1/2" plywood engrave

Im a total newbie, I have 1/2" plywood from home depot id like to engrave. I was wondering what settings I’d use? and is there somewhere with this info listed?

There are plenty of posts in the forum here with different settings. The settings for plywood will be pretty much the same as they would be for the type material the ply is made of. Just the focal length will change with the thickness of material.
Obviously, the .5" material won’t be able to be cut, but it should engrave just fine.

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Just experiment is the best way to learn this machine. Start out fast with lower power and increase power up to max then decrease speed until you get what you are looking for. Also check out the magnifying glass and ask away. I’m sure somebody has asked this before. Remember you can’t put anything over 1/2 inch (even 1/2 inch in some cases) on top of the tray. Your plywood may have to be propped up on the base after you remove the tray to get the proper focus.

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thank you. I have tried searching all day and figured this must have been asked before, but the only results coming up don’t answer my question.

1/2" plywood was one of the first things I tried to no great results. For a starter it is pine and that burns more readily than most hardwoods, And while mine did not burst into flames, coals would get started that would eventually consume the whole thing. Though like most mine was sold as half inch it was a bit under that. I was trying to make a small table top that would have veneer added so did not try to engrave an image but did try to deep engrave an outline, so the final cut would make it through but it was a burn’t mess that needed a scroll saw to finish.


Are you trying to engrave something like text, that will all go to the same depth? Or are you engraving a photo or picture of some kind? The answers are very different.

The thing about 1/2" plywood is I doubt you will get through it in one pass, so Full power and a slow speed won’t do a ton of damage to it. If you’re engraving a solid fill, like text, try that and then decide if you want it shallower or deeper and adjust.

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just all the same depth. text and a solid image

Then I would just try something and adjust from there. Make some filled squares, of different colors and test on a piece of your material. You can always use the glowforge defaults for a material as your starting point.

I was not trying to be intentionally obtuse, so I apologize if I came across that way. What wood is the plywood? I get 1/8" Baltic birch ply from a local store, and basically use the PG settings for Medium Maple for engraving. It amounts to full speed, full power, and depending on what I’m engraving, I can get away with 195LPI. The only difference, I think, is the LPI I use. I don’t usually do any plywood that is 1/2". I have, however, done some cedar-wood plaques that are nearly that thick, and I drop the power for those to 90%, leaving the speed at 1000. cedar will char if it gets too much power, but I don’t want to get too shallow on the engrave.
So you see, it really depends on what kind of wood you’re using. (I did try some oak 1/2" ply once, as I had some scraps. I didn’t like how the oak engraved. The grain is quite coarse, and very distinct, and each line engraved differently, so that the image looked like it was behind bars.)