How do you know type of wood if not labeled

I have this cutting board that I would like to engrave, but have no idea what type of wood it is or possibly a combination of. What settings would you start at to figure it out or go to for an unknown wood.

If it is not Proofgrade using Proofgrade settings is as much a shot in the dark as using those settings as Manual settings. As indeed many proofgrade settings such as most acrylics are actually the same settings…

You might lose a piece discovering the correct settings, but many woods could have differences in results on different places in the same piece of wood, much less different species.

Even knowing the species just by looking at it is sometimes a problem. Maple as example can look like many things and there are very different results with different species of maple. or even the same species from Florida or Canada,

As well cutting boards from the same source are not held to the same thickness as that is not as important to them as it is to the laser cutter.


A good place to start for visually identifying various species of wood is Eric Meier’s Wood Database.


Visual inspection certainly isn’t foolproof, but I just love this book. My copy is well thumbed and always on my desk.

As for guessing settings, I’m with @rbtdanforth and would just use the closest looking PG setting. Your board looks quite thick, if you’re not already familiar with how to use the GF with the crumbtray out I’d suggest reading up about it. Tons of suggestions and methods discussed in the forum search.


If you know where you bought it from you can often find out - cutting boards are “usually” maple, walnut, cherry, beech, teak, and bamboo. That’s definitely not bamboo…


You’re kind of over thinking it or being too cautious perhaps. Just keep the speed up and start with a medium power. If it doesn’t come out dark enough just don’t touch anything until you increase the power/slow it down and run it again.


Looks like rubber tree