Designing with 1/4th inch

I just got in 1/4th inch wood and I am curious how people feel about designs for it. I haven’t seen many people use the thicker wood, I primarily see people use 1/8th. Do people not like it? IDK I kind of get it considering this is the first time I’m trying it (lasering for 3 years now) but I find it would be the better wood for the things I’m making (wineboxes and incense holders)


Previously, and a lot of others:

There are a lot of discussions about 1/4" material out there, it’s hard to know what advice to give without knowing which species of wood you’re using.

In general 1/4" wood is ok if it cuts nicely at 1/8". Compared to thinner materials, you tend to see wider kerfs, more pronounced keystone angling and increased char (because you’re cutting more slowly, generally, and all three of those effects are increased with slower speeds).

Aesthetics are up to you, of course, and many of these issues come down to appearance of the final product and your tolerance for the concessions you make when dealing with 1/4" materials.


My experiences with 1/4" were not positive, so I have generally avoided working with it. I know several people here do use it without issue.


Personally, I prefer 1/8" across the board (no pun intended). If I need a 1/4" thickness, I’ll generally use two layers, which creates interesting opportunities for layered designs, grooved lids, concealed joints, etc.

Using a mix of 1/4" and 1/8" is also an option; the 1/4" thickness is good for interior structures and overall strength, with the 1/8" used for ornament and facades. But 95% of my inventory is 1/8" material, and I use it almost exclusively.


Columbia Forest purebond cuts pretty well at that thickness.


I find I like it much better for all but tiny things, especially when I am doing deep relief engraving and will happily go thicker yet for richly engraved tops.

Even though only 3 inches on a side I was able to engrave the bottom of the top to have the lid fit.

This quarter inch butternut was more substantial as well.


I’ll use it when I need strength, or am planning a deep engrave. Otherwise I stick with 1/8".

So it totally depends on the project!


I used 1/4" Baltic birch ply for this project:

… and this one:

I have also used it for some smaller utility bits here and there.

Despite both batches (from two different suppliers) I’ve used allegedly being B grade, there were some glue plugs in the cut paths. I had to saw through those spots by hand. It cuts great in the spots without glue plugs but, I now generally expect cutting 1/4" Baltic birch ply to be a hassle and, am less likely to use it.


2nding the Columbia Purebond project sheets from Home Depot. I use the Maple veneer to make wooden puzzles with:


Is it veneer core or MDF core? Looking, it would seem to be that there was a change I was not aware of. I quit looking because it was MDF but now the company seems to be trying to change folks perception.

Columbia Forest says Purebond has a yellow poplar core.

It’s my go-to for most projects, 5/32 Maple in GF-sized sheets (although it is 12" tall, so there can be some waste depending on how you position the sheets.)


I primarily use Columbia Forest Purebond also. It is unfinished, so I have to sand it and apply polyacrylic to it, but in the end it the best medium I have worked with.

I have some of their 1/4" stuff too, but I don’t use it much. I just really prefer the 5/32" sized sheets.


As is all the :proofgrade: sheets as well so there is the same issue. At the moment all my efforts are going to catalog stuff so have to use :proofgrade:

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I could have sworn it was MDF, every pic I’ve seen of purebond always looks like mdf.

I’ve stayed away because I think MDF edges look terrible, have I been wrong all this time?

It was a couple years ago I am sure as it was much touted and why I stayed away as well.

May have been at some point, but they market it as being poplar now.

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Some of my magic boxes I posted are with 1/4th Baltic birch from Lowes. Should be able to find them from my profile

I looked, just the reading hardwood and 2 leather bits. I had a Birch plywood piece that is no longer about and I just figured out why. Though another first try in cheap ply is still there.


Try this

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A really nice piece, but for your Etsy? shop. The only non-PG piece I noted was in the Glowforge shop and that was their first attempt to have stuff. I submitted a different shelf that is no longer there as well. Now the design needs to be for a specific PG material and made in that as proof you can.

I made a lamp that is very much a challenge and they have not yet placed it so it might be too much for the catalog in spite of being all PG lite cherry.

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