View Full Version : Your opinions on suitable wood

Hannu Rinne
03-25-2010, 7:28 PM
Hi to everyone and greetings from Finland !

I'm new here and have been "spying" this great forum about one month :cool:

I'm also quite newbie with lasers, studing engravings about two years and
just learned to keep my fingers out of the beam...

As the title is, my question for you concern your opinion for the best solid
wood for engraving and cutting. I've used birch and oak as those are easy to find from here, but I'm not so happy with the result's. I have a friend who provides wood from all over the world and he will supply also to me if I know what I need...

So, what wood would give the best effect for example engraving photos
on it ( based on your experiences ) ?

I just would like to hear your opinions so I could avoid to get some really
expencive stack of firewood on my yard :D

I apologize my English ( at school my number was 5 - when scale 4-10 )

Best regards
- Hannu

Bill Cunningham
03-25-2010, 11:31 PM
Cherry and alder give the nicest contrasts, and photos..

Frank Corker
03-26-2010, 6:09 AM
I like cherry and baltic birch. Oak as lovely as it is, does not engrave very well, it tends to hit pockets in the wood, which leave an unattractive finish. For pictures lighter coloured woods show more contrast and image appear nicer. If your friend is an importer ask him for an old sample box of various woods so you can try. Trial and error is a great learning method 4:10.

Mike Null
03-26-2010, 8:12 AM
I like cherry, mahogany, walnut, alder and maple. Maple will not give you as good contrast as the others.

I usually color fill walnut with black to enhance the contrast.

Michael Hunter
03-26-2010, 8:55 AM
Spray oak with gold paint, then reverse engrave. Looks fantastic!

Hannu Rinne
03-26-2010, 6:56 PM
Thank's to everyone for reply ! Seem's that there will be expencive
acquiring coming for me :)

PS. My best to Dean N. - noticed you here on the forum !

Best regards
- Hannu

John Lewandowski
03-27-2010, 3:56 PM
Michael, do you have a photo example of how this looks. It sounds like something I would like to try, but can't visualize it.

Thank You,

Ron Chapellaz
03-27-2010, 4:41 PM
Hey Bill, seeing as you're in Canada as I am, where do you buy Cherry and Alder wood you mentioned?

Lee DeRaud
03-27-2010, 5:12 PM
FWIW, I had occasion to engrave some bloodwood awhile back and was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked: usually oily exotics and the laser don't get along all that well.

Hannu Rinne
03-27-2010, 5:34 PM
Hello Lee,

Please, could you specify what kind wood is "bloodwood" ? Never hear
about it before - but quite interesting...

Kind regards, -Hannu

Lee DeRaud
03-27-2010, 6:15 PM
Please, could you specify what kind wood is "bloodwood" ? Never hear about it before - but quite interesting...Try this: http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/hardwoods/bloodwood/

Hannu Rinne
03-27-2010, 7:16 PM
Beautiful wood, almost like African Padouk or Amarant from middle America... - must ask from local dealer... ( couldn't find from any
Finnish database )

Lee DeRaud
03-27-2010, 7:20 PM
Beautiful wood, almost like African Padouk ...Way nicer IMHO.

And the dust from bloodwood is not nearly as bad as that horrible cheese-puff dust you get from padauk. Trust me on this. :eek:

Hannu Rinne
03-27-2010, 7:30 PM
Ok - thank's, never testing padouk and seems that I never will... :D

Tom Bull
03-27-2010, 10:02 PM
I like african mahogany and spanish cedar. You might want to use a respirator when you saw it.

Bill Cunningham
03-27-2010, 10:20 PM
Hey Bill, seeing as you're in Canada as I am, where do you buy Cherry and Alder wood you mentioned?

Alderwood plaques, I buy ready made from Elite Awards in Orillia. Cherry has almost always been custom shaped jobs. It's always been supplied by the customer because I have no one local that supplies cherry, I wish I did. Cherry is a nice contrast, and it gets better with age.. I have a nice Cherry wood engraving about 8" x 24" (text only) in the bell tower at the Washington National Cathedral. The wood was supplied cut to size by the customer and I had no idea of where is was going until after it was done and mounted. My Customer sent me a photo of the final mounting. Over the next few hundred years, it should only get better with age, unlike the guy who engraved it..:rolleyes:

Ron Chapellaz
03-27-2010, 10:55 PM
Thanks for the info Bill! I'll take a look at their website!

Chuck Stone
03-28-2010, 8:38 PM
I just lasered some camphor laurel. The whole shop now smells like Vicks Vap-O-Rub :p

Dan Hintz
03-28-2010, 9:04 PM
That's a GREAT excuse for when you start getting old ;)

"No no, that's not me, it's the camphor laurel I just engraved."

Chuck Stone
03-28-2010, 10:41 PM
Oh, thanks Dan.

It won't work if you BLAB it all over the place! :p