Questions on wood thickness

So been searching around the forums…has anyone tried cutting half inch ply yet? I know it might need more then one pass. Most of my art is on 1/2 birch and wonder what the maximum thickness is at this point.

I would think it could definitely be done, but definitely with more than 1 pass. If nothing else, with a jig, you could do a double-sided cut with relative ease, but might need to clean up the edge–depending on how accurately you place the piece.


Yah I figured I’d have to test a few pieces when I get it on Monday. The jig idea is good but afraid until the accuracy improves I don’t want some of the pieces not lining up since they won’t be straight lines …heres an example


Cool work.

I don’t recall anyone mentioning 1/2" ply, but if they did, and mentioned settings, it would be in the Beyond the Manual section of the forum. Lots of 1/4" plywoods with great success. It will depend a lot on what species the layers are made of and the glue(s) used not to mention any knots and voids encountered. I’ve seen @rpegg cut about .44" oak on a PRU with a pro tube, but the shape of the kerf reportedly left a lot to be desired. I’ve cut .27" walnut with two passes and the same thickness of poplar with one pass, but but can’t get through the same thickness African mahogany without leaving the edges a charred mess.

If for some reason it does not work out for you, have you considered a fall back plan of doing what you do on 1/4" ply and then cutting out a second outline and gluing them together? It is ply after all.

Yah I thought @rpegg did but forgot to bookmark it and been looking around for it. As for a fall back 1/4 works just have alot of 1/2 in the studio that I would like to use up…guess that’ll be when I’m feeling nostalgic and jump back on the scroll saw

If you have a router, the other option–at least for items that don’t have corners that are too tight–would be to make a template with thinner ply on the laser and then route the thicker material with a flush-trim bit. I’m guessing for artwork that might not be completely feasible.

I tried random 1/2 in ply. Many passes, minimum speed. Never did make it through.

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I’ve tried 1/4 in, and that often takes 2 passes. Depending on the quality, sometimes 2 passes does not make it through. I’ve substituted 1/4" with two 1/8" boards glued together. One pass on each 1/8" takes about the same time as 2 passes on 1/4", but I’m getting nicer results. The glue up time does add much either.

You might want to consider using multiple layers that are glued together instead of using 1/2".

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Sound like ill have some experimenting to do…all the fun of new adventures

I think this depends on whether you have a pro or basic. Pro can cut through 1/2, but I think there is a technique for using a basic to cut all the way through that involves multiple passes and making the top of the cut wider to allow vaporized material to leave. Can’t find the post that references all of this.

I am getting a pro…was wondering if the higher wattage helped get thru a bit better! And yep been trying to find it as well. Should of started to bookmark earlier!!

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