Cutting variations in balsa

Cutting 1.5mm balsa, when cutting across the grain I get an extremely fine cut and full penetration, but when it turns to cut along the grain it is noticeably wider and only penetrates about half way. How should I be holding my mouth to correct the variation?

what kind of laser, speed, power settings…

If I assume a diode-based laser system, this is common. The beam is not typically round, but oblong, thus wider in one direction than another. Could this be what you are seeing? :slight_smile:

Hi Joel, using a 7.5w diode laser, power set at 42.5% and I’ve tried both 800 and 900mm/min without any noticeable difference in outcome. Is this something I have to put up with and adjust the power setting to cut through when running with the grain? I am VERY new to all this so please excuse any dumb questions.

Hi Rick, thanks for the contact. I’ll get my glasses on and have a play with the focus to see what the beam shape is.
Best regards
John mac.

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This is normal and is not just due to the laser. Just try breaking through a piece of balsa. You will notice that this is not a problem along the fiber. But across the fiber it is more difficult. The same goes for the laser beam. As far as the width of the laser track is concerned, you can try to turn the laser module to 45 degrees. Then the laser beam is equally wide in the x- and y-directions.

Hi Wilfried, thanks so much for the reply. I will have a go at offsetting the head at 45 deg. And see how that goes.
Best regards
John mac.