Not your boss's bland cork board

I was browsing for stuff to laser after having grabbed the stuff I needed to get at Big Lots. I saw some cork panels supposedly designed for turning portions of your wall into cork boards.

“Well,” says I, “cork is safe to laser.”

.0027 seconds later, a package of cork had mysteriously appeared in my cart. I guess it was fate or divine intervention. Since it was obviously meant to be, I decided I had to take the cork home. If I was taking it home, I had to put it in the Glowforge.


If you are doing cork, I’d strongly recommend masking the cut. I don’t have good cork-cutting settings, yet. It takes a lot more effort than :proofgrade:. Discoloration near the cut lines is a lot harder to clean than one anything else I’ve worked with, hence masking would be of huge benefit. I’d also brush the edges once the cut was done, as little pieces will fall off.

Ideally, with cork, I’d engrave with the laser and probably cut another way. A razor with a straight edge would be faster and cleaner, though it does lack the cool laser-charred edge.


Nice! Exploring materials with a laser has been a source of excitement and satisfaction. Thanks for sharing your experience with that! :sunglasses:


I haven’t done anything with cork yet, so those are some handy tips. Turned out great! :grinning:


It might even be called an obsession as I haven’t gone to a store in 2 weeks without looking for something to throw in the laser. I am building up material for my (hopefully soon to launch) “Will it Forge?” YouTube channel to attach to my Etsy store. I’m going to be hitting a LOT of variety, I think.


Engraves are beautiful, just caution with cuts. If I dial in some good settings for a single-run masked cut, I’ll share them. I had to multi-pass, multi-cut to get through this piece at 1/8 inch. It is MUCH less forgiving than :proofgrade:.


Love it!

Personally, I’ve only cut cork. Haven’t engraved any yet. I should probably get on that just to get some numbers in the ol’ spreadsheet! :slight_smile:

Do you have good numbers for actually cutting cork? In most cases, I kind of pull numbers out of the air, then try to dial it in from there.

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Nice! Good tips. Thanks for sharing.

Ya know what? I do. :slight_smile:
But I can’t seem to remote into my home computer at the moment for some reason, so I’ll have to grab it for you later. Of course, unless you’re using the same brand and thickness, it might not matter anyway.

General rule, use the fastest speed you can to achieve your goal.


Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing. I’m thinking about making a pin board with cork. (Got addicted to pin trading at Disney)

I think cork was the very first material I threw in the GF. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I remember being surprised at how much laserness I had to use. With the new power/speed scale, I would start at full power and relatively slow speed (150-200 or so). Just a suggestion since I haven’t tried that myself.

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The cork I’ve used, at least (there may be different corks?) takes very little encouragement to turn from cork to soot. I think you could wave a flashlight in its general direction and it turns black. Which means you get great contrast, but there’s not much opportunity for grayscale. Probably better to use dithering than vary power, and tweak any photos to be on the light side.

There’s a coaster I made at the end of Vary power glitch (+ workaround) that came out pretty decent. I’d still lighten it up even more if I did it over.


Never gave me problem with engraving, though I obviously didn’t try a photo. (I remembered your post and the variable power line.) The place it has given me grief is cutting through it.