Baseboard Molding cut with a Glowforge

TLDR: I used the trace function and I cut through 0.5" of wood in a single pass.

When we were fixing up the nursery for my daughter, I replaced all the baseboard trim in the room. Unfortunately, I missed a small section behind the door. It was only about 2" in length, but I had the other trim up, and I returned the Miter saw I borrowed.

What to do?

I decided to cut the profile into the short segment, that way it would fit flush. My plan was to do it with the dermal or jig saw.

But wait, I have a laser now, with an amazing trace ability that I haven’t tried yet!

So I got a piece of paper, and traced out the profile.

And here it is traced in the Glowforge!

Now, here’s the tricky part. The thickness is just slightly about 0.5". So, will I flip the part or try multiple passes? Since I am planning on painting it, and caulking with take up any slop, I figured I’d try to cut through the 0.5".

Setting I used were 100/10 at 3 passes. I figure that should be able to do it.
I marked the piece of trim the length I wanted, then aligned the cut to that. And off we go!

I stopped the print after two passes. It went all the way through after the first pass. The second pass just added more charing and smoke damage I would have to clean.

So I decided to take a step back and run a couple of experiments on the scrap that was left over.

All done at one pass
100/10 - Cut through
100/20 - Cut through
100/30 - 1/8" material left over
100/25 - Slight material left, easily breakable.

So I decided to use 100/25 for my settings.

Pew Pew Pew!

The one on the left is the first cut I did and the experiment cuts. The one on the left is the final cut.

And here it is in place. Fits like a glove!

Things I learned:

  • I should experiment upfront so I don’t run into these problems
  • I need to take more pictures
  • Trace cuts are outlines, so my single pass was 2 cuts almost on top of one another

Another “I would have never thought of this”. Well done.


Amazing what you can do with a lazer!


Tracing and cutting for me is a lot of clicking and Ctrl+Z to get the lines I really want. Very nice documentation. Excellent use of the Glowforge. And molding like that is not dense at all so it would cut through fairly well. This is an original, never touched on before application of the Glowforge. I believe you deserve a special badge for extending the usability of the Glowforge to unknown territory. And so soon! Wow.


You early guys are using up all the un-thought-of unique uses for lasers! Leave some for the rest of us! hahaha!!


Most excellent sir!! Much applause :clap:.

I have molding sitting on the floor after the floor redo waiting to be cut to fit… Geez…thanks for making me feel lazy with my 2 lasers…lol


Huh. If soft pine will cut like that, I wonder how it might engrave. I’ve got some 5/4 stock that might be just right for testing.


Ironically, this was actually on my “I wonder if I can…” list. Thank you!


I back-cut mine at an angle to help it snug up against the other pieces, but I’m always looking for a faster way to do trim cuts. Especially odd angles.


I could have used that earlier this month. I still have a few more baseboards around the house that I will need to cut. I will be doing something like this when I get my GlowForge.

I wouldn’t have thought of this. Well done @joe Thanks!

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there will always be a use that requires just the right kind of crazy :wink:


100/10 for settings? what is this? 100 speed and 10 power? or 10 speed and 100 power? for what its worth i don’t see how you can set the speed to 10, minimum is 100 speed. in 2018. been trying to cut 1/2" today and not getting all the way through, even with multiple passes, though flipping does help but alignment sucks.

Oh man, this was from awhile ago. It was 100% power, 10in/sec. But things have changed quite a bit since then. They now use ambiguous GlowSettings, and there is Full Power mode now.

The gist of it is you want to go very slow with as much power as possible. You’ll have to do some experiments to get the setting you want.

Are you trying to cut baseboard or something else? The baseboard cut because it was a soft pine. I tried to cut Sapele hardwood, and I couldn’t even get 1/4in through it.