So this begins my asking simple questions that I feel like I should know the answer to but want some hand-holding because I’m being a baby about this. :slight_smile:

I got some 1x scrap wood from a friend at work this morning. This is really high-quality finished material here. Leftovers from his cousin’s cabinet-making shop. Each piece is somewhere ~0.75" - ~0.85". So! I know I can only do up to 0.50" with the tray installed. I’m just trying to confirm my thinking here…

I think what I want to do is remove the tray and build a riser that is:

Is that correct? I’m guessing if I’m over, it will just tell me I can’t print. But what happens if I’m under?



Can’t help in a concrete way since I don’t have my GF yet, but I have been giving this same topic a lot of thought lately, and I came up with a similar answer. I will really be interested to see what others have to say.

Also don’t have a unit, but I think it would be okay to be a bit off due to the 1/2" focal range depending on what you are doing.

@henryhbk did a tutorial on how to calculate it very accurately.

Look in the Designing for Laser Matrix in the Table of Contents in the Glowforge Tips and Tricks Category.


.5" is a little big. Figure .43 and you will be safer not having the air assist scoop whack the material anywhere.

What I would is get a riser that would put the surface of the material .25" above the thickness of the crumb tray. Are you shooting for engraving only? If that is the case, then giving yourself some headroom might be the ticket.

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Here is the link to @henryhbk’s tutorial.


I can’t answer what happens if you are over or under. My calculations have always been perfect. :slight_smile:


Believe It or Not Just eyeballing has always worked h great for me. And I’m not even a guy who can consistently pick up a 7/16 wrench with out looking at the Engraving.


Yes, the focal point for cutting doesn’t always need to be precisely at the surface to work. More important for engraving. I am most worried always about the scoop grabbing something that sticks up.

Wedged the scoop on a piece of material once. It is a lot, lot lower than the head bottom. The unit didn’t like it much. Can’t remember whether everything powered down or it unstuck itself. But all was well after restarting the project.


Yes. Definitely.
Should I consider cutting .75" wood (single-sided)? Is that possible?

depends upon what it is. I’ve never been able to go through 1/2" material, even cardboard without a flip over.


I don’t have a laser yet but I was just wondering if this might work:

  1. do the first cut to whatever depth it can do
  2. Manually set the focus point deeper.
  3. Run a second cut

I suppose the walls of the first cut might shadow part of the cone. Might need to widen the kerf of the upper cut by adding a cut to either side of the primary cut on the upper pass.

Like I said…total newbie here…

Holy heck! You have .5" cardboard?!
And… You been able to flip and continue a cut?!


Is the gap under the scoop actually less than 0.5"? I.e. is this another specification change, or are you allowing a little clearance for warp?

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Thanks, all!

About to embark on an engrave on .85". Here goes nothin’!

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I would say the average of the distance between the surface of the honeycomb and the scoop is about .5" All in all the honeycomb and crumb tray is flat and stable as a bed, but at the minute variations of the tray and the materials, especially in expansion and contractions with temperature and humidity, less that .5 is a better limit to figure on. Sometimes I have stray masking and cardboard is rarely pristine and flat.

I am not sure how this works with initial specifications. Certainly the initial marketing led me to believe that 1/2 material was able to be processed with a flip. That means it should fit under the head and on top of the existing tray, or so I thought. As the rollout of the product happened, the actual limits have been in flux. So at the moment, to ensure I don’t bump anything with cutting or engraving something that is a full and exact 1/2 inch, I remove the crumb tray.

Oh, and @Tom_A, I have carboard that our new organ came inside of last year. It’s three layers of normal cardboard bonded together. It’s great. I could make a pretty hefty dino skeleton puzzle with it, but I’m not going to spend the time jigging up cardboard to do all the flipped cuts to make it through the 1/2 inch. Will keep thinking about this and look forward to the auto alignment improvements.


Here is a follow up since I was talking from earlier testing and different use scenarios.

And here is a pic of this cardboard in the bed with a square cut on the lower end of the bed. So there is definitely room to put a .57" flat object on the honeycomb and be able to laser the surface. Material limit is still .433 in the GFUI for the lid camera focusing and for operation focus.


The air assist will hit it. The nozzle clears it but the air assist hangs lower. (AMHIK.)

That was the air assist port he measured. Got 0.57" from port to bed.