So I bit the bullet and got myself a Glowforge this past week. It’s not nearly as good as what we got at the space, but suits my needs until I can come back and fully utilize the space.
It’s nice having a machine in my office in the house and able to work on it whenever I can spare, which means that I’ve been trying a lot of different things to improve my laser cutting knowledge.
What I wanted to pass along today is masking.
I can’t believe that I’ve been laser cutting for many years now (since back when we only had Blue), and I never knew about it.
Basically, if you got some pretty thin Baltic birch, and you’re having to deal with a lot of edge burn/smokiness around the engraving - put a thin layer of masking tape (or paper transfer tape like I’ve been using) on the wood.
Here’s some I picked up on Amazon.
Make sure to not overlap, this particular one is the same width as the cutting area on my bed, so it works great.
then just smooth it out with a squeegee, removing air bubbles.
this is REALLY great for the side you are engraving, but if you want to minimize smoke/burn marks on the opposite side from the cut, do it on both sides.
you might still need to hit the back with some sandpaper, but it’s significantly less.
Just wanted to pass this along, give it a try and let me know if it helps anyone. Again, can’t believe I never tried it before.