Newbie Needing Advice

I want to purchase some sheets of plywood at lowes. How do you know what settings to put it on since its not proofgrade?

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Generally, you can still use the proofgrade settings. But you need to be careful! Not all plywood is made to be used with a laser and quality can be a BIG issue.


Have you tried any? Where is the best place other then glowforge to get material?

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Take one piece and run some tests using Proofgrade settings, then modify the settings until you get the performance you need/want. Ideally, you should do this with every sheet of wood because processes and composition can change from one batch to the next.


Hey, welcome to the forum, we love new people :slight_smile:

My recommendation is that you don’t. Lowes is a materials source of last resort.

Check out 1a:

If you tell us your closest city, we might be able to give specific recommendations, it’s amazing what you can figure out with just google maps.

Absolutely, but I would recommend following the process outlined in #6 on that guide instead of throwing darts at the proofgrade settings.


This thread might help with guidance:

If they carry Columbia Forest Wood a number of folks on here have had good luck with that.

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I am close to Beckley and Lewisburg WV

You’re in a fairly sparse area, looks like. Roanoke is a bit far, but they have a rugby architectural building products location, which has full sheets of 1/8" baltic birch plywood and MDF, which are mainstay materials.

You can also mail order BB ply, but it’s considerably more expensive. If you’re going to do a lot of cutting, the price difference can easily justify the drive, you’ll pay anything from 3-10x as much if you order from amazon or etsy.

Beyond that, mailorder is usually the way to go with specialty hardwoods and acrylics, and my previous post talks about how to chase those down on the forum.


Despite the negative experiences that other users have shared with you, I use big box store plywood all the time instead of Draftboard and have rarely had any issues. I start with the PG settings for Maple plywood, increasing power and/or decreasing speed slightly if I am not getting complete cuts. YMMV, so testing is paramount.

Oh, and making sure the material is FLAT on the crumbtray is essential. Some sort of hold-down pin is essential for successful cuts.


I use Maple, Walnut and Cherry Purebond from Home Depot. It’s basically fairly hollow in the center but i have never had an issue with cutting it. It comes in 12x20inch pieces (designed for GF). That’s my go to stock for a lot of things. Not ‘always’ but give it a try! Here’s a pic @jake1 posted. Mine looks just like it.


I use Purebond from Home Depot all the time. They have 5/32" plywood, which is ever so slightly thicker than proofgrade, so you may need to adjust settings. I had to adjust settings for the walnut, but the maple cut fine on my plus with proofgrade settings. I was not happy with their birch, though. Nowhere near as nice as the other woods I got from Home Depot.

And welcome! You will love it here!


Welcome to the forum.
You have received some great advice for this specific question, but what I think would help you the most is to use the search function of the forum and invest much more than 35 minutes reading all of the great information here based on four years of user experience.


I can’t recommend any ply from Lowes, although they have some ok MDF. I have had good luck with the MDF core plywoods from HD, especially the Birch. If you can wait for delivery, go to the HD website and order their plywoods for the GF, I have been very happy with them.