First attempts on paper and wood

I’m still working out a lot of kinks but here are my first attempts on the GF. Since I primarily work with paper and eventually want to do detailed cuts, the dragonfly was a dry run at cutting cardstock without burning the house down.

My success at paper emboldened me to try some wood. I used a wooden paint stirrer as my canvas.

This was my second attempt at etching on wood. I had to make some tweaks to the original photo in order to accentuate the whites of the eyes which turned out as an indistinguishable solid shade of brown on the first attempt. #LearningCurve.

  • Gitana the Creative Diva

That dragonfly is gorgeous and Marla is adorable!

So much this - if it looks like a good photo it won’t engrave well, it should be way over contrasty to look good on wood :slight_smile: This is my favorite example of really fabulous editing work: Photo Engravings!


Very cool :sunglasses:

The precision of the laser, the detail possible. This tool was made for you!


Something of interest to you would be a cut board. Placed into the Glowforge with a light mist of an adhesive spray and you have a workplace that will prevent loose paper chunks from flying around in there.
Manual focus is required to account for the thickness of the board.
Here is my current cut board.


EDIT: Also works well with small, hanky sized, cloth chunks.


Off to a great start! I love lasering paper. You can get such intricate results.


To add to this, if you use acrylic instead of wood, you don’t get the resin redeposit from cutting into the wood on the paper! Excellent tip, @brokendrum!


Good to know! I never would have thought of using acrylic instead of wood for it. And I always have plenty of acrylic that I get from Lowe’s, so it’ll be easy for me to sacrifice a piece to use for when I cut paper/posterboard. My board doesn’t look nearly as bad as @brokendrum’s, but It warps a little, so I always have to pin it down. Acrylic wouldn’t be as likely to warp.


Your dragonfly is beautiful! Nice work on Marla’s picture to get the engraving like you wanted.


A cut board! YES. I have worked on electronic paper cutters for years so I’m familiar with the concept of a sticky mat to trap the little bits of paper. I was thinking of exactly that for the GF but, of course, I can’t use the same plastic mats as with electronic cutters. After cutting, I was actually going in with a piece of wide masking tape or a sticky roller and picking up the little bits with that. Question: If the board was the same thickness as the crumb tray and I replaced the tray with the board, wouldn’t that, theoretically, eliminate the need for manual focus? Thanks for the great tip.


Yes, thank you, I agree on the issue of hypercontrast on photos for engraving. Even my first sojourn into photo engraving taught me that. Thanks for confirming my suspicions and for your kind comments.

  • Gitana the Creative Diva

Wow, way to hit the ground running! Nice job.


Certainly. Just easier to use a board that has been measured to say here is the bottom of the cut.