I am in need of the 12 x 20 draft board and I was wondering if and when it will be available again.
Draftboard is just 1/8" MDF. If you have a local lumberyard, they might carry it. If you need masking that’s easily sourced too. Bonus, it’ll end up being far cheaper than draftboard. Not so bonus: it’s more work, you need to get it home and possibly cut it to size (unless your lumberyard has a panel saw and will do it for you).
I’m not sure where you are, but Rugby architectural building supplies carries MDF and BB in 1/8" thicknesses, they have locations all around the US. Masking I like perfectear plus medium tack from signwarehouse.com.
Thank you so much for the quick response! I am in Alabama but this is very helpful and I am expecting a delivery of MDF and masking today that I will try. It has taken quite a lot of time to get here but hopefully it will be better than I expect. However, I do like the proofgrade so I am just wondering if Glowforge has any info on when and if it may be available again.
I’m thinking of going this way for my own needs. I know a lot of plywoods have meaningful consistency issues that impact lasering; does MDF have any similar concerns?
This will be my first time using the MDF so I cannot add any input on any concerns.
I guess I’ll find out after I receive my shipment today. I still hope that Glowforge will restock the 1/8" 12 x 20 soon. I’ve grown used to it.
They do not. The materials supplier is a separate organization.
That said, draftboard is very popular and it’s almost certain they constantly strive to keep it in stock. Many businesses are not functioning as normal right now.
Glowforge would have you believe that they have sourced some sort of extremely laserable mdf, designed to have glues and binders that are less toxic etc etc. They may be right.
That being said I’ve had no problems with the mdf I’ve gotten, though to be fair it’s not my primary material for prototyping – I prefer baltic birch because it cuts more quickly. Just be sure your ventilation is good (as always) and from what I’ve seen you’ll be fine.
Yes, I was thinking about trying the BB. I’m very new to Glowforge so thanks everyone for the help. Much appreciated!
They have a spot in birmingham and one in Atlanta west side. It’s not the right time for a road trip though. In fact, it’s not the right time to go anywhere for materials unless it is your business. I think that in GA if I tried to go pick up plywood I might be in violation of the shelter in place order and could probably be ticketed.
Question on masking. Do you need to mask MDF before you cut it? and will regular medium tack transfer tape work? I usually get medium tack for my vinyl and stencil masking.
I ordered from Amazon -Judikins Eclipse Masking tape 15.2 cm x 10m and it worked perfectly on MDF. $13.06 per roll. It’s even reusable in some cases.
The masking I use works fine on mdf.
@thesavvysanctuary’s product is probably fine too, but it’s also significantly more expensive per square foot. (6"x30 feet = 15 square feet, or about $0.86/square foot, as opposed to 12" x 300 feet for around $40, about $0.13/square foot, about a sixth of the cost)
Here is a link to the discussion about masking and price:
Thanks for the info. Sounds like you can use just regular medium tack transfer tape. I usually get RTape 12x300 ft through US Cutter for about $40 also.
However, It is required that you use masking tape on MDF? What is the benefit for using it? Is it to keep dust down or is it to reduce burn marks?
i think the positive about draftboard (vs other MDF) is consistency.
if you can get your MDF from the same source and they’re consistently selling the same stuff (which doesn’t always happen), you’ll be fine. but MDF can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer in composition, so your results can vary.
i’m not a big user of either, so take all of that with a grain of salt.
It can prevent flashback and smoke residue. It’s largely aesthetic unless you’re seriously overpowering your cuts, in which serious flashback can leave actual pits in the back side of your material. I often only mask one side for these reasons.
I’ve used a few different kinds of MDF and have found them all easily laserable and consistant within themselves (unlike ply, which can have knots and voids, etc.). Now sure if that’s true across the board, but I’ve had good experiences. GF MDF is made without (or with low) formaldehyde, I believe, so that’s something to consider. And, of course, it’s pre-masked.
My favorite so far was an HDF that I got here: https://www.boulterplywood.com/ (under products/laser cutting). It’s Fibre-x. The brand also makes an ultra low emitting formaldehyde version. I’m sure there are other low-formaldehyde MDFs out there if you look. (https://www.arauco.cl/na/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2019/08/FIBREX_HDF-Standard-Plus-VESTA_201907.pdf).
Medium (1/8") 12 x 20 Draft Board is back in stock as of April 10… well, minus 40 sheets.
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