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Marianne Rusche
01-03-2019, 4:05 PM
Hi,
I have attached two pics. It’s a stainless steel piece and I have deep engraved and annealed on it. The First pic is in direct sunlight ( the annealed letter t on the right is almost invisible). The second pic is in less direct light ( the annealed letter t is very black). I just can’t figure out how to get a deeply engraved letter to be as black as the annealed letter In the second pic. I can burn the metal but then it has a very rough feel. If I try to polish out the roughness, then I loose the blackness. With annealing, it’s smooth and black but it totally looses the ability to see it when it’s in sunlight. This is getting beyond frustrating. Are there parameters or settings available that I just am missing?

I have a 30w fiber laser and the software is Ezcad.

I do pet tags, bracelets necklaces etc.

I’d love any suggestions!
Thanks, Marianne

Kev Williams
01-03-2019, 10:57 PM
I've come to the conclusion there's nothing you can do about either problem.

Annealing causes the carbon at the surface to oxidize. Once you deep engrave, and this is just conjecture/guessing on my part, the engraving somehow affects the surface carbon (removes or destroys it maybe?), and it simply won't darken via annealing.

Annealing does make a nice black mark, but yes, it's a 'directional' thing as to how the light hits it. However, in most indirect light situations the annealing is quite visible. I anneal a lot of knife blades, but before I do, I show the customer that it WILL change its look at different lighting angles. I sell it as a 'holographic effect', since I really don't know what else to call it. Most customers think it's pretty cool. I've found that to lessen the effect, which is counterproductive to making money at it, it to run a first pass with a bit higher speed and power, and a bit lower frequency-- there's a sweet spot where the laser will make a very slight impression in the metal. Then I follow it with good blackening pass. This seems to lessen the holographic effect. This knife blade took real well, looks almost painted. It does lighten as you angle it, but not much :)
400266400265
But, it's not fast by any means...

>edit> just took a close look at your 'washed out' anneal, look like you removed some metal?

Marianne Rusche
01-04-2019, 11:19 AM
Kev,
Thanks! Your pics of your name look really good! Do you use Ezcad and if so would you mind sharing the parameters you used. How many hatches and how many loops, speed, frequency etc.
thanks so much,
marianne

Kev Williams
01-04-2019, 11:55 AM
My Triumph is 30 watts, I don't remember exactly how I did the knife, but my current basics are:
90į hatch, spacing real close, between .001 and .002 (usually I split the diff at .0015)
speed 120 to 200 (150 typ)
power 33
freq 72
focus dead on

That's my machine. Now, since I've owned it, by contrast Gary's settings always include running somewhat out of focus. With my Triumph I've never found that necessary. BUT, my second 30w machine I recently acquired via ebay, and thinking it may actually be 50w as the 2 machines are wildly different, I've found I MUST run it somewhat out of focus for best results, and I've only test-annealed with it so far. Just wanted to point out that focus is a consideration...

I usually run one pass, but I've found a second pass usually helps, but it eats the time. I did a revolver frame recently using a bit different settings, per my notes:
.008 hatch spacing
1 run at 200/60/75, this BARELY
engraves the metal, then make 2 passes
at 200/40/80, this gets it black-

The engraving was small so it really didn't take all that long, and it came out much like my knife.

Another factor, the mass of the metal you're engraving, meaning, the bigger/thicker it is, the blacker you can get. My opinion: smaller pieces get very hot, very fast, and the high metal temp may be counterproductive to the annealing process. Don't know that for sure but it seems that way :) --The revolver had enough mass to absorb a lot of heat, which could explain the good results...

Every laser is different, and every part you mark with them is different. Always an experiment in progress ;)

Marianne Rusche
01-04-2019, 12:43 PM
400311Thanks! I just used your parameters and got this result! Itís a small 2.5mm letter and it took me 1:42 seconds. I did 2 passes. I have a crosshatch feature but I kept it turned off and just did 90 degrees with 2 passes. It does have the hologram effect a bit. Iíve been trying to use all 3 hatches. One for deep cutting, two for burning and three to try to smooth out the roughness of the cut and burn. I really havenít had success in trying to get that to work. Just a lot of set up and waste of stainless steel. I still overall like the look of deep engraving but this annealing has promise.
Thanks for sharing your expertise! Have you ever tried to deeply cut and then anneal on top of that? First I guess it would take forever. Just wondering.... Marianne

Gary Hair
01-04-2019, 3:08 PM
And to throw in another twist - the size of the mark will make a difference, it did for me anyway. I spent a lot of time creating a grid of about .25" squares and had a great variety of color. When I used the same settings on a larger design they were not the same. The process of staining (mislabeled annealing) is dictated by heat produced in the area of the beam so a difference in size of the marking area can have a great affect on the color, and more importantly, the consistency of the color.


