Baltic birch plywood is a durable and strong material used in many products from furniture to vehicles to household decorations. Available in several grades, birch plywood can be used for both visible, aesthetic and internal, structural applications. Marking, cutting, and engraving plywood with a laser is a cost-effective option for custom woodworking projects in small, medium, or large-volume production.

Thomes is the first-to-market wholesale supplier of Baltic birch plywood for North America. We offer extensive availability and selection of imported Baltic birch plywood materials for the automotive, furniture, and construction industries and beyond. As the largest importer of these materials, we can deliver a reliable supply of materials for orders of any size.

Learn more about laser engraving and cutting with Baltic birch plywood.

Baltic Birch Plywood Explained

Thomes imports birch material from the Baltic states of Finland and Latvia. Our Baltic birch plywood features an all-birch veneer (i.e., thin sheets) core laminated with exterior-grade adhesives.

Available face grades include B, BB, CP, and C. Standard panel sizes range from 1,525mm x 1,525mm (60 in. x 60 in.) to 1,830mm (6 ft.) x 3,660mm (12 ft.), with custom sizing available. Thicknesses range from 3mm (⅛ in.) to 30mm (1 3/16 in.).

Baltic birch is suitable for laser processing due to several features:

  • Smooth, Even Surfaces: Laminated veneer structure provides a smooth and stable surface for cutting
  • Reduced Gaps and Voids: Solid veneer core provides a continuous material with suitable density and structural integrity of pieces
  • Visual Appeal: Layers create a subtle aesthetic striped pattern; the material’s naturally light face and the minimal surface flaws of grades B and BB contrast with the darker color of engraving or cut edges
  • Variety of Thicknesses: Lasers can cut and engrave materials of various thicknesses, vaporizing the material and sealing edges with the heat from the laser, which helps prevent splintering or fraying

Baltic Birch Laser Engraving Project Ideas

Our Baltic birch plywood is compatible with laser cutting and engraving and can be ued in a variety of projects, such as: 

  • Hobbies, Toys, and Games: Baltic birch is lightweight for model airplanes, while also a sturdy material for puzzles or board game components, or other wooden toys
  • Personalized Signs and Labels: The smooth and clean aesthetic of Baltic birch stands out for signs, nameplates, or tags that are durable and easily read
  • Coasters, Place Mats, and Decor: Birch engravings are durable yet decorative
  • Photo Frames and Wall Art: Precision laser cut or engraved frame components assemble easily and sturdily
  • Ornaments and Personalized items: Intricate cuts or shapes, lettering, or other decorative touches can be applied with lasers
  • Jewelry: Lasers can be used to create wooden jewelry pieces

Settings and Techniques for Wood Laser Engraving

Laser cutting and engraving offer several advantages over manual and hand-held tools. Lasers move quickly and use sheet material efficiently for minimal scrap. The laser is guided by a computerized vector or CAD file so that all cuts and markings are accurate and precise. The laser can make simple or complex and intricate cuts with minimal variation.

Before beginning your laser cutting or laser engraving project, a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Equipment Compatibility: Often a CO2 laser is used with plywood materials. It is important to test the material and laser together to ensure desired results. For example, lasers can cut many thicknesses; however, to avoid warping or cupping very thin plywood can be held flat with jigs or tape
  • Speed, Power, and Accuracy: The laser machine should be fine-tuned for the right balance of laser power and speed for material thickness and part complexity. Intricate details generally require lower power but higher speed, and the reverse for deeper cuts. It’s also important to consider things like adjusting the layout with regard to any visible heat-affected zone (HAZ) from the laser to achieve the desired appearance.
  • Air Assist System for Cleanliness: An air assist system helps maintain a clean cutting area, free of debris and smoke, which can impair sensitive electronics and sensors, or interfere with the material surface
  • Finishing Processes and Options: The laser vaporizes the material so there are no rough edges or splinters to remove and, therefore, minimal additional sanding or finishing. Heat from the laser seals cut the edges and engraved surfaces of the wood to stabilize them from fraying or splintering. Laser processing is non-contact for no tool marks on the piece. If desired, cut or engraved pieces can be further finished with fine sanding, staining, painting.

Baltic Birch Plywood for Laser Engraving From Thomes Canada

At Thomes Canada, we supply Baltic birch plywood for laser engraving, cutting, and other applications. We have served the furniture, automotive, aircraft, and construction industries with wholesale Baltic birch plywood materials including plain, film face, and melamine-coated birch.

Contact us to learn more about our materials or to request a quote.