Anywhere else to buy the 1/8" draftboard?

I am a teacher and the pricing on the draftboard would be too expensive for my 400+ students.

I have looked at blick hardboards:

Cant get a confirmation that they dont use formaldehyde. The support person said it was laser safe…

I am very paranoid and in a school so i want to make sure that the laser isnt off gassing horrible fumes. But like i said i need a cheaper substrate we can paint thats somewhat sturdy and still safe.


Baltic birch might be a cheaper option? A forum search should bring up lots of good online sources – I get it at a local lumber yard.

Can’t blame you for looking for a more economical source. Property vented a bit of formaldehyde would not be a problem, what could be is that some hardboard is vary hard to cut. If it takes twice as long,your advantage is shoot.

I got hardboard at home depot. $4 for a 4x8 sheet of it. Super inexpensive. I cut them down for the glowforge.

It cuts fine with most the hardwood settings… I cut at about speed 140, full power. No problem.

Good luck!


I paid $12 for a 4’ by 8’ sheet of 1/8" particle board (identical to medium draftboard, no masking) at Windsor Plywood. They did not have it in stock but it was available for pickup the next day. Windsor stores are mostly in Washington and Western Canada but I assume most cities have a similar plywood store. You will need to cut it to GF sizes.

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Woodpeckers on Amazon has baltic birch 1/8" ply, and you can buy it from them in 12"x12" pieces which is great if you can’t process the wood from a huge sheet of material.

I just ordered this for a class in LAUSD as a vendor for them. Their website has slightly better prices, but the customer service through there is non-existent. Purchase was for 180 12x12" sheets through their website, $227.07 shipped to Cali. Also ordered 12x24" pieces for me to prototype on in Georgia, got those from Woodpeckers on Amazon.

The boxes of 12x12" sheets were chewed up on the edges, and the corners were a bit dinged up, but we don’t laser corners, right;p The long box from Amazon was double boxed and shipped perfectly.

What age group are you teaching?


Since this thread is discussing non-Proofgrade materials to be purchased from another company, I’m going to it to Beyond the Manual so other folks here can help. Should there be any questions about Proofgrade materials and the Glowforge, please open a new ticket in Problems and Support and we’ll help you right away!

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Late to the game but 1/8” mdf is easily gotten from local lumber yards and is very inexpensive. It’s esentially the same as pg draftboard but it’s not masked.


Perhaps close, as long as you’re buying formaldehyde free.

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Particle board is not the same as draftboard; while it may cut similarly, it’s an entirely different manufactured wood product.

1/8" MDF isn’t as easy to find as you might think–I get it off Amazon sometimes, but it’s more expensive than it should be. The best option is to source it from a supplier that ships it in full sheets, then if you don’t have a table saw, pass it off (or ship it to) someone local who does. Some cabinet shops will do this for you for very cheap (and if you’re in the NY Westchester area I’ll do it pretty cheap as well :wink:

The Woodpeckers product off Amazon is decent, but 1/8" is thinner than the ~3.5mm draftboard product, and finding 3.5mm product is even harder, and 1/4" is quite a bit thicker. It’s all a bit of a pain.


Rugby architectural building supplies carries it. They have a good number of locations, you may be near one?


It’s not that I can’t source it, it’s just that it’s annoying :slight_smile: There’s a Rugby across the river in NJ (also a great source of LSL). My point was that not every big-box hardware store (e.g., Home Depot) carries plain ol’ 1/8" MDF, which is a pain. It’s one of my favorite prototyping materials for both laser and CNC–the 1/2"+ MDF is fine for CNC, not so much for my small-ish lasers :’(

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MDF is dirty anyway. Prototype with BB ply, it’s still very inexpensive through rugby (a bit more than mdf, but cheap), and it’ll junk up your fans a lot less.


It is (dirty), but it doesn’t machine as well (it’s not bad, but requires more care in my experience) and many (most?) of my projects use multiple tools. As with anything, it just depends on what I happen to be making, and what I need it to look/act like when I’m done :slight_smile:


Trying to do some metal flasks that have the black matte finish for groomsman. Any tips like speed. Should I set it on wood underneath, etc

I think you’re in the wrong thread here.

There are several threads about flasks if you search though.