Wood types

Is there a link describing what the various wood types are good for? For instance there is draft board, hardwood, plywood and MDF. Is it just different visual looks or are some better in different condition like if you are doing lots of engraving?

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Your best bet is probably to search for “(material) settings” if you have one in mind.

Your question is really broad, so it’s hard to answer. Each type of material has advantages and disadvantages, from resistance to wear to strength to how it takes a finish to cost to engraveability — just to name a few.

There isn’t just one answer to this, sorry… and likely there’s no one person who has all the answers. I feel like I’m pretty good with birch ply and some hardwoods, but I almost never touch acrylic or proofgrade anything. Others might be super deep on proofgrade engraves, yet others work with resins…

Anyway… as a group we know a ton of stuff, your best bet is to search for what you’re after and then ask specifics if you can’t find it.


My totally not official take: draftboard, things you don’t care about looks or prototyping before using the good stuff or you plan to paint. The plywoods, most everything. Hardwood, for those times where you don’t want an MDF center such as when you will sand it clean and finish it. The laminate was totally underappreciated by me until recently. Cut, peel, stick, awesome. Also would work very well with the hardwood as inlays.


Agree with all of the above. If you are doing 3D engraves, you want draftboard, hardwoods or acrylics. For photo engraving - any of the plys or hardwoods will work. For general building of projects, without having to futz with a lot of messy finishing work, my go to is the Proofgrade plywoods. For prototyping, the PG draftboard can’t be beat. (You don’t have to redesign all of your slot sizes afterwards,which saves a ton of time.) And it paints really well.

And the veneers are just a lot of fun, and can be inlaid into the other woods without having to cut a really deep engrave - and they look just like real inlay, so very handy.

Just depends on what you want to do with it. There are so many choices it’s almost an embarrassment of riches, and I 'm no where near being done exploring yet. (After months with a PRU.) :smile:


Depending on which final material you’re going to use. My medium Draftboard has generally matched Med Cherry Ply but maple is slightly thinner so the slots/tabs end up loose. It’s always good to measure and run a quick tab/slot test set at the same speed & power you’re going to use so you can verify fit before finalizing the design.


Yeah, I hit the loosey-goosie problem with the walnut. (But it’s usually close enough that a dollop of glue will do 'ya. I can’t prototype in cardboard - it’s just too far off. Would be a lot cheaper though, I wish I could.)

@Jules, I thought SWMBO had invented that phrase, as I’ve not yet come across it elsewhere.
Sent shivers down my back.
I know, crazy, but there you go !

Don’t know how wide-spread it is, but I grew up hearing lefty-loosie, tighty-rightie. Don’t know where the goose thing came from…I think it was a movie I saw once. :smile:

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Growing up in upstate NY we had a VERY similar but slightly different one. “Righty-Tighty, Lefty-Loosie”


Love it ! I’ll try it on my wife when I call this evening.
PS she had a spell in Ithaca (?) perhaps that’s where she got it from.

I’ve used loosey-goosie for years. Don’t know where I first heard it. The meaning I know refers to interpreting rules generously to get something done.


Yes, that fits.

Thanks all for information, it was really useful.

My mother used it 50 years ago. I believe it had origins in using goose fat as a lubricant. Etymologically related to “slicker than s*** through a goose”. Old war time expressions.

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Yeah. 50 years ago is when my wife was probably picking up this weird language.:grinning:

I can report in my professional travels about the US it’s been used on many project and sales discussions by various people.

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