How has your experience been cutting Luan?

So long story short, Im a teacher that was in a real bind. Home Depot sold out of the Baltic Birch I wanted to use and I instead received Luan. Does anyone regularly cut with Luan? Is it laser safe? Were wearing masks anyways…

I am very nervous and praying that it works because the money was spent…

We are just making puzzles that are painted.

Does anyone have reccomended settings for cutting and engraving?


the biggest thing is that you will want to take a very bright light and shine it through the panel. any major shadows you’ll want to mark and avoid using them. that is the filler and the laser won’t cut through it.

haven’t done Luan in ages so I don’t recall my settings

I would get a bag of pool salt and a large pan. you can stir the pieces around in there to remove the char from the cutting.


Lauan is fine except that it chars a great deal.

It’s also known as meranti plywood. It engraves well and cuts fairly consistently.


Personally, I feel luan just has a terrible surface, impossible to finish nicely without a LOT of work.

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The Luan I’ve bought at Lowes is fine, and it has a “better finished” side and a “not-so-better” side. I used it quite a bit for painted or prototype projects. I used a scrap earlier to test the shape of a thing before I commit to cutting from acrylic.

I’ve had a handful of issues with it not cutting cleanly, which was probably due to an inconsistency in the core.

As with any unfinished material, the level of prep is going to depend on your needs. For painting, I usually sand, paint, repeat several times.

I haven’t used it (except for scraps) in a while, as I started using the Columbia Forest “Purebond” 5/32 maple ply, which comes in GF-sized sheets, which has a very nice sanded surface (but no finish applied). It cuts consistently. Unfortunately they appear to have stopped carrying that.

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The other good news is that if you use the first piece and don’t like it, homedepot is very very good about returns.

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