Cutting wood - NEED HELP!

I have purchased some maple 1/4 plywood and am having the hardest time getting Glowforge to cut through the wood. I have the settings on 125 speed, full power, and distant 0.25. And it is still not cutting through the wood. I’m at a lost of why it’s not cutting through the wood and I am getting sooooo irritated that I am wasting wood!
I try to salvage it and recut it but then it don’t cut on the same line and the project looks like crap.
What do y’all do with wood that has done this with and how can you use it?
Anyone have any help with the settings or what I need to do to have it cut through?


I suspect it is the wood that is the problem. Does the Glowforge cut Proofgrade materials satisfactorily?

I suggest using the set focus rather than inputting the height. Also, that speed seems rather slow for thick maple plywood. Proofgrade settings are always a good place to start. Finally, have you inspected the wood with a strong flashlight for voids and knots? Sometimes it is just the material that can’t be laser cut because of the filler, glue or combination of factors. Cut your losses and move on to better wood.

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When I first got my GF I had the most difficult time cutting quarter inch wood. Someone here in the community @o-o @eflyguy helped me and gave me the settings after they tested their own quarter inch wood and I am passing on this information to you.

  1. This is the most part in the process. Make sure your wood is completely flat. If you touch it and there is a just little give it is not completely flat.

2.After you get it completely flat go to the left side of the interface and choose uncertified material. Type 0.20

  1. Speed 140 , Full power. Make sure your focus height reads 0.20

  2. Do a test piece a 1 inch square or a 1 inch circle.

Purchasing a pair of digital calipers would be of great benefit. Not all quarter inch wood will measure .25.


1/4” is trickier than 1/8”. I get through mine most of the time with 2 passes, this cuts down on the char from going too slow.


Agree with above, 1/4" can be really difficult. The core of composite materials (plywood) mades SUCH a difference. True veneer (real wood) cored layers cut like butter, MDF-like cores can be a bear.

Some material is simply not suited to the laser due to the inconsistencies.


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