Cutting 1/4" wood?

Anyone have a table of pew vs. zoom vs. count for cutting 1/4" materials?

I’m not having much luck hunting and pecking for various woods; basswood, red oak, etc… All wildly different, I know, and I suspect wood that others have already figured out.


Can’t you just lie to the GF and tell it you have Proofgrade thick basswood (or whatever) in there, then switch to manual and see what the Proofgrade settings are?

Edit: just realized they don’t have thick hardwoods. I think I would just start with thick plywood settings, or see how settings change from medium to thick in the plywood, and apply that factor to the hardwood.


I’ve done 1/4" cedar at 150/75/3. Cedar is pretty forgiving at such. Each wood is different, but I doubt you will cut 1/4" anything in wood without multiple passes, and that 150 is really slower than most wood would be friendly for. I’ve also cut through various pieces of hardwood floor. In all cases, more passes (3+ depending on thickness and type of wood), masking, etc are your friends. You will get a lot of residue from the cutting. The thicker the material, the more residue. Also, most cuts are cleaner if you up the speed and compensate with more passes. Avoid 100-Full on multi-pass cuts of most thicker woods if you want to minimize lateral charring along the cut. It does make a very pretty fireball at the laser point, though.


That’s true. But I did a coaster design out of 1/2" poplar with just 2 passes and no more charring than standard 1/4 or 1/8 cuts of PG materials. I was surprised (I had tried it doing 4 passes and it went through the poplar and then 2 layers of BB plywood I had under it since I couldn’t use the crumb tray) it took just 2 passes.

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For 1/4" red oak, I use:

Cut: 165/full 2 passes (dark brown edges)
Cut: 120/full 1 pass (Black charred edges)
Engrave: 700/40 450 LPI


I cut some 1/4" Yellowheart and Black Walnut. For the settings, check out:

I also tried Purpleheart, but it did not cut through after 3 passes.


Thank you! I’ve been looking for the magic combo. This worked really well.

Agreed with others here. I’ve done Oak, Cedar, Old fence board (that were 1/2" thick). Multiple passes will eventually work. Just watch for flame up. Looked like my GF was on fire at one point when I was cutting cedar fence boards.

I also failed to get through 1/4" purpleheart with up to three passes. I did get 1/8" purpleheart to cut but I haven’t dialed in the settings yet to share (although one pass around 150 did get through).

Hi! I cut purpleheart all the time with the following settings:

1/4 thick purpleheart
Full power, 189 speed, 6 pass

Let me know how it goes for you :slight_smile:


how are your edges?

Really not bad. The edges are obviously black but not crispy. A light sanding takes care of what’s there (at least for my purposes). These settings are much better than what I once used (Full, 140, 4 pass). With my present settings, the higher speed and extra passes really does a nice job. I’ll be cutting another purple heart tag soon (today or tomorrow). Ill gladly post a photo so you can see the edges.

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cool. i’ve been scared to use 1/4", except for soft woods.

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Oh wow, thanks everyone it’s great to know you can cut these thick hardwoods!

All settings went in my lil’ note book! Thanks! :smiley:

What does the “burn” look like? I’d assume after 6 passes you might have pretty blackened edges.

What were your settings for the poplar? Besides doing the two passes. I need to engrave, cut, and score.

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Lord knows - it was a long time ago. I usually run a cut calibration when I’m doing a new project.

I use 140 speed and Full power (Pro) to cut 1/4" poplar. 1 pass.


Me too. Just trying to avoid. Do you have a file that you use to do the calibration?

Mine as well as several others are posted in the Free Designs category. There are some cool ones for testing engrave settings and for kerf sizing too. Take a look and see which one resonates with you.

For your poplar question @caribis2’s post above has settings you could use to skip running a calibration tool.