View Full Version : how thick of wood.

06-16-2014, 12:45 PM
My son will be retiring from the Air Force next year and I was wanting to make him a box engraved for keepsakes. Is it reasonable to cut 3/8" wood with the laser or should I stick with 1/4"
Do you have any tips for cutting the thicker wood? I have cut 1/8" but that is all.

Rookie here, needs advice.


Dave Sheldrake
06-16-2014, 1:02 PM
"Can I" and "will it look any good" are two very different opinions Tami ;)



Ross Moshinsky
06-16-2014, 5:34 PM
Lee's Wood Products.

Joe Pelonio
06-16-2014, 7:49 PM
With 80 watts you should be able to cut 3/8, but the kerf will be very noticeable with that thickness, so you might want to sand the edges and allow for that on fitting it together. When you cut 1/4" it's enough off that it won't stand up on edge.

Kev Williams
06-17-2014, 6:22 PM
I recently received my 100mm cutting lens from Triumph, and today a customer stops in with some wood and wants to know if I can cut thru 3/4" mahogany...

Well, it went thru 3/4" cherry and oak!

My 80w tube was at full power reading 28mV on the meter, at 4mm per second (so said the computer), took about 5 or 6 seconds to lop each corner. And since the lens is a mile from the wood, I didn't bother putting the cone on, so no air assist. The flame-up caused a little surface burn. And while the cut edges are very black, they're also very smooth, no rough char at all. Just dark..

If memory serves, a 4" lens has around a full half inch of in-focus range. I also found it works great with Cermark. Pretty happy with this lens! :)


Michael Reilly
06-26-2014, 11:02 PM
According to this chart, a 4" lens has 0.2" depth of field (area in focus.) But in many materials, that doesn't really impact what you can cut. 80 watts should be fine for 3/8". You can use this online box maker to do finger joints if you want: http://boxmaker.rahulbotics.com/ enable the advanced setting and put in your beam diameter for the tool size and it will account for kerf. You can measure your kerf for a particular material by cutting a 1" square and measuring the result. The kerf is the difference between 1 and your measured size. Though keep in mind that in thick materials, the size at the top of the material will be different than the size at the bottom due to the beveling that results.

Michael Reilly
06-26-2014, 11:05 PM
Oh, and on my old Trotec, I found that using high (20-30psi) air assist through the nozzle resulted in better, more reliable cuts in wood. Nitrogen is even better, but unless you're going to get a large liquid nitrogen tank and use the off gas from that, you'll go through it too fast to be affordable. We got it for our Vytek and it's been great. But it's also $300/month or so.