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Tips for Selecting the Best Wood for a Laser Cutting and Engraving Project

When someone takes the time to learn about laser cutters and found information from Boss Laser, it is time to start a new project. However, before this can be done, it is a good idea to select the right wood. For many people, this is one of the most confusing parts of the project. Does the wood really matter that much? Keep reading to know where to begin when it comes to selecting the wood for a laser engraving or cutting project.

Check the Total Resin Content

The resin refers to the sap content in the wood. It can have a huge impact on if the wood appears darker or lighter when burned. For example, if someone wants to have a darker burn, they need to select a wood that has a higher resin content. Alder and cherry are both good choices. However, if something lighter is desired, oak is a better option.

Learn About the Different Types of Wood

With so many types of wood out there, it can be hard to know the differences in all of them and how each one may impact the outcome of the project. One option is softwoods. This includes things like balsa and poplar, which can be engraved and cut faster using a lower level of power. If the wood is lighter, there is going to be less contrast, too. Another option is hardwoods, such as oak or cherry. These are denser than some of the other woods and require more power for cutting and engraving. However, compared to the soft windows, these provide additional contrast.

Veneers are also an option to consider when engraving on wood. Since veneered wood is made with real wood on top, it is possible to engrave it just like a solid wood panel. Plywood can also be used. There are several types and sizes of plywood to consider. However, when thinking about using this material, make sure to choose a grade that has been rated for use with the laser in question. This is the only way someone can be confident the desired results will be achieved.

Test the Material First

The thickness and type of wood being cut can have a huge impact for a project. The laser cutter, power, and speed settings will vary based on these things, too. Because even the wattage of the laser and the environment can impact the settings, it is a good idea to perform a test on a scrap of the material before getting started with the actual project.

Visualize the Final Product

Once the proper material is selected, it is a good idea to test it (as mentioned above) and make sure it will create the results desired. Once a person has a vision of what they want the project to look like once they are done, they can get started. It doesn’t matter if someone is an emerging professional or a hobby user of laser cutters, this is a tip that will help ensure the desired results are achieved.