Cut Settings for 1/4" Plywood?

Hello! I am trying to cut 1/4" birch plywood and seem to be running into issues on cutting through all the way. I’m only cutting a circle so it’s no intricate shape. Should i focus more on the cut depth or the number of passes??
If you’ve figured out what works best for you for cutting 1/4" Please help!


Posting in this section creates a support ticket, but Support can’t help you with non-PG materials.

There’s a lot of information over in Beyond the Manual regarding birch plywood; here’s a search to get you started:


Sadly, non laser specific 1/4" plywoods are just iffy. There’s glue, patches and voids in there that mess with the cut no matter how perfect your settings are. Do you have “birch ply” or “baltic birch ply”. Baltic is more consistent but still has more glitches vs 1/8" of the same. Cherokee Wood Products has some 1/4" plywoods with MDF cores that are more consistent, much like the 1/8" PG plys. They’ll cut full sheets down for shipping.


Yeah i thought that would be iffy. It’s baltic birch ply. Hmm so the cherokee wood products cut better and are also 1/4" ? I may have to look into that

The one’s with MDF cores cut better, the others that are all real wood layers are still iffy.
Bonus - of few of them are also available prefinished like the PG stuff, just add your own masking!

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Home Depot carries a 1/4" ply, PureBond by Columbia Wood Products that they market specifically to glowforge owners. I use it a lot and really have had no issues with it. In fact, I just got some of their mahogany ply, and it is wonderful.


Previously on this channel:


Yep, I haven’t had a lot of luck with their regular birch ply. Just the PureBond Columbia Wood Products. That stuff cuts like butter.


I’m happy to see that community members have already mentioned the very helpful Beyond the Manual section.

With regards to printing on materials provided by other vendors, unfortunately, I don’t have any guidance. It’s very common for materials to perform inconsistently in a laser. However, Proofgrade materials should print perfectly every time. Should you find a problem when printing on them, please let us know right away.

If you want to see if the community has suggestions about materials and/or material settings, you can post in Beyond the Manual. Note however that advice in this section is unsupported and is not reviewed by Glowforge. I’m going to go ahead and close this topic.