Best wood for laser engraving

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Muggsy1776

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Joined
Jan 8, 2010
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131
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Shelby Township, Mi
Hey everyone- I've got a question about wood choices for laser engraving. I've been asked to make a set of pens in a red or brown color which will be laser engraved. If I go too dark of a color of wood the engraving won't stand out very well. I've thought of using a light cherry but it's not an exciting wood (grain wise). Anyone have any suggestions or experience? I've never had a pen laser engraved so this is something new for me.

Thanks
Ed
 
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Dale Allen

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Oct 27, 2012
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Akron, OH
Cherry burl or any lighter burl.
I have not tried it yet but I think some have run multiple passes and filled in the area with a light contrasting color.
 

eharri446

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Mar 17, 2016
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Location
Marietta, GA
I did a fraternity pen using Bloodwood, finished in CA, that had the Greek letters engraved using a laser. I had the guy doing the engraving to make sure that it was deeper than normal.

Once that was done, I took some 5 minute epoxy and added a couple of drops of white Mixol die. Then I filled in the letters and let it dry overnight. Once it was dry, I sanded it smooth and finished doing the CA finish.

The color I used was white, but you could use any light colored dye that provides a nice contrast between the engraving and the wood.
 

leehljp

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Feb 6, 2005
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Tunica, MS,
I have not tried this but saw some photos on a scroll saw forum (I think, as it was a week or so ago) concerning the engraving of wood with lasers.

Put blue or green painter's tape on the area to be engraved. It will sharpen the lettering and prevent side burn. This might also require a stronger laser, so I don't know if 1000mw or 1500mw will do enough of a burn through the painter's tape to do any engraving.

However, it is worth a try to see if it sharpens the engraving. Will someone give this a try and post a picture of using painters tape vs direct to see the sharpness?
 

keithncsu

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May 28, 2016
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Location
Catawba, SC 29704
I've burned in black walnut, brazilian cherry, and monkey pod with no issues. Those are probably the darkest I've done. Does it show up better on a lighter maple? Of course. But I've not had any come out where I say "Dang, you can't see that at all." Run a test piece to be sure if you have concerns.
 

PatrickR

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Apr 8, 2017
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Location
Zionsville, IN
I have not tried this but saw some photos on a scroll saw forum (I think, as it was a week or so ago) concerning the engraving of wood with lasers.



Put blue or green painter's tape on the area to be engraved. It will sharpen the lettering and prevent side burn. This might also require a stronger laser, so I don't know if 1000mw or 1500mw will do enough of a burn through the painter's tape to do any engraving.



However, it is worth a try to see if it sharpens the engraving. Will someone give this a try and post a picture of using painters tape vs direct to see the sharpness?


You caught me at a good time. Ive been burning through veneer testing an idea for finials. (1000mv)The hole on the top right is three burns at max. Lower left is with tape, three burns. No difference on the edge burning and it would have taken another burn to cut it through. It easily burns through the tape though and it could be very useful as a mask/resist.
 

scotirish

Active Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Messages
526
Location
Macomb Twp., Michigan, USA.
I found that if I use large simple letters and use a long burn time I ger a deeper cut that way. To be honist have not tried to fill them.
I did a fraternity pen using Bloodwood, finished in CA, that had the Greek letters engraved using a laser. I had the guy doing the engraving to make sure that it was deeper than normal.

Once that was done, I took some 5 minute epoxy and added a couple of drops of white Mixol die. Then I filled in the letters and let it dry overnight. Once it was dry, I sanded it smooth and finished doing the CA finish.

The color I used was white, but you could use any light colored dye that provides a nice contrast between the engraving and the wood.
 

mmayo

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Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
1,089
Location
Tehachapi, CA
Big leaf maple works well

I have burned dark woods like cocobolo, bloodwood and darkened padauk successfully but the contrast is low. Maple like this big leaf maple, yellowheart, olive wood, apricot wood show high contrast.
 

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