View Full Version : Is it possible to cut Ivory

Neil Pabia
05-24-2011, 8:27 AM
A customer brought me a slab of ivory .105" thick and asked if I could engrave it and then cut it into a shape for him, is this possible with a 60 watt laser or should I dust off the scroll saw?

Dan Hintz
05-24-2011, 8:50 AM
Expect the stink of burnt hair ;) It actually engraves quite well, especially with the larger power cartridges like what you have. Cutting may present a bit more of a problem, though I'd be willing to try for a 100mil piece... at worst, engrave on the laser and cut with the saw.

Neil Pabia
05-24-2011, 9:07 AM
I took a shot at it, looked good until I had it on the buffer. Hope the guy has a sense of humor.

Mike Null
05-24-2011, 9:46 AM
Haven't done it but I would use several passes for cutting just to avoid the risk of overheating and expansion breaking it.

Neil Pabia
05-24-2011, 10:13 AM
I pulled a piece out of my stash and redid it with mine and it came out much better. My stuff was thicker and his already had a crack running through it. He should be happy with the results. The slice I used was .165 thick. Cut it at 4 speed and 60 power with a 140 freq. This is all just learning for me still.

Mike Null
05-24-2011, 10:42 AM

Good info. Got a picture?

Neil Pabia
05-24-2011, 11:50 AM
The first shot is all 3 attempts. The second shot is using 20 speed, 50 power and 140freq, took 3 passes to go through. Third shot was done with 4 speed, 70 power, 140 freq and went through with one pass but the crack was too much for the buffer and would have failed later anyways. The fourth is a bit thicker and was cut with 4 speed, 70 power, and 140freq and was buffed out to give it a bit of shine. The customer wanted it to look old and natural not new and polished flat, so I think leaving the tooling marks on it should give that effect.

Mike Null
05-24-2011, 1:06 PM
The engraving is very nice but I would have drilled the holes.

If you want to play around try outlining the font and removing the fill. Then use India ink to fill the fine lines like scrimshaw.

Neil Pabia
05-24-2011, 1:14 PM
Think you're right about the holes. I will give it a try again tomorrow.