400311Thanks! I just used your parameters and got this result! Itís a small 2.5mm letter and it took me 1:42 seconds. I did 2 passes. I have a crosshatch feature but I kept it turned off and just did 90 degrees with 2 passes. It does have the hologram effect a bit. Iíve been trying to use all 3 hatches. One for deep cutting, two for burning and three to try to smooth out the roughness of the cut and burn. I really havenít had success in trying to get that to work. Just a lot of set up and waste of stainless steel. I still overall like the look of deep engraving but this annealing has promise.
Thanks for sharing your expertise! Have you ever tried to deeply cut and then anneal on top of that? First I guess it would take forever. Just wondering.... Marianne

Marianne Rusche
01-04-2019, 4:31 PM
Oh boy, itís always something! All Iíd like to achieve is a nice darkened, smooth and deep engraved metal piece. Seems like ever metal or every parameter I try, thereís something that seems to not go great. These fiber lasers are amazing but they arenít easy . Some days, like today, I feel like giving up and selling my laser. 😩 if I was to consider selling it, can you do that on this forum or is that a no no? Just frustrated and wondering... Marianne

Gary Hair
01-04-2019, 5:18 PM
Oh boy, itís always something! All Iíd like to achieve is a nice darkened, smooth and deep engraved metal piece. Seems like ever metal or every parameter I try, thereís something that seems to not go great. These fiber lasers are amazing but they arenít easy . Some days, like today, I feel like giving up and selling my laser.  if I was to consider selling it, can you do that on this forum or is that a no no? Just frustrated and wondering... Marianne

To be blunt - if your goal is to do black (or dark) marking on metal and actually make money, then you'd be better off selling your laser. It's just not cost effective and even with a MOPA it's too slow to be profitable. If you have realistic expectations of the capabilities of the laser then you'll find a niche and you can make a ton of money if you do it right. Instead of trying to force the laser to do something it's not very good at, make it do what it excels at!

Marianne Rusche
01-04-2019, 5:48 PM
Gary,
I SO appreciate your candor! I saved up quit a long time to purchase my fiber laser. I was doing hand metal stamping before and the laser opened up an opportunity to possible do logos, my own designs and any font I want. I guess Iím just learning the challenges of the laser. I do need to find a way to work with the advantages that the laser provides. With your experience with lasers, what are the areas that you have found that the laser best excels at? I appreciate the advice I receive on this forum. I also am willing to learn from people like you that take the time to respond!
Thanks, Marianne

John Lifer
01-04-2019, 5:55 PM
One thing I've found that somewhat reduces the roughness is to not mark a contour. (uncheck that box) Don't know if you are using that, but it might help a bit.
And I do find marks are a bit better / darker if I'm out of focus just a mm or two. If you want a bit of a depth to the engraving before darkening it, try what Tykma calls silver mark. 2000 speed, 2 passes at 90 frequency of 65, power at about 50 percent (20 watt) shallow quick and anneals as good as polished surface.

Gary Hair
01-04-2019, 6:04 PM
Keep in mind that this is MY experience and it certainly won't work for everyone, everywhere. Firearms and anodized aluminum are extremely profitable if you can find the right customers, retail sucks, artsy/craftsy sucks too unless you can find someone selling high-end products and can afford to pay you what your time is worth. I based most of my quotes on $125-$250 per hour and usually got quite a bit more than that, and in 12+ years I can count the number of people that complained about my prices on one hand, and have several fingers left over! Find what other engravers aren't willing or able to do and do that! Where are you located? That could be a big factor in what you might be able to do.

