PG wood light enough to show engraving, but dark enough to contrast with engraved acrylic overlay?

Greetings from a new 'forger …

I want to engrave (actually, score) some vector designs into wood, over which I want to place clear acrylic with engraved raster text. The particular project I have in mind involves 4"x6" pieces that one might display on a desk or shelf. The PG samples pack has shown me that walnut is too dark to contrast the designs (but the text looks great!), and maple is too light to contrast the white-ish text (but the designs look great!).

Since the sample pack didn’t include Red Oak or Cherry, I ask: What are your thoughts on these (and/or alternatives from another vender)? I realize that I won’t really know what works for me until I try it, but it’d be nice to hear (and to see project photos?) from someone who has done something like this.

I’m considering other options, such LaserBits laminated wood (or even two-color acrylic) to optimize design contrast, color-filling the acrylic to boost the text contrast, etc, but I like the idea of keeping things “natural” (and simple!).

Thanks …


Proofgrade cherry is my favorite go-to wood. It’s darker than maple and birch, but still shows engraving well. It might work well for what you want to do. Really pretty stuff!
Here’s another example


I agree with @kittski…I’ve found myself going more often to the cherry than anything else.


And you always have the option to “color fill” the engraving to darken it before you remove the masking as well…


These are fantastic! Looks like you got the whole kerf thing down pat!


I like the cherry also for signs that give good contrast right off but character without having to fill in the engraving.