I cut 3/8 and thinner plywood all the time with a 40 watt laser without
any problems. Just keep an air stream on it to keep it from flaming up
and also make sure that you exhaust the smoke/fumes.
OTOH, I have no idea what type of laser equipment you are trying to cut
it with so YMMV.
On Mon, 27 Oct 2008 18:24:17 -0400, Claude Hopper wrote:
Go to YouTube and search for: Cutting a dragon pattern
and from the hits, select Dragon Video.
As you watch, note the smoke from the cutting kerf. The walls of the
kerf become scorched. At Arts-and-Crafts shows, CNC laser machine made
items can be identified with this tel-tale scorching. Items made on a
scroll-saw with a craftsman freehand guiding the wood past a blade will
normally not have this scorched kerf.
There are other YouTube videos that demonstrate the fast, high
repeatability, and precision of a CNC laser cutter for wood. The
artistry is in the pattern design, not in the execution of the cutting of
the pattern. Also search YouTube for a Butterfly wood laser or just
search for the terms: laser, cutting, plywood, engraving.
The laser beam is moving too fast for the plywood to catch fire, if the
operator is doing his / her job correctly. The smoke from the scorching
is no worse than burn marks from a table saw. However, you are on your
own about the smell and breathing in the fumes of the adhesive from the
I'd like to see the same pattern cut on a scroll-saw so I can judge
how much the contrast of the burnt kerf improves (or detracts from)
the look of the final project.
From the video, it appears that the light and dark contrast might make
the design "pop" a bit, something you might not get with a scroll saw.
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