Making Your Own Prefinished Hardwood

I was wondering if anyone here has had success taking not PG hardwood and turn it into PG-like wood by finishing and then masking it? I really like the prefinished PG stuff for jewelry and ornaments because it saves me a lot of time, but with how often they are out of stock I want to look into alternatives.


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Common enough discussion topic, a bit tricky to search for.

Thee are no doubt more but this should give you plenty to go on.


These folks are expensive but they also have some exotics that are hard to find so that is what I got from them. However, they are a better finish than any other source I have used beyond proofgrade. No varnish or masking but taken down to very smooth.

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(He’s taking about dndhardwoods, to save you a click through if you know them already)

(Which you might because previously:


Thanks. I did search first and found some of those threads. Unfortunately I haven’t found anything that’s definitively a nontoxic success. Just lots of people with pieces of experience. Which is why I posted. Guess I’ll keep digging in the forums and see if I can piece things together.

Thanks for the tip! Looking at just the 1/8 maple they are 1/3 the per square inch cost of proofgrade and slightly cheaper than Ocooch. The problem is they sell in random bulk packs which isn’t an issue for me because I make small things usually.

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Almost nothing you laser is nontoxic. It’s all about good ventilation. The basic rule of thumb is: don’t breathe in what the laser process creates, and don’t eat anything that is in the machine or that comes in contact with the lasered materials.

As for exactly what glowforge’s secret sauce is… well, that’s secret and they are’t telling. Our best guesses have been polyurethanes or shellacs, both of which are safe for the machine to laser, but neither of which I’d recommend breathing the fumes that are generated when lasering. I’m pretty sure glowforge will tell you not to breathe in the smoke and fumes that are generated from proofgrade. (heck it’s probably in a user manual somewhere, anyone got a link?)

Again, though, I wouldn’t recommend breathing in any of the fumes that you make, regardless of material. Combustion byproducts are rarely good for you.

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One other thing to consider is surface quality, dnd only sands to 100 grit, ocooch is pretty much finish-ready. Something to consider, especially if you don’t like to sand things :slight_smile:


I’m guessing poly. A shellac finish is usually damaged (dissolved mostly) by alcohol and the PG finish isn’t.

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Looking at what I got from D&D and from Ocooch the D&D is a finer sanding job. Since much of what I do is 3D engraved the quality of the sanding is not a priority in any case.