I’m a frequent lurker on these forums, and almost never have anything to say but…
I’m curious if anyone has tried lasering Columbia Forest Products “UV wood” plywood yet? I’m curious if it is safe, as I’ve come into possession of a small stack of it. The manufacturer’s webpage claims it “acrylate” and in another place says “acrylic.” I’m not sure of the distinction.
I already tried asking google about lasering this product, and tried a quick forum search here before troubling the community with the question. Thanks in advance for any responses, and I’m off to resume lurking.
First of all, glad you unlurked! Don’t be a stranger.
As for that wood I’m not entirely sure but in general wood finishes are safe to laser — at least as far as damage to the laser goes. Like anything, the fumes are not safe to breathe… but good ventilation should take care of that.
I wrote up a kind of “what’s dangerous to laser” guideline. You may have seen it but it’s here, #4:
I’d say if you really want to be sure I’d look for the SDS on the finished wood, but personally I’d feel pretty comfortable lasering something like this.
And seriously, I’d love to see the sorts of thing you make! I’m sure you have things to teach us all.
UV-cured finish is just like most other finishes, it’s just cured instantaneously under UV light vs. slower, less controlled processes. The SDS for Purebond products does not call out the UV-cured versions specifically, just the general hazards of working with wood (dust, odors, etc.) With adequate ventilation it will work just as well as any other basic plywood product. Next to Glowforge Proofgrade, I have found Purebond to be the most consistent material, and comes in convenient sheets. Having a pre-applied acrylate finish would be nice - traditional Purebond is unfinished but nicely sanded.
We all started somewhere. Very few GF owners had prior laser experience, and many of us have learned over years of participation here, and experimenting.
According to Carl Sagan, in his 1997 book, “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”, there are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every question is a cry to understand the world. There is no such thing as a dumb question.”