Recipe boards on Walnut

Hi all.

I’m new to the whole glowforge thing. I am attempting to engrave recipes on thicker walnut boards. I removed the crumb tray and put it in (It is too thick on the tray). Unfortunately, the writing is hard to read and didn’t engrave deep enough. My first guess is that I am too far from the laser. Therefore, my question is how high should I bring the board up? Any suggestions on the laser settings? I just went with the generic ones picked when I chose hardwood walnut.

Thank you all.

if it’s fuzzy then yeah probably the focus is wrong. If you can post a pic of the engrave that went wrong and an image of the recipe file we can probably narrow down the cause.

As for how high to raise it, you need it to be in that sweet spot of -.0- 0.5" above the crumb tray height. For most people that’s right around 1.8-2.3 inches from the base of the Glowforge. There’s a simple way to measure this, provided by the ever-clever @dwardio:

After ensuring your board is in that height range, I’d recommend using the auto-focus feature in the UI and you should be good to go on height/focus issues. Alignment left/right and up/down is a separate topic, which is a little beyond what you were asking.


The Laser will only work properly within a bit less than half an inch above the crumb tray to the level of the grill of the crumb tray. So if a piece is over a half inch thick you do need to remove the crumb tray but the top of your piece has to be in that same range as when something is on the crumb tray, below that level the laser cannot focus properly.

In addition, scorched walnut is not much different in color than regular walnut so reading an engraving would be hard if it came out perfectly. Cherry, oak, or maple, can be read much better and bamboo will be splotchy in color but more readable as well. :slightly_smiling_face:


100% this. Engraved walnut is not text-friendly in my experience, unless backfilled with white paint or epoxy.


Even in real depth

This is walnut

And that is (i think) white oak


When folks say the board needs to be a certain distance range, they are talking about the distance from the top surface of the board (the surface to be engraved), not the bottom. In case that wasn’t clear.


Awesome! Thank you for all the replies. I’ll post a picture tonight. I misspoke, it isn’t walnut, it is basswood.

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A totally different kettle of fish! Here is that same lion in basswood…

Hi all,
sorry I didn’t post a picture earlier. I printed the jig up above and it was awesome. I have the board printing now but there appears to be an alignment issue. Any ideas how to fix it? I have included pictures. I did select the board to focus on before the print.

Any chance the printhead was moved while the machine was turned on - like when you were placing the board did you push the printhead out of the way?

Nope, it was totally still during the print.

I mean before the print. Perhaps when removing the tray and putting in the cutting board.

Nope, I don’t think so. I never calibrated so I just ran that.

Where on the board did you use the set focus? I don’t see the mark in the file placement before printing.

I actually set focus right in the middle of the board.

That will do it.