Darkly Labs Community

Another way to hold ply flat and cut with an airspace

I simply got a sheet of steel cut to size for £9 delivered, 4mm thick so it is very straight and solid.

Then i got a set of 1cm and 1mm neodinium magnets.

I mix and match the magnets depending on what im doing but they hold the wood perfectly flat and can be moved and set in alsorts of different ways. I find this a better way to cut ply boards.


Looks the goods Josh.  

This is a great idea.

We sometimes use something similar as shown in the pics. We use a piece of thick card on the baseplate to prevent marking it, which is not shown in these photos.



Wow Josh, hats off to you mate - thats the idea of the month!.

I’ve Just ordered 100 rare earth  magnets for $70 after seeing Domenics pictures and then confirming  that the Emblaser 2 baseplate is magnetic. Maybe THIS is a way to once  and for all defeat  Bunnings 3mm ply’s evil warpiness.

You may be aware that Bunnings has spread to the UK, so along with the weekend sausage  sandwich you might also have the chance to experience the joys of their 3mm ply!

(Great cushion too!)


Chris J

Haha, Welcome chris - hope it works out for you - 

is Bunnings a brand name? sound like i need to avoid it!

If you are in the UK then Bunnings bought out Homebase or B and Q or something.

(They seem to have done it without you noticing!)

I’m on board Josh.  My Ebay base plate has been shipped.  :slight_smile:   

Yes Chris, they have not announced this,
And they haven’t changed the names…
Still b&qs and homebases everywhere.

Luckily I get all my wood off eBay where I can see the reviews :sunglasses:

Daryl just make sure to get some strong magnets which the laser can pass over and that are small enough to sit in the edges.


Hi Josh,

It  is Homebase…for all your sausage sandwich needs:


Used Josh’s idea and inlayed a sheet of 2mm steel in a 9mm MDF board.  The sheet metal is held in place by magnets pocketed into the MDF. So, the metal is flush with the MDF.  I load the job on the board outside the E2/E1 and lift it into place and align.  THANKS Josh, works great.


image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg

Oh, the strange looking diagonal line on the base board was a stuff up on my CNC machine.

glad it worked out for you!

i used this method again yesterday to make some candle holders…

i also noticed that when the laser burns through - the steel diffracts the light quite a lot which is good rather then reflect like a mirror.

when you want the internal part of a cut out and it falls through before it completes the number of passes the laser can burn an unwanted line on the surface. Have you had any succes with a woven matt of some sort between the work and the magnet

If there’s a bit that can fall out I just place a magnet underneath to support it.

But yeah some 1cm thick honeycombe sheet would do the trick

The “magnet method” is working well for me. I only use single height magnets under the material keeping the distance the cut material can fall to a minimum.  This minimises the issue you described John.


What is the pull strength on your magnets. Also are the magnets ferro or rare earth



I got them some time ago off Ebay. They are rare earth and plenty strong enough to hole a piece of 3mm ply flat.

 Ebay http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Lot-100-Pcs-Strong-Magnet-10mm-x-2-mm-Disc-Cylinder-Neodymium-Rare-Earth-NEW-/132218481235?epid=876460427&hash=item1ec8d5ea53:g:2x8AAOSw9OFZN1Yx

Let me know if the link works OK.  They are $9.95/100




I am really keen to try out this method however have concerns about the laser reflecting back through the lens and damaging something.
Or it reflecting and burning the back of the plywood.

Has either of these things happened to you guys?

Also what is your stance on the internal reflection of the laser Domenic? Is it likely to damage anything or will it be fine?