Save your material, don't waste it!

Made a quick video with a great tip for saving material that doesn’t cut all the way through.

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Thanks for the tip!

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I’m going to have to try this! Thanks :sunglasses::glowforge:

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I have done that but often find a jewelers saw can do the job as it is about the same thickness as the laser cut.

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Good tip, though you say it will: “save you a lot of time”, that’s debatable if all you’re saving is one piece like this example. Recutting a single part like that is probably a lot faster than getting out the sander.

As for the cost benefit: Looking at that part I am going to be optimistic and say it’s 12 square inches of material. Lets say it’s plywood, it’s almost not worth calculating the price for 1/8" baltic birch, but at the prices I get, it’s equivalent to about 5 cents (all amounts US) worth of wood. Let’s be pessimistic and say you spend triple that, it’s still only 15 cents.

So that’s ply lets do non PG hardwood maple, comes out to about 7$ per square foot from most sources: about $0.58 in hardwood maple.

Lets step it up more: maple PG ply, $16 for a full sheet. That’s $0.06 per square inch, or about $0.80 in materials.

So for a single cut part? Maybe recutting is the right move. Now, if you’ve just spent an hour cutting a full sheet or engraving… get out that sander, and you’ll see some economy of scale :slight_smile:

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Been there, done that, thanks for the video.

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This was the only available piece at the current moment I had, it was more to show others that they can actually save so much time and money, I stand by my original statement. In your examples yours looking at strictly cost of material alone but time >= money.

There are so many examples that I can go through here that can save so much time and money and yes I agree “if” this one piece was the only piece I ever needed to do this on and I had more room on it to cut another part I would waste 10 cents, 5 for the first cut and 5 for the second and thats if it doesn’t fail for a second or third time cutting. So I agree with that but that’s only if you have more room on the sheet too. So if we are to break down the entire scenario like you did let me start with this exact piece and exact example…

On this piece of wood, I had no room left to cut another piece, which means I would need to re-sand down a whole new piece of this type of wood like I always do before masking and cutting for a high quality engraving. So if I am already going to have to sand the next piece why not save this one instead of wasting 15 mins of sanding and masking? But let’s say I waste that 15 mins of sanding and masking. As I said earlier time > = money. My value is $20 per hour so 15 mins of work is $5 plus the material so 10 cents if you do it that way were you cut twice. So you save 15 mins and if you want to get technical you can subtract 3 mins for sanding that small area but even then for one time you save a decent amount of money/time. On top of this, lets say that this exact scenario this is also my last piece of this type of wood. I would have to go to menards (15mins away) get a sheet of 8 foot wood, bring it home, cut it down, sand one of those pieces, mask it, warm up the glowforge, wait for the processing you print, print… (lets just say I’m super man and can get all that plus the trip there and back done in an hour to an hour and a half by myself. Then you saved and hour to and hour and half of time = $20-$30 of my times value plus the cost of that material.

The reason I made the video scenario: This was meant for people to use over and over and over, so even if I save them 5 or 10 cents each time for a life time of missed cuts that will add up instead of warming up the glow forge and trashing the broken piece again and again. But the real intent as said in video was for flat layer designs, I was implying for situations that may take 3 hours to engrave an item (but only had this example to show off) and one cut that doesn’t go through messes the entire project up. So if you do my trick right there it saves you at least $60 of my valued time for the 3 hour engrave plus saves you another 3 hours for the engrave and hoping it cuts through the second time. Or it saves you 20 mins worth of using a razor blade trying to cut it out and getting upset. So one sanding will save time for the razor blade issue and another $60 on top of the $60 you already saved because you don’t have to recut. So just one piece can be saved so much time.

There are probably several more scenarios you or I could come up with but I definitely think this will save time in plenty of situations for people.

I actually appreciate the input instead of a thumbs down on the video and not saying anything because it lets me explain my reasoning. (I don’t take offense to your break down of the list, just putting my reasoning for saying it and the way I see it down as well to add value to see both sides of it.) I feel like this trick with save people a lot of headaches, plus not only that the feeling of looking as something that you just spent time on that didn’t cut through is depressing to look at and OCD kicks in and you have to finish / save it lol.

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100% all good scenarios for saving the part. As I said, good tip! :slight_smile:

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Thanks, now if using proof grade material this might be a bad tip for some people if they need the back side exposed since proof grade is usually pre-stained and everything but my intent was for flat layered engraves that you don’t need the back for.

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…or $200+ per square foot Gabon Ebony. :slight_smile:

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Great tip! Thanks for sharing!

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No problem, anytime, glad to see it’s helping others out.

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Thank you for sharing the tip! That’s incredibly handy to know. Sometimes I’m working with unusual hardwoods that are expensive and in limited supply, and this would be a great trick to rescue a print that might fail otherwise.

Out of curiosity, for plywood like this, what are the tradeoffs for you personally vs. Proofgrade?

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Thank you, I hope it end up helping several people out. The trade off I see is this type of plywoods aren’t as consistent through out, occasionally I will get a piece that has a line in it were the laminate meets up but I usually avoid that part but that also brings into the issue that I need to buy this in a big 8 x4 foot sheet then cut down, sand, and mask on my own so it eats up time,

Were proof grade is good to go and usually cuts through without issues on the right side of my tray, the left side struggles sometimes but not to often. The cost difference would be the only other reason I use this type of plywood for test projects. Then use proof grade for some other projects that I need quick assemble and high quality as I know that’s why there is a price difference. (convenience, quality of wood through out, and if some thing goes wrong you guys will make it right)
I love proofgrade for sure makes life much easier, I also enjoy using this specific type of plywood for engravings because it shows up great and great for boxes too, and couldn’t imagine life without the glowforge anymore. It has become such a big part of my life now. Thanks for making great products.

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That’s great feedback. Thank you!

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The problem I have is that I am not at all happy with MDF. I recognize that if you have only a cut and then put together piece, MDF will not have the usual Plywood issues where just the variability of the wood density can make a real problem, and if a lack of possible issues is a real plus as it would be for your target user; but the solubility of the MDF glue and the lack of the directional strength that is a very positive point for regular plywood contribute to making it unsatisfactory for most of what I am doing. Even the hold down pins I made from PG maple plywood have had a tendency to break as they split along the wood grain and the MDF does not offer resistance,

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Appreciate it! FYI, 1/4" Proofgrade is a basswood veneer core, not MDF core.

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Thank you I had not seen that.

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