And yeah, I’m talking about testing your file, basically. You know, making sure you cut out the pieces you wanted to, that you don’t have anything connected so the whole middle drops out, making sure you don’t have details that are so small they can’t really be seen, etc. Things in your head don’t always look the way they do assembled.
For the design you show up there?..cereal boxes. It’s a quick way to check to see if everything is connected, and doesn’t cost a thing. Writing pad cardboard or poster board would also work if you haven’t eaten up your Wheaties.
The above is actually a mock-up in mattboard (like from around your art). It’s pretty impressive what you can do with it. I couldn’t do cut out lettering in it (ended up with a charred hole) but even 1mm wide rings wasn’t a problem.
Normal .15" single corrugation cardboard cuts very well with minimum burnout, except if you are doing lots of close cut/score lines. Then it can get fire. I’m curious if your fires are design based, or that you haven’t quite gotten the right settings. I typically do 800 speed and 40% power for cardboard and that does ok with one cut.
Chipboard like cereal boxes for sure. And get some cheap luan from the hardware store. It works fine for testing, although voids and glue can make it less desirable. Cardboard is what I use.
You can get"Revolution" Plywood from Lowes for $15 per 4x8 foot sheets so if you cut the lengthx 5 you get 19-inch pieces and 9-inch the other way you have 25 - 9" x 19" pieces that you can try almost anything for well under one dollar per each, and one face will actually clean up and look great.
It is pretty consistent 0.175- 0.178. It is softer and weaker than Oak or BB but a lot less likely to burn down the house than cardboard, and very much stronger than that. The top veneer is also super thin so engraves are not pretty. The piece above is scored instead of engraved for that reason.; but the voids and plycarp are almost nonexistent except where 2 inner sheets have a 2-3 mm gap and fill barely more laser resistant than the wood and usually a razor will cut that.
Thanks again! I’m working on a larger display stand project and didn’t have enough mattboard, so I went back to some different box cardboard and, like you said, it works fine. It’s definitely denser than the stuff I had last time. Yay!
I use cardboard, unless there are really close cuts/scores (for living hinges). If you’re starting fires with it, you might just need to dial in your settings better. You can probably find suggestions over in Beyond the Manual.