Cutting 1/2 inch wood on glowforge +

Hey! Fairly new to my unit and been experimenting with cutting through 1/2 inch plywood. So far unsuccessful on cutting through and just wondering if anyone has any tips?!

1/4 inch is about as successful as you can get with good results although some have done 1/2 inch. Good luck!


1/2" plywood is going to be a challenge - even if the plywood is optimized for lasers. It is possible - and cutting from one side, flipping, and finishing from the other side is something discussed but not necessarily accomplished.

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A 45W laser (the Pro) is optimal for 1/8" material. 1/4" is possible but often troublesome. I don’t mess with it. I use a lot of 5/32 that is intended for the laser, PureBond Maple from THD.

As indicated above, 1/2" is going to be a serious challenge.


Most plywood is going to be nasty to try and cut. Fillers, voids and glue between the layers will give mixed results. At 1/2 inch you probably won’t get good results even if the plywood isn’t full of those things.

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I generally avoid anything more than 1/4” on the Trotec and it’s 120-watts. I’ve done some 1/2” Baltic on it before but it’s still not really a fun experience. More wood, more problems.


I have cut 1/2" plywood but rarely take it on now. The way I did so was to first engrave half or more of it, so when I made the final cut it was 1/4" and not half-inch, In other cases, I have made deeply engraved half-inch hardwood as a box lid but as the ends are square it is just easier to cut by other means.

I’ve actually cut 1/2 cedar on my basic and it did a pretty good job of it. That’s the only thing I’ve ever tried that was that thick.

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Cedar is about the easiest of all to cut so good at any thickness that would fit I think.

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Yes exactly. It’s great wood to work with. It engraves beautifully and when cut doesn’t leave a lot of char behind.

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I got some from the grocery store that I think you are supposed to barbecue fish on and was nice and inexpensive.

Yes I’ve bought those too in the past. They already come with a nice sanded finish. Usually I buy cedar fence boards and bandsaw and plane them to whatever thickness I need.

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Oh, how I wish I had those! I have some very nice snake wood that would be great if it was not an inch thick. :disappointed:

Snake wood? I have never heard of it. Sounds exotic.

Much nicer than bloodwood but a small slow growing tree.

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Good read! Wow, that’s nice wood. I’d probably sit on that a long time before committing to cutting it up. It sounds quite expensive.

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Water = 62.43 pounds per cubic foot
Snakewood = 76 lbs/ft3
It sinks

Yes I noticed in the link it’s right up there with Lignum Vitae.

It can be, this is the cheapest I found… Or ~$2k for half a 4’+x7" half log

If I was making fancy knives or pens it would be high on my list for use.


Crazy expensive.