Wood laminates from Burlane

Just picked up some samples of the wood laminates from my local Bur-Lane.

Will do some test cuts when I get back to the office…


Looks like a nice even fill. :relaxed:


I just received my samples. Now I have to think of something to make with them.


Just did a caliper measurement and they are all a bit different thickness. Most are .145- .149"
However the cedar is .158" and the walnut is .130"


Test engraving.
Not masked (these all have a clear coat except for the cedar)
All the same power speed as shown on each piece. 35wt laser with air assist.
The cherry cuts with my 1/8"mdf settings.

Notice that even though they are all hardwoods, they look better at different settings.
This is why you should do tests on all materials at least once.
(Even some colors of acrylics don’t cut all the way through when others do flawlessly.)

Please note that these settings are not tested on the Glowforge so you will need to adjust accordingly. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Deeper etch looks darker on some but not all look best…Cedar looks best at the most shallow etch.

*disclaimer…no lego minifig girls were injured in these tests…lol


Not harmed, just trapped beneath a mountain of wood.

Oh yeah, how long does it take setup a sample? I mean, do you have to power up the laser and engrave at 100%, then go back in and set 80% again and again?
Hope it is easier then that heh.


With mine, I set each power/speed set with a color so it engraves the first set, then the next etc. It all runs like a print from Corel. Corel to Universal laser integration is awesome.

(These settings are for a different file)

This is the screen shot of the print.


That’s like mine except I don’t get the text name of the color - just a color swatch (which corresponds to a color swatch band on the bottom of the drawing pane where I can click to set a line or object’s color). So the monitor quality and size makes a big difference when dealing with 100 colors because there are lots of shades that are close but not quite the same.

Not as big an issue on setup but later if I go in to change the design trying to distinguish between the 50% gray and the 60% gray or two slightly different shades of light blue is hard.

Except for calibration templates I almost never go more than 8 or 10 colors on a project which is easy to manage.


Hi, I am new to the Glowforge forum - I just pre-ordered the basic model. I am so excited for my machine, so I’m sorry if my questions have already been asked or if they’re irrelevant, but like I said, I’m new to this site.

How thick of wood (and other material) can the Glowforge both etch/engrave and cut straight through? The laser I currently own can only cut through 1/8 inch of the cheapest wood - and its not pretty even when fully calibrated… which is a whole other story. My dream is that the Glowforge laser will be able to go through 1/4 to 1/2 inch Birch, which was my experience with the router in the woodshop at the U of M and works well with what I like to make (though I’m excited to experiment with other woods).

What types of materials and coatings DO NOT work with the Glowforge? I’m going to start collecting materials and supplies now to be ready to work when I (hopefully) get the machine in March.

Where do most people shop for the best materials? For quality woods and plastics in bulk? I’ve only gone to places like Menards, Home Depot, etc for small projects.

How certain are people that we will actually get our machines in March? I know there were a lot of upset customers who ordered last year. I purchased my current laser cutter instead because I needed it asap and thought that a $300 machine was capable of doing what the Glowforge claimed to do… I was wrong and am happy to pay the price for the Glowforge as long as it comes when they say it will and can do what they say it can do… I guess we’re all waiting on the edge of our seats? I am so excited - I just wish it was able to be shipped now.


Welcome to the funny farm! Chuckle!

With the exception of the betas, no one is completely certain on most of those questions yet. Should be able to cut through 1/4 inch material - half inch might be a stretch, although it might be possible with multiple cuts on nominal material. (I plan to try it anyway.)

Stick with anything laser-safe for your materials. Glowforge is planning to offer some premium materials about the time that the units ship.


No guarantees, unfortunately. March is a target date for those who ordered after the Kickstarter. Something might happen to delay the production schedule again, although they seem to be testing things about on schedule from what I can tell from the beta posts. GF has committed to getting a quality product into our hands, even if there are a couple of delays along the way. (Which suits me just fine since I hate to fork over that kind of money for something that doesn’t work when I get it.) :smile:



There is a lot of great info on everything you asked about, but it does take some time to sift through threads. Luckily the search function on here is way easier to use than on a lot of forums.
I would suggest looking over the “beta project” threads from @jkopel, and poking around from there.
Here: http://community.glowforge.com/search?q=beta%20project


Welcome @amylynn. Good questions and it sounds like you have some experience in design and making. There are many, many topics on the forum that have picked over everything very well. Use that search magnifying glass. It’s a magic carpet. Go over to the Glowforge Question of the Day and answer them to introduce yourself.