Marianne Rusche
01-04-2019, 6:16 PM
John,
Thanks! I donít have the contour checked. Iím open to trying all kinds of different ways to get a smooth dark mark. Iíll definitely try your suggestions from tykma. I guess itís all about experimenting right now!
Thanks

Marianne Rusche
01-04-2019, 6:31 PM
Gary,
yes that is the trouble Iím running into. I sell pet tags, keyrings Jewelry and itís such a competitive market. Also, some people sell their items so cheap online that itís been hard to justify the cost of the laser. My margins were better when I was just hand metal stamping. I do think I totally need to rethink what I am making and selling. If the laser is just going to take more time to engrave, then Iím going to have to go after a higher end market. I live in South Florida and Iím close to Palm Beach. The pet tag market is huge but it is also super saturated. Iím beginning to believe that fiber lasers arenít so much for huge volume but rather higher priced, higher quality, very personalized items. Iím not much of a gun person but I can see that that could be a good market! Is this kinda how you feel as well?

Gary Hair
01-04-2019, 7:15 PM
I don't know of anyone who makes and sells engraved items, and makes decent money doing it. Unless you are making a unique part that a lot of people need, not just want, then you can't really charge what you need to, especially if there is a lot of competition. Fiber lasers are great for huge volume, one-offs are usually not too profitable - it takes about the same amount of time to interact with a customer for one piece as it does 100's, and once you are setup to run 100's of parts they can go very quickly compared to setting up 100's of different jobs. The most revenue per part/hour/job will be marking lots of small anodized aluminum parts for someone else. They can't be inexpensive pieces where your engraving cost is a large portion of the price for the part. If you are not a gun person then it takes away one item but there are enough others out there for you to make plenty of money. Have you seen the movie The Graduate? My "one word" is two, but it's the same idea - anodized aluminum.

Marianne Rusche
01-04-2019, 7:54 PM
Yes, I havenít done anything with anodized aluminum but maybe itís something to look into. I guess it would definitely be quicker than trying to anneal or trying to deeply engrave stainless steel. Do you agree? Seems like you are engraving just though the anodized part. No polishing and no inking. My only reference right now for anodized aluminum is through colored pet id tags that you buy at a pet store. Is this the type of metal you are referring too? Do you have any thoughts about other markets I could look into that are in need of laser anodized aluminum. I only know about pet tags

Kev Williams
01-04-2019, 10:00 PM
Try this, it might make you happy--

Run the word 'TEST' in Arial black, about 4mm tall...

hatch 1: use the fast hatch, color BLACK, 45į, .005 spacing, YES cross hatch, NO follow edge NO mark contour

hatch 2" use fast hatch, color BLUE, 90į, .002 spacing, YES cross hatch, NO edge or contour...

Make your BLACK setting: 3000 speed, 50 power (your machine, I'd try 60 power), 20 freq-- and 12 (twelve) loops-!

Make your BLUE setting: 200 speed, 33 power, 72 freq, ONE loop...

-- the black run gets some depth- not REAL deep, but some, and it's clean and smooth-
-- the blue run is the basic anneal pass, the cross hatch seals the deal ;)

I did this on my new machine, IN focus, and basically, it looks like my knife :)

Marianne Rusche
01-04-2019, 10:57 PM
Kev,
awesome! Thanks so much! Iíll try it first thing tomorrow! Very kind of you to write that all out!!😊
hey Iíd love to see a pic of this if you get time!
Thanks again and Iíll let you know how it turns out!
marianne

Kev Williams
01-05-2019, 12:25 AM
had to find the camera, the holidays swallowed it ;)

the top-center TEST is the winner, definitely better than my test runs before it-
400387400388

this is the best 'cheap shot' in perfect light ;)
but note the depth, not a lot but a couple thou maybe,
definitely qualifies as "engraving" ;)
400385

a bit different angle- this shot (and the next) point out the issue
that plagues the 'fast hatch'; because it runs in different directions
to optimize speed, sometimes a seam doesn't quite overlap enough...
pretty deep and dark--
400389

This shot has overhead light directly hitting it, and it shows that the
bottom isn't really all that smooth, BUT, the tight hatch and several
high speed runs did effectively blunt the peaks down, allowing the
anneal to 'take'...
400386

it still has a some holographic effect at some angles but not nearly as much as 'basic' blackening.
The high-speed trick to deep engraving I learned from Gary, different variations give different results,
but the main benefit is a much smoother finish than really-deep-really-fast ablating. And in the end,
it's not all that much slower :)

