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You've ordered your Glowforge and you're trying to figure out where to get all those great materials you've seen people working with. Beautiful acrylics, gorgeous wood, and leathers too! Here are three of my favorite suppliers and why I love them - I've used all of these sources for over a year and highly recommend them!
Craft Closet Supply - I shop here for beautiful specialty acrylics, awesome wood options and interesting products like COLORboard and COLORflex. This company has a great rewards program and if you sign up for their newsletter, they offer one product weekly at 50% off. They are generous with their tips and tricks as well - you can shop directly with them HERE.
Custom Made Better - my favorite thing at Custom Made Better is an AWESOME acrylic subscription box that provides endless inspiration monthly. They also are known for gorgeous acrylic patterns, laser ready leatherette, Novus plastic cleaner (you need this) and Unisub! Unisub is a sublimatable hardboard that you cut like MDF. If you shop with my link HERE you'll get 10% off your order!
Wood Shop Company on Etsy - my "go to" source for 1/8" baltic birch. I buy it in HUGE packs from here - generally 40 sheets at a time, and it is always great quality. Small family shop, great to work with. You can find their shop HERE.
What to do when you've received your materials?
First - check any instructions you've received from the source. They may have included recommended cut settings, masking instructions, etc. If so, always start there when you move on to my second recommendation
Second - test your materials for cut/engraving settings. Do yourself a favor and use one inch of your material to make sure you are going to get clean cuts before you waste a precious sheet on a design. At a minimum, cut a small circle with your expected cut settings. Even better, run an engrave test (see image) to see what engraving settings you like. If you stick with the same suppliers, you can do this once for each new material and keep a log of what you like to use for each material from each supplier
Have fun! Once you've tested those materials, you're ready to go! Enjoy making all the things with your new materials.