Settings beyong PG

Hi! I’ve had my GF for about a week now and it’s starting not to cut all the way through. I started by using the PG Walnut that came with the machine, and then I started using Sheets from Smoky Hills, 1/8 inch. I cleaned the lens and it seemed to help for a coupe cuts, but has started not cutting all the way through again. Second question. Where can I find setting recommendations for all different types of wood?

Support would ask you to cut the Gift of Good Measure on Proofgrade. That is the benchmark to test whether your machine needs attention. Using an unknown material will not provide a cast iron conclusion. Even if it is “laser” material.

If you have a spreadsheet it’s a good starting point but it’s always going to be a guess.

Learn/setup a solid test method and you’ll never wonder.

One more thing: keep notes. You’ll want to remember what settings you used, no way to remember them all.

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Keeping cleaning the lens a well as the camera, head window and the WINDOW mirror inside on the far left. It makes a world of difference.
I clean mine almost every day.

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How do you clean this? There is no access inside the sealed section of the gantry unless you are unscrewing the window and reaching inside with a q-tip or similar. This is also not suggested in the official cleaning steps.

Mine is easily reachable with a zeiss wipe, are you sure we’re talking about the same thing?

You tell me. The mirror behind this window is not readily accessible, and the enclosure is sealed, so it shouldn’t require cleaning.

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ah bad wording in my part, the WINDOW on the left not the mirror in the left. Edited to correct.


There’s a fair amount of not-quite-technically-correct terms used in recommended cleaning procedures from folks on the forum. Lots of people tell you to clean the “lenses” or say they cleaned their “lenses” but there’s only one, it’s in the head assembly and requires the lens removal tool to get out (generally).

Likewise there are 2 mirrors but only one that is user accessible - the one under the magnetic cap on the head assembly. The other like you said is behind a window on the left side.

There are 2 windows to be cleaned - the left one and the one on the left side of the head assembly that is on the path to the 45 degree mirror to the lens.

I do believe the windows are removable though and can be replaced if anything happens. Long ago there was something here about the windows being user replaceable if damaged by unscrewing them. I haven’t tried and probably won’t until one gets burned or broken. For all I know they’ve been glued in on later models.

More traditional laser designs have open pathways where the beam bounces from mirror to mirror to the lens. But then you have to worry about (more) expensive mirror replacements than the window concept suggests will be the case for us.


Thank you for adding clarity. Correct terminology certainly matters.

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One of the benefits of the GF design is that you don’t have to focus & align the mirrors. You have to do that manually on the traditional designs. That means you’re almost required to be bypassing safety interlocks and firing the laser, potentially with body parts in the way of the laser. Although it’s unfocused until it passes through the lens, it’s still pretty powerful and capable of doing damage.

I can’t tell you how many shirt sleeves I’ve caught on fire. I just made sure I wore wool because it wouldn’t burn as easily as cotton. (Some might say if I could remember to wear a wool shirt I could remember to keep my sleeve out of the beam but the choice of shirt only requires 1 thought whereas the sleeve thing would require me to remember to do it dozens of times during the tedious alignment process.)

I’ve also laser-drilled holes in various parts of my hand. Some parts it can get through (webbing of the thumb) and others it can only go deep (the thumb itself :slight_smile: ). It hurts after it’s too late :wink: But it’s a cauterized wound so you don’t bleed :smiley:


Oww. At least no eyeballs were cauterised…

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It’s just one of the things GF-only owners take for granted :blush: Not having to do that alignment routine is one of the best parts of the GF.

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