Marianne Rusche
01-05-2019, 9:38 AM
400395
Kev,
so the top text I did with the black hatch at 60 speed and all else as you suggested. Bottom text I did at 50 speed.
The top one seemed to burn a bit around edges more than the bottom one. It does have a bit of depth and is smoother!!
your pics look great!! I think I could get it a bit darker. Any thoughts? Iím going to play with this today!
Thanks, Marianne


had to find the camera, the holidays swallowed it ;)

the top-center TEST is the winner, definitely better than my test runs before it-
400387400388

this is the best 'cheap shot' in perfect light ;)
but note the depth, not a lot but a couple thou maybe,
definitely qualifies as "engraving" ;)
400385

a bit different angle- this shot (and the next) point out the issue
that plagues the 'fast hatch'; because it runs in different directions
to optimize speed, sometimes a seam doesn't quite overlap enough...
pretty deep and dark--
400389

This shot has overhead light directly hitting it, and it shows that the
bottom isn't really all that smooth, BUT, the tight hatch and several
high speed runs did effectively blunt the peaks down, allowing the
anneal to 'take'...
400386

it still has a some holographic effect at some angles but not nearly as much as 'basic' blackening.
The high-speed trick to deep engraving I learned from Gary, different variations give different results,
but the main benefit is a much smoother finish than really-deep-really-fast ablating. And in the end,
it's not all that much slower :)

Kev Williams
01-05-2019, 12:54 PM
See all the other 'TEST's on that piece of SS? Practice, practice, practice :D I just made adjustments to settings until I found some that work! You just need to do the same, your close, just need some tweaking! I'd start with lowering the power a bit to help with the edges, raising or lowering the freq a bit might get you darker (use single increments, my Triumph likes 72kz better than 71 or 73!)

Your pics show what you just got is MUCH blacker than the W already :)

Gary Hair
01-05-2019, 1:04 PM
Those tags are likely 6061 aluminum and are soft anodized, very common material and process. Anodized aluminum will take a fraction of the time to mark as it takes to get depth on any other metal. All you are doing is bleaching the dye and not removing any metal whatsoever. I use metric measurements on my fibers so these settings may not make much sense - anodized aluminum I use 1,500mm/sec speed, 100% power and 40 frequency, one hatch at .07mm at 45 degrees and another at 135 degrees. To mark a 1" square with these settings would take maybe 10-15 seconds. The exact settings depend on a few things - the size and overall shape of the design, the detail of the design, and how many parts I'm doing with this design.
I know Suwanee, GA is a ways from Tampa,FL but if you ever get up this way I'd be happy to spend a few hours with you on my machines to give you an idea of what I do and how I do it.


Yes, I havenít done anything with anodized aluminum but maybe itís something to look into. I guess it would definitely be quicker than trying to anneal or trying to deeply engrave stainless steel. Do you agree? Seems like you are engraving just though the anodized part. No polishing and no inking. My only reference right now for anodized aluminum is through colored pet id tags that you buy at a pet store. Is this the type of metal you are referring too? Do you have any thoughts about other markets I could look into that are in need of laser anodized aluminum. I only know about pet tags

Gary Hair
01-05-2019, 1:19 PM
You won't get any better advice than what Kev posted! My color test grid took me countless hours to create and variations of 1khz sometimes made the difference between one color and another and between shades or degrees of black. Because of the time spent I'm not willing to share the exact settings, but I will say that I have numerous pieces of 6" x 8" 10ga stainless that have a grid of .25" squares with almost every power/speed setting for about a 25khz range of frequencies, all using the same hatch type, angle, and spacing. It was fairly easy to eliminate certain speed/power settings because they couldn't possibly leave a mark no matter how many passes, so the grid doesn't have every combination, same with frequencies - some were too fast to make a mark no matter the speed or power, likewise, some were too slow. They were all done out of focus by 2 or 3mm, any closer and it was too easy to ablate the material, any farther and it took too much power to overcome. It's easy to see how/why it took so long to do this, and yet it was all mostly wasted time as I have found no way to make money with color marking with the fiber...


