View Full Version : Wood Engraving Samples

Tim Bateson
05-30-2009, 2:16 PM
I've only used a select few woods to laser thus far. I need to expand my sampling. While searching for samples I came across Jim Coffee's web site. His website has a good sampling of woods that have been engraved. Thank you Jim, that looks to be an excellent idea.

I didn't want to use Jim's picture - although Jim you are more them welcome to share. :D He has various species of wood with the species name engraved into it – Hickory, Bamboo, etc…

If someone has a better collection, I'm sure we would all like to see it.


Steve Clarkson
05-30-2009, 4:56 PM
He does have very nice wooden nametags. Jim, can you share your technique for color filling these?

Jim Coffee
05-31-2009, 12:03 PM
Good morning...

I attach an image that shows my name tag color fill.http://woodennametags.com/images/2009_Images/20090501_Colorfill.jpg

This is sort of new for me. I've been experimenting with lots of different ways to color fill. These powders seem to me (my artistic side) to fill the way that I want my engraving filled.

The fill is not solid...like paint. It doesn't run...like a liquid. I clean the name tags with Pledge and alcohol, then apply the color with a toothbrush. Then clean again. Keeping the edges of the name tags color free is a challenge.

So many times I prefer a non-colored name tag. I like the look of non-color. Sometimes, however, color is called for.

My business plan is very simple: My wife and I are tightly focused on wood name tags. We try to keep our customer service in the 'excellent' category. And we try to satisfy our customers by listening to their requests...and filling them.

Color requests do not often come up...but occasionally they do. Fasteners also are an issue at times. Most of my name tags go out with magnetic backs. At the moment I am experimenting with a leather 'button' fastener.

I feel very junior to many of you here at the creek. I have intentionally chosen a very narrow market...which means that I don't take many of the 'side trips' that a lot of you take. I've also chosen to place a lot of my energy into marketing.

A long answer...

Thanks to all of you for the contributions and conversations on the creek.

Mike Null
05-31-2009, 12:35 PM

Welcome to SMC.

Your colorfill results are very good. Would you mind sharing your secret?

I have experimented with color fill for years without coming up with a solution that I felt to be satisfactory.

What are the powders you are using? How do you get them to adhere?

Jim Coffee
05-31-2009, 1:07 PM
Hi Mike...

The powders are branded Laser Darc. I obtained them from smoke-wood.com. A prior batch of color I purchased from my (at the time) Epilog Rep Phil Tucker. I believe that both of the powders are the same product.

There are two ways to adhere the powder. One way is to sort of layer the powder in and then run the laser across it (a second pass) to bake it in.

The other way (and the way that I much prefer) is to (after an initial wood cleaning) simply brush the powder on rather aggressively with a tooth brush. What you cannot see in the images is that the color fill is not a perfect solid fill. This little fish is 5/8" from the tips of her lips to the end of her tail. In this enlarged image you can see a bit of the imperfection.
The powder is attached to the wood by the oils and resins that are in the wood.

The powder is not a solid color fill. Say for example, that I was to engrave the finish off of a name tag...clean it...and then apply the color fill. In other words...say I was to color fill a broad, flat piece. The result could be very unsatisfactory. The powder won't cling uniformly. It would be splotchy.

Name tags, however, are small little guys. The splotchyness is typically not apparent. As an artist, the powders do what I want on the name tags that I create. The powders are certainly not for every occasion.

By mixing powders of different colors additional colors can be created.

Hope this answers your question.

Mike Null
05-31-2009, 3:59 PM

Good explanation. Thank you.

I've tried using powder coat paint without success--though a couple of our members are quite satisfied with their results.

I would use it mostly on plaques and sometimes there are rather large areas to be filled.

Gary Hair
05-31-2009, 4:09 PM
I've tried using powder coat paint without success--though a couple of our members are quite satisfied with their results.

I have used powder coat a bit and it works really well for small areas. It's almost impossible to get it evenly spread in larger areas, at least without the right equipment...

The key to getting it to stick is very low speed and power. I don't have my settings here at home, but they are low and slow.


Tim Bateson
05-31-2009, 5:35 PM
I use the powder coat paint from Harbor Freight - $2.99-$4.99 Qt. Comes in Black, White, Yellow, & Red. One qt will last a life time as very little is needed. I use a similar technique to adhere it.

This can be messy powder. To help, I pre-finish, laser, brush in the powder and press it in and across with a business card, laser bake it (no blower) cleanup, then lacquer spray to seal.

Attached is a pic from a project I did for Mike McCann here on the Creek - I can only take credit for the engraving & color fill: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=113141

Larry Bratton
05-31-2009, 5:49 PM
Haven't tried it yet, but Rodne Gold suggested guilders paste. There is a thread on here now about using RubnBuff that brought it up. Interesting stuff http://www.gilderspaste.com/

Dee Gallo
05-31-2009, 6:09 PM
I'm not sure I understand why you would use this powder over paint or rub-n-buff. I can't tell from the pictures - is it more attractive, more permanent, less likely to run or what?

:confused: dee

Mike Null
06-01-2009, 5:34 AM

Despite all efforts to protect against paint bleeding into lighter woods such as sealers or lacquer I still get unacceptable results.

I am no fan of Rub n Buff.

Tim Bateson
06-01-2009, 8:52 AM
I'm not sure I understand why you would use this powder over paint or rub-n-buff. I can't tell from the pictures - is it more attractive, more permanent, less likely to run or what?
:confused: dee

1. The powder paint is cheap.
2. I have not been able to find Rub-n-buff in my area. Although I do use other acrylic paints on glass and tile.
3. The powder paint is cheap.
4. The powder paint doesn't seem any harder to apply then a regular paint. Easier maybe as you only have to cleanup dust from the un-engraved areas. If masking is used then no clean-up.
6. Did I mention it was cheap?

By mixing powders of different colors additional colors can be created.

Duuu, why didn't I think of mixing colors to extend the 4 I have. Like they say - You don't need to think, just know someone who does. :rolleyes:

Jim - What did you mean by "layer the powder"?

Albert Nix
06-01-2009, 9:33 AM
Mike I will try it when I get a chance but if you get in experiment mode try using a light coat of hair spray to seal the wood. My Dad used to finish a lot of cedar for little projects and he used hair spray quite a bit. Just a thought.

Mike Null
06-01-2009, 10:12 AM

I'll try it. That would be ideal if it works.


Jim Coffee
06-01-2009, 11:10 AM
Good morning Tim...

What I meant by "layering the powder" was that I apply it sort of thick...before the backing process...the second pass with the laser. I sort of bring it up level with the upper edge of the engraving. Do keep in mind that I don't like this method...perhaps I am doing it wrong.

Applying the powder with a tooth brush and being vigorous seems to work better for me.

Has anyone here tried any of the powdered paints that are used for baked on powder coats? I see them available on eBay for what I would consider very reasonable prices...in many different colors.