Birch Plywood ... and glitter!

(Thomas Trostel) #1

So an inexpensive wood to work with while learning to use my laser cutter has been some nice birch plywood from Home Depot. I have noticed an unfortunate “feature” of most plywood which I consider most annoying. To identify the plywood and to discourage “counterfeit” plywood it appears most manufacturers mix colored glitter in with the glue between the layers.

It’s very annoying to start pulling apart a piece of work where I have tweaked the settings just right and have a beautiful cut over 99% of the piece only to come across a section where the laser ran across … you guessed it … a piece of glitter.

I can work around the issue by cutting with more passes or using slower speeds or more power but the sides of the cut don’t look as polished. Instead of the nice coffee brown of a perfect cut … well … you get the picture.

Has anyone else run across this problem and do you have any suggestions for “glitter free” plywood or alternatives I could use?

Thanks in advance!

(HN) #2

The old adage that you get what you pay for is what is at work here. There is a laser grade plywood but you will pay more for it.