View Full Version : 1" foam brush to apply Cermark

Kev Williams
09-12-2016, 12:24 PM
We've been discussing how to apply Cermark in the latest 'Yeti' thread- Mike Null and I (among others) mention how we like using foam brushes-

I'm in the process of a SS ID plate job, and had to Cermark five 3" x 6" plates.
So for fun I thought I'd set up the GoPro to record Cermarking them with a 1" foam brush: https://youtu.be/S7gp5Mtk6Oo

Here's the finished product--

I couldn't ask for a better coating. It's not anywhere near too thick, and there's absolutely zero metal showing thru.

IMO spray cans or airbrushing couldn't do better. :)

Dave Sheldrake
09-12-2016, 1:27 PM
replied ;)

Brent Franker
09-12-2016, 1:31 PM
Nice! I'm out to get some cheap foam brushes. LOL

Kev Williams
09-12-2016, 1:43 PM
and most important, the FINISHED finished product... ;)

Mike Null
09-12-2016, 3:21 PM
My, you have a steady hand.:) People should take note that you did those 5 plates with just one brush load of the cermark. That demonstrates how far a bottle of cermark can stretch.

I buy my brushes at Walmart in a 12 pack for about $0.25 each.

John Lifer
09-12-2016, 8:36 PM
Yeah, sweet. Looks like a good engraving also. Thanks KS for posting

Mayo Pardo
09-26-2016, 12:49 AM
Curious if you're using the water washable, alcohol thinned product? And if so, when it's dry does it easily rub off? Mine does rub off easily before engraving but after engraving the lasered parts are etched good. I'm thinking I may have thinned it too much...

Also Kev I watched your next video and was wondering why you laser engrave with the lids open?

Kev Williams
09-26-2016, 1:17 AM
Which video, the "busy at work" one where I'm running jobs on 10 machines? It's fun when that happens... :)

Why I run the lasers with the lids up is simply out of convenience. I'm just in and out of them too much. The little ULS (now my BIL's machine) and my LS900 have a great exhaust setup, and draw smoke just fine with doors wide open most of the time. If I'm cutting plastic or engraving leather or bone with lots of smoke or stink, then the doors get closed. The Triumph lid is HEAVY, and until I finally mount a handle in the middle, it can't be raised with one hand because it twists and binds. But I actually close its lid most of the time because it DOESN'T have a great exhaust setup, AND it's sharing a blower with the Explorer (which I didn't have when that video was made). Cermarking cowbells doesn't produce enough smoke to worry about, and opening/closing the lid for every one of sometimes hundreds of cowbells, no thanks! Door stays open for those!

Mike Null
09-26-2016, 7:37 AM
I generally engrave Cermark with the lid open. The engraving is frequently a short cycle but loaded one at a time. Raising and lowering the lid seems more trouble than it's worth.

Mayo Pardo
09-26-2016, 9:36 PM
I was thinking more of safety issues like going blind from stray laser beams when the lids are open, rather than an exhaust fume issue.
Maybe you guys are wearing laser safety glasses while doing this...

My Trotec laser won't fire with the lid open. Unless the safety feature has been disconnected or bypassed.

Kev Williams
09-26-2016, 10:53 PM
I wear polycarb eyeglasses- not exactly 'safety' glasses but they will block any stray reflections. And if a stray reflection comes your way, even though you can't see it, you'll know it...

A few years ago (time flies!) I was engraving some 1-1/2" diameter SS tubes in the rotary. 4 lines of text down the side. I thought instead of using the rotary, I could just engrave lines 2 & 3, then have the machine raise the table to focus lines 1 & 4. Worked great! I ran a few, and during one of them I stopped in front of the machine as it was doing line 4, as the laser was working its way down the radius...

All of a sudden I got hit with a blast of heat square in the face. Felt like a heat gun but without any air, and that's weird... I immediately knew it was the beam reflection hitting me and I turned away...and then I smelled the burning hair...the beam ricochet burnt my mustache...

SO, I'm very aware these days of what I'm engraving and whether or not a reflection is possible. If so, I'll generally shut the lid!

And a few days ago I found out the fiber laser will do the exact same thing- I had an aluminum tube in the rotary to test it out, and I was standing over it and started the machine with the foot pedal. Only thing was, I forgot to get into the 'rotary mark' menu, so the rotary didn't turn, and the laser engraved across the circumference as if was flat stock. When the beam hit the downward side toward me, I got that same blast of heat. FORTUNATELY I was wearing my safety glasses that time.

That's the odd thing about fiber lasers is they work in 'open air' with no protection, yet a fiber beam's wavelength is supposedly much worse for your eyes...

However, this seems to be changing; I notice many ads sell machines like mine with guards now. Even Triumph does, and I've only had mine a few weeks now...

BUT, I'd never use guard for the same reason I don't close the lid... but I DO try to be careful :)