Problems with Koa wood

I just got my glowforge last week and have been trying to work with Koa wood. I been using scraps at the moment to try and figure things out but I just cant get it to cut all the way through. Theres also a lot of char. I primarily work with Koa and im a bit frustrated at the moment and is wondering if anyone has worked with it with success?

How thick is the wood you’re using? I’ve seen mentions of koa veneer in the forums, but I don’t know about anything thicker.


Yup. What are the details?

How thick?
What settings are you using? Power? Speed? Focal height?

Is it straight hardwood?

Pro or basic?


Koa hardwood. the piece is 1/4 inch thick. may try again with 1/8. I have a Basic model. I have tried many combinations of power and speed. from 130 up to 350 in speed. and from 60 up to full power. higher speeds with multiple passes to lower speeds with just 1. I dont really mess with the focal point, i dont know much about it and thought that was what the scanning part was.

If you’re not setting the correct material height, that could be part of it.


I’d try the thick draftboard settings and go from there.

You need to establish a base point and go from there in the testing. Sounds like you’ve got stuff all over the place which can make it tough to figure out.


I will go ahead and give that try. Hopefully i will find a setting that works.

That will help getting settings started and setting a focal point.

You can select the thick draftboard and then change the operation from Proofgrade to Manual and it will show you the settings used.

Are you in Hawaii?

I wonder if @raymondking32 has used koa?


Yes I live on the Big Island.

Playing around with the draftboard settings helped. I can now easily get clean cuts that go all the way through. I also focus the laser about half way and only need 1 pass.


As much as I’d love to have helped, I still haven’t gotten my hands on anything more than veneer scraps :frowning:️ People are constantly telling me to get Koa but don’t tell me where I can get the good stuff

@islandhpc Are you using a distributor that’s also on Oahu, or some local kine guy that has extra laying around?


I live on the Big Island. There’s usually someone always selling koa here. I know a few people that mill koa. it gets pretty pricey depending on the grade.

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Yeah, that’s my problem too. I’ve been told to check out Craigslist, but haven’t yet. I went to a woodcraft store and the pieces they had were crazy expensive and too thick for the forge

I have a piece of milled Koa some one gave me to do a project for them here on Oahu. Not looking to cut through, but to engrave on. (Family established sign) if I can’t convince him to just use the Koa for the sign and used cut outs for the words. It’s about an inch thick. Any suggestions on settings for a good clear engrave?

I still have never done any Koa. Though I did technically do some Koa Veneer, but I believe our forum’s resident pro on Koa engraving/cutting would be @amandarogers808

Thanks @raymondking32 . Shot them a message!

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