Purebond cutting

Just started cutting on our Glowforge and after using 1/8" plywood I bought some 5/32" Columbia birch boards and did some puzzle cuts. Even though the material cuts really well - when you remove the pieces the edges are really burnt leaving quite the residue. I tried it at different speeds/power but still anything that cuts seems to have this issue . Anyone have some experience with this and if so what do you recommend for cleaning it off or do you have some magic settings that prevent this. Thank you!

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I usually mask my wood that I buy to prevent scorch marks. But if I’m just doing something quick for myself, I usually don’t care or I’ll sand it off. I especially don’t care if I’m going to paint it. But for birch, it’s really masking or sanding for me.

If it’s just charry-edges, and not discoloration (like for when stuff is masked but the cut-line is charred), I just use a blue shop towel or microfiber towel (that’s all I have on hand at home), and I wipe down the edges. It takes off the char and a nice edge becomes visible.


Welcome to the community!

I use CPB extensively and, as with Proofrade, masking is critical. Try searching the forum for “transfer tape” for detailed information and options.

Here’s what I use…


I use Purebond quite a lot. Frankly, I did not care for the birch. The maple and walnut are excellent. I found the birch had too many dark lines in it, even on the “good” side. I mask everything I cut, no matter what material it is.

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Thanks it’s not the transfer tape - it’s the pieces themselves (the cut lines) that are so charred that when you remove them hands are completely coated with black. It doesn’t happen with the other materials that are thicker. Any suggestions about power settings - maybe you have a lower setting that avoids so much charring.

Thanks - but for puzzle pieces I was hoping not to have to wipe down every edge… Not sure if there is a setting that is better

Unfortunately, unless you are using proofgrade, every material is going to be different, even if you’re using settings that work on one piece, it could vary on the next piece of the same kind. The best way to nail down settings is to test, but it doesn’t have to be random:

Good luck!

IIRC, some folks have used agitation in tubs of salt to remove edge char from puzzle pieces. Still best to find the lowest/quickest settings to cut your material, of course.

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I also use a lot of Purebond (maple) as it’s cheaper than draftboard and available locally, but it does char and I only use it for stuff I’m giving to people if it’s going to be painted or otherwise coated. I’d stick to chipboard for puzzles.

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