Medium Maple Ply didn't cut all the way through

On Sunday, I used a large chunk of a medium maple plywood Proofgrade board to build a card box. Worked just fine.

Last night (Monday) I tried to cut a couple more pieces out of that exact same piece of Proofgrade board, and this time the laser failed to cut all the way through on both pieces.

Did Proofgrade settings get changed on Monday for this piece? I’m kinda unhappy that I had to waste material on a bad cut.


Odd the cut didn’t penetrate, did you have it held down on the bed? A little warp can make the difference. I always check for flat by tapping the center and pushing on the corners.
If I am in doubt, while holding down the material I will use a pick or a piece of tape to see if the piece is cut free, if it isn’t, as long as the material hasn’t moved you can run another pass to finish the cut.
Although having previously cut from the same piece, I probably wouldn’t have thought to check.


I had the piece held down with magnets both times.

I would have run it a second time, but upon seeing that the pieces didn’t pop out, I took the board off the bed to see the back and noticed that it hadn’t cut through only then.


You can probably recover the piece:

  • place pieces of masking over the existing cut, leaving some small sections of the cut exposed (assuming you have not removed original masking).
  • position piece in Glowforge, as centered as possible.
  • align using camera
  • Run very light score to just mark masking.
  • check alignment of the marks on the masking with the sections of the cut not covered by the extra masking.
  • nudge design to correct error and repeat test score
  • once aligned, run cut.

This was a hard habit to break, but I’ve finally taught myself to (1) tape or magnet everything to the bed, and (2) check for incomplete cuts by lifting all objects with a scrap of blue tape before (re)moving the material. This has saved me on many occasions.


If it’s a wood product that almost cut through, you can give the back of it a good sanding to complete the cut without splintering. This of course, depends on the project and if you have a little thickness to spare.

True, but wouldn’t that kill prefinished Proofgrade surfaces (OP specifically mentioned :proofgrade:).

Yeah, this was my first failure in the Glowforge. I always have everything affixed to the board with magnets and use blue painter’s tape to lift it.

Lesson learned.

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If it only takes you once, you’re ahead of the game. (Probably took me, oh, about 48 times or so before I remembered, every time, to use a pick to test the blinking cutout first.) :smile:

We had wonky settings back then though.

You production unit kids have got it so easy. Why, back in my day…snow, uphill, both ways … :wink:


Yes, I learned from you. I got the picks, and I use them religiously.

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Same here, it has saved me a TON of time, material and effort. There have been more than a few times that I completed a cut only to find out that I need one more pass to get it all the way through (This is on my own material, non-:proofgrade:)

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I apologize for not replying until now! Have you been cutting successfully since?

Yes, I have had no further cutting problems, but I have not gone back to the Medium Maple Ply either. I don’t have any ideas why it didn’t make a full cut on the :proofgrade: material.