Settings for 1/4 inch birch plywood

Both are spot on. I find the 1/4" far more variable between suppliers. Best luck has been Woodcraft. Amazon is spotty.

Taking 2 1/8" panels does take longer - twice the cutting plus glue-up, but it’s often a really good way to go.


For me it’s not twice the cutting, since I have to do 2 passes for the 1/4", but just one pass for the 1/8". So the cutting time is about the same.

The gluing will take a little longer, but not much. And I won’t have to recut some of my sheets. I think overall, using 2x 1/8" will save me time.


100% behind Woodcraft as a supplier of all things wood. I have spent a lot of allowance there over the years. (Some may say unreasonable).
We have several in the area. Hopefully you will also.

It is a wood workers candy store though, so plan on some time wandering around if you head there and are into making wooden things.


Thanks for mentioning! (You too @jamesdhatch!) I didn’t know of that store and there happens to be one 6 miles from my house; nice. I’ll be checking them out.


I was using similar settings and getting spots that would not burn through but lately have found that if I set the focus a little lower, somewhere around .210, I have far greater success cutting 1/4 BB. Rarely am I reaching for the exacto to release pieces now.


Depending on your use case, you might try using registration holes to align your layers.

Here’s an extreme case, about 12 layers of 1/8" flawlessly (and easily) aligned with dowels. It’s a pure friction fit, no glue was used. Just a matter of getting your holes the right size with some trial and error.

That being said, there are ways to cut 1/4" ply, again, trail and error and testing will be the best plan here. Searching the forum will yield lots of discussions. I just searched ‘1/4" settings’ and got lots of hits, but #1 is here:

Seems like a dead bullseye? Generally, I find that whatever I’m doing isn’t new, we have a pretty avid base here and we’ve tried a LOT of stuff… searching almost always finds something.


You just saved me so much frustration!!! THANK YOU!

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I use 1/4 baltic birch from my local maker space so it is pretty nice.
So far my best settings are Full power and anywhere from 125 to 115 speed.
I am focusing at .25 so I am going to try what everybody is saying here and focus down a little lower at.23

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I mimicked the thick Proofgrade settings of .208”, which works well.


Thanks for the info. I’m curious about setting the focus height. I thought the “scanning your material” phase is the head coming over and using autofocus to set the focus? Does anyone know what the relationship is between the the focus height we set and what the autofocus is doing?

It seems like from what I’m reading in this thread that the height we enter is what the machine uses, (And I don’t know what the autofocus is doing, if anything?)… Am I correct?

Also, does anyone know if when you select 2 or three passes, does the focus point change between passes? It would be sweet to have the focus go deeper so you could cut through much thicker material? ie lower the focus by 1/8 each pass, and cut through 1/2" of material in 4 passes?

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Currently, it does not. It is an advertised feature that should appear some time in the future.


Thanks Scott, I’ll look forward to that. Do you know why we input a focus distance and it also scans? Does one or other take priority? If I want to cut through thick in multiple passes, can I manually set the focus for say 3 or 4 different operations and have it use my focus settings over whatever the scanning part is doing?

The focus entry on the “Material Thickness” is to control the lid camera de-warp. It also pre-populates the manual focus settings for all the operations.

If you leave the manual focus setting the same as the material thickness, it will use the results from the “scanning” step during the print. This is the auto-focus feature.

If you change the manual focus to something different, it will use the value you entered.

Yes. If the focus value in the operation is different than the focus value in the material thickness, it will override the auto-focus.


Thank you so so much! That makes sense. I guess it’s a testament to Glowforge that I have been using it for a while now and getting great results without even really knowing all the details of setting something as key as focus.


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I dont know how you’re getting a cut with 1 pass as I am having to make closer to 6 to get all the way through 1/4" birch. Do you have the pro?

That’s a problem. Is it Birch plywood or solid? You shouldn’t need more than 1 pass on 1/4" Birch plywood. If it’s not true Baltic Birch you might need to slow it down to get through the glues & voids although in that case 2 faster passes will result in less charring and cleaner cuts.

It might be worth getting a piece of thick PG ply and seeing it that works. If it doesn’t then you can send support a ticket. If it does, then you’ll want to look at your Birch supplier because something’s wrong.

Basic or Pro should be able to do this.


its plywood. I have been using
speed 140
power at full and not even 5 passes went all the way through.
i have the focus set to .25 so i am going to try lowering that and see what happens.

Yes I am using a pro, thick Maple setting, then take the speed down by 10 for a reliable cut.


how do you change the speed settings of PG stuff? I haven’t figure that out.

Does it work correctly for other materials using standard settings?

If not, is it clean (lens & mirrors) and is the lens inserted correctly?

If it is good with other materials but not this, then it’s a material problem. Lots of us do 1/4" so the machine handles that.

And for your question on PG settings - click on the arrow to the right of the PG operation and then you can change the values. The UI will show it as Custom then.