What is the thickest piece of walnut you can cut comfortably?

Brand new to the community I apologize for perhaps a very basic question. I haven’t even received my Glowforge yet, but there are projects dancing around in my head already. Locally I can purchase some walnut that is 1/4 inch thick. Can the Glowforge Pro cut that material that Thick?

Walnut is one of the woods that you can cut even up to a half-inch thick. This is not true of all materials, However, you will not want to try the most exotic ideas first but go through the steps to get a good handle on how everything works.

This is half-inch walnut…


Danforth is replying already, he’s the 1/4” guy around here, so I’m sure he’ll add a lot more… but in my experience walnut is one of the most consistent cutting woods, 1/4” should be very doable.


Walnut cuts really nicely, 1/4" won’t be a problem.

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Oh and when you’re trying to figure settings out:


1/4" black walnut, hard maple, butternut, poplar all cut fine.

The thicker the wood the more noticeable the kerf. Depending on the project this may or may not matter. If you don’t know, kerf is the amount of material vaporized by a laser or turned into sawdust by a saw blade. A properly balanced saw blade gives a nice perpendicular edge. Because a laser beam is cone shaped the edges of the cut are slightly angled. The thicker the material the more noticeable this is.

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I would put Poplar and Butternut in a different group than Maple and Walnut as those are much harder material. There are few woods, Zebrawood and some types of mahogany especially that take special care at a quarter inch, and a couple that take more horsepower than care to make a dent, but I have not seen much that is so different to cut the 1/4" material. 3/8" or half inch is another matter then the number of useful species gets smaller.

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My saved Butternut settings are similar to Walnut and Maple for 1/4", but my Poplar is a single pass. I’ve always thought of it as a soft, hardwood, but I don’t know that much about it.

I have a piece of 1/4" mahogany I can barely get through and when I do it is so charred as to be useless. So much stuff is sold as mahogany though who knows.

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Almost everything I have is set for single pass. I find it burns less with a single hard pass than two lighter passes.


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