go. I have been very annoyed at the increasing tendency to see a living space as only sleep, eat, and be entertained by video, minimized even doing that, and no room common before as storage or workshop, or both. Of late there has been a minimum of extra space offered and in some instances a common area like his craft shop but as noted enclosable space is much needed also.

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Thanks guys. I was hoping for a bullet-proof solution that already existed, but if I have to find a rolling tool bench and a locker that fits it, have to convince people that I can use the room etc. I’d rather keep the GF where it is - only accessible to me, but immediately available, which no bars or lids to hinder my creative flow. :slight_smile:


I would be so nervous leaving something like that where others could access it or even if they could just see it. I think I would only feel comfortable if it was something similar to one of the descriptions above where it has a drawer pull out but stores covered and not visible. I’ve seen some really creative things done with Ikea products. I wonder if there is something you could make that way.

@rbtdanforth LOL Your stories are great and they remind me a little of J Peterman from Seinfeld.


Here is a cool storage option @PrintToLaser shared:

I thought I saw a cabinet once that completely enclosed the :glowforge: but I cannot find it now.


There you go. That is exactly the pic I remember when I mentioned pull-out sliders.

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This seems a little extreme, but could be lockable?

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Chastity belt for a Glowforge! :sweat_smile: