Determining settings for non proof grade materials

I purchased some cheap cutting boards at Target. The first one engraved beautifully. The second however, engraved SO deep. I used medium ash for the wood and just left at default settings. How do you determine custom settings??

Mostly trial and error for settings, and if you search the forum for non-proofgrade settings, you’ll find a ton of hits with different spreadsheets of settings.

The other factor is the material - just because something looks the same or is called the same, you will find in many cases it isn’t the same. I routinely cut down sheets of 1/8" plywood and use them and even in the case of the same sheet I get different results. Sometimes there are voids in the plywood, sometimes there’s a glue joint that’s hidden, sometimes it’s different material.

There’s also different parts of the tree / log they’re assembling your cutting boards from. The one that cut really well might be a more dense portion of the log, or a less dense piece. There’s so many factors! Trial and error unfortunately is your best bet in many cases.


And welcome! I see this is your first post. The community support is AWESOME and so useful to get the most out of your Glowforge.

Searching is your best friend if you ever have a question - most things have been answered dozens of times, but never hesitate to post as well. Always someone here to point you in the right direction!


Thanks so much! I’m having so much fun …. Just a few things yet to figure out!

There will not always be a comparable proofgrade material for your settings, so as you have already learned, testing is the key.

Here is an explanation of manual mode


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