Best-smelling Burn

So over the past few days I’ve spent 11 hours engraving basswood. Just have to say, not only did it completely cover up the smell of the 10 hours of acrylic I’d done in the past week, I think it’s my personal favorite-smelling material I’ve ever used. I mean, it actually smells good to laser it! Can’t say that about many materials.


I lasered my first zebrawood today, and it made me wish for the smell of burning acrylic. If I was freezing and the only way to keep warm was to burn zebrawood, I’d probably rather freeze. It smelled like someone stuffed a horse carcass full of chemicals and then set it on fire.


This is interesting, I’ve heard other sources that say zebrawood smells like it’s namesake as well but I’ve engraved/cut a number of times and haven’t had a foul experience.

I don’t recall the immediate laser-ed smell but the Bloodwood game pieces I’ve made have a great smell to them.


Freezing the Zebrawood might be an option I had not thought of, It is very hard to work without starting it on fire.

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I would think that any wood that was good to eat something sitting in the smoke of that wood might be pleasant to cut :smile: anyone cut much Hickory?

I bet engraving incense would smell good if you could do it without igniting it.


Would probably not be worse than mahogany,

Could be. But I’ve definitely found differences in smells between burning with fire and scorching/incinerating with a laser.


If I could dedicate a Glowforge to nothing else, I think that making skewers of Trema and saving the smoke somehow might be a business plan (too much competition in hickory)


… and so much cheaper than scented candles…

…oh, wait…

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Basswood smells like cotton candy. My whole downstairs smelled delicious the other day after my granddaughter and I made a picture frame for her mom for Christmas. :slight_smile:

Last night I scored some wooden blocks from the hobby store to make a puzzle for the gkids, and they smelled like vanilla. I remember @Jules saying BB smells like vanilla, but I haven’t noticed it with mine. The blocks, though, definitely did!


No, that was the padauk. Definitely sweet smelling. :smile:


I think basswood, padauk, and maple would be my top three.

Zebrawood turns into charcoal and does not smell good.


I’ve done actual sugar… Surprisingly, no smell at all!


I have not had the chance to apply a similar process to green clay but at some point I would really like try an intricate design in it.

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I opened the lid of the Glowforge immediately after the cut finished and got hit with a terrible smell. If I didn’t open it so soon, I probably wouldn’t have noticed the smell. I won’t open so quickly next time.

Cedar. Edged a few signs on a customer supplied “slab” a few months ago… smelled so good.

I HATE the smell of acrylic. And unfortunately, I’ve recently discovered how cool clear acrylic looks properly etched, so I want to do more… Really need to upgrade my exhaust system.

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Ooh, any tips on best clear acrylic engrave settings?

Surely this will help?

Settings get discussed in Beyond the manual, so you might want to limit your searches to there.

Yeah, I was just wondering what was meant by “properly etched”.