I am relatively new to GF and I am still tinkering with the unit. One thing I am having trouble with is cutting an unrecognized material (Baltic Birch Plywood) consistently. I do put in the material’s thickness (1/4 inch) and have played with the settings. I started with full power and put it at 150 speed. There would be some spots where I would have to punch out the wood which could cause it to splinter. I lowered the speed to 130 but I think that is too slow and, honestly, I am still getting places where the cut isn’t all the way through. Issues I have ruled out:
Problems with the design. All of my lines are right and it doesn’t always miss the same spot.
There are a few things, Foremost is the glue or filler they use in the plywood itself. I had huge problems with that where I could burn the rest of the wood to charcoal and still have places uncut, However just variations in wood grain can have a much lesser effect, Also it the wood is jusy laying there the heat of cutting can warp it temporarily. You might want to make and use those bed pins to nail it down, Even then it cuts from the outside in and has allowed heat warping,
Support won’t be able to help you with non-proofgrade woods. Likely this thread should be moved to “Beyond the Manual”.
I can suggest one thing to look at: not all plywood is well made - some have voids in the layers, knots, inconsistent glue, etc. One thing to try is to look at a strong light through the wood to see if you can see inconsistencies - if those match where you have trouble, that is the cause. (Note that I do this all the time with 1/8" baltic birch plywood, but haven’t tried 1/4" so I don’t know how strong a light you’d need…).
Between finding a source of consistently high quality plywood and checking each piece for the rare void (which I just mark with a pencil and plan cuts around), I have very consistent results with the 1/8" plywood I cut.
I used a Laser pointer that works great on 1/8 baltic but not so much on other woods, and not even in 1/4 baltic
Usually you can get the piece out with a scalpel or jewelers saw and will often find a white filler where it did not cut sometimes even where the filler fell and was wiped off of the plys before final gluing not expecting our issues they treated it as nothing.
Thank you everyone for replying! I did suspect that it might be the wood. I did pick a cheaper cut. That flashlight trick is very helpful. I will use it. I will just cut what I can and then take out the smaller pieces for the wood I already have.
I find it helps, on thicker materials like 1/4”, to set the focus height slightly below the surface height of the material. For example, my Baltic birch measures a true .250” (material height), but I set the focus height around .208”.