GF not cutting through 1/4 birch plywood - Recut messed up too

Used Woodpeckers Baltic Birch Sheet 1/4 inch 12x12 material and Proofgrade Thick Maple Plywood settings for cut and it didn’t cut through at all. Went back and tried to do the cut using PG Thick Basswood Plywood 's cut settings and didnt move the wood and it didn’t cut through. It also didn’t stay on the lines from the previous cut.

It’s such a shame because the engrave turned out fine.

The first thing to remember is that ProofGrade plywood isn’t the same makeup as any Baltic Birch you can buy. ProofGrade plywood is two sheets of hardwood veneer on an internal layer of pressed engineered wood product. This means that ProofGrade cuts and engraves very consistently.

Your birch plywood is probably five layers of hardwood, with glue and possibly filler in there too. This is significantly more dense than the ProofGrade plywood, so you won’t get good results. I recommend you do a search for Baltic Birch plywood and start looking at the settings other people use.

Please note also that GlowForge support will not support third party materials. If you need help with third party materials please look in the Beyond the Manual section.


Thank you.

Never commit to a large print unless you have tested the settings for that specific material. For expensive materials, you should test on the piece itself if at all possible (i.e. in a corner or off-cut.)


You can do a test print of the Gift of Good Measure on PG material, and if it doesn’t turn out right, post photos of front and back. Support can help you with troubleshooting from there.

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what @eflyguy said.

i usually just make a tiny 1/4" circle or square and test it in a corner i won’t need.

for .125" BB, i start with med maple ply settings and then start bumping up. \

keep in mind that when you are using 1/4" BB, that’s thicker than medium PG (1/8") or thick PG (somewhere between 3/16 and 1/4"), so by default you’re already at too low a power/speed combo to cut through.

one more thought. always test that the piece has been cut through before removing the sheet. i use magnets to hold my sheet down, or you can use the pins that have been posted elsewhere. that way you can try to lift the piece out w/o moving it. and if it didn’t cut through, you can run a second pass of the cut lines. to pull out, i use a piece of gaffer’s tape or gorilla tape. others will use a tool to try to lift it out. whatever works for you.


You may find this useful!


I have been having the same problems. I can’t seem to get through anything 1/4" at all. If it do get through it is with major charring. I have tried all different speeds and number of passes. I have done so many test cuts it looks like swiss cheese (if it had actually cut. ) I did get one to work. Thought I had it, cut a whole panel of cuts, none cut through. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks.

The post immediately above yours links to a comprehensive thread on how to test materials.


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