X-Board from Trimaco (was: Rosin Paper)

Anyone try cutting Red Rosin Paper yet? From what I can tell from the MSDS forms I’ve found on the stuff from various different brands, it looks like it should be safe. Friend of mine wants some simple spray paint stencils, and I figured this stuff would work quite well, and I have some laying around. Just looking for some settings to get started. If no one’s done it, I’ll update this post with the settings that worked for me.

Update: Okay, as I mentioned below, I gave up on the Rosin paper, as I decided it didn’t fit the application quite right (and possible fumes). I ended up using Trimaco X-board. It might have the same fume issues, who knows. Anyway, it cuts up nicely and should work really well for basic stencils. Settings that worked for me:

Engrave: 1000/20
Score: 500/25
Cut: 400/50


Hmm… all I know about rosin is that its use in solder flux produces acrid smoke when heated.

I’m curious what you discover when you give it a try. Be sure to report back :smile:

1 Like

If we don’t hear back, that might be a no-go material. :slight_smile:


This is just an opinion, but as long as the the rosin paper isn’t lined with anything else, I think you’ll be alright. Red Rosin from Home Depot should be just regular rosin paper, which is a compressed felt fiber with polyurethane for water proofness.

Rosin paper is also used for electronics, to provide a type of insulation or in some cases, shielding along with fire resistance. In those situations, it might also have some type of metal foil sandwiched to it that should be pretty obvious. Avoid.

So keep an eye out and avoid fire-rated (FR2) rosin paper of any kind.
Even if it has no obvious foil, it might have chemical additives that non-FR2 rosin paper would not.
The polyurethane waterproof coating is safe to laser.

1 Like

Polyurethanes produce hydrogen cyanide gas (highly poisonous, immediate affects to exposure) so ventilation with no leaking is pretty important.

1 Like

Often cited list: http://atxhackerspace.org/wiki/Laser_Cutter_Materials

Are you thinking of PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) or HDPE (High Density Poly-Ethylene)?
Those would be no-go for sure: PVC for the Chloride, HDPE has a stink and results in a molten mess.

But PU has no Chlorine molecules to react (edited to add: but it DOES contain Hydrogen, Carbon and Nitrogen, which would break down into HCN - Hydrogen Cyanide). Bad stuff.

Personal opinion only: If you have decent venting, I don’t think the amount in the thin coating would kill you.

Not chlorine, HCN. Which is indeed a decomposition product of polyurethane. I don’t know how much you’d get from cutting with a laser, but certain things set off warning bells for me… “produces cyanide” is one of them.


Ah, yes, I see your point. I missed accounting for cyanide. Totally ensure ventilation for that.

I’ve just engraved some clear polyurethane items this week and had none of the immediate affects (shortness of breath and dizziness because it displaces oxygen). Cutting it would produce much more volume though.

I ran about 90 minutes worth of engraving.

Well you’d need about 270 ppm of pure cyanide to die within minutes. Were you even trying, brah? :slight_smile:

Seriously though, it takes about 100 ppm for a LC50 (50% of the population) dosage, and would take up to 10-60 minutes depending on the concentration. So if you made it past 60 minutes, you’re already doing pretty good.



Okay, well, you all have me paranoid that I’m going to poison my house with hydrogen cyanide, so I’ve given up on the thought of using it. I don’t know how well sealed the GF is, and I don’t really want to risk all the nasties not getting pumped out the exhaust vent. That being said, the stuff is thin enough, that I don’t really expect it would make massive amounts of harmful gas.

I’ve also decided that the paper was too thin for what I wanted to do with it. I’ve moved on to some Trimaco X-Board now. Though, it probably has just as much “nasty” as the Rosin Paper does, if not more… It’s thicker and more durable and more suitable for my needs though. I burned a chunk of it with my propane torch, and no funny colors. I realize that’s not the “Chlorine test” but I just wanted to see how much black nasty stuff came off it at least, and it burned just like any other piece of cardboard.

If I ever get my laser working again (It won’t come back online) I’ll post my results here.

Apparently, not hard enough. :smile:

“Mike died doing what he loved most… seeing how far he can push the limits of working with poisonous materials without dying.”


Is there a banging head against a wall emoji ?
I feel the need.
< :upside_down_face: >

1 Like

There is a :man_facepalming: :slight_smile:


Thanks. I’d overlooked that one - different cultures plus, more importantly, different age groups ?!


How big are the stencils you want to make?

face palm… :man::palm_tree:



Not so big that it wouldn’t fit on the bed of my :glowforge: . 2” lettering, and I have a pro, so hopefully some day I can easily use the pass through slot. Hardest thing is getting the material to lie flat after it’s been in a roll. I need some stronger magnets.