Transfer paper for Laser Cutting?

Hi All,

I was just curious - what is recommended to prevent burning on the surface of 3mm baltic birch plywood? I read that some people use transfer paper applied to both sides before cutting.

Is this recommended here and if so where can I source the transfer paper? the pieces I’ll be cutting are approx 15" x 20", so I’d prefer to have something wide enough to cover with one piece.

Any suggestions?



I’ve used this stuff from Amazon:
It’s pretty low tack and will come off pretty easy. Sometimes too easy.

And I’ve used this transfer paper from US cutter:
You can get it in 15" widths. It is medium tack and raises the wood grain a little when removed. Especially if it’s left for a while. Not terrible but noticeable. It comes in

Do not use clear transfer tape. It’s vinyl and should not be burned in the laser cutter. Make sure it’s paper transfer tape.


Lots of options, but two main ones, and an outfield thought:
Transfer paper/masking tape is a great option. Stickiness on the tape is about pressure, usually, so if you have a felt squeegee - or even an old gift card, though it can be a more delicate process with those - be sure to start from the middle of the taped area and with firm pressure slide your card/squeegee to an edge. Then move back to the center and repeat those straight, firm strokes in a circle, making sure all the adhesive’s getting a chance to stick on. Then burnify that wood : )

Second option:
Multiple passes at different power/speed/hz. You can dial in the settings to give little scorching, especially by do a set of three passes, each one only burrowing through the wood about a third of the way. (Another option here, once you get comfortable with doing it, is two passes, a light one to break the surface and a second of the precise settings combo to just barely destroy the rest of the wood in the way of your design. This keep the surfaces from taking the brunt of the obalted material, as on the second pass much of the soot is trapped in the kerf)

Left field:
Paint it before hand, and anything other than a light, flat color will often hide small scorching.

Oh, you can also clean it off the piece afterwards will a little bit of water, usually; Murphy’s Oil soap, if you have a lot of heavy burn. : )

Thanks for the advice Warren. I was actually wondering if I could put a painted piece in the cutter. I’m looking to spend less time finishing after cutting, and obviously the scorching on the back was one issue. Mainly I’m doing a project where a lot of the pieces interlock and if I sand the material (reducing the thickness) it will affect the fit. Granted adding a layer of paint will do so as well, but I figure the kerf will still yield a bit of clearance for that.

I use an Epilog and a FullSpectrum but both blow through acrylic paint without a problem, no egregious extra residue, so on.

And I feel you, I love the idea of picking up a finished object out of the laser cutter. To that end I’ve begun messing around with z axis in combination with gradient fills in the image to create beveled edges via RasterRouting, basically lol

To entirely defeat scorching a combo of painter’s/masking/transfer tape plus multiple passes is the way, I believe. : )

I started with a chisel, hand plane, and a coping saw making things, so for me, seeking a way to massage the wood apart is how I approach most building of stuff. Trying to get the laser to massage the wood into your design means you’ll always be looking for the least aggressive settings that work, rather than looking for how to fix the overburn you’re seeing now.

Put another way:
grab a bunch of cardboard and dial in your settings to cut but not ignite it. Sneak up on these; it’s better to not cut through multiple times, rather than blowing through and trying to come down to where it’s not. These wont transfer directly to wood, but it’ll give you a feel for the process, and also doesn’t waste much in resources or time. You can do lots of useful testing in cardboard at 100% speed, compared to other materials that require 5-30% speed for useful vector tests. Oh, and mess with higher frequencies - though also be sure to stand near by the entire time when cutting cardboard. It absolutely will ignite without warning, especially if you’re using cut up boxes, rather than clean cardboard sheets.

I wanna see what you make, when you’re done : )