Cutting on non glowforge wood

I am trying to cut out a design on 1/4" birch plywood and the laser is coming on and moving but is not cutting out the image. Do i need to adjust settings?

Regular 1/4 birch plywood is extremely problematic even with the correct settings. It was the first piece of non-Glowforge wood I purchased and by far the worst of any I have tried to cut.

To find the correct settings I suggest starting at a reasonable speed and full power to make a small (~0.5") square and lower the speed 20 at a time till the square cuts through. If you can peel off the top layer and see bondo holding the layers together or filling a hole try someplace else on the sheet as that bondo is almost laserproof.


Greetings and Welcome -

As mentioned, testing will determine what it takes to get through the material you have. My 1/4" Plywood setting is 110 speed, Full Power, 2 passes. That can cause some crispiness sometimes, but I sand all the edges anyway.

When I cut Sureply, which is preferred as it stays far more flat than plywood (but is only .2" thick), my settings are 160 Speed, Full Power and 2 passes. That usually does it, but still requires a box cutter occasionally on the back of the wood to fully release the pieces. You never know really, as the moisture content in the wood can vary what it takes to get through it.


Great, thank you for the information i appreciate it! I will give it a try and if worse comes to worse i’ll just have to switch to a thinner thickness.

Thank you for the information, i appreciate it. I guess its all a little bit of trial and error until you figure out what works best!

I have used a lot of ~1/4 inch wood and thicker. Most thin plywood will have at least a few places that are difficult or unusable. Only the birch I purchased had such laserproof glue that even a place that someone wiped off a brush could not be cut through.

With the thicker woods, I have generally found that each additional pass accomplishes less, putting more energy into the sides of the pass than the bottom. I have even cut solid wood that was 3/8 thick with no problem, It is mostly a matter of finding the right speed.

A material called “Revolution Plywood” is cheap and reliable to cut but only one-sided and weak compared to others like Oak plywood which is dirty and a bit more problems will filler than Revolution and cleans up nicer. Both of those are at or near 1/4 inch. I avoid any material with MDF in the middle as the MDF is even more dirty than oak and breaks down over time.

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This might help you:


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