I am venturing into cutting 1/4" and find getting material that cuts a problem. I got a variety pack from Planks and Blanks that barely cut at 130 full power with 2 passes. Other boards from Lowes are hit or miss if they cut. I just ordered some Columbia walnut boards from Home Depot to see how they do.
What 1/4" material do you do get that cuts consistently? What settings do they cut at without charring? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
i’ve had better luck with hardwood than ply. but i’ve cut 1/4" baltic birch with minimal issues.
with plywood, something like baltic birch has a more consistent core that will cut better. if you’re buying other types of plywood that don’t have as consistent of a core, you can run into issues cutting through. and the thicker the wood, the more likely you are to have issues.
The only 1/4" non PG material I’ve had really good luck with was a red oak I got from a lumber yard (not Lowe’s or HD). I found that I get good results using the Thick Maple Plywood setting. I have been successful in cutting some 1/4" maple ply I got from the lumber yard, but had to slow the cutting down just a couple degrees to get it to cut through, although it left quite a bit of charring, so I only use it on stuff I don’t care too much about such as boxes that I plan to paint.
I find 1/4" (6mm) mdf cuts great, but the 1/4" mdf plywood with hardwood veneer is very hit and miss and is also unpredictable based on the grain of the wood on the underside. Cutting with multiple passes causes it to look too burnt.
So I got some Columbia Forest 1/4" double sided Walnut (0.20" measured )from HD and it cuts like butter at the thick walnut plywood setting! Just ordered some red oak and mahogany! This will work out great for my purposes. Thanks for everyone’s help
Good to know! I love their Maple product, and won’t even try to cut any other 1/4" ply anymore. I tested lots of manufacturers before trying the Columbia Purebond. And for those interested, I recently tried to find 4x8’ sheets of the same quality at a plywood seller (Rugby). Turns out that Home Depot prices are pretty great for a B1 grade ply. What Rugby had available was B4, which I wouldn’t even touch.
Plywood grading is A, B, C, D, for the front, and 1, 2, 3, or 4 for the back. Anything less than a 1 for the back is going to make consistent lasering not great, since it allows larger knots and whatnot. Home Depot must be buying in very large lots to offer it at the price that they do, especially once you take into account the drudgery work of moving with a trailer, then cutting down to size that a large sheet of plywood would need.
I’ve been meaning to try the other flavors from Columbia Purebond that HD offers, thanks for adding your experience about how well they cut!
Oh, and by the way, since my laser is older, I slow the speed of the PG Thick Maple setting down by 10 so that it is 140/Full.