CO<sub>2</sub> laser processing facilitates contamination free, rapid, precise and reproducible fabrication of devices for high power fibre laser applications. We present recent progress in fibre end-face preparation and cladding surface modification techniques. We demonstrate a fine feature CO<sub>2</sub> laser process that yields topography significantly smaller than that achieved with typical mechanical cleaving processes. We also investigate the side processing of optical fibres for the fabrication of all-glass cladding light strippers and demonstrate extremely efficient cladding mode removal. We apply both techniques to fibres with complex designs containing multiple layers of doped and un-doped silica as well as shaped and circularly symmetric structures. Finally, we discuss the challenges and approaches to working with various fibre and glass-types.