I’ve been researching suppliers for materials (lots of great threads on here!) and it seems to be that baltic birch is the go-to for inexpensive, laser compatible wood. However, I can’t help but notice my local Home Depot has 1/8" tempered hardboard for ridiculously cheap. I found a couple of mentions of it on here, but not a lot. Has anyone used this comfortably? Would you mind me asking the settings you used? I’m still a noob and have only used cardboard other than GF proofgrade materials so far. I have a basic.
The 1/8" tempered hardboard at my HD has a brand name of Eucabord for ~ $8/sheet. I’m guessing yours is the same stuff.
I don’t do a lot of scoring or engraving (the stuff is pretty dark), but I’ve had good luck cutting at 305/Full with 3 passes.
Beware that only one face is smooth. The rough side takes glue very well. Good luck!
Awesome, great to know. Thank you!
If hardboard is the same thing as the pegboard stuff, I tried it once and did not like it, took waaaay tooo long to cut. Plus some are treated with formaldehyde, so there is that.
What I use a lot of is Home Depot 1/4" underlayment plywood. Cuts good enough with the PG thick cherry setting, accepts paint well, and often has nice grain ;p
I love the stuff. I use it all the time, for smaller scale models, heavy duty prototypes, and sometimes as a featured material.
.117 in Home Depot tempered hardboard cuts perfectly on a pro at 180/full with a .006 in kerf. Score at 220/20. Engrave at 1000/50@195.
Thank you. I just have a basic. I should have specified that.
That’s fine, set it on full and slow it down until you get a clean cut. The tempered hardboard is very consistent, like MDF/draft board.
I use hardboard for all my jigs. I love it ( and the cost!)
Do you do 1 pass at 180/Full?
I’ve found that if you put the smooth side down you get better cut results.
Huh, I’ve never tried that! Better in what way?
I have more fibers left uncut when the smooth side is upwards
Tried it last night – it came out perfect. Thanks for the head’s up!
One thing to remember about the underlayment is that it’s only 3 plies. So it’s not going to be nearly as good structurally as similar-thickness BB.
Trying 1/4" Hardboard - will let you know the settings…
I’ve recently discovered the utility of hardboard in making jigs for CNC routers, so thank you all for the info, it’s extremely timely!
(Attach workpiece to hardboard, use plastic brad nails to attach hardboard to spoilboard. Gives you cheap sacrificial layer that’s easily manipulated, not too thick, won’t harm any cutter and is extremely flat. You can strip the hardboard by using a chisel to shear off the brad nails, leaving you with almost no damage to your spoilboard.)
Power - Full
Speed - 150
Got me mostly through 1/4" Hardboard. I say mostly as about 1/2 of the cut was nearly perfect, the other 1/2 took some pushing / separation of material on the back to push it out. This weekend I’m going to try some tests with other speeds / passes. When doing a full / 200 / 3 passes, the 3rd pass didn’t seem to make any difference from the first 2 - there was still the same amount of material to cut through when all was said and done.
Was your material perfectly flat? Even a tiny warp can do this.
Frankly I’m not sure how I would determine that. Usually I use hold down pins to hold material as flat as I can to the honeycomb. I did the same here, but the material is pretty thick and I could not tell if beyond the edges being held down, the rest of the piece didn’t dome upwards.
It seems pretty flat - the pieces I’m using are cutoff’s from some shelves I built for the storage room in the basement and they sit flat on my table saw, so I’m assuming so…