See all the other 'TEST's on that piece of SS? Practice, practice, practice :D I just made adjustments to settings until I found some that work! You just need to do the same, your close, just need some tweaking! I'd start with lowering the power a bit to help with the edges, raising or lowering the freq a bit might get you darker (use single increments, my Triumph likes 72kz better than 71 or 73!)

Your pics show what you just got is MUCH blacker than the W already :)

Marianne Rusche
01-05-2019, 1:26 PM
Kev,
yep, Iím at my laser, changing up the settings just a tad. Itís pretty close to your settings. Whatís crazy is that there are SO MANY variables that can totally change things. If I donít write it down, I forget what settings I used. This sure isnít a one size fits all kind of thing!😜 Itís a real challenge! For annealing and making it look dark and smooth and with some depth, youíve definitely put me on the right track. Iíll keep at it! Thanks!

Marianne Rusche
01-05-2019, 1:39 PM
Gary,
not sure when Iíll get up your way but I sure appreciate the offer for some tutoring!! Lord knows I need it!😊
Kev has put me on to some parameters ( that you showed him) to help me find an annealed, smooth and dark look that has a tiny bit of depth. Still fine tuning it!
For my pet tags, I really like the idea of switching to anodized aluminum. It seems fast and can maybe help with my shrinking profit margin.
question: Iím sure there are lots of different quality anodized aluminum. Do you know a supplier that sell good quality aluminum and that may even have some old scraps that I could practice on? I have seen tags that are cheap and they donít hold up very long. The anodized part chips away and the letters disappear. OR, could you advise what type, number or brand name of good quality anodized aluminum blanks that I should look for to purchase? Appreciate all the help! Marianne

Gary Hair
01-06-2019, 8:26 AM
For anything anodized I only use Chewbarka. Frank will send you a sample pack of a variety of shapes so you can see how good they are! I really don't know how they compare price-wise to other suppliers, the quality is so good that I don't care. It could be the parts you were using, but if the anodizing chips away then you may be lasering into the surface. The key to marking anodized aluminum is the highest speed and lowest power you can use to produce a good image and not affect the surface in any way.


Gary,
not sure when Iíll get up your way but I sure appreciate the offer for some tutoring!! Lord knows I need it!
Kev has put me on to some parameters ( that you showed him) to help me find an annealed, smooth and dark look that has a tiny bit of depth. Still fine tuning it!
For my pet tags, I really like the idea of switching to anodized aluminum. It seems fast and can maybe help with my shrinking profit margin.
question: Iím sure there are lots of different quality anodized aluminum. Do you know a supplier that sell good quality aluminum and that may even have some old scraps that I could practice on? I have seen tags that are cheap and they donít hold up very long. The anodized part chips away and the letters disappear. OR, could you advise what type, number or brand name of good quality anodized aluminum blanks that I should look for to purchase? Appreciate all the help! Marianne

Marianne Rusche
01-06-2019, 9:51 AM
Wow, thatís great to know because I know Frank from chewbarka. Small world!! Before I bought my fiber laser, I almost bought a refurbished gravograph machine from him. He seems like a great guy!! Thatís definitely where I will go!
Thanks again so much, Marianne

Gary Hair
01-06-2019, 11:38 AM
Yep, Frank is a great guy! He has provided me with a lot of different tags and plates and I've never been disappointed! He has also provided almost a million dog tags for the dog tags for kids project.

Marianne Rusche
01-06-2019, 1:27 PM
400497
Gary,
i actually found a few tags that Frank sent me last year. I never tried them on my fiber laser. I just did many tries and found the last wís on right got pretty white. The W in right corner I deep engraved and I guess that would chip eventually. I did 3 loops, 2000 speed, 10 power, 40 freq.
one hatch 45, .04 and second at 90, .04. It took less than a second. It does worry me because thereís no depth to it at all.
Do you think this quality of tag can be as sturdy as annealing stainless steel? I wonder if it would fade/disappear over time. But it is fast!!!!!! Iím going to make a real one for my dog and test it out!



Yep, Frank is a great guy! He has provided me with a lot of different tags and plates and I've never been disappointed! He has also provided almost a million dog tags for the dog tags for kids project.