Another thing if you have not used a Discourse powered forum before, you might want to head on over to www.discourse.org to learn a few tricks.

Then head to this thread to find links to in depth explorations on the Internet for all relevant laser stuff.


Welcome Amy!

Don’t be afraid to ask anything - this is a great forum with some fantastic members. If you’re somewhat new, you may want to spend an evening or two going through all the older forum posts. There is a LOT (and I mean a LOT) of good information, suggestions, links to check out, etc. Again welcome !

( you mentioned UofM … Michigan?)


Welcome Amy! We regularly work with 1/4" plywood (which is actually closer to 0.21" if I recall) and it cuts like butter. We haven’t tested 1/2" much but it should work with multi-pass (easier but rough edges) or double sided (have to flip it but cleaner edges) cutting; just expect it to be more than twice as slow as the cut time is more than double when the material is twice as thick.

The big caveat is - it depends a lot on the material. Some plywood is magnificent and some is terrible. It depends on obvious factors like visible quality (knots are bad) but also on invisible qualities like the chemical composition of the glue and the species of the interior plies. There’s no way to know if it’s cuttable without cutting, and no way to know if it emits harmful fumes without testing. So we recommend buying only plywood that’s intended for lasers, from companies like Inventables, Bur-Lane (like in this thread!), Laserbits, or us.


Which is where Proofgrade comes in right? You’ll do all that so we know what’s in the plywood and that it’s going to yield clean consistent cuts :slight_smile:


Welcome @amylynn! This forum will become a good habit for you, as it has for all of us.


Hello Amy, thanks for joining us!
Judging from your artwork, this is going to be a great tool for you. :sunglasses:
Many of us here have been cultivating patience for a year or more ( which is totally out of character for me) and have been following the development and the trials involved, as much as we could glean from what the team could divulge.
Although there are no guarantees, just projected timelines - the progression seems solid (We are still here).
I think the potential for a delay diminishes every week, but that is based only on my own perception of what has been accomplished, and the ability of the Glowforge team. (A read through the impressive qualifications of the staff is a big confidence builder.)

I have been such a fanboy of this project that some consider me delusional, but a positive outlook is required for me to remain involved. What the Glowforge promises to deliver has made it easier for me.
My bet is the company is going to deliver on time. Bear in mind I also bet on the projected June delivery… :no_mouth:
But my belief is you won’t be waiting a year for yours.

As has been suggested, the forum is a great resource for information. The audience here spans a wide spectrum of professions and abilities. The cumulative input for over a year has resulted in a robust searchable database and a lot of educational reading. Enjoy!

Many have shared their creativity with us and we would all like to see more. Check out the “Show &Tell” thread for some inspiration, and share some of yours!


Hey Amy,

Welcome Aboard! Ask as many questions as you need! If someone already brought it up or answered it, I’m sure someone will point you in the right direction. Everyone is pretty friendly and helpful here.

This thread has a lot of info about materials people are buying and from where. I’m not quite sure where @chevalier_jeanpaul is keeping all the material he has collected so far!


For anyone else interested, their website lists the prices at $13-15 for a 12 x 24 inch sheet, with lower prices being for 1/8 inch and higher prices for 1/4 inch. There’s discounts for buying in bulk, like if you want to build a shanty town out of their Real Walnut 1/8 inch plywood, you’ll save 90 cents per sheet when you buy more than 100. Discounts for bulk purchases start at 25 sheets and increase from there.

Aromatic Real Cedar and Bamboo are only available in 1/8 inch and cost $13.95 per sheet and $16.99 respectively. Fiberboard Econo, which looks like maybe chipboard or something, is only $5-6 per sheet.

It notes that a clear finish is applied to both sides of walnut, maple, cherry, birch, bamboo, and cedar, but I don’t understand what that means. I wonder if that would interfere with staining the finished pieces…

It doesn’t seem like you can actually order from the website directly, which is just super annoying for those of us who are all hermit-y :smile:

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Cedar doesn’t have the clear coat.
Call them and set up an account…you can order online with it.