Has anybody tried and had luck with particleboard? I really wanted 1/4 MDF but was having trouble finding it. I ended up with 3/8 particleboard. I messed around with a few settings and only got through it at six passes, full power, and 130 speed. That would amount to days of cutting time for this project.

I didn’t try changing the focus between passes.

Or does anybody have a great idea for creating hollow letters? Basically a letter shaped box. The front and back can be the 1/8 MDF but I need a way to make the walls thicker.

Oh heck, I may have just answered my own question - foam. I have some EVA floor mats I might be able to cut the risers out of. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all this cut particleboard. :woozy_face:


Multiple layers of cardboard?

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Cheap but I’m looking for a better finish and durability. This will be for a sign, temporary but reusable.

With modeling paste and gesso? Not for permanent outdoor installation, but would fit the temporary and reusable criteria.

The walls would only be a 1/4" thick and an inch or so high. I’m afraid the cardboard wouldn’t have the stability. Heck, the EVA may not be any better for stability.

The letters are 11" high and the bars are about 1.5" wide. I need the to be 1 - 1.5" deep to hold the sockets. The back of each letter will be screwed to two horizontal slats.

It will be transported ten hours in a trailer with lots of other gear and setup in 100+ degree heat and full sun. I may end up with the particle board but just cutting out one layer of the M and N was almost three hours. :frowning:


Do a sandwich of the EVA and the particle board one you already cut. EVA on top. The board will give you the stability and the EVA the thickness you want.

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No one’s addressed yet the question on using particle board itself–I would avoid it, until you confirm that the adhesive/bonding agent was used to hold all the particles together is safe to laser–always better to assume there’s a risk that nasty toxins could be released into the air & breathed in when lasered… And just because you may have a filter does not mean it is designed for the type of volatiles/toxins you may be releasing with the sanding/heat gun/laser being used for the process!


And for the project–for the size of the letters & sign–my first choice would be a jig saw and forstner bits for the sockets (e.g. what they use for euro hinges for cabinet doors). Then particle board would be a decent option! Or “hardboard”…

I’m going to try a cut on the EVA tonight. Last night I ran out of time. I had two patent applications to finish reading - enthralling stuff. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m hoping that the thinner walls will have enough stability but I like your idea. I could laminate the MDF and EVA.

Unfortunately my jigsaw skills aren’t up to GF quality. :wink:


Even thin MDF glued to foam and used as a guide for a proper knife could be a lot closer than a jigsaw, particularly given the simplicity of the font :upside_down_face:

But the foam I can laser. It’s the particleboard I don’t want to jigsaw.

Did you find a solution yet. I have a CNC that would cut any of that (the inside corners would be rounded (1/8" bit)). I believe I have 1/4" MDF too.

The MDF and EVA sandwich worked well enough for this project. Even though I do four passes on the EVA it is still less than ten minutes rather than the three hours for the particleboard.

I was considering starting from scratch with CNC as I’m currently setting up a Maslow system but decided to stick with the laser cut. Probably a good choice as FedEx is having a hard time trying to figure out how to deliver my router. :roll_eyes:

I finished putting together the first piece last night. Now I just need to do all the other cuts.