Gary Hair
01-06-2019, 4:23 PM
you do not want any depth at all! You are bleaching out the color and it is permanent, doesn't fade, etc! If you get any depth at all then you compromise the anodize layer and will definitely end up with chips and oxidation and other nasty stuff that you can avoid by not breaching the surface.

Do one pass - 1,500 speed, 30 power, 40 freq, one hatch at 45, one at 135, .07mm spacing, with the continuous hatch (it's all blue lines back and forth). If you get sparks then reduce power until they stop, sparks means you are ablating metal.


400497
Gary,
i actually found a few tags that Frank sent me last year. I never tried them on my fiber laser. I just did many tries and found the last wís on right got pretty white. The W in right corner I deep engraved and I guess that would chip eventually. I did 3 loops, 2000 speed, 10 power, 40 freq.
one hatch 45, .04 and second at 90, .04. It took less than a second. It does worry me because thereís no depth to it at all.
Do you think this quality of tag can be as sturdy as annealing stainless steel? I wonder if it would fade/disappear over time. But it is fast!!!!!! Iím going to make a real one for my dog and test it out!

Marianne Rusche
01-06-2019, 5:38 PM
Will give it a go!! Thanks again Gary!


you do not want any depth at all! You are bleaching out the color and it is permanent, doesn't fade, etc! If you get any depth at all then you compromise the anodize layer and will definitely end up with chips and oxidation and other nasty stuff that you can avoid by not breaching the surface.

Do one pass - 1,500 speed, 30 power, 40 freq, one hatch at 45, one at 135, .07mm spacing, with the continuous hatch (it's all blue lines back and forth). If you get sparks then reduce power until they stop, sparks means you are ablating metal.

Marianne Rusche
01-27-2019, 11:44 AM
402148So, I was able to fiber laser this tag in 7 seconds! It is definitely the quickest way to make a pet tag. Before , I was deep engraving aluminum, then polishing and then inking. Or, I was trying to find a quick way to anneal stainless steel or engrave and burn letters into stainless steel.

If I start using anodized aluminum more, I have to find some good markets for anodized aluminum. I might be wrong but I feel the perseved value of stainless steel or deeply engraved aluminum is greater than anodized aluminum. After all my playing around with my fiber laser, it seems like the most cost effective and fastest material to laser is the anodized aluminum.
Gary Hair you were right!
So, what I lose in price I guess I will make up in time saved!
Now I wonder: what are some good solid markets to persue that use anodized aluminum? 🤔🤔🤔
Thanks as alway,
Marianne

Kev Williams
01-27-2019, 12:26 PM
pursuing anodized work for the purpose of monetary gain is going to involve being able to manufacture your own aluminum parts. At least 60% of my income is based on aluminum parts I make from scratch. If I were to buy ready-to-engrave parts from 3rd parties rather than make them myself, I would have to raise my prices 30 or 40% just to make half the profit. Sounds like a fair trade, saving time but still making 50% of the money, but there's 2 things wrong with that:
1- it's only 50% of the money, and
2- the reason I'm so busy now is because I'm 30 to 40% cheaper than anyone else ;)
Some might argue I should charge more, yeah maybe, but if there's one thing I've found over the years, is when you start arbitrarily raising prices, even happy customers start shopping around... ;)

Marianne Rusche
01-28-2019, 11:30 AM
I suppose you are right. But, not being in a position to manufacture parts, I have to buy already made parts. I think this fiber laser of mine is amazing but very challenging for me. Iíve tried deep engraved aluminum, annealing stainless steel, try to deep engrave copper and brass and now engraving anodized aluminum. They all have amazing capabilities and limitations. Some days I do find that old fashioned metal stamping, albeit with many limitations, works just as well!😜
Not that Iím there yet but if I was to contemplate selling my practically new 30w fiber laser, does anyone know a good place to advertise my machine? Thanks, Marianne

Kev Williams
01-29-2019, 12:28 PM
What 'style' is it (pick one below, or "other" :) ) and would you need to get for it?


