Proof Grade Wood


Can anyone tell me where they are purchasing “proof grade wood” from? Glowforge shop never ever has anything in stock and I would really like to purchase. I find it odd that they never have anything in stock and I have also been waiting for an air filter to come in that also was not in stock.
Thank you in advance.

I was able to buy some maple plywood 1/8 inch today. In case you are interested.


Ocooch Hardwoods - Project Ready Wood


Proofgrade wood is only available from GF. There are plenty of other options for wood - you can find them if you search the forum.


Proofgrade has very exacting standards which is why they can offer the guarantee - but it means when suppliers are having a hard time due to the pandemic they are having a really hard time. That being said items do come back into stock regularly, just not all of them. There’s an option on each page to get sent an email when something is in stock.

Also, some Joann Fabric stores carry PG materials, so you could check your local one.

Beyond that there are lots of wood merchants - the items won’t come pre-masked or often pre-finished, but if you’re wiling to do that work then possibilities are almost endless.


I couldn’t find anything that said if sharing retailers was okay or not but I purchased draft board that was masked and everything from this etsy shop. I’ve gone through about half of it already with great results!


Thank you everyone for all the replies!!
I have been using 1/4 birch from Lowes since getting my Glowforge in April…my problem is that I am so fed up with the inconsistent cuts. When cutting words sometimes the laser will cut all the way through the wood and then in other areas it won’t. I waste SO much money with this. And it is also causing me to have to keep cleaning my Glowforge because of the glues they use on the wood. Then my air filter fills up every two months and replacing it that often for almost $300 is not working for me. This is why I thought I would just go to using the proof grade materials…

Is anyone experiencing the problems I am having above?

Again, thank you so much in advance for you comments and feedback! :slight_smile:

I have been only using 1/4" birch from Lowes and doing the masking…it’s the inconsistent cuts and the clogging of my air filter that I’m tried of…just feel like I waste so much money. I can cut on a board a setting that works perfectly but then buy another board, same merchant, same wood and the settings won’t cut all the way through. I only use the “set focus” too every time.

I get better results cutting solid hardwood, although I don’t cut 1/4" material. The glues and fillers in plywood and mdf always seem to present a problem. Solid wood is more expensive, but when you consider how much plywood material you’re scrapping, it’s probably cheaper in the long run. And I don’t use the filter, either, but I’d bet good money that solid wood won’t clog it nearly as badly as plywood or mdf. I don’t seem to get much dust at all. Extending the life of that insanely expensive filter cartridge would save money, too.

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If you can find true Baltic birch ply (comes in 5’x5’ sheets instead of 4x8, available in lumberyards and online) it’s much better about fillers and glues though 1/4” is still a bit tough to cut through consistently.

Some people have reported that the Purebond brand of plywood at Home Depot (special order) works well.

Some of the PG plywoods would still cause your filter to fill quickly as they have MDF cores. True Baltic birch just wood, no MDF.


That’s great advice. I am certainly going to look into this.

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Do you typically use 1/8"?

No, I cut 1/16" almost exclusively. Another reason why I can’t use PG.

Where are you sourcing your 1/16 if I might ask?

Ocooch Hardwoods. There’s a link at the top of this thread.

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Just asking, is there anyway to vent out a window?

I use the Columbia Forest Purebond plywood from Home Depot. I order it online and they ship it directly to my house. It is available specifically cut for the Glowforge 1’ x 1’7". They have 5/32" (so close to 1/8") and 1/4".

Even with proof grade you have to be careful using the filter. Draftboard will quickly fill your filter as will thick plywood as it has the draftboard core if I remember correctly.


Unfortunately I don’t have a window in the area that I run the glowforge. I wish I did.

i occasionally have issues with plywood, but not constantly. lots of people use plywood w/o scrapping much. baltic birch has been pretty reliable for me. the columbia forest products from HD as well.

plywood has other positives over hardwood than just cost. it’s a more structurally stable material. especially at thinner thicknesses.

nothing wrong with hardwood or plywood, you should use the one that’s right for your application.

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I guessed that was the case but more than once we have had new users that thought the filter was mandatory. Next question, have you read up on using a pre filter to extend the life of your filter? Again, I don’t use a filter system so I’m not extremely knowledgeable but I’ve read it mentioned here several times so I’m just trying to help save you $$ and frustration.

I haven’t heard of a “pre filter”…