1/4birch plywood (from Home Depot)

anyone using 1/4 birch plywood from home depot? i had a piece that i though was this material and i had the settings down to getting a clean cut every time. went to buy some and apparently it isn’t what i had at home. now i got this plywood i can’t seem to get the settings right for. Either it won’t cut or it’ll char the edges too much. any help would be greatly appreciated. or what material could i use for outdoor signs?

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You need to be very careful with plywood. If it is not specifically for use with a laser it can have a lot of different fillers in it that might not be laserable (bondo, etc.)

You cannot just use any type of plywood with your laser. I needs to be of a certain quality.

Do you have anymore information about this plywood?


the only info i got is that it’s 1/4 birch plywood. i see alot of people using this material and also saw it on the materials list link that’s on here. what material should i use for outdoor signs? i have the gf pro and feel like its been a waste, i bough the pro for the pass through but gf selection of proofgrade materials for this is very limited and what they do have is sold out.

I use Columbia Forest product plywood from HD. Usually maple or mahogany. Never have any problem with it.


do you use 1/4 or 1/8 thick material? and is this good for outdoors? the birch plywood i tried to use is labeled as UFP Schertz

I use the 1/4. It’s basically untreated plywood, so it needs to be well sealed or painted for outdoor use. But I use it for a lot of my projects and commission pieces.


I appreciate your help. I’m new to the gf and it hasn’t been a smooth ride at all. hate to sound like a whiner but it hasn’t been good. But so far my problems have been resolved pretty easily and quickly. I’ll give that material a try, thank you

I had to overcome a learning curve with mine. I’m a nurse, not a crafter, lol. But I’m a year and a half in and I love it more every day.
Go to home depot and search for glowforge plywood and you’ll get a variety of options.


also what settings do you run on that material. i tried several settings that worked on the birch for smaller cuts and i did many test before cutting the actual piece, but when it came down to cutting a bigger design that’s when i had problems not cutting through all the way. I’m guessing wood and fillers

I always use the settings for PG thick ply then I back the speed down by 5. I have the Plus, your mileage may vary.

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Thank you

You’re welcome! And if you have any difficulty, me or one of the smart people in this forum can help!

I’ll see if my local HD has some of that material tomorrow and will post my results.

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First I’d like to say that I’m sorry it’s been frustrating, we’ve all been there. You’re in the right place, almost everything you want to know about glowforging is here. I’ve got two things for you.

This will help you figure settings out.

Then, even if you’re not new, reading through everything here will cover a lot of common issues and questions:


Probably not - it’s not something they usually stock in the stores. But if you go to the homedepot.com website and search for Columbia Forest Products you’ll find a bunch of it. HD will then ship it to store (usually free) for pickup or to your house (may be free based on how much you buy). It’s pretty quick either way (faster than GF PG orders for me in New England).


When I got my Glowforge the first thing I did was get some of that HD birch plywood, It was awful, It was full of Bondo that was laser proof even where they just wiped the brush off, and no amount of extra power would solve it, here is an example…

Real Baltic Birch is made in Finland and under much stricter controls and cut just fine.


Materials made for outdoors use generally don’t cut well with lasers. The glues are a lot harder to cut through. I don’t really recommend any laser cut materials be used outdoors. Acrylic would be best for being waterproof but it does not have much if any UV protection. I would try to find solid hardwood cedar for something that has any chance of lasting outdoors. Even sealing with a marine spar urethane requires re-appllication about once a year.


I am having the same issue. I purchased some from home depot about a month ago and it cut fine. I ordered the same exact plywood this last time and it won’t cut. It doesn’t even look like the same wood.
I checked Home Depot and this plywood comes up in the search “glowforge plywood”. Not sure what the problem is.

Home Depot plywood is terribly inconsistent. If you have a local lumber yard anywhere near you - true Baltic birch plywood is cheap and cuts beautifully. A 5’x5’ sheet of 1/8” runs about $12 and yields 15 Glowforge size sheets, 1/4” about $20 same size sheet.

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thanks for all the info and help but i’m looking into their return policy on this. I’ve had it for a bit over a month and only cut 3 items with the pass through which is why i bought it in the first place. i can cut smaller pieces but like i said the pass through was really what i was looking forward to using. And to top it off i haven’t heard back from customer service on this issue. Again thanks for everyone’s help