Baltic Birch not cutting

I have 1/8" baltic birch, I am doing simple cutout designs. I have tried the Med Maply Plywood setting, it engraves and scores great, but does not proofgrade cut.

I have tried moving the number of passes to 3, I get a lot of flash marking on the surface, but it does not cut all the way through; (close but not all the way, I can see the lines on the back).

My fans are clean, I have good airflow and the lens / mirrors are clean.

Any ideas?


Baltic Birch is not Med Maple Plywood. You need to test to find settings that wok, there are dozens of existing threads on how to do that.

In 5 years, I never had to use more than a single pass.


I have scanned the threads; the most common is to use the Med Maple or Med Cherry.

If you have settings that work in a single pass, would you please share them?

The problem with someone just giving you settings is, your machine may not work the exact same as ours and your material is definitely going to be different than ours. The absolute best thing you can do to determine how YOUR machine cuts a particular material is to test it. Here is some good info on how to do that. Click on #6


I have certainly had such issues that ultimately came from insufficient blowing of the carriage fan. I my case I did not understand how magnets could disrupt the spin of the fan, but even a bed pin can mess up the flow enough and get that flash marking on the front.

If at any time that you get a candle like flame the power is not going to the bottom of the cut, and the cut will not be as deep. Also even in the best of cases a second or third cut will not be as deep as the first cut. One could go into much variable explanations but that is the raw data I have seen after years of use.

Also, not all birch is Baltic birch. Proper Baltic Birch has rigid production rules that amount to more than the species of wood involved. My first purchase of wood was claimed to be Baltic Birch but was the worst stuff I have ever cut. It would seem that the glue they used was laser proof to the point that just wiping off the brush kept that area from cutting properly. I have saved this photo to illustrate just how awful this stuff was. the center was blasted so hard it burned everything away but it still would not cut through.


No, because I didn’t have your material. I will say my cut speed for a single pass for the BB I sourced locally was faster than the GF setting for Med Maple Ply, and full power (Pro).

I haven’t bought or used Baltic Birch since Home Depot started selling Purebond maple ply (5/32") a couple of years ago, and my settings for that were also a fair bit faster than the Glowforge setting for their Med Maple Ply.

I’m using past tense as my tube is nearing the end of its life, so I test a small print and adjust settings as appropriate before I commit to any large print. Considering it was expected to last 2 years, I’m quite happy with 5.


This wood is quite frustrating. Ran the calibration pattern, even went down to 100/full (which did some serious wood burning); and NOTHING made cuts through this 1/8 stock.

GF Basic

Tried from 240/full down to 100/full, even 150/100 and nothing even with up to 3 passes

That’s impressive!

@rob It sounds like some component of the plywood is laser proof. Use a fine handsaw/scrollsaw to make a cut across the laser lines, maybe you can see what’s inside it that’s the problem. (I’ll bet this stuff cuts just fine with a sawblade.)


The calibration process only helps align the lid camera to the actual print location, it has nothing to do with cutting performance.

It sounds like either a material issue, or a failing laser tube or power supply.

The way to eliminate the material as the problem is to print the Gift of Good Measure on the spare piece of Proofgrade Dratboard they supply with the machine. If that prints as expected, then it’s your material.

Keep in mind, the tube was designed with a 2-year lifespan.


It sounds like you’ve put your hands on something that is not Baltic Birch. If your machine is cutting right with any of the :proofgrade: then BB will cut fine. I’ve gotten ahold of a hobby shop ply that would not cut due to the glue.