1.5” wood bourbon barrel head

Hey GF community, hope all is well!

Got my GFPro 3 days ago and have already hit the ground running with custom ornaments etc.

Reaching out because I’m having an issue engraving 1.5” white oak bourbon barrel heads with the laser.

No crumb tray, but for some reason machine says material is too thick after the camera tries to read it and sometimes hits the barrel.

I know it may be a simple fix, but what settings do I need?

(Sounds like a distance from material issue)

(Is it crumb tray height - material height? And if so, where do I input this info?)

Thank you for any and all help!

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Here is what you need to judge the distance from the floor of the laser into the potential focusing distance.

If you can’t make it fall within those lines - it’s not going to work… unless you want to Cut the bottom out of your precious.

Oh, and Welcome to the community!
The best accessory for your new tool/toy.


If it’s hitting the material, it’s too high somewhere – there’s no Z axis on this machine. Is it maybe too close to one side or the other, and the rails that stick down on the end of the gantry are hitting it, or is the air assist behind the head what’s hitting?

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If the laser head is hitting the material without the crumb tray in place, your materials is either thicker than 1.5", or is not sitting flat.

There is about 2.1" between the base of the machine, and the bottom of the air assist fan duct (the lowest part of the laser head assembly which actually sits underneath the gantry)…

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With barrel heads, the height can fluctuate slightly from 1.5” to about 1.65” throughout the entire material.

If possible, would someone be able to walk me through what numbers to input and where I could input the average material height as to possibly get the head of the laser to ‘raise’ and not make contact with the barrel?
(The barrels are made from oak)

It is definitely not 2” tall, so I am hoping once business slows down with Christmas ornaments etc. that I can do some test settings/prints in the next couple days.

(Will attach video/link to it of the print head hitting the material, if it continues)

Thanks for any and all help, cheers!

Sitting flat, may not be entirely flat, as the wood slightly warps after the barrels have been dried out.
I wood glue the slats back together and press them with clamps and weight until they are held together tight enough, approx. 1-2hours up to 24hr, dependent on the clients need for turn around time.

For 1.5" to 1.65" tall, you should be able to set it down flat on the bottom of the machine after you have removed the crumb tray. Use the Set Focus on the top where you want to engrave it, and that should be it.

BUT - warp is a no-no. You don’t have a lot of excess room to work with.

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Just saw this tool, thank you!
Hoping that I don’t need the math now, will update when I get a test print.

Thanks to all!

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You can’t. As I said, there’s no Z axis. The laser head is fixed at the level where it is. The lens moves up and down within the head to focus, but the height of the head itself will not change. You just can’t put anything in the machine that’s thick enough to make contact with it.

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I would suggest turning the machine off, placing your wood inside, opening the front door, and then watching from the front, with the machine at eye level, while you move the gantry forward and back and the head back and forth, to see where it’s making contact. That will help you figure out what you might be able to do about it.

If it’s the sides of the gantry, moving the material more into the middle might help them miss it. If it’s the air assist behind the head, maybe you can rotate the wood so the high spot is closer to the front than the head will need to travel in order to complete your design.


BTW if you don’t post pics of this, I am going to throw things.


I’m sorry you ran into trouble when trying to set up your print. It looks like you’ve already received some great advice and information from other community members. Thanks folks!

Please let us know how it goes!

I got it to work!

The measuring tool that was posted worked LIKE A CHARM!
And yes, I took the side slats off and it fit into the machine!
(Took about 55min to run)
Working on the most efficient settings to get a good finish and turn around time!

Thanks all!


That’s excellent.

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Thanks for following up; That’s great news that it worked. Your end result is beautiful!

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Hey all!
Working on another barrel with some material underneath to put it into the ‘laserable zone’.
If the material plus this barrel head sits at 1.5", what is a good focus height to work with?
Really trying to make the engraved words pop on this new design.
(this barrel is darker than the previous images)

Just use the set focus command. :blush:

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Hi, are you still making this?

Great to hear from you, we sure are, it has been working out well!


Any tips? This is one of the main reasons I wanted a laser. My husband would flip If I made this for him. I went and got a few today.Want to make one as a gift.