Power test - (Old) Settings to Cut 1/2 inch Red Oak

Be careful with rosewood. It can be toxic. I always wear a respirator when sanding it, I can imagine that inhaling the smoke can’t be too good for you.


I cut through 1/4" all day with my 30 wt too…lol
Havent tried thicker wood…I know I cant do thicker mdf.


Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind. This is the first time I’ve used it.

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Awesome to see a production basic pull that off!

BTW this might go well in the “Beyond The Manual” section.

So I’m just going to bump it over there.


the original surface, or do you measure each pass and refocus on the new “surface?”

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The original surface. I don’t have a way to measure the depth of the trench on the fly but I do have three point surface measurement that I fit a plane through and focus on that.

If I know it takes four passes to go all the way through I could assume each pass is 1/4 of the depth and move down by that much. However, I am not sure whether focusing lower would help. It depends on the width of the trench relative to the cone of the beam. When you focus on the surface all the beam passes through the slot you make at the surface and then spreads out below, reducing in power density. When you focus lower potentially some of the beam cone is clipped by the edges at the top of the trench, so you have less power available at the focal point below.

These are questions I aim to answer but unfortunately I destroyed my laser diode with a reflection, so I am waiting for a replacement to arrive from China.

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i knew this but didn’t think about it; it’s an interesting point and i wonder how much it affects the actual cutting.

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My perception is the convergence of the beam begins as it exits the lens, so it is a tall narrow cone to the beam waist or focal point. Seems the beam clipping would be minimal.

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Howdy, old thread!

I am planning to make some coasters which will consist of 1/8" (ish) cork glued to 1/2" Red Oak.

The question is: Can I glue it on and engrave then cut it all, or will that cut setting be too much for the edges of the cork and flare up? I’d rather do it combined so I don’t have an issue gluing the cork onto the oak later (be that alignment or thin areas after engrave).

What say you guys? And what settings do you think if I do a test or two?


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I would suggest cutting them separately since red oak can be a bit tough to get through if it is too thick. That way you can clean it up without messing up the cork.

Also note that red oak tends to look better with thin engraves since you tend to get weird grain patterns in large engraves. One solution to that could be filling the engrave with an epoxy.

I am working on a set of walnut coaster this weekend that will be epoxy filled. I will try and remember to share the results when they are finished.

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First, total material thickness is 1/2" max, so you couldn’t do that regardless. Yes, you could remove the tray but you would not be able to cut cleanly thru both pieces once attached together.

Second, 1/2" may be listed as maximum capacity, but very few people have shared their success working with material of that thickness. The beam focuses across a very narrow depth range, you would be looking at multiple passes at different focal depths to have a chance of getting a decent edge.

Add to it the fact that oak is difficult to work with in “normal” sizes (1/8-1/4") and your chances for a satisfactory outcome are pretty slim.

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I understand this is an old thread but I’m hoping possibly you have a moment to help? I am brand new and I’m very confused about using product that wasn’t purchased through glow Forge. As a trial, I have a half inch piece of poplar in my machine. I must be entering my settings completely wrong because I’m trying to cut a circle to do as a test and it’s coming up with an eight second runtime which I know cannot be true. would you possibly be able to help me walk through Settings? Here is what I have tried but has not worked: using 1/2” poplar

  1. Insert an outline of a circle.
  2. Chose use uncertified material.
  3. Enter .5
  4. Enter settings Focus height .5 inches number of passes one speed 500 power 20. So set on cut.
  5. Click print and it comes up with a 5 second run time and obviously does not actually cut the wood.

If you have time to help me it would be so greatly appreciated. If you do not have the time I completely understand. Thanks, Nicole

Very few people have shared success with materials that thick. There’s good reason GF doesn’t sell anything thicker than 1/4", and why the passthrough slot on the Pro is only 1/4" tall.

It can be done, but it takes practice (testing) and the results are usually not desirable, as evidenced by the original post in this thread. They would also be very inconsistent, as the density in wood changes inch-by-inch.

Thank you very much for your help and input!

My trail signs say “hold my beer…”

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