Settings for 1/4 inch birch plywood

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.

@chriskeilbart: The “>” is what you want.

I am doing BB plywood from Rockler.

Have not tried ¼ in real wood yet, but I have a bunch of seconds I am going to test with (Purple Heart, Padauk, black walnut, etc…) I will be fascinated to see the results. As to slow / multiple cut, I mad a grid of speed and power. When I slowed down, I got undesirable overvburn on the back side.

I’ve never removed the lens or had trouble cutting other things. I also haven’t cut more than maybe 20 things so far and the lenses look great. Found the little > symbol and the PG symbols were not up to snuff. Multiple passes it is.

In one pass does most of the cut work with small parts failing? That happens to me because of glue patches. I finish those with a razor knife.

I think you’re going to find every Baltic Birch is gonna be different. These are some nice guidelines, but you’re going to need to experiment and tweak them for the Baltic Birch you buy. Even different boards in the same lot of Baltic Birch can be significantly different.

Currently, I’m finding Home Depot Birch Plywood (may not be BB… not sure) cuts really well using the above settings in one pass. Meanwhile, the “cadillac of plywood” as my wood seller called it, Baltic Birch from Cross Cut Lumber, is just too strong, or the glue between the layers is too uncuttable, or something, but that stuff requires many passes.

If I had to bet, I think it’s the glue between the plys.

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if it was BB, they’d say BB. they’d be able to charge more.

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if it was BB, they’d say BB. they’d be able to charge more.

True that. They call it “Birch Plywood” which I suspect means “We want you to think it’s Baltic Birch, but if we call it that, we’ll be sued.” or something.


or it’s just a birch veneer plywood. what else would you call it if it’s birch plywood, but not baltic birch plywood?


I have crosscut Baltic Birch as well, has similar cut characteristics to the Rockler product

@chriskeilbart yessir! Pro indeed. I will say, though, I’ve given up cutting 1/4"… it just blackens the edge way too much. 1/8" is much nicer.

I have very nice edge results on Baltic Birch at ¼

This is a small shelving unit I cut out recently, and I can run my fingers over with no black residue.

My only issue is if I run over a glue patch, then I will have to manually cut the portion of the line that failed to cut.


I’m trying to cut some 6mm baltic birch from Crosscut Hardwoods in Seattle (probably the “cadillac of plywood” from above?). My best results so far are 170/full x5. This stuff really doesn’t want to cut.

Apparently I’m going to need to swing by Woodcraft tomorrow.

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I have been (largely) successful on that wood. Pro, start at the GF plywood settings, and slow down until you get a good cut. The main failure I have is the glue patches. Them I have to address with a hand tool to finish the cut.

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