Being new to the laser world can be overwhelming in so many different ways. One is simply what wood to use and where to purchase. After seeing different post on facebook and elsewhere, one place I choose to purchase is from Home Depot. They have 7 different kinds of Purebond Plywood to choose from that are cut to size and come in a 10 pack. I thought it would be a good idea to buy one of each, lol. Unfortunately, my wood got mixed up (no labels on boxes) and I didn’t know which was which. Some seems to cut perfectly and others had issues. I cut all at 168-172 speed/full power.
Would anyone be so kind as to share which woods you like/dislike and the settings? I am sure this will help new users. If there are other sources, please share as well. Here are the current offerings in 1/4" at Home Depot online orders only by me with free shipping to store or home with larger orders.
Columbia Forest PureBond Plywood Project Panel 1/4"x12"x19" (10 Sheets per box)
I recommend using Proofgrade settings as a starting point.
As far as mixing up the types, I’ve actually done this before, so don’t feel too bad. Just guess what it’s closest to. Use the proofgrade settings for the one you think it might be. Before you cut any large piece, do a test. Here’s what I do for a test cut:
Make a small shape (like 1/2" or something, I like to use a star.)
Cut out that shape on the plywood and see what works and what needs tweaking.
If it doesn’t cut all the way through, slow the speed down.
(So if it ALMOST cuts through, slow it down by 5-10. If it doesn’t cut through at all, slow it down a little more.)
If it cuts through and has too much char, then speed it up slightly.
You want a happy medium - cutting all the way through, but not too much char.