View Full Version : Just tried moly spray!

Clark Pace
07-22-2014, 3:57 PM
I got some moly spray. I'm pretty happy with the results. Not as dark as cermark, but acceptable. $14 or 11oz from grainer. I tried rubbing the image off with a few different thinners. The image did not move at all.

Mitchell Tutty
07-22-2014, 7:11 PM
Hi Clark.
What settings are you using? And what is your machine?

I bought a can of a dry moly lube, and I swear by it.
I get better results then I ever have with Cermark, and a lot more consistent.

A little tip, try applying three coats of the moly.
They've all got a drying agent in them anyway, so shouldn't take more then a minute until you can apply the next coat anyway.

Bill Stearns
07-22-2014, 7:54 PM
Clark - Mitchell -
I've got' a ask - exactly what is "molly spray" or "dry moly lube"; if it's been mentioned 'fore, I've missed it. Would be great to find an effective alternative to Cermark in the can. (my last couple jobs using Cermark spray didn't turn out: a JDS chrome lighter 'n a stainless thermos.) And, if it's less expensive - all the better. (where do I find it to try? - and, what more can you tell me 'bout it. (I read an earlier thread where some make their own solution of some type, but was over my head - so ...


David Somers
07-22-2014, 8:01 PM

Here is a good thread link to it. Some brand names, discussion of how it worked. etc.



Mitchell Tutty
07-22-2014, 8:32 PM
Hi Bill.


Link to and old thread, still well worth a read.

A few different brands are mentioned, and I'm not sure where you're located, but I'm from Australia and didn't have the same brands available.

I bought a can of 'Molytec - Dry Molybdenum Lubricant' however I presume all brands are the same.

Comes ready to go in an aerosol can. Easy to use, I get a mark equally as dark as Cermark, I run a lot hotter however, I even get some depth into the metal, you can actually feel the engraving. Couldn't recommend it more. Wish I'd known about this before I bought a tub of Cermark.

*Edit* Looks like Dave beat me to it.

Clark Pace
07-22-2014, 11:26 PM
My test for 200mm sec at 50 power. 100 watt glass tube.

Mike Null
07-23-2014, 8:06 AM
How do we know it worked? You know what they say over on the WW forum---"no pics--didn't happen".

Clark Pace
07-23-2014, 10:04 AM
How do we know it worked? You know what they say over on the WW forum---"no pics--didn't happen".

I know pics are nice so here is one, but to infer that I am not telling the truth? Really!!! Why would I fake it? And pictures are proof??? Just about anyone with experience could fake it with photoshop!

Anyways there are nicer ways to ask for a picture!

P.S. this is stainless steel. I'm not sure on other metals. I'll try aluminum next.

Scott Shepherd
07-23-2014, 10:21 AM
Clark, it's just a saying used frequently on the internet, not a personal attack on your honesty.

Mike Null
07-23-2014, 11:08 AM

There was no intent to impune your honesty nor to doubt what you did. When someone is relating a new experience with a product or process untested by most of us pictures are a natural complement to the post.

I forgot that not all of us share the same sense of humor.

Tim Bateson
07-23-2014, 11:09 AM
I know pics are nice so here is one, but to infer that I am not telling the truth? Really!!! Why would I fake it? And pictures are proof??? Just about anyone with experience could fake it with photoshop!

Anyways there are nicer ways to ask for a picture! ...

Relax, nothing personal. I don't think Mike could be rude if he tried.

Clark Pace
07-23-2014, 12:18 PM
Note taken! :)

Bill Stearns
07-23-2014, 1:07 PM
All -
Personally, I think it's absolutely astounding how just 'bout everyone on SMC is so patient 'n understanding with each other. (whatever the post.) As we all differ in age, knowledge, experience, equipment, levels of business size 'n success, etc. Not to fail to mention whatever pressure we may be under, at any given time, to find, or provide, an answer. Still, 'suppose it's easy enough to misinterpret someone's meaning, or attempt at humor? How 'bout we change it to read: "A picture is worth a thousand words." Now, back to work ...


Ruben Salcedo
07-23-2014, 1:43 PM

I found this experiment experience in the internet, it looks like is from a member here since he mentioned this place, take a look at his findings, HERE (http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2013/laser-moly/)


Ross Moshinsky
07-23-2014, 3:11 PM
200mm/sec and 50W is crawling. You may save a few bucks in material but you lose it in production time. My 8 year old 30W laser does Cermark over 2x as fast.

