Where do you live? The laserable ply near me is $25-50 for a 4’x8’ sheet depending on what it is, which is reasonable enough, but not that ridiculously inexpensive.
Got a picture? Judging by the price and where you got it, you might be finding meranti lauan. It’s also known as philippine mahogany… it’s a bit darker than baltic, and engraves a very dark black color. Here’s a side by side picture:
It is a little darker than baltic birch and the grain is less dense and prominent that the luan I have seen before. It is from China.
You can see the little square of birch on the right for color comparison.
Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely less fancy with 3 plys rather than the 5 that the birch has, but if you just need something smooth that cuts well this is great stuff.
That definitely looks like meranti. When you engrave it, the grain gets very prominent, which can be good or bad depending on that you like… the sheet I got runs thinner than baltic too, closer to 0.11". How thick is yours? It’s also designed to be bent, so it tends to be really flexible. Sound about right?
Here’s an engrave (taken from 2 angles to highlight detail):
Yeah, that’s a bit of a drive for me.
Interesting, I think I found the product page:
Doesn’t seem to be available at all locations and isn’t something they’ll deliver. I wonder what would happen if you asked at customer service at your local Home Depot.
Not available for me.
This item is not available in any stores within 100 miles of 22031.
I got mine at a wood supplier that is now out of business. The company that purchased them might carry it, but I havent asked them yet. Since I have a good supply or baltic, the meranti doesnt offer a ton of utility, it’s not the same thickness so my existing designs that rely on thickness are not easily used. I tend to just stick with the baltic.
I use that cheap birch plywood (about .20") from Home Depot. I cut this at full power, 200 and 2 passes. Very happy with results. Of course I had to tape it all first.
i was just curious to try it. i saw the “etches darker” part and was intrigued.
i do have a couple of places to by 60x60 sheets of BB to get cut down locally.
That is really nice. I could see lots of people wanting one of those. Great job.
I have found some good pieces at home depot (not birch). The cheap stuff is labeled underlayment plywood. If you go in person, you can pick through and find the good ones.