I can only find one post about engraving on redwood and it doesn’t have the answer I’m looking for. Someone gave me some old redwood to engrave on for a wedding gift. I tried one and there were quite a few sparks and more smoke than I’m used to seeing with other woods. Is this normal? And is it really safe to put redwood in the Glowforge?

It’s fine to work with redwood. If it’s flaring up you may want to mask it to protect the surface and also just take a look at your air assist if you think it’s not working 100%. They can get dirty and sometimes cleaning them will reduce flare up issues.


Thank you! I’ve never cleaned the air assist fan. Kinda afraid to do that because I’ve heard of people having problems after putting it all back together. But, I know it probably needs to be done. The machine is almost tow years old now.


They don’t always get too grubby. Just gently pull the gantry forward (machine off) and you can get a good look at it. If the blades spin freely and don’t look too caked up I’d say don’t worry about it.

Some woods just flare more than others. You might try increasing the speed of your engrave, it can also help with flaring.


Compressed air is an alternative method for cleaning the fan in place, just use a finger to prevent free spinning of the fan.


I have a small portable compressor that I use for my brad gun. I’ll try that first. I also saw some video where the guy sprayed the fan with a kind of liquid cleaner. Apparently it dries really fast and is made for electronics. Have you heard of anything like that? I can’t remember what the stuff is called though.


Yes, that’s the official recommendation for cleaning the exhaust fan. That one gets plastered with a sticky residue that needs a solvent to dissolve. the air assist is normally just ash that cleans off easily (depending on what material you have been using). That spray electronic cleaner is also expensive.


Redwood is a conifer and in general, they are more flamey than hardwoods, though there are exceptions either way. I would guess that higher speeds and multiple passes might be a way to think about it.


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