Cutting Bloodwood

I did as thorough a search as I could for this, but although I see a few people talking about bloodwood, no one seems to have shared actual settings. Is there a “cheat sheet” of non-proofgrade settings for engraving and cutting anywhere? It would be nice to have some kind of a guide.

I picked up a narrow strip of 1/8" bloodwood at a woodworking shop today, and I’d like to cut / engrave on it, but really have no idea where to start. It’s not a cheap material, and it’s a pain in the butt to go drive and get more, so at least a starting point for settings would be helpful.

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There are a few resources with material settings that have been shared on the forums. However, I’ve found them to be lacking and Bloodwood is not listed. It seems like a lot of people have their own spreadsheets that they keep. I have one of my own with a lot of hardwoods that I cut as well. A lot of mine were developed with trial and error and the settings that I like. I think the reason we don’t see them posted here is because of liability concerns.

I feel like engraving is really forgiving. Or not. :slight_smile: It has more variables than cutting (cutting, you just want a good, clean cut. Engraving you might want different effects, depth, tone, etc.).

The good thing about the engrave though is you can start easy and then you can just run another pass (don’t move anything) if you want deeper, etc.

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Haha, and cutting was the thing I was REALLY worried about.

With a lot of grumbling I may just need to experiment and eat the $4 I paid for the piece if it doesn’t work. ;>

Bloodwood is pretty easy to cut. I’m not near my machine or settings, or I’d share. Start with walnut pg, that should get you pretty close. If I remember correctly, I actually sped up from those settings.


Awesome, thanks so much! That’s really very helpful.

Yeah bloodwood wasn’t too bad. Just do a cut test. You could have dialed it in in half the time it took to get replies to this thread.

Here’s a link to my cut test.

@rbtdanforth took it and made it a bit more thorough, maybe he’ll chime in.

You started the idea. I just modified it a bit.

A thing to note about bloodwood is that the similarity to its name sake is more than momentary as fresh it looks like fresh blood but old it is brown like old blood, I do not know how to slow that effect.

Supposedly it’s UV light that browns it (I think?). A UV resistant sealant or varnish might help, but I’m not sure. I don’t mind if it browns, honestly.

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I think it is access to oxygen, Deep in the wood there is not much free oxygen but the cut surface, even with a layer of shellac will still see some chemical activity. Red is hard as a pigment and is always more fugitive than browns.


I agree, I think it’s oxidation.
The first time I cut purple heart, was for my Jewelers tool box. I found large scrap in a closed cabinet shop space, and was thrilled. When I cut it it looked like black walnut, so I thought he had been stained. I had all of the small pieces for all of the little drawers stacked up. The next day, areas that were covered in the stack we’re still Walnut looking, areas that were exposed we’re purple. This was in my basement workshop where there is no UV.


I used the Walnut settings on the bloodwood, per Curt’s suggestion, and here were the results. I put a sealer on these pretty much the instant they were out of the Glowforge, so I’m not sure how long it will take for them to lose the reddish color but they’re still lovely looking a day later. Even if they darken to walnut I’ll be happy.


They look great! I especially like the lower left with the Lucite…

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Looks really good. Thanks for updating us and sharing the pictures.

Keep in mind that these settings are subject to change without notice. You are much better off long term keeping a list of materials and settings that work for you.