Wood Bowed while Engraving

I was engraving on 1/4" Birch plywood and it bowed during engraving. What could have caused this and how to prevent it in the future?

The heat from the engraving can cause the material to warp.


Also, a sheet of wood is under stress…if you remove too much material it can twist when the forces are released. (Would take a pretty deep or large area engrave to do that, but I’ve had it happen.

Be sure to pin it down all around…give it time to re-acclimate…leave it pinned in there for a while.


When you pin it down you should put the convex portion of the material down - so that the pins on the edge force the entire thing flat - if you put the concave portion down then the pins will solely maintain the bow


And usually happens with solid wood. Bb ply is much more stable, but can still warp. The heat removes moisture content that allows the stresses to bend it. Sometimes wetting it down on the side that curves up and letting it dry flat curve down will reduce/remove the bend


I learned this trick from YouTube and it works.

Place a damp towel on the wood —-iron until it is dry—-place something heavy on the wood to flatten it.

I usually let it set up for a few hours ——sometimes overnight.


I like that, I’ll have to try it.


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