Proofgrade sold out - comparable products?

We are living the dream, having created a successful Glowforge based business, and suddenly a whole slew of the Proofgrade materials we rely on to create our products are sold out, and the company won’t give anything but a canned “we don’t know anything” response to repeated inquiries regarding when items may be back in stock. Can anyone suggest alternate companies and websites where very similar products are available? The double sided, pre-finished ply in 1/8 and 1/4 inch is of particular interest to us, we can blow through close to 50 sheets some months, and so far we haven’t found an alternate product line with the same quality and characteristics. Any help would be most appreciated. Mahalo ~C&A

2 Likes

Buy the large sheet sizes and cut them down. (Tend to get nicer looking sheets with the big ones too.)

2 Likes

We would certainly do, however this is not an option with quarter inch plywood.

1 Like

Amazon, most hardwood stores, many hobby (train/dollhouse) stores…

1 Like

I appreciate the reply. I should have mentioned, we don’t have quite so many resources here on the island we live on in Hawaii as you likely do on the mainland. No hobby stores to speak of, and we’ve checked the hardwood store, no 1/8 or 1/4 hardwood ply, and certainly not laser friendly (formaldehyde free). Amazon similarly does not carry laser friendly cherry or walnut ply, that I have been able to find. I’m interested in whether or not there are any laser specific companies online that may have comparable materials to Proofgrade. We have already tried JP Plus, and they do have some wonderful materials, but nothing quite like draftboard or thick cherry ply.

1 Like

Which island do you hail from?

Not sure if this helps or not but,

It’s not Draftboard but it cuts just like it.

Ah, that does make it more complicated. Hey Ray @Aloha where do you go?

We’re on the Big Island, Kona side. I am trying to stick to formaldehyde free materials, though that dream may not last. We’ve picked up a great contract making several hundred ornaments a month for a local company on top of our thriving laser engraved Koa jewelry market stand, so my greatest fear right now is finding I can’t get Glowforge’s 1/4 inch cherry ply suddenly. We noticed last week that medium draftboard was sold out (much more expensive to buy a large sheet than 4 small sheets), this week it’s medium walnut ply (rather than saying “sold out”, the option is literally crossed off the list - does this mean they won’t be restocking it?), and yesterday it was medium cherry ply, so we are getting legit nervous about the companies ability to keep up with demand. Not trying to disrespect Glowforge - we owe them a lot - but just need to know we can keep the wheels turning if they run out. We ordered as much thick cherry ply as we could afford today, but January’s order is just around the bend.

1 Like

PG is designed for GF, so you might have to be a bit more flexible. I’d search locally for commercial building supply options and maybe reach out to local builders and cabinet makers for their suggestions.

There are a lot of places to buy double-sided ply online, but shipping will likely be pricey.

And just did a quick Google. Try this place: http://www.plywoodhawaii.com/

@deirdrebeth @ChristyM I do go to plywood Hawaii but that is not on big island. It is on Oahu. It also requires more work because it is not finished wood

Joann, I would love to see your store.

1 Like

Ah. I was hoping they would ship.

Yes, but that’s pretty much the reality of things no matter where you live. Have you found other sources of pre-finished ply? If you can’t afford to really stock up on PG, I think you have to be prepared to be flexible.

1 Like

I can’t afford PG :slight_smile: I finish everything myself. There is usually an orbital sander spinning in our driveway and the laser zapping away. Not sure if they ship. They charge 2 bucks a cut, so I usually get it small enough to fit in the car, and spend time chopping it up, also in the driveway.

3 Likes

There is a Home Depot on Kona side on the big Island.
They do have Plywood, cherry plywood and MDF there all 3 in 1/8" and 1/4"

Formaldehyde is a pretty common chemical. The plywood that makes up your ceilings, walls and cabinets also contain formaldehyde, since plywood products are bonded using adhesives that contain the chemical. A primary concern about formaldehyde is its reclassification by the World Health Organisation as a carcinogen. Jun 27, 2016

However MDF is safe to use. Formaldehyde is an integral part of the adhesive used to bond together the wood fibres which form MDF panels. At extreme concentrations, formaldehyde is known to cause some serious health problems but there is no health risk from the amount of formaldehyde gas given off by MDF.

Hawaii also has some of the most beautiful hardwoods I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. You mentioned Koa, it’s a freaking awesome wood for turning pens and for some custom work I’ve done with specialty plaques. not cheap by any means but dang worth it.

I’m not trying to badmouth Proofgrade, on the contrary it’s usually a better product by far. But if you can’t get it, other woods and materials do exist.

Sorry I’ll get off my soap box now… I do get passionate about this stuff, sometimes too much.

3 Likes

I use very little PG myself. :slight_smile: But that’s the thing, it’s a specialty source. Either you heavily stock up on it because you need to make sure you have it, or you plan on finishing things yourself in a pinch.

2 Likes

Enjoying this thread, thanks for all the info and replies. We do work quite a bit in Koa, which we mill ourselves, engrave, then finish. One of us is lucky enough to have a part-time gig at a wood mill on a ranch on the slopes of Mauna Loa. We make several different items with Koa and sell them at local craft markets in Kona. The lions share of our business however is making repeat orders of hundreds upon hundreds of ornaments out of PG thick cherry ply, and for this, it is critical that we are able to mass produce and not have to worry about the added steps of cutting the plywood before hand, finishing afterwards, etc., so Proofgrade has been a lifeline we wouldn’t be able to do without. I would have guessed there would be other companies doing just what GF does, which is to cater to the laser enthusiast crowd, but other than JPPlus, which does make great products (just not the hardwood veneered ply), we haven’t been able to find any. We are just crossing our fingers that GF is simply experiencing a holiday season rush, and will have all of their PG product line back in stock soon.

1 Like

Aloha, Aloha. I will definitely check in with plywood Hawaii to see if they might ship. We have Aloha Hardwoods over here, but their prices are beyond unreasonable. We don’t have a store, we just do the weekly craft market circuit here in Kona, but we do quite well. Mostly Koa earrings, ornaments, necklaces, that sort of thing.

1 Like

Moving this to Beyond the Manual, since Support cannot recommend non-PG products.

1 Like

Aloha aanden. I will check out the ply at Home Depot, just in case the PG supply dries up. I appreciate the tip. I thought there would be other companies doing what GF does, but it really doesn’t seem like there is. Yes, Koa is a dream. We are very lucky to have access to a steady supply. If you pass along your address I’ll send you a couple pen blanks. Cheers.

2 Likes

I wouldn’t worry about glowforge discontinuing their plywoods. They switched their ecommerce software this year and iirc those cross outs you see are their new way of indicating out of stock. It could definitely use improvement, but come the new year I’d expect to see their stock replenished.

1 Like

Trotec has Formaldehyde-Free Cherry Veneered Wood at 1/8" thickness. They’ve got plywood and hardwood cherry too. I’ve ordered with them before, their products are good quality.

4 Likes