First time flex cut: pencil box in GF Catalog breaks

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Can you help with something that must be user error?

Yesterday, I cut a file from the design catalog (the pencil box). It was my first time cutting anything with a flex cut and it was a complete fail.

What did I do wrong?

Here’s what I did:
Machine: Glowforge Pro
File: unaltered design catalog pencil box
Material: proofgrade poplar hardwood


Thank you so much for your help!


Living hinges don’t work well with hardwood. Try ply. You can also soften the wood a little (water and heat) before bending and securing in-shape.


I echo the plywood suggestion!

I was able to do a few in hardwood by literally soaking the wood along the hinge and bending a bit - then letting it dry - then soaking again and bending a bit more - then letting it dry - ad nauseum until it hit the curve I needed. I then lined the interior with stick-on craft foam (you could also use leather or fabric) because I’m fairly sure the hinge will eventually fail.


Thank you so much!

Also…try to orient your design so that the wood grain is in line with the living hinge cuts, not across them.


@davidgal2 — I didn’t think of that, but it makes a lot of sense! Thank you!


All the above advice is great and will lead to success. I made one on the medium basswood ply and it came out fine.


Thanks for the answer @o-o and @davidgal2, that’s right. I’m going to close this thread - if the problem reoccurs, go ahead and post a new topic. Thanks for letting us know about this!

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