Updated: Jul 8
I own a OmTech 60w CO2 laser and I am also a demo room host in Iowa if you are interested in purchasing an OmTech laser. You can find more information about different machines here: https://omtechlaser.com?sca_ref=2168069.rQgNyV3P2f
Save 5% off regular price purchase on OmTech's website by using the code JODIEHAND5OFF when you checkout using the link above.
Work in Progress - I am still working on adding links and some photos of things to add to this post.
If you have been following me on Instagram, you will have seen my laser cutting journey over this past year. I'll be coming up on owning a laser cutter for a year in July. So, I'm not even 1 year into this and I can tell you already, you will need a LOT of stuff if you want to succeed in this business.
If you are just a hobbyist, you may not want or need to buy tons of supplies. If you are wanting to have a business and produce high quality products, you will likely need a few of these things to make your products the best they can be.
For a list of the essential cleaning supplies for your laser, you can see my next blog post which goes into detail the things I have to clean and maintain my laser.
The following post may contain some affiliate links. They are not sponsored, but I may receive a small amount of money if your purchase something I've linked.
If you are going to be engraving or cutting wood items with your laser, you're going to want some way to sand it and get it smooth and remove char marks etc. I have this Black & Decker mouse sander. I like that is has a dust collector (which doesn't collect ALL the dust, but most of it) and it has a nice pointed part that allows you to get into little areas to sand.
I like to use 220 grit sand paper. You can find the sand paper pads that go with the mouse sander. I also like to have some packs of sand paper sheets for sanding things by hand too.
I bought a gallon jug of this at Home Depot, but I'm sure you can find it at other stores too. It's a great degreaser and will help you to clean up your laser bed, and your wood as well. I use it to clean the outside of my machine and work bench as well. It also works great for cleaning off the residue you get on your wood from the glue in plywood. It is a degreaser so you can use it to clean your honeycomb bed as well. Also as a plus - it’s inexpensive And multi-purpose use!
I bought this work bench off amazon, but I believe it is the same one that can be found at Harbor Freight. I put it together myself in a couple hours. It is pretty heavy so you may want to assemble it close to where you are going to keep it in your workspace.
Masking Paper Tape
I have tried painters tape rolls, but the basic paper transfer tape seems to do the job and is less expensive than the blue painters tape. I use masking paper to cover the plywood sheets I’m engraving so I get less scorch marks or glue residue on the surface I will later have to clean off or sand.
This one goes hand in hand with the masking paper tape. You will need something to help you peel the tape off after your engrave. To save your finger nails or having to use weeding tools, I recommend getting a set of these. Trust me on these, if you are going to mask anything you need these to go with it.
If you plan on making signs or any layered pieces, this 3M adhesive rolls are great for applying to the bottom side of your wood. You apply it to the underside of your wood panel and then cut out your pieces on the laser. You may need to adjust your settings slightly to account for the extra thickness of the adhesive sheet. When you go to assemble your pieces you can just peel the backing off and stick to your project.
Downside, it can be expensive. But, if you are going to be making a lot of signs or assembling multiple of one project with small pieces to layer, it can save you a lot of time and eliminate squished out glue globs from using wood glue or other liquid glue. It also bonds pretty much instantly so you don’t have to wait for drying time.
DAP Woodweld Adhesive
This glue is my go to for my tiered tray decor pieces. It has a quick dry time of just 3 minutes and it dries clear. It is a super glue, so I recommend wearing gloves while using it for small pieces. I have gotten quite a bit on my fingers when I haven’t bothered to put a pair of rubber gloves on first. You only need a few drops of this glue too, a little goes a long way and you get a strong bond.
For larger pieces and assembling things like displays or more utilitarian pieces I will use Titebond wood glue. It is sandable and you can paint over it. It does take quite a bit longer to dry so I tend to use the wood weld adhesive more often.
Unicorn Spit Stain
For finishing pieces with a water based stain in a variety of colors I love Unicorn Spit. It dries quickly so you can finish your pieces right away. You can also apply this water based gel stain to your wood prior to cutting in your laser. You do not want to use an oil based stain on wood you before you laser it as it is flammable.
You can water this stain down with a wet rag or baby wipes, you can also use it as an acrylic paint for a more opaque finish. I have also seen others use magic erasers to apply this product to their finished pieces too.
Any brand is fine for this, but if you are going to be staining or glueing any of your work, you will want some gloves to avoid staining or glueing your hands together!
Sanding and using spray paint create a lot of dust! You do not want to be breathing that in for health and safety reasons, so invest in a good reusable dust mask. I have two of these, one in my garage for sanding and painting and the other I use for when I am making my watercolor paints to prevent inhaling pigment dust. They have replaceable N95 filters and you can also replace the carbon filters.
My preferred spray paint for my wood projects in Montana Gold acrylic spray paint. It is available at some Michael's locations, Blick art stores, and perhaps at some other craft stores. I prefer to purchase my spray paint cans from Jerry's Artarama. I love their fast shipping and their prices can't be beaten!
The little bottles of craft paint are perfect for small painting jobs. You can use foam brushes or regular paint brushes to apply to your work.
If you want to paint small details on a piece, you may want to get some paint pens for painting in small areas.
Lacquer Spray or Polycrylic
For natural wood grain finish, you will want some kind of wood varnish. I like Lacquer spray cans for the ease of application. I will coat the project with 3-4 thinly applied coats and allow them to dry for about 5-10 minutes between coats.
Small Bins and Containers
If you are going to be transferring your pieces from laser to a table or desk for finishing, I like to have small bins stacked next to my laser to pick up all the small pieces I take off the laser bed. I make a lot of tiered tray pieces and it makes it a lot easier to collect all the small pieces in a bin and then take them over to my spray table, instead of trying to stack them all up and carry them.
Spray Paint Tent or Enclosure
If you are going to spray paint your items, you may want to get or build a small tent or enclosure to avoid overspray onto nearby things. It also helps keep dust from blowing on your pieces as they dry. This can be especially important if you are sanding near by or doing your spray painting outside. The last thing you want is to have to redo something because dirt blew onto your drying paint. I like this pop up one because it fold flat when I’m not using it and I can tuck it behind a shelf. You can also use a large box or make something yourself with a frame and plastic sheeting.