Material for a Newbie!

Hey everyone!

My first post here and I was wondering where everyone buys their material from. I just bought my Glowforge. I have so many ideas but I need to find material. I’m really interested in wood mainly. I just bought a bunch of Proofgrade stuff but I wanna see if there are cheaper options out there. Please help a newbie!!

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People on this forum have been discussing material sources for over two years. I believe you should spend some time reading through the Beyond the Manual section and utilize the search function. You will find many wood and plastic sources.


It’s not a direct answer to what you asked but… A trove of info can be found here too:


Welcome to the forum.

My best source was a Craigslist post of a guy trying to make some buck from offcut acrylic at a lighting manufacturer. His offcuts were 24 by 36 and even wider. I have enough to last me for a while.

People have success with local plastic suppliers if you live in larger metros. Tap plastic to be specific.

There wood sources are all searchable on the forum.

Habitat for Humanity.

I’m a scrounge and don’t do too many production runs.

What you are most in need of is some type of metric to assist you in evaluating a resource. Plywood that is dimensionally accurate and flat and thin enough. There have been lots of posts about these sources. Not all plywood will fit the bill having voids, knots and glue densities.


Until you get comfortable I recommend hardboard from Home Depot. It is cheap, stiff and smooth. The stuff I get is 3mm thick and I buy it in 1/2 sheets and cut it up at home to fit. Great stuff for trying new creations without breaking the bank.


How do you find these people on craigslist? Which section do I look under? I haven’t used it before.

There is a lot of dross but sometimes you can find the right stuff. It’s easy to search and look for. Check for a local listing geographically, like the biggest town/city where you are and then do the category.

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If you are looking for hardwoods, wood as opposed to plywood, search the Internet for scroll saw woods. Scroll saws have a larger user base, who have been at it for a long time and use the same thicknesses of wood.

Columbia Forest Products is marketing their hardwood plywoods specifically for glowforge users through Home Depot.

If you are willing to share where you live someone may have found some local sources.


I have used in the past
It’s 1/8" and the store will usually cut down to panels for you, this one sheet @ $10 makes 20-24 depending on your cuts I would recommend this graph

again not a perfect fit but it works, and 54 cents a panel doesn’t hurt.

I have also gotten some very good deals at my local hardwood dealer 4’x8’ sheets of red oak @ $25

Talk with carpenters and fine craftsmen in your area, I have a friend that does cabinetry and with a few suggestions was able to find the local shops that have the Hardwoods and Acrylics, Home Depot is only a place to start never finish.


do you call your local HD store to cut it down for you after you buy?

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When I get the MDF from HD I get them to cut it before I leave the store. When I get hardwood from Peterman Lumber here in Vegas I bring my circular saw and cut it myself after I buy it.

I’m from Pennsylvania. The Poconos. Stroudsburg to be more specific.


This is what I ended up buying and I absolutely love it. Some slight warping but noting bad at all! Thanks for the tip!!


i have ordered from amazon

What settings did you use for this. I am currently going to Home Depot

Settings? It’s a picture/design with measurements for the cuts to turn a 8’ by 4’ sheet into panels that can fit into a glowforge.

To cut/score/engrave. And thanks for the picture it was easy to explain to the home depot worker

For cutting I do 155 full power. For engraving and scoring I do full power and 1000 speed or 50. Put that is just me. Always test is. I found these speeds don’t burn the wood.

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Thank you

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