Proofgrade (or proofgrade-like) in Europe?

There’s still a GF official webpage that states that Proofgrade materials are finally available to Europe…

Get your Proofgrade across Europe!
We’re delighted to say that Shop has been opened so that customers in all EU countries can purchase Proofgrade materials. Teal Acrylic or Passthrough-sized Cherry Hardwood anyone?

But if I try buy something… just a little wood piece… 143$ of shipping plus taxes. Eg. CRAZY.
How to move - now - in Europe for top class (masked) materials?

I use a lot of standard baltic birch, which is actually cheaper over in the UK than here. MDF (i.e “proofgrade” draftboard) is also cheaper there than here in the USA.


proofgrade is ok, but honestly i prefer non-PG. both because of cost and because of limited options.

i’ve had inconsistent finishes on PG wood (ply and hard) over the years, and the finishing i do is higher quality and smoother. i like my finished product to be smooth as a baby’s behind, and PG is anything but that. it’s not difficult to mask your own materials, it adds about a minute a board at worst for me. just make sure you bray it down well.

italy must have lumber sources. as @eflyguy said, baltic birch is great for plywood. and, at least in the states, there are a number of sources for good exotic and domestic hardwoods.

and acrylic? there’s absolutely nothing special about PG. most cast acrylic comes with brown paper masking on it. and there are way more color options out there than GF offers.

so, fwiw, i think the “PG” issue is overblown (personal opinion, YMMV).


They absolutely do. I made a point to stop by a woodworking store last time I was there, 2019. It was on the outskirts of Luca. I was just there on vacation, but having the GF, I was curious to see what they sold. It was just like the local Rockler stores we have here.


Thanks for your prompt and kind comments!
So I’ll keep on with personal masking.
Do you suggest any specific masking tapes? (especially if you think to “grayscale engrave” with precision).

Obviously if an air assist mod were available (but this is a matter for other posts I’ve made), we could simply avoid the masking process in 90% of cases.

i have a universal 75w laser at the office with an external compressor and direct air, like you describe. i still either mask or sand. it may be less messy, but it’s not non-messy.

i use TransferRite Ultra 582U Medium Tack Transfer Tape.


Since all you are doing is taking off the masking by engraving there is little point in it being there. If I want to have everything masked I add a light score around the engraved parts and remove the masking there.
Regular commercial hand sanitizers have ethel alcohol and a filler for helping the hands not dry out so bad. It helps the wood also and is very solvent of smoke and crud as well as most adhesives making it easier to weed but not so good for MDF as it dissolves that glue as well.


this is a good point. i rarely mask for engraving, especially not a grayscale with vary power. it’s a horrific mess to clean up afterward if you don’t engrave all the way through, and you need to adjust your settings to account for engraving the masking.


I have always found it a mess as no matter what there was an edge where the pure white was. That is why I took to the score trick to start with. At the time I was deep engraving a lion and the white at the tip of his nose always had a mark around it.

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Yes… for engraving… it would be 100% better to have a real air assist…

Early on there were suggestions that the machine work in a back to front manner instead of the front to back that it does, but aesthetically, Glowforge prefers the front to back as it “reveals” whatever it’s doing to people watching it work.(you all are watching it like you’re supposed to right? :stuck_out_tongue: )

If it went back to front, it would clean(burn) off a lot of the deposited soots and smoke stains as it went instead of leaving a trail of it in it’s front to back wake.


aaaaaaaaand… the universal allows you to change the direction it engraves. yes, i wish that GF gave that option.


Well… this is “only” a software option to be implemented, in case (engraving direction): how much GF friends reply to users requests?
After a long “pandemic stop”, and related issues/movements/etc., I’ll start using again the GF in a couple of weeks :slight_smile:

There is a “hopper”. Much goes in and much less comes out.
In fairness, much that goes in is either a different choice (like the air movement thing) or not possible in this universe.


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