Thin Wood For Laser Engraving or Cutting
We have thin wood in 1/16″, 1/8″, 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, and 3/4″ thicknesses that will work perfectly with your laser cutter or engraver. Consider our thin Alder, Basswood, Walnut, Cherry, and Hard Maple. We also have a large selection of additional hardwood species for you to sample. Our “Project Ready” thin wood is guaranteed flat and knot free, making it suitable for both laser cutting and scroll sawing. We offer a wide range of sizes and can even make bespoke sizes. Make sure to read this article about hardwood storage and upkeep.
Which wood is ideal for laser engraving?
“Best wood” is determined by your machine, its power, and the speed at which you are engraving/cutting. The majority of laser cutters favour soft wood with little to no strong grain.
To contrast the dark laser etching markings, look for light coloured wood. We provide thin Alder sheets in 1/16″, 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, and 3/4″ sizes that are sure to delight. Basswood, as well as Aspen, Poplar, Hard Maple, Cherry, and Walnut, are excellent choices. Try out some of our different hardwoods to find what works best for you.
Baltic Birch Plywood
Baltic Birch Plywood comes in large sheets and is one of the few wooden sheet-good materials that is consistently dense enough through its thickness to be cut with a laser. And while it is more stable than solid hardwood the thin stock like 1/8″ and 1/4″ is simply to thin and wide to always stay perfectly flat. Most pieces will lay flat enough to cut right on your laser bed but consider making a jig or frame to hold more unruly pieces flat. Usually all you need is a few pieces of tape to hold it down to a flat surface.
Basswood, as a soft wood, is very easy to work with and cuts well. Excellent for laser engraving, cutting, carving, and woodburning/pyrography. It is simple to paint, stain, and finish.
- Common Names: Basswood, American Basswood, Lime, Linden, Tilia americana
- Origin: Midwest and eastern United States of America
- Color: creamy white to extremely light tan.
- Sizes: Thicknesses ranging from 1/16″ to 3/4″ are offered in sheets ranging from 4″ to 8″ broad.
In the United States, cherry has long been a favoured wood for cabinet and furniture building. Cherry is regarded as one of the best all-around woods in terms of workability. Simple to cut. Laser engraving works wonderfully. It accepts nails and screws with ease. It adheres well.
- Common Names: Cherry, Black Cherry, American Cherry, Wild Cherry, Prunus serotina
- Origin: Midwest of the United States
- Color: When freshly cut, it is a pale pinkish brown that darkens to a deep reddish brown as it ages
- Sizes: Thicknesses ranging from 1/16″ to 3/4″ are offered in sheets ranging from 4″ to 12″ broad
Alder is a soft wood with occasional knots. It provides a nice dark burn and works well for laser cutting and engraving. When finished, Alder darkens considerably and resembles Cherry.
- Common Names: Alder, Red Alder, Western Red Alder, Pacific Coast Alder, Alnus rubra
- Colour: Light tan to reddish brown wood colour, darkens and reddens with age
- Sizes: Available in thicknesses ranging from 1/16″ to 3/4″ in sheets ranging from 4″ to 8″ wide.
Because of its larger density, Hard Maple is significantly more difficult to work with than Cherry or Walnut. Hard Maple laser engraves, twists, glues, and finishes exceptionally well.
- Common Names: Hard Maple, Sugar Maple, Rock Maple, Acer saccharum
- Origin: Midwest and eastern United States
- Color: Creamy white to light yellow or pale tan
- Sizes: Thicknesses from 1/16″ to 3/4″ in sheets from 4″ to 12″ wide available.
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