Cutting a stack of cardstock

I believe I read somewhere that layering paper was responsible for more fires being set in lasers than anything else.

And it might void the warranty. :neutral_face:

I sure as hell wouldn’t do it - I’ve seen what happens when a single layer of masking gets away from you, catches, and winds up in the exhaust fan.

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See above, RE:

Don’t let bits fly around, use perforation tabs if you have to. Then again, I don’t do a ton of paper, so don’t listen to me and be careful.

I wonder if you could pump nitrogen into the 'forge, to displaces the oxygen? might be a little dangerous though.

you’d have to pump a lot in, considering the internal fan is running 200 CFM and there is not a lot of volume inside of the GF.

i would avoid stacking paper. both because of the increased fire risk everyone above has mentioned, but i’m going to presume you’ll also get a lot more char on the edges as well. in the end, any air in between the sheets is going to potentially introduce flame. even if the paper doesn’t catch on fire, it’s going to scorch more.

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I had similar thoughts because you’d have to overpower the cuts.

That being said, I find that I always cut 2 layers. It prevents smoke marks on the bottom of the top layer (which is the one I want). If you have the right kind of paper surface, you could mask it, but I find that a waste piece of cardstock underneath does the job really well. I just finished a cardstock mask, it was essential to prevent smoke marks and char because the bottom surface is the outside of the mask.

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@jbmanning5, you tried this?

Kind of a moot point anyway, since you want to anchor each sheet to keep the air assist from blowing it around. (I’d invest in a Seklema mat if my livelihood depended on this, and only work on one sheet at a time to keep from having to buy a new laser cutter.)

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right, but that bottom layer is a sacrificial layer to the job.

i would think with the two sheets and the bottom being sacrificial, you wouldn’t have to overpower because you’re not trying to cut through two, tho. or are you trying to cut through because that’s what keeps the char off?

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Yeah, you’re dead on.

I don’t overpower when only cutting 1. The sacrificial layer only partly cuts, especially dots on sharp corners. If I wanted to stack 2-3 layers of cardstock, I’d have to up the power, and at some point, the top layer would start getting really toasted.

I did that entire mask with the same piece of sacrificial material, on 5 separate cutting jobs. It was scored to death, but still held together.

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I have often found that when trying to “save” time I end up using way more time - like when I get caught speeding and have to wait for the cop to write the ticket, or when I try to cut a stack of something and then have to clean up after the fire. Be careful.

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Nope.

I think it would be difficult, at best, to get consistent results. Tons of places for smoke to get caught in a design leading to more smoke discoloration. Not to mention the more obvious risks of fire.

Page 3 of the manual specifically advises one to not do this.

The most I would probably do on this is cut and set up a jig to do two of them side by side, depending upon the size of the cardstock and how the design falls. You could do two 8.5 x 11” sheets of cardstock if you rotate the design 90 degrees counterclockwise and point the longside of the cardstock towards the back of the machine.

That doesn’t minimize time like stacking material would, but it decreases the overall set up time

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Big ol’ guillotine paper cutters use a vise to clamp stacks of paper down to keep it from moving. And they don’t even have to deal with fire risk.

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Ok I have a completely different experience

I cut a stack of twenty plain copy paper the other day no problem at all. They had been through printer so we’re loosened up. I just stacked them with magnets on top to keep things from blowing around.

Charring on edge of cut is still an issue.

I did watch, because paper, not because stack. If anything I would expect a stack to be safer.

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So much input and I appreciate each and every response!

For some perspective, this is an example of my work. This particular lasercut was purchased from a company who produces and sells them in bulk. I have requests for custom versions (monograms, etc, etc)
When a bride needs 150 of these, I need to be cost effective, thus the reason I asked about stacks. I was thinking of masking the top layer and securing the stack with 2" mask around the entire bundle at each end.

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I don’t see an image or link??

Ok, it just loaded nice work!

Do you mind sharing your settings for 20 pages of card stock?

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Thank you!
I want to do this is the worst way - but I cannot see doing them one at a time x 150 . I cannot imagine my pricing would be very competitive.

:astonished::open_mouth: