Cut settings for Cherry (non-PG)

So I try not to post until I’ve exhausted all other options, but I was wondering if someone has an answer for me. I purchased an 8x4x1/8" cherry board and had it cut down into pieces to fit my Glowforge. Although it engraves really well, I have only been able to cut all the way through at a speed of 120 with full power, or 180/FP with 2 passes (which produces similar results). Just for the heck of it, I’ve tried setting the focus height slightly below the wood surface, and even half way down the wood thickness, without noticing a difference. The results are consistently very charred edges and a massive kerf. And I end up with edges that are visibly very sloped. I’d love to switch to PG materials but I’m in Canada, which means it costs me more than double considering outrageous shipping prices, duty fees and taxes.
I’ve been using Baltic Birch with great success, but how are people using cherry? If you’re going to ask what kind of cherry, then I have no idea. I believe it has a reject back (not sure if that has any effect).

Sounds to me like your focus is way off, likely due to bad height settings or even more likely an upside down lens. Cleaned it lately? You might want to be sure you didn’t put it in upside down. The cleaning instructions can show you, but it needs to be oriented like a “bowl”.

Step 5 in “things that need wiping”.

If you run a gift of good measure on draftboard it will eliminate materials as the problem, but yeah, massive kerf sounds like upside down lens.

Thanks for the reply. I received my Glowforge Pro about 5 weeks ago, and the lens already came pre-installed. I have never installed anything except the printer head according to the instructions. I find it unlikely they installed it upside down at the factory but I’m going to check anyways. When I say massive kerf, I mean relatively speaking. It’s only massive when I’m going at slow speeds like 120 with full power. It’s not so bad at 180. I have my focus height set right at the top of the wood surface (0.112"). The thickness of the wood is 0.113".
But I think I’m going to try cleaning the lens and following the wiping instructions you sent. I haven’t done that yet, and I think it’s due.

Official word suggests at least every 40 hours of cut time but depending on what is cut, many have found 30 or even 20 hours may require some heavy cleaning.

Yeah it might be. The large kerf issue is the hallmark of a focus issue, frequently caused by upside down lens or user error. Test out draftboard GOGM and rule your materials out, if you have trouble with GOGM after cleaning then you may need to talk to support about it.

Just out of curiosity how are you setting the height? On the material definition, or in the cut setting? If you change it in the cut setting (on the left sidebar) it overrides your material height, so you might be sure that your height isn’t set to something really wrong in there that could be causing it to ignore your material height setting in the unknown material dialog.

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I cut 1/8 cherry hardwood at 210/Full without any issues on my Basic unit, so it sounds like you have something out. Either focus is off, your lens isn’t in right, or something is really dirty or damaged.

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That looks like a cheap laminate with a wood-like surface. From your pictures, I doubt it’s even real wood. Even the cheapest plywood I use (Lauan brand underlayment) has a better core than that.

Cherry hardwood looks nothing like that, and cuts cleanly using proofgrade settings (I buy mine from Rockler.)

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Initially I set the material thickness by clicking “use uncertified material” to allow the camera to see an accurate representation of the bed for positioning objects. I use the actual thickness of the wood in this case. Then I set the lens focus on the left using the “focus height” field, which I set to either the surface of the wood, or slightly below the surface or something else depending on the desired effect I’m going for. For Baltic Birch I was setting it 0.028" below the surface of the wood.

I just finished cleaning all the lens and mirror in the machine. The lens was already pre-installed in the machine and its orientation was correct, and I made sure to pop it back in correctly. Going to do a test run.

I have to say, over the past 5 weeks I’ve learned only a few acronyms (I hate acronyms): PG, GFUI… but I have no idea what GOGM is :slight_smile:

Yeah, I think hardwood is going to be easier for a laser to cut through than plywood, or this stuff I’m using… judging by the preset configuration in GFUI.

The first free design, the Gift of Good Measure.

It’s what support uses to diagnose print issues (on the provided medium draftboard).

I’d say 90% of what I do is on plywood, and more than half of that is NOT Proofgrade. I save that for gifts where finish matters.

Baltic birch, Lauan underlayment, and various others from local sources.

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Ah yes, I see… yeah, when I first started I used a couple of the sample proofgrade materials and everything came out great. I’ll be honest though, I wasn’t able to do the, erm, GOGM, because I accidentally deleted it from the GFUI, and it was much later that I learned how to recover it. But I haven’t cleaned the machine since. Let’s see how it performs now.

This was just posted by support in a different thread - it’s what they look for when checking the optics.

Cool, thanks. All my lens and mirror appear to be perfect. I tried cutting the Cherry again after a good cleaning, and although it wasn’t perfect, it was definitely better. I managed to cut all the way through at a speed of 150/FP, as opposed to 120/FP, which is definitely better. That would also explain why I started cutting baltic birch at 210, and gradually had to decrease it until it reached 183.
I think you’re right about this wood not being real wood. It engraves wonderfully though, but the cutting is what’s bugging me. For now I think I can live with a speed of 150. I’ve only run 1 test though. We’ll see what happens…

Maybe. Cherry cuts very easily for me, easier than Baltic. Easier than maple. If you’ve got some sort of engineered wood with resin your performance would be completely different.

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