Two problems with latest shipment of Proofgrade

Just received my latest order of Proofgrade a few days ago and have encountered two challenges to using it for my latest project (making a dozen more Shoji candle holders for family).

Challenge #1: “Pebbled” finish on Medium Walnut Plywood

I have used a lot of walnut ply over the past few months, and up to now the finish quality has been excellent. However, the latest shipment evidences inferior finish. Here are two photos that illustrate the issue (apologies for the focus/depth of field issue in the second image):

In this image, a piece cut from my older stock is on top of a piece from the latest shipment. Notice the ‘pebbled’ appearance? It’s even more noticeable when you handle it…

In this image, old stock is on the left and new is on the right…

Just to be clear, I’m not referring to color or grain – it’s the texture and visual appearance of the finish itself.

Luckily, I was able to swap pieces around so that the quality differences should not be apparent to the various recipients, but if this had been a commercial product, I wouldn’t have shipped them. :neutral_face:

Challenge #2: “Inverted” Medium Frosted Acrylic

This one is much more subtle and took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out. :blush: Every sheet of :proofgrade: frosted acrylic I’ve received until now has had the glossy/clear side up and the frosted side down (“up” being the side with the QR code), but the latest batch has the QR code on the frosted side.

At first blush, it may not seem like this would make a difference, but in this use case it does. The acrylic panels are ‘keyed’ to only fit one way. As long as you are using individual pieces from stock that is all ‘up’ or all ‘down,’ no problem. If, OTOH, you use pieces from both batches, you end up glossy-out on some sides and frosted-out in the rest. If you cut pieces from the problem batch in multiples of four, again no problem. If you were using scraps saved from other projects and end up with an odd number from each batch, Cousin Bob gets the “patchwork” version. Bob will never notice :wink:, but I wouldn’t ship a commercial product with mixed “sides.”

TL;DR — Hard-Won Workaround Tips

Before using the frosted acrylic, peal peel up a corner of the masking to verify the desired side is up. Likewise, I’m going to start checking the finish of :proofgrade: woods before the “big reveal” at the end of a full-sheet run. :innocent:


These are the second and third big problems with :proofgrade: reported today! We can’t be having this! :proofgrade: is one of the things that is setting the :glowforge: apart.

I’ve been very lucky, the most problems I’ve had is a bit of warping.


Wonder if that reflects a change in vendors.


If it is poor quality like that then there should be a refund or more material sent to the person with the defective material. That finish is absolutely terrible and I wouldn’t want to pay for that or as a consumer purchase something that was made with that finish on it once it is engraved. Does anyone know if they refund or replace the proofgrade when it is like that?


I shall hold off on the order I was about to put in. lol


Ugh, that finish is awful. I hope that it would be replaced.


Yea I would be returning the wood at the very least. That is a garbage finish. The wrong side sticker thing? Still be very annoyed but at least it is still useable.

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Looks to be a glue issue, no fun!

Someone screwed up the finish on that piece for sure. I used to know what caused that finish result but I can’t remember now. It looks like the sheet got rained on while the poly was still wet.

I was about to order some more, but I am going to hold off unti GF gets the QC sorted out. Thanks for posting this.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention @dwardio! We’re working hard to make sure your Proofgrade is shipped in perfect condition. I’ve passed along your feedback and these pictures to the team.

You should see credits in your account so you can re-order Walnut Plywood when you next need it.