Mike Null
07-23-2014, 3:27 PM
What I was hoping to see was some results with aluminum and brass where I have had no success with Cermark. I did buy a can of the moly from Grainger several days ago but haven't had time to give it a test but it is not to replace Cermark--only to try on chrome, brass and aluminum.

Mark Sipes
07-23-2014, 3:41 PM
Send pictures when you have completed your test ... I believe we have been down this alley before. LOL..



Brass and Aluminum ????

Mitchell Tutty
07-24-2014, 6:54 PM
I engraved rhodium plated Brass using a dry moly.
Rhodium is as hard as anything. Tried it with Cermark, and was incredibly dissapointed.
But had great success with dry moly. Researched both rhodium and Brass heavily, all responses were pretty conclusive. Cermark will not work with either of these metals.

I actually won this job over two local competitors, both of which did a sample using a rotary and diamond drag engraver.
I managed to achieve some depth surprisingly, can feel it when you run your fingers over it, not to mention great contrast. Leaves like a matte black finish over an incredibly glossy metal. Couldn't of been happier. Only challenge I had was removing the excess dry moly from the award, had to use methyl ethyl ketone or MEK as a DNA or hot water wouldn't work. Even then it was tough going, and not scratching the rhodium was definitely a challenge.

But well worth it for the $$$$ on this job.


Dan Hintz
07-24-2014, 7:07 PM
Cool looking award, Mitchell...

Mitchell Tutty
07-24-2014, 8:05 PM
They are incredibly cool.
We don't make them, we create the bases, the extra piece to sit on top, and engrave the center piece.

The man designing them told me the center piece costs him $350 dollars after he has them rhodium plated, I'd hate to even imagine what the finished award is worth.

Clark Pace
07-25-2014, 12:26 AM
I have not tried any faster than 200mm. But I will. That is just what I tested it at. When I get a little more time I'll try faster speeds. The fastest my machine can go anyways is 400mm a sec.

Mike Null
07-25-2014, 7:56 AM

Thanks for posting that. Very nice work but MEK? I hope I can find something other than that. Did you try acetone?

Mike Null
07-26-2014, 1:51 PM
I ran my first test of dry moly today. I applied it to nickel plated brass. I got the faintest image at full power and half the speed of Cermark. It was not at all acceptable. It is the dirtiest material I have yet to use--wear rubber gloves. I was able to clean it with isopropyl alcohol rather than using the harsher chemicals previously mentioned. It is messy to spray and messy to clean and I believe not at all economical.

I took two cell phone pictures but neither were good enough to post.. The surface was too glossy and the image too faint.

I am running at low power and have to recharge my tube so that may well have been the cause of my poor result but I can still run Cermark jobs on stainless steel.

Mayo Pardo
07-26-2014, 9:24 PM
Looking at Grainger's web site, they also offer Sprayon Dry Molly (LU200) for $9.22 however the technical specs states the color is clear. So, not sure if this is the same or if it will work. Maybe the specs are incorrect.
There is a discrepancy in their technical specs and the headline - headline states 11 oz. but specs states 16 oz. The photo of the can has 11 oz. on the can so I would bet on that amount.

Mike Null
07-27-2014, 9:08 AM
I paid about $30 for the can. I bought this variety because it specified black. That may not have been important but I thought it may present a darker image.

The brand is LPS Force 842.

Kev Williams
07-28-2014, 12:20 PM
I have a 1 lb. can of dry moly paste and a can of moly spray coming from amazon. I have a couple dozen large SS operator panels that I'm putting on hold just to see if this stuff works.

Bryan Rocker
07-28-2014, 5:55 PM
You know I used Moly for years when I built the compressors for J-85 engines....we would spray the blade dovetails then put them in an oven for as much as 15 mins @ 350 I think....been a long time. The coating would last a long time!!!!! What an interesting use. I wonder how well it would laser if you just applied one layer, baked it then lasered it......


Michele Welch
07-28-2014, 7:22 PM
I've got a can of moly and I've tried several different items and just couldn't get it to work correctly. I'm using a 45w FSL machine. Can someone give me some general power/speed settings to try again? I usually sell quite a bit of flasks and would love to do them on the laser so the imprint will be black vs. sandblasted. Thanks for all the help!

paul jeran
07-28-2014, 10:53 PM
I just did a bunch of flasks for a camping trip using moly spray.

My settings were 400mm/s with 35% power on an 80W RECI tube.

Here is a picture of the outcome. Not Jet black, but pretty nice. I tried to remove one of the test samples with industrial scotchbrite and it just started to come off with a couple minutes of scrubbing. It also looks like there was some etching into metal.