View Full Version : Engrave on slate ?

James A. Wolfe
07-04-2011, 7:55 AM
For personal reasons, a relative of mine has asked me to engrave on a piece of what looks to be yellow or white slate. Has anyone tried this or had any kind of results with other types of natural stone? I think I'm going to pay someone to sandblast it but I wanted to see if lasering was an option.

Dan Hintz
07-04-2011, 8:35 AM
I've lasered gray slate many times, and I know others here have done other types of slate... contrast isn't very good, but colorfill works well.

Frank Corker
07-04-2011, 10:02 AM
I have engraved a lot of grey too and I slightly disagree with Dan as to the contrast, mind you it depends on how grey grey is. In my case the grey has been quite dark and the result was great. I have not engraved on yellow or lighter slate because the contrast is going to be almost non existent. I will bow to Dan's experience of having done infill because the slate that I used was not smooth or polished, it had a quite rough texture and infilling would have been virtually impossible. I am talking of portraits here, not signs.

oscar martinez
07-04-2011, 12:20 PM
This is a piece broken tile of travertine. The stone is soft, easy to engraved color filled with wood stain Black walnut. The travertine stone creates dust during the engraving bad for encoders unless you have a good and powerfull extraction unit .

Dan Hintz
07-04-2011, 4:59 PM
Oscar, that looks somewhat like a cave drawing... very nice effect.

Frank, all kinds of different slate (it's a generic name), so it's likely we have used two different types. For example, when I engrave marble, a light touch works great for polished, but you need a heavy hand (and go deep) for the unpolished side... and the deep side needs to be colorfilled for any contrast.

James A. Wolfe
07-05-2011, 12:43 AM
Thanks for the advice. I guess it's best to fire this thing up and see what happens. Worst case, I can't see the etching or can't get a good look. I'll go the sandblast route if this fails.

Mary Geitz
07-05-2011, 2:17 PM
Frank, what settings do you use on slate? We have the same machines and I'm not having much luck. Thanks!

Amy Shelton
07-05-2011, 2:46 PM
When I engrave slate (and I've only tried the green and black -- which is more like gray) I seal it first, then engrave. It darkens the slate and allows for greater contrast.
I use Aquamix Enrich N Seal, by the way. 30 power, 100 speed on my ULS 50 watt, if that helps. I have never tried color filling, and I think the slate I've used would be like Frank's, too much roughness to fill it.

Oscar, that travertine looks great! Is it honed? or polished?

Dan Hintz
07-05-2011, 3:20 PM
Mask with tape, engrave through tape, then spray paint from a slight distance to avoid getting under the tape's edge (and the paint is almost dry by the time it reached the substrate). Works like a charm, looks sharp. This obviously can only be done to a certain level of surface roughness before the tape has nothing to reliably stick to, but even bricks can be done this way with relatively sharp filled edges.

Cindy Rhoades
07-05-2011, 5:51 PM
I have done quite a lot of slate and the contrast is very nice I have attached a pic of some I did for a church fundraiser when they had their roof redone these are slate from the original roof that was close to 100 years old.200485

Dee Gallo
07-05-2011, 7:35 PM
Nice job, Cindy!

oscar martinez
07-05-2011, 10:00 PM
The travertine stone is honed & sligth polish with 600 grit sand paper no sealer on it.When i engraved on rough or porous stones I sealed first then engraved if more contrast is needed i color fill with bets color of contrast Black,brown,green Etc.

Kathy Kinney
07-05-2017, 1:10 PM
I've lasered slate coasters. Has anyone noticed that the decoration fades from condensation from the glasses?

Kev Williams
07-05-2017, 4:16 PM
I'm not sure if there's calcium present in water that condensates on cold glasses, but if there is, it could build up and make it appear the decoration is fading.

One way to tell, see if vinegar cleans it up :)

Mayo Pardo
07-07-2017, 4:22 PM
Uhhm, Cindy - did no one spell check that slate job?

Bert Kemp
07-07-2017, 9:05 PM
Kinda late to point that out now LOL :eek:

Uhhm, Cindy - did no one spell check that slate job?

Joe Pelonio
07-12-2017, 10:32 PM
There was an article on slate coasters in the last Epilog newsletter. I threw it out a few weeks ago, but found this on their website.