A mere 734 days later... Need PG recommendations

hi! Got my email today. So, I am chomping at the bit to get going. I now have access to the store, and I am looking at all this proofgrade and I am wondering what I should order to have a good stock for my first weeks with the GF.

  1. how long does it take to receive PG? Are we talking days or weeks?

  2. What is the best stuff to have on hand? How do you all like the draftboard?

  3. I am reading that some people are having trouble cutting through certain PG? Is this still a problem?

  4. Have any of you received a PG that you didn’t like or wouldn’t recommend?

  5. Do you have a favorite material?

Thanks, forum. You have gotten me through literally years of waiting. In about 3 - 6 weeks, the next phase begins. I am looking forward to the time when waiting is no longer an issue for any of us, and we just become a solid world-wide forum of users with the goal of helping each other, sharing our success and failure, and showing off a little.




  1. About a week generally, play with what they send you then order.

  2. Cardboard, draftboard, medium maple ply are my essentials

  3. Variety of issues, I have not had problems others have seen

  4. Not yet

Have fun and make things

  1. I was amazed when I placed an order on the 18th and received it on the 21st!
  2. At least one of everything… always. It really sucks when you go “Oh, this will look great on walnut. Crap! I don’t have any walnut?!” Also, as mentioned, cardboard. Amazon sends me some with every order for free! :slight_smile:
  3. It is not a general problem. As you said, “some people.” Temperature and humidity can pay a big part in messing with natural materials like woods.
  4. No.
  5. Every time I think I do, I love another material.
  1. For me, it’s generally been something over a week but less than two. I’m in CT so about 3 days of UPS in there. The rest is pulling & shipping on the GF/Moduslink side of things. I haven’t looked to see if it’s dependent on what day of the week I order things.

  2. I have just about everything on hand with more of the stuff I use most. That’s medium Draftboard and Maple Ply but I’ve now added Cherry Ply to that list as I like it for something in between blonde/bland Maple and the dark Walnut.

  3. I have not had any issues that were not due to warping. If I have a warped sheet I stick magnets on it to flatten it to the bed and then I change the cut from automatic PG to manual and drop to speed by 5 units.

  4. Nope. The stuff is all good. I have had occasional pieces where the masking was not well attached so it either rolled on the edges or bubbled. Probably 5% or less. I either squeegee it back down or remove the offending rolled edges. I have but don’t use as much, the PG Acrylic as I’m not seeing that big of a difference between PG Acrylic and regular Cast Acrylic I get from Amazon (or TAP if you have one near you).

  5. Medium PG for testing stuff or where I’m not giving it away and it doesn’t need to be especially water resistant. Medium Maple or Cherry Plywood for finished projects (leaning more to the Cherry lately as it has really nice color).


I ordered a little self-selected pile of samples back when the catalog didn’t have very much in it.
By accident, they sent me somebody’s order of 2-each of every color of acrylic that they then had.
Then they sent my order, too. I’m pretty spoiled that way. I like all of it.

I’m super ridiculously cheap and haven’t ordered :proofgrade: since. I stock the cheapest supplies to do a job, and I have been well satisfied with less. I use a lot of baltic birch and cutoffs from a local acrylic shop.

I am nearly through my original stock of Proofgrade because I hold off and use it for premium projects. It is premium. It just works. It is pretty. It is prefinished. The masking is uniform and peels so nicely.

That’s my experience with the Proofgrade that they shipped in June. They have had six months to improve and expand.

If you have trouble cutting through certain Proofgrade materials, and you do it correctly, it should be guaranteed and replaced.

From the perspective of someone who almost exclusively sources elsewhere, you can’t go wrong with shelves of all the Proofgrade options.

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Same here.

Long story long, tonight I’m making a double-nine set of GoT-themed dominoes out of it. A surprising amount of design thought had to go into such a silly thing as dominoes. Do I want to engrave the pips or engrave around them (invert)? Do I want to color the pips? If so, do I want to invert and Sharpie the pips or engrave and paint them? I really love dark wood… do I want to make them out of walnut and paint the pips? Finally I decided to engrave the pips… into cherry. I would have run it last night but it was midnight and it was going to take an hour. So tonight’s the night. :slight_smile:


Your PG shipments are via UPS ground and will come from MODUSLINK. They are located in central TN - Nashville I think. Type a Nashville zip code into UPS’s ground shipment delivery map and you’ll see how many days your package will spend in transit. I haven’t ordered a ton of proofgrade, but they have shipped my order the next or second business day after it has been placed. I ordered some late on Fri Dec 22 (to replenish what gifting ate up, so no rush) and it shipped Tuesday after Christmas. That surprised me in a good way.

The proofgrade is great, but it is pre-finished which can be good or undesirable. Most of what I make requires some assembly of pieces and that means adhesive on a finished-to-finished surface unless it is draft board. So far I have not had an issue with adhesion, but 1) not a lot of time has passed and 2) none of the glued joints have any real pressure placed on them. I received a Grex pin nailer for Christmas and now I just need to find a project-excuse for it. And yes, I’ll probably still glue the joint.

I’ve only found two slightly warped pieces of proofgrade, and a warped piece can lead to issues cutting all the way through it. Jules lives in the Gulf heat and humidity and reports plenty of warping. The use of multiple magnets to force it flat seems to cure the problem. Another rare issue has been flashback going through the masking and charring the side in contact with the crumb tray. It is rare, but happens. So when designing your projects, whenever possible, have the presentation side facing the laser. If the flashback only hits masking, and doesn’t burn through it, it actually helps in weeding.

If you are going to use draft board for a project where you care about its looks, be aware that the masking tears away itsy, bitsy pieces of the draft board. It makes the surface a little rough. Five seconds and 220 grit on a random orbit sander fixes this problem. Also be aware that charred edges (PG or not) repel paint. Any future draft board boxes I paint will have the char sanded off. My bigger problem is painting engraves.

For hardwood boards I’ve mainly self-sourced. The PG (and I haven’t checked in a while) is only sold in twelve inch lengths and for me that has been too limiting.

  1. I’m close to the distribution center so it runs 3-4 days for me.

  2. Okay, this is totally subjective here. I use lots of maple ply and draftboard but this will vary a lot by where you go with things. Just make sure you have at least one of all the plys so you are not waiting when you decide this one needs to be out of cherry.

  3. if your machine is working right and you have made sure the :proofgrade: is flat you will have no problems

  4. Again, totally subjective but I am not a big fan of the leather. There is nothing wrong with it. I just like the stuff I’ve sourced elsewhere.

  5. As before… totally subjective but I find Maple ply the most versatile thing they sell. It engraves great as well as cuts just right for making 3d things.


So true. The maple ply is the utility infielder of materials.

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I went with the “have 2 on hand or trigger an order” rule of thumb. Too many times I needed just a bit more than 1 sheet and couldn’t do it if I just had a single sheet. Not often that I need three unless I’ve had plenty of time beforehand planning/designing so 2 seemed to be the sweet spot.

That’s why I went with open shelves too - I can see at a glance which things I’m down to just a couple sheets left and can re-order without having to open drawers and look for stuff.

And I order at least 5 of anything I’m restocking. Or multiples of 5. That way I’m not having to reorder right after getting some in and helps to make sure I make the $101 free shipping threshold. :slight_smile: