Darkly Labs Community

Cutting melamine and veneer


Does anyone know if it is safe/possible to cut melamine boards? Something like this one from Bunnings: https://www.bunnings.com.au/inbuilt-colourboard-2440-x-1220-x-3mm-shady-oak-melamine-sheet_p0560045

As for timber veneer, I’ve never actually played around with one. I’m guessing that they’re the same as plywood?

Thanks in advance.

Hi Daniel,

No experience with Melamine sorry but veneer is easier to cut than ply given that it is just timber, ie no glue layers in between.

Heres one of my first attempts at marquetry using various veneers  with the Emblaser 1.


Generally I’ve found solid timber much more cuttable than the equivalent thickness of ply, though some species are better than others.

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Daniel that is beautiful.


What is the thickness of the timber and what wattage laser are you using on the E1?


A lot of what we do is trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t. Never tried the melamine sheet but I suspect it will cut ok.  Some plywoods use glue that the E1 or E2 just wont penetrate.

As Chris mentioned, solid timbers cut much better than plywoods.  I have cut up to 4.5mm hardwood with my E1 . 

Continuing on the bird theme here s an inlay I made.  Pine base with cedar inlay cut on the E2.

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Thanks for the replies, and the great pictures!

Daryl, I didn’t know that E2 can be used to produce inlays like that. I’m guessing that I have to go to engraving mode and experiment with the laser power?

Michael: that’s Chris’ work, not mine =)

Hi Daniel,

Only the cut out veneer was done on the E2.  The pocket work in the pine was done on my spindle CNC.



Ah thanks Daryl, that makes more sense.

Hi Michael,

Thanks for the interest. Its cut from .6mm veneer, I’m not sure what timbers they are I just bought a pack of mixed veneer off ebay!

I have a 4W E1, I don’t remember the exact settings, something like 80% power and 8mm/sec but each timber is slightly different so I always cut a little test rectangle on the lower corner of any material before I run the job.

Also, veneer must be taped down since it can move and buckle quite substantially as bits are cut out of it and stresses and so on are relieved.

If you need any more info just ask.

Chris J.