Anyone that purchases bulk plywood from Etsy?

I am wondering if anyone that purchases nonproof grade plywood from Etsy in bulk, if they finish their projects at the end of each cut? Or is there anyone that finishes by the sheet? (As in before they cut and engrave)
If so… do you mind me asking what you use? And exactly how? I was just looking at my PG and thinking how bad I will miss it. So I was just trying to think outside of the box here. Obviously it is possible. GF does it somehow.

Depending on the desired effect, I often finish, paint, or gesso sheets of (non-PG) BB Plywood before and/or after engraving. Prepaint>let dry>mask>engrave>post-paint>remove masking is a common enough workflow for me. Also engrave>wash>dry>stain/oil.

I don’t buy plywood in bulk from etsy though


agreed, finishing depends on how you want things to work and what you’re using to finish. are you painting? then you may or may not want the dark edges, which affects whether you paint before or after. do you plan on sanding down after? then you might even avoid masking and just sand off the mess on the top of the wood. are you only finishing a small part of the sheet? finish after and still have unfinished for the rest to use later.


I’m not exactly sure what you are asking.

The proofgrade is a mdf-core plywood with a veneer and it is then finished with a (iirc) matte finish. Dan mentioned that their veneers are matched so the sheets look like they came from the same piece of wood. They get a lot for proofgrade, but they put a lot into it.

If your goal is to recreate proofgrade, then you are essentially paying someone to apply a finish and masking to a mdf-core, hardwood plywood. You can get mdf-core, hardwood plywood from some lumberyards. If you don’t want to finish it yourself, you should be able to find someone who can. You also need to have the 4x8 sheets cut down to glowforge size - not hard to do, it just needs doing. As for applying the masking, pressure-sensitive paper-backed masking is cheap enough and easy enough to apply so I would do at least that myself. The longer the masking is left on, the harder it is to peel off again. So I prefer to do that before I start a project (think days or weeks ahead of time, not minutes or hours.)

If you messaged people on Etsy or Ebay some of them would probably be open to doing this for you if you don’t have the space or tools to do it yourself. I’ll point out here that you don’t need a table saw or panel saw to cut down plywood. A couple of clamps, a 1x2 and a battery operated (or corded) circular saw is all you need to cut down sheets of plywood. A little sanding and some polyurethane and you can turn a weekend into a very large supply of DIY proofgrade. The quality of the veneer on your plywood will be up to you, and your bank balance, and the main difference if any. One 4’ x 8’ sheet of plywood equals 20 sheets of 12" x 19" plywood.


Hey @jbv what do you use to wash after engraving? I have heard people say they just wipe with dry rag(which did not work for me), I have heard alcohol wipes(which stuck to my edges horribly, and didn’t really work), and I have heard of a couple of other things. I have yet to come out with a winner. I am having an issue where I painted a wooden heart that I cut with my GF, and after the 3rd coat (of white acrylic paint) there was immediately and very obviously, a yellow rim emerging and constantly getting darker. After my 3rd coat I decided to sand off all of the paint and start over. I sanded it off and wiped the edges with a alcohol soaked cloth and began to repaint. Again, with white acrylic. I made it to 4 coats this time. Still same scenario. Finally decided to spray paint the work a completely different color because of the yellow bleeding rim. Anything similar happen that you know of? Remember a solution?

If I’m doing a heavy cleaning, I scrub with a bristle brush and Fast-Orange pumice hand cleaner, then rinse with water. I’ll wrap it in a few paper towels, and leave it on the concrete floor in the back of my shop with a stack of heavy books on top.

If I know that I’m going to be painting before I cut, I prefer to pre-paint then mask. It is easier to clean stains from the paint than from the wood.

Also, take note of what kind of white acrylic paint you are using. The cheaper “student” series paints don’t have very much pigment in them, so they don’t have great coverage strength. Using a dedicated primer, gesso, or a “professional” series artist acrylic will probably help out a bit.


Wow! Very informative! Thank-you!! I am definitely not very knowledgeable when it comes to working with wood. When I say ALL of this is new to me… I mean EVERY OUNCE!! I never used any kind of saw until recently, nor sander! I worked a part time job at Hobby Lobby years and years ago, so I pittled all over the place. Never could stick to one thing. Wanted to do it all! I am going to have to screen shot this comment. And yes, I was just trying to figure a way to pretty much do a bunch of my own DIY proof grade, like you said. I got spoiled having purchased maybe around $600 in PG at first. It was very nice having all of that wood finished upon pulling it out of my GF. I am sure I will need to have plenty of unfinished for certain projects as well. And I can live with that. I would just rather do all of that before. That way, I can feel like I got straight to the point a little more, I guess.

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It depends on the project. Sometimes having it finished works best and sometimes unfinished works best. You can finish plywood way ahead of time so it is ready when you need it. I’d hold off on the masking until you need it because the adhesion of the masking changes over time. And unlike finishing, masking a sheet of plywood only takes a minute. Plus, if you’re not using as high a grade of plywood as glowforge uses, you can take a sharpie and mark on the top of your masking any knots or particularly good grain patterns.


Yeah…you are right on the cheap paint!!! Thanks!! That helped a bit!!

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