Can the GF Make holes/cavities that are 3/8 in deep in a 1/2 in or 3/4 in solid pine wood board?



I need that to make a game board.
I was wondering if burning through the same hole shouldn’t let it burn deeper cavities than the 1/4" mentioned else where on the forums. [ What is the thickest material that WHICH Glowforge can cut? ]


I do this pretty often with my existing laser. It is a pain to configure, but once you figure out amount of power needed I will do 2 to 3 passes with the laser to burn out a deeper hole.


My guess is yes, but the pine may be a challenge - it can be wet and sap-filled, which can bog things down a lot. May need to experiment. The trick would be engraving, not cutting. I’m pretty sure you could do it with a well-dried walnut, for example.


Thanks for the replies guys. Please move this to another post if required, but

Can The GF operate on a 12 in x 12 in board? Or does the thing being worked on need to be strictly smaller than 12 in in it’s smaller dimension?



Not sure how many passes will be required to raster away 3/8" of material but I’m guessing a lot. Keep in mind that each time you focus down, a tiny bit of the conical slightly unfocused beam will overlap the remaining material and you will progressively char more and more of the rim. Think of it as a v-bit plunging down into your material, but instead of cutting the material away like a mill the unfocused part of the beam will just burn the edge. This will happen when you try to refocus lower and go over a previously cut path as well.


What if you used a drill to make the hole to the correct depth and then used the laser to refine the edge. Just a thought. And possibly no chance of starting a fire. Especially with pine as the oil in pine is extremely flammable.


@benwalker, I thought about that too! but my hope was to do all the processing on the board in one machine.
@fablab_elpaso, In this case, that would end up being a feature not bug :), since this is for a game where characters/pegs are placed in the holes… a slight draft does help make it easier to put things in.