Cutting 1/4” wood?


I have the basic model, wondering if I can hit the lumberyard close by and purchase 1/4” inch thick wood and cut it all the way through.

Not sure if my projects will work well with that thickness but we’ll see :wink:

1 Like

Some Proofgrade is 1/4" so that thickness is possible. All woods (especially plywood) is different but you should be able to cut most 1/4" woods.

Depends on the wood. I have no problem with .26" poplar, walnut, butternut or hard maple. Stick to the domestic hardwoods. The more resinous the wood, the less likely you are to see success, or success you can use. IIRC I can do the poplar in a single pass, the other woods require a double pass.

Remember that the laser beam is hour glass shaped and the thicker the material the more pronounced the effect.

And as dklgood pointed out plywoods are more problematic than solid wood. In plywood you’re always better off sticking with a mdf core. Of course, don’t use it for anything close to load bearing.


1/8th is definitely more of the sweet spot.

Try searching for “hardwood source” on the forum and you’ll find plenty.

1 Like

I have done well with one pass on 1/4" walnut. Red oak too, but not all pieces work equally well.

1 Like

I have cut a bunch of different solid hardwoods on my basic model. Once you get past some of the softer ones like cherry and walnut, they become much more difficult to cut in one pass. on top of that, they burn badly on the edge and sometimes require the subsequent passes to need a re-focusing of the laser to a lower depth. 1/4 is very thick for a lot of them. The thickness I usually go with is closer to 3/8ths, but with the harder species, this is still not thin enough. I also work at a hardwood dealer and have tried a ton of exotics too. Some with more success then others.

–==Note that some of the woods are a bad idea to cut no matter what the ventilation==–
An example of a really bad option would be Lacewood. It is related to Poison Ivy and not only can the dust be a problem, but putting the fumes in the air could cause major concern for anyone that breaths it.

I hope this helps


Most of what I cut is in the range of a Quarter inch and some as thick as 1/2". I am not so thrilled with 1/8 wood except in special cases, 1/8" basswood can be bent into a 360-degree cylinder, but as I use a lot of depth engraving, the 1/8 of most are quite tricky to get good depth without going through

Not every wood is good at 1/2" as char makes diminishing returns where there is more of it. but Paduk . Maple, and Walnut do very well at that thickness. in any case cutting one of these in the thickest of any species you have will give you a good reference set. That can give you the ball park numbers for what you would like to work with.


This topic was automatically closed 32 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.