402297
402296
402295

Marianne Rusche
01-29-2019, 12:52 PM
402299This is a pic. Sorry it came up sideways! Itís a 30w fiber laser and itís a Bodor. Itís virtually brand new. I bought it from an engraving company in Florida last June. The laser is enclosed and the sides open up . I also bought a BOFA air filtration system that connects to the laser. It works perfectly and my customer service from the guys I bought it from is amazing! My biggest problem has been finding clients, and trying to compete with all the online products that sell items so inexpensively. At this point it seems to be more about my marketing skills than the capabilities of the machine. Where do you live? Iím in South Florida. Iím not ready yet to sell it but Iím starting to think about it. Are you interested Kev or do you know someone that might be interested?
marianne

Kev Williams
01-29-2019, 1:58 PM
Me, actually! I feel bad you're having trouble finding work while work is finding me in droves! I just bought my 2nd fiber in October, ebay machine which was dirt cheap and has performed beyond my wildest expectations! --I started a thread (the 'guinea pig' post ;) ) all about the whole process since ebay machines have such a bad reputation, or at least their sellers do- This seller - actually a group of them- are China based like the machines but they're stocking them in the USA, got my last one in 3 days, had an issue with the foot pedal, got great feedback and willingness to help from the seller... (pedal activation was off in the software, ez fix!)

I'm so backed up with fiber laser work at the moment I simply need another one. Unfortunately, a closed machine like yours wouldn't work for me, I engrave some very large items and need an 'open' machine.

When I saw your pic, and before replying here, I just ordered another ebay laser, this one a cabinet model (first pic above) of the same laser assembly (bottom pic above)... I'd rather have the bottom-pic version simply because the cabinet will eat up valuable floor space, but they're out of US stock on those. On the other hand, I can make good use of the cabinet's storage areas :)

It'll be here Friday :D

You should just keep yours and play with it. A thought-- hit the dollar store for serving trays and silverware. Practice 'frost' engraving them, and the idea's will hit you. ;)

jestes dupek
01-29-2019, 2:22 PM
Annealing, correct one, if you touch it, you donít feel it, steel is smooth like silk.:)
Material - cheapest stainless-steel kick door plate youíll find in any hardware store, this piece - Home Depot; 3-1/2 in. x 15 in. Stainless Steel Push Plate $9.98 by Everbilt Model # 14256 Store SKU #272845
Graphic file Ė free online capture screen jpg file from freebiesupply, logos, the-punisher-logo
Result in picture - daylight, no auto contrast, no auto tones, nothing tweaked under any software program, simple cut and paste.
402315

Marianne Rusche
01-29-2019, 2:49 PM
Kev,
Wow, thatís great that you are so busy! I started metal stamping pet tags, keyrings, bracelets and a few other small items on Etsy. 3 years ago I was doing great and bought the laser to be able to offer things that you couldnít do with metal stamping. Etsy has become so competitive and sales have slowed. I do need to find other ways to market my items or try other products to engrave. Do you do any marketing or have a website? I do love this laser but I havent found a way to make it work for me! Itís nice to know that someone is busy using a laser!

Marianne Rusche
01-29-2019, 2:52 PM
Jestes,
that looks really nice!! Do you know how long it took for you to anneal the graphic?
marianne

Kev Williams
01-29-2019, 3:38 PM
Afraid I have no marketing advice, my dad started this biz 53 years ago, his old work buddies were the source of the 'hobby work' he started out with... the buddies eventually changed jobs, which led to 'yeah, I know an engraver!'-- short version, word of mouth works- at this moment I have jobs in the house with the end customers being Homeland Security, Lear Jet and Universal Studios... I don't do work for them directly, but I DO do work for those that do. Unfortunately, word of mouth doesn't happen overnight. But it does happen.

I did make up a cheezy website many years ago, just to put pics on for people to look at when they ask for samples.

Here's my website as it's been for 3 years or so now-- go ahead, check it out, it won't break no TOS rules :D www.engraver1.com (http://www.engraver1.com)

(I love showing it to website builders) ;)

John Lifer
01-30-2019, 8:50 AM
Kev, You are SO BAD!:rolleyes:

But, if you are Busy, who needs a website. I have found about 50% of my current customers haven't seen mine either. Google me and that is about it.
or WOM. This is the REAL key. And it takes a good while. Marianne, I'd hit every pet store, vet, pet shelters I could get to easily. A lot already have simple engravers for text, so you need to add or do other things also. Branch out.. Etsy IS packed and it is hard to break in there. Always someone undercutting your price