I’m having a difficult time cutting through 3/8" Bocote hardwood, and maybe it’s just not a material that i’ll be able to cut through at 3/8". I wanted to ask all you lovely people in the forums, before I gave up, if it’s actually possible to do.
I’ve used several settings, most of them using Full Power and various speeds of 110-200. I have the focus on 0.375 for the cuts.
You don’t want to go up. You want to go down, into the wood. And the beam, with the 50mm lens is considered in focus for approximately .1”. But, wood can also reflect the beam, helping it to keep tighter for longer distances.
This is my opinion, but you need to move fast enough that the wood isn’t charring when it cuts.
I think I had a similar problem with some 3/8" thick zebra wood.
The laser only cut about half-way down.
My solution: Build a harness to position the wood (I use a ton of magnets to make a stable framework). Cut it half-way, then flip the wood over WITHOUT changing the UI – so it cuts in the exact same place, but on the back side. Then cut the other half.
With any luck, the two half cuts will meet in the middle.
That is definitely a solution. I have a ticket in to the staffers for alignment issues. I’m sure i’ll need to get that fixed first. I’ll get some magnets though and try out the frame idea. Right now im using the honeycomb pins, but of course, id lose the location if I removed those to flip the wood. So, is it true you really cant trust the UI positioning? What my screen says is never where the actual design cuts. **That is a topic for another post, I know lol
Bocote is a nightmare to cut, one of the hardest ones I’ve come across, and I was only trying to get through 1/8".
I did get through 0.5" of Ipe by doing 9 passes at like 200 speed and full power (pro). The way I pulled off 9 passes was to lay three same-color paths on top of each other, and set them to be 3 passes in the UI.
If I were going to do it again with changing focal depth, I’d use 3 (or more, depending on how many passes you want to do) colors so you can set the depth of each set of passes to a new depth.
I’ve used the honeycomb pins for positioning, and it works great.
Don’t have them actually hanging over your material. Line up several on the top and sides, then give them a little twist to create tension against your material.
After cutting the front of your material, open the Glowforge front panel, slide the material out, flip it and slide it back in. The tension from the pins will act like a featherboard on a table saw and keep the piece perfectly aligned.
I think i am going to try the magnet frame this weekend. but…UPDATE: I managed to (pretty much) cut through the bocote! By “pretty much” I mean that outline made it through to the other side. I just gently tapped with a hammer and it came out.
It took 9 passes at Full Power and a speed of 200. Thanks for all the help. I am going to go to a 1/4" next time, just to make it easier on myself.
3/8" is .375". You were telling it to focus above the surface.
If you make any FP adjustment you should adjust for below the surface for a cut. The rule of thumb amongst laserers who focus in the material is to set it for the midpoint of the material or in this case .188". That puts the narrowest part of the beam in the center of the thickness.
Setting it at .5" for 3/8" material puts the narrowest part of the beam and eigth inch above the surface and a spread beam on the surface.