View Full Version : Beveling Wood with Laser

Liesl Dexheimer
05-05-2014, 9:26 AM
I've been reading some posts like this one regarding beveling with a laser: http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?129271-Beveling-Plastic-with-the-Laser-Can-it-be-done

I'm assuming this could also be done with wood?...

I have a project from a woodworker who wants me to cut his logo (consisting of 2 rectangles) with wood. He wants a bevel as well. I do have a Scott beveler but don't know if the beveler could handle wood. I believe the wood he had been using was more of a laminate (1/32" thick) but he said I could use 1/16" or 1/8". The problem is that he needs every piece to be exact as it will be inlayed into the furniture. I don't think the beveler would be very consistent. I had thought of using my rotary engraver but I curse out Gravostyle 98 not to mention I don't have chip removal so there would be a lot of cleanup involved. Also, I know I can engrave wood on the rotary but I question whether or not I can cut it (although I know I could get a nice bevel using the rotary). So then I got to thinking about the laser...

If I were to cut and attempt to bevel with the laser. How do I go about doing this? I read you make lines of varying thicknesses I believe. Then you cut them at different settings. What settings would you recommend with a 35 watt laser? Help please.

Kev Williams
05-05-2014, 12:48 PM
I think doing it by laser would be pain...
Just don't bevel the entire edge, just the top 2/3 of the edge. That way the original edge of the wood won't be affected and each piece will still be exact as far as inlaying them goes. If your Scott beveler is a typical laminate beveler like my NH beveler, it'll do wood just fine, just make sure the cutter is sharp. If you have your own cutter grinder and a spare tool, make up a new bevel tool with the side ground at 30 rather than the typical 22-1/2, it'll increase the width of the bevel...

Liesl Dexheimer
05-05-2014, 1:03 PM
I was actually trying to figure out a way to bevel the edges using the laser & a gradient fill where I could raster the piece to create the bevel. The problem is the logo is two rectangles that have to be really small. It's 1.04" across & only 0.375" high so trying to bevel it on the Scott beveler I think would be very difficult and it needs to be exact every time. Not to mention the bevel itself is supposed to be 1/16" all the way around.

Any other ideas?

Joe Hillmann
05-05-2014, 1:55 PM
If the guy is a furniture maker he may be able to make the bevels easier than you can. He could bring you the pieces with the bevel already on them and all you have to do is the engraving.

Using the gradient fill tool or 3d engraving probably won't give good or repeatable results. Even on the same piece of wood the depth would be inconsistent because of the grain in the wood. The deeper you go the more inconsistent it becomes. If it were me and I HAD to make the bevel I would probably use s sharp block plane and a shooting board. No matter how you do it I would suggest making the bevel before engraving that way if you screw up on the beveling you are just tossing the piece of wood and not the engraving as well.

Nathan Shaffer
05-05-2014, 6:01 PM
Could you do the engraving and cut out the shape then use a Dremel router table to bevel the edges?
Or Cut out a shape larger then needed, say a square or rectangle, then place it on the rotary, route the edges, then put it back in the laser using a jig to locate it and finish the engraving and cutting to size?

Kev Williams
05-05-2014, 7:16 PM
To bevel pieces that small, just use a piece of squared-off scrap as a pusher....


Just hold the piece against the pusher so it doesn't move-- and watch your fingers!


This piece is 1/4" x 1", the edges are nice & even--


This is is the edge, notice it's not beveled the full thickness of the material, only about 2/3 of the way down. The original size of the piece is intact...


Clark Pace
05-06-2014, 9:49 AM
Easier and faster to just get a router table, and a carbide bit with a round over and run it throught. I do it all the time.

Liesl Dexheimer
05-06-2014, 10:10 AM
I might try this Kev. I do have a pusher that came with the beveler. The customer requested the bevel to measure 1/16" all the way around so that means a bevel of .03125 on each side. I also need to hunt around for some scrap wood. Most of what I have is 1/8" thick. I would like to try something that's 1/16" thick. I'll post the results soon...

Liesl Dexheimer
05-06-2014, 2:09 PM
This is the closest I could come to a bevel. I just engraved a border & then vector cut. I used a laminate so it's very thin. I was going to use my beveler but I would need to adjust the bit since it's thinner than 1/16" thick. Waiting to see what my customer says...

Adrian Page
05-09-2014, 4:00 PM
Make a jig to hold the wood at an angle and slice the edges off with the laser.