1/4" Bubinga...setting?

Bubinga is very hard stuff and I am very new to the Glowforge. I would love to know if someone has had success in cutting this wood without scorching the wood. Thanks in advance!

I think you’re the first to try to cut it that thick. I think most folks plane it down to 1/8", or use veneers.

1 Like

Try searching around for other hardwoods at that thickness, like this:


I don’t recall anyone mentioning bubinga specifically but the advice you will find for cutting 1/4” material is going to be a really solid starting point.

If you figure it out please share!


You can always run a test as laid out here Depth Adjustments

1 Like

Thanks all, I think I have a lot to learn. In other news, my neighbor is getting promoted to Master Sergeant in the USMC. His wife is having a pine box made to have his challenge coins displayed in. Before assembly, she wants me to laser engrave his name and rank on it. My neighbor gave me a piece of the pine they are using and is is 1x4 lumber measuring 5/8 inches thick. The GF told me I cant engrave that thick with the tray in so I took it out. The laser made a mess in my first experiment of the testing. I think maybe a low power and fast speed with how soft pine is, but still the GF likely isnt focusing correctly because the tray being out

This might help:


You do know that you need to bring it up to within a half inch of where something you could work on would be. So if is was sitting on something exactly one inch thick you wold have to tell the laser that it was 1\8 inch as it would be 1\8" above where the crumb tray would be if it were still there. To have something underneath of a fixed height to make measuring easy here is one of several designs folk have come up with…,

1 Like

You’ll need to place the pine on something to bring the top to within 1/2" of the head. You can measure your tray’s height (use the top edge as you want to measure off the bottom of the GF and not the bottom of the tray). You want to measure to the top of the honeycomb, not the plastic edges.

Most measure between 1.3 and 1.4"

Take a piece of material - say a 1-by piece of wood and place it on the bottom of the GF. Place your material on top of that. Your total height is now 3/4" + 5/8" or 11/8" or 1 3/8" or 1.375"

If your tray was 1.3" then subtract that from 1.375 and you’ll get 0.075" as the thickness to tell the GF in the settings for “Use Unknown Material” (upper left corner of the GFUI).

If your tray height measured to 1.4" then you need some more material underneath your pine piece. If you put a piece of 1/4" plywood on top of the 1-by piece of wood you’ll be at 1" plus the 5/8" of your project piece is 1.625" less the 1.4" of your honeycomb tray height gives you a 0.225" thickness for the GFUI to use.

What you’re trying to do is treat your honeycomb height as “0” and get your material surface to something above that and then telling the GFUI how much above that 0 height your material sticks up above (while keeping it less than 1/2" above the 0 height so you don’t smack the head with your project)

1 Like

Man, I just tried to do bubinga yesterday and that stuff is intense. I tried to cut through 1/8" and… It was hard. It really flamed up, too. I don’t think I’ll be using it.

The appearance of Bubinga has a beautiful flame to it when properly finished. But I don’t think that’s the kind of flame you got. :grinning:

1 Like

I have a bunch of 1/8" bubinga that I have yet to try, sounds like it’s going to be a treat.

1 Like

Ha! Sounds like it’s flames all around then!

1 Like

Let me know if you get it to work… I tried another wood called red narra that looks pretty close and worked a lot easier under the laser.

Will do. Bloodwood behaved well under the laser too, but it’s kind of hard to source in 1/8".

I also tried bloodwood, which I got in 1/8" from http://woodnshop.net/ - also try chakte viga, which is more orange but seemed to work well and I’ve seen it recommended elsewhere. Also redheart was great under the laser, though sounds like the color will be gone fast.

1 Like

Yeah I have some chakte viga that I have yet to cut. I also love my padauk that I got from green valley, it’s a really strong orange, more orange than most padauk I’ve seen.

I made a chess board years ago of blood wood, Gabon ebony and teak. The bloodwood was a lot like real blood bright red at first but closer to brown after a few months.

Bummer. I had read that bloodwood could be a little more stable with its color than some other red ones. What do you think is the best red option?

As an old glassblower I knew said " there is no such thing as red " either it leans purple or it leans orange but nothing is actually red.

The blood wood I had had been a shelf on a boat for many years not for what it was but because it was the right size and available. When that part of the boat was redone I was able to get it as “scrap”. It was not until I cut into it that I discovered its true rich color hiding behind the reddish brown hardly a tenth of a millimeter below the surface.

I made the chess board and sanded it flat but did not varnish the surface as I knew that the previous surface was years old running about in salt air I did not expect it to turn so quickly, and in truth was still very red even on the original surface, but just not like a fresh cut.

So in every case there are many “red” woods from purple heart to canary wood with many like beefwood or pink ivory approaching unobtainable and probably more not even regularly marketed or commonly named.

The teak I had was from Puerto Rico where someone actually imported a forest to plant out and what I got was a first thinning of that forest.

Opportunity can be the best decider of the best wood to use and if you have a way to cut 3\8 slabs from sticks and plane then to 1\4 so much the better.

The beefwood I had was a short log from the Bahamas and what I was able to have that was useful I got with a hand saw. I got it from a pile of tossed out “junk” on Key Largo and as I could not carry much put each log in the water and only took the ones that sank.

1 Like