New GF Owner Looking for Hardwood Engraving Settings

Howdy y’all. My wife and I are thrilled new owners of a GF. Its given us another tool in our woodworking business. Our primary and only immediate use for the GF is 2-D engraving on 1/2" - 3/4" hardwoods (Ash, Hard Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Elm, Red and White Oak to name a few). Ive done some searching online and within this forum in hopes I would find someone generous enough to share fine tuned settings (or help get me in the ballpark). I haven’t had much luck so far. As I move forward with all of our work I’ll be creating a spreadsheet with species, settings, task, etc that I’ll be happy to share with any GF owner/user. Thank you in advance!



Welcome to the forum!

For the hardwoods that have a PG counterpart, I’d start with the PG settings and go from there. I highly recommend this test strip for dialing in your settings on new materials: New material cut test method

As for your spreadsheet, there are a few others who had attempted something similar; you might want to join forces with some of them. Here’s a search that will help you track them down:


Everything @geek2nurse said is spot on. As for engraving settings, we just had a similar discussion:

The entire discussion will be right up your alley, worth a read.


Oh and you’ll probably want to get to know jigs. Alignment of engraves on precut materials will be important:


If all you are doing is engraving, the settings are more about how deep you want to go into the wood. How deep do you set the router bit? No worries about engraving all the way through 1/2"-3/4" wood by accident. You can start with the hardwood settings for proofgrade walnut, maple or cherry. They are pretty much the same. When engraving wood you don’t need a high lpi, it all looks the same at high lpi’s and just takes more time.

If you are engraving photos, then it is all about manipulating the photos and the settings that work best with that manipulated photos. In that case, the How I Prepare Photos link in the post above is where you want to start.

It’s going to depend on what you specifically want to achieve with “2-D engraving”…

Most hardwoods don’t lend themselves to detailed engraving, i.e. photographs, because of the natural variation in density due to grain structure. You can get good results with simple graphics, such as logos.