How to stop burn marks?!

We’ve cut beard combs with 1/4” oak and now trying 1/4” birch plywood and keep getting grate burn marks on the back. Is there a way to stop this?

We have 1/4” birch plywood we are cutting beard combs with and we have it set on the maple plywood setting with 130 speed and full power— Maybe the settings are wrong?

Apply masking on the back, the marks are called flashback.


it’s a mix of using masking, as @ekla said, and dialing in your settings until they just cut through. if you overpower, you’re more likely to get that flashback on the bottom side.


You can also use a piece of copy paper or cardstock on the bed instead of masking the piece.
Initially I had a problem with that too. Made myself a reminder.


Like masking tape?

1 Like

Not sure I know what you mean by this? Wouldn’t paper catch fire?

1 Like

Not at all likely. I have used that technique many times. I make my own cards, and have cut and engraved right through paper with no problem. There is a fan on the back/bottom of the head carriage known as the air assist, that will blow out any flair that does happen.

An exception is cardboard. because of the double layer it represents one of the highest fire dangers.
It’s not a bad idea to keep a squirt bottle of water within reach in case of an issue. I’ve been using mine for more than three years and never had a flare up with any type of material.


Different woods act differently, Much can be done with just washing, I use hand sanitizer as it dissolves nearly everything and dries quickly. Going after with light 400 grit sandpaper rounds the sharp edges and gets rid of the very thin layer of scorched wood.

In extreme a short bath in bleach does wonders.

1 Like

Yes, that would work. Wider masking would be more economical and less headache if you’re making a lot of these.
Generally, masking here refers to the tape that covers all the Proofgrade materials. It comes in lots of different widths and is also often sold as paper “vinyl transfer tape”

1 Like

Oh wow that’s interesting. Thank you!

1 Like

You can use masking tape but it is both WAY more expensive, thicker so you have to adjust your settings, and not as wide so it takes way longer to put on and pull off.

What you’re looking for is called Transfer Tape in a medium tack. You can get smaller rolls (12 yards) from Amazon or much larger rolls (100 yards) so it’s cheaper per inch from places like SignWarehouse

Here’s a great thread on it:

1 Like

Hi @kellybcrooker. Since this problem is being seen on materials that were purchased from another company, we can’t offer support for prints that don’t come out as expected. Materials may vary widely from piece to piece, even if they’re created by the same manufacturer.

However, I’m happy to see community members have kindly shared a lot of tips to help. I’m going to move this to the Beyond the Manual part of the community and keep this thread open so any discussions can continue there. Should this happen with a print on Proofgrade materials, please open a new ticket in Problems and Support and we’ll help you right away!

As for dialing in your settings, you’ll like this technique:

I think from your pictures that you almost certainly are overpowering the cut. @shop’s advice is spot on.

Since you’re new around here, you might like this post, it has a lot of info that someone might need as they get started:

Hopefully you’ll find it useful.


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.