Looking for type high material.

I’m in a fabrication course right now and have access to a host cool high tech equipment and am thinking about experimenting with making my own plates, wood cuts, and new furniture. There are laser engravers, cnc mills, 3d laser scanners, 3d prototyping machines, LOTS of fun stuff! There have been a couple threads about this recently.

What I don’t have right now is any type high wood or metal to mill or use in the laser engravers. I suppose later on I’ll be able to precision mill my own but buying some somewhere would give me a jump start for a proof of concept piece.

The best part of all this is once I finish the class I can use the lab to make anything I want going forward :) Does anyone know a place that sells something like this?

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A good art supply store should sell type-high linoleum blocks for making lino cuts - they should work pretty well.

I picked a couple of those up a few days ago. With any good luck I’ll try them on sat.

Not local but Dick Blick and I. McClain’s sell type-high wood and plastic blocks for wood engraving. There are probably other sources too. You could also go to a cabinet shop and ask for scrap Corian countertop material — be sure to get plain, without decorative inclusions — and mount it on plywood to get to type-high.


Unless I’m missing it, Blick doesn’t sell type-high linoleum, and likely craft stores do not either. What they sell is linoleum mounted on 3/4 MDF or particle board. This leaves the block just short of type-high. I work my way around this by glueing a piece of mat board to the back of the block.

I could not find type-high material on imcclains.com either.

You can find type-high wood blocks here.
and here.

Blick advertises their linoblocks as type high but they are not, and I called and had it out with someone over that. They’re good blocks but you need to put a piece of binder’s board or something under them.
The Artboards.com blocks are very nice, very hard wood and good for carving.

I was suggesting blocks both Blick and McClain’s sell for wood engraving. Their end-grain wood is pretty accurately type-high, and I believe the mounted Resingrave is also. But if you’re going to use a CNC to carve the blocks I doubt if the machine cares whether they’re type-high! Seems like a waste of machine time to carve linoleum with a CNC.


I suggest picking up material that is in a workable thickness (1/4” thick, 3/8” thick, etc) and making a ‘base’ onto which it can be mounted when you go to actually print with it.
You’ll need the base to be as thick as/thicker than your furniture and quoins, but in theory if it’s the same thickness as furniture, guides/grippers/etc. won’t hit it (which means you can put the form anywhere on the bed of the press).

This will also enable you to buy less material per block and keep your costs down materials wise.

What would be smartest is to make a base that is .918 - .25”; IE, make a base that is .668”, by putting something under a 1/2” piece of aluminum (6061 is the best aluminum alloy for this application), and then choosing to use stock of every type in 1/4” thickness.

IE, your “plates” will be 1/4” pieces of wood that you laser, or 1/4” thick pieces of aluminum that you C&C, etc etc etc.

Where are you in school/what is the institution?

All great suggestions thank you! I’ll have to spend some time looking at the sites. Like anything else there are going to be a lot of ways to do it I just need to spend some time doing a little trial and error and see what works for me. We just started using the epilog lasers last week and havent touched on the cnc stuff yet but its coming.

The class is at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio. They have a fabrication lab onsite modeled after the one at MIT. The class is offered twice a year which gets me access to the equipment even after its over, well worth the drive and time.

I have some old glass vaccum tubes out of one of my amps that I’m going to engrave in the next open lab assuming they don’t crack from the heat :) I’m thinking about drilling out the bases and making a string of vintage looking tube lights for my office.