Void in plywood

looking for advise. burning america flag 2 foot by 3 foot in plywood and i hit a void in material. can it be filled and saved or should i just try to go deeper. which i could hit another one. any advise would be great thanks

That’s pretty much typical for ordinary (non-laser) plywood: anything other than the “good side” layer is basically chopped wood squashed flat and glued in place. You’ll find plenty more voids wherever you look.

If you’re burning all the way through the top layer, though, turning down the power to engrave only partially into it will keep the voids inside where they won’t do any harm.

wanted a deeper burn not thinking about voids. went 5% more power then normal showed the void

rustic look right! it in!

weathered american flag with a vertical void line thought three strips and the field


No, it’s not.
The regional marketing strategies and availabilities aside, anything but the cheapest of the cheap plywood doesn’t have voids, ie. knot holes, gaps or tears on the core layers.

Of course the regional availability plays a huge role on the quality range of plywoods, my view may be a bit biased for obvious reasons, being a Finn and all :wink:.


That’s veneer topped OSB (if the chips/shavings are “large”), or -chipboard (if the chips are “small”) You’re describing.
The bonding agents on both make them pretty much useless in laser cutting.
Rather often when such materials are used in interior design purposes or flooring, the top layer isn’t even wood, but a plastic film mimicking woodgrain.


Well, yeah, you folks can just about see “Baltic” if you look out a window in the right direction. Around here, it’s a marketing term and we all know what that means. :person_shrugging:

Long ago, I used lovely oak plywood as the back of our bookshelves and it was wonderful to work with. Although consumer-grade laser cutters hadn’t been invented at the time, the stuff laser-cuts well, too.

The usual low-grade pine-like plywood used in construction is entirely different and definitely includes air inside at no extra charge. That junk just doesn’t cut:

Let us not discuss the plywood from the crate around the laser:


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Hah, yep. The crate wood is reeeeeeally cheap.


Very true :slight_smile:
I for one prefer birch and maple over the evergreens, so when I’m at home, that’d be in every direction.
Even tough the climate around here -and the soil for that matter- is much better suited for spruce and pine, broad leeved trees like oak, maple and birch were introduced to our flora by the Swedish overlords at that time for their ship building and metal ore processing needs in the middle ages.

Yes we do.
Funny thing though, a great deal of the “baltic birch” in the 60’s and 70’s was actually Finnish, even tough we have never been a baltic country.
Nowadays our plywood trade has sadly diminished greatly, because the profit lies in paper, cardboard and pulp.

The more “exotic” plywoods are practically nonexistant over here by any significant quantities because it didn’t make sense to import any.

True, and for the most varities, there’s a plenty of knots and knot holes hidden in the inner layers.
I haven’t had my machine that long, so I haven’t yet tried cutting the medium quality pine plywood we have here.
That said, for construction purposes, I take pine or spruce plywood any day over the particle board and especially over gypsum-/plasterboard.