View Full Version : Finally some sample pics using the laser

Pat Kearney
04-12-2006, 9:58 PM




Hello everyone, it's been a while since I have posted anything but it has been very busy using the Epilog Helix we bought in late 2005. Since then we have been having lots of fun trying many different materials and techniques (most of which I have read about here at SMC-thanks). It's been a great few months. Here are a few pics of some of the things we have been working on. Not sure what order these pics will post but you will have no problem determining which one is which.

There is the Hotel Room Sign made from dark Corian. Of all the materials I have worked with Corian is hands-down the most beautiful both from a cutting/routing and laser engraving point of view-thanks Keith O. for putting me on to such a great material.

Another picture is of some plaques that we recently created using local birch obtained from a sawmill just down the road from here. We just finished 35 of these plus 120 custom plastic bag tags as part of a sponsorship we did for a major Atlantic Canada Hockey Tournament. I am including a close-up of the plaque as well to show the clarity of the detail by the laser-it's unbelievable. We received so many compliments on these. I find there's no better feeling than creating something so beautiful from scratch using local materials with our own hands.

Finally there is one pic showing laser lites being used on the back of medals. Since many customers are looking for engraving on the back of medals and we don't have a rotary engraver I found this to be an even better and faster way to place the information on the back of the medals. To have such detail customers seem to be willing to pay a little more.

Sorry for so long of a post but I hope others are as inspired as I was by the information on this site. After almost two years following this site plus reading and reseaching I finally took the plunge to buy a laser and start a business. Since then I have had many gratifying moments and I want to pass along a sincere thanks to everyone on this site who has contributed-your discussions and support helped in making this a reality. Hope you enjoy the pics. In the near future I hope to share more both here and on my website.

Take care.


Ed Lang
04-13-2006, 8:02 AM
Your work looks great!

I have not tried Corian yet as I cannot find it around me. Seems everyone who has it will not part with any of it. I am still looking!
What fill did you use on the Corian?

I have not used Laser Lites either. Is that a sitck on material? I am guessing you laser the graphics and text and then vector cut the circle to proper size and then stick it on.

Your plaques look great as well.

I have only been working with wood on my laser. Gotta try new stuff soon.

Keith Outten
04-13-2006, 6:10 PM

I'm sure glad you have joined me using Corian, all your stuff looks really nice.


I'm gonna bring some Corian to the ShopBot Jamboree for you, Pat and I would like you to join us :). You might want to try engraving some leather as well, I think you will be surprised.

Jeff Lehman
04-17-2006, 8:51 AM
If you dont mind sharing...where did you get the Corian Room Number plaques?


Keith Outten
04-17-2006, 7:34 PM

If you can't find a local source for Corian plaques you can order them from me.

Pat Kearney
04-18-2006, 6:16 PM
Thanks for all of the great comments everyone.

Ed you are correct. Laserlights is a an adhesive backed material. To read more about it you can have a look at the Tech Tips section on www.laserbits.com (http://www.laserbits.com) website (top right hand corner). We have used laser lights now on several projects and I find it to be a very useful material.

Jeff, the Corian room plaque was actually made by myself. About two and a half years ago I started reading this site as I was beginning to have a slight interest wood working. After following the Sawmill Creek site and a few others my slight interest quickly grew to become a full fledged hobby. I now have a small woodworking workshop at the back of my house and a laser engraver which we operate from our home. After reading Keith's posts about Corian I had to get my hands on some to try it so I ordered a couple of 30" X 48" x 1/2" Corian sheets. I cut and routed the plaques from that. Then laser engraved the sign through a paper mask and spray painted the letters and symbol using Krylon plastic paint. When I removed the mask I was floored at how beautiful it was. The next day I even carried the sign to work in my jacket pocket and occasionally stared at it as I could not believe I had made it. Silly story but true!!! :rolleyes:


Ian Zahn
04-28-2006, 10:42 AM
For a higher gloss on corian (especially dark colors) I use this stuff- from woodcraft (http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=5232) or rockler (http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=11435) (on sale!). I use the 5" round ones on my ROS.
Here is the the first piece I did in corian-


Pat Kearney
04-30-2006, 8:29 PM
This is very nice work. Would you mind sharing some of the techniques you used ie: how did you bend the Corian? How did you cut the designs? etc.

Ian Zahn
05-01-2006, 3:24 AM
This is very nice work.
Thanks Pat

... how did you bend the Corian?
Bending Corian is just like baking cookies. Preheat oven to 350*F (175*C). Place Corian on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove and bend. I handled this piece with plain old oven mitts.
If for some reason you get a bend in the wrong spot, as this one did where the rectangular holes are cut, just throw it back in the oven until it flattens out again.

How did you cut the designs? With a scroll saw (as he hides his face in shame from the people with lasers and CNC routers) :).

Thanks for the interest in the piece Pat, I really had a good experience putting this one together.


Mike Moffitt
05-01-2006, 8:23 AM
That is really nice! I've never worked with Corian...can some of you more experienced laser engravers tell me if I would be able to cut the designs and the rectangles out with my 25W laser without leaving it discolor.

Also Ian, did you have to put anything on the back of your piece to keep it standing up or is the bend just right to keep it balanced?



Ian Zahn
05-01-2006, 10:56 AM
... did you have to put anything on the back of your piece to keep it standing up or is the bend just right to keep it balanced? Mike,
Great question, there is a 1/2 inch thick piece of baltic birch ply on the bottom. I tried to hide the ply as much as possible and to give the piece the 'appearance' that it is floating above the surface it is sitting on.
Mike, it seems we are neighbors, any chance you could PM me with any insight you may have concerning buying a laser here in Colorado.

Thanks in advance,


Pat Kearney
05-01-2006, 11:36 AM
Ian this is good to know and I will have to try it out in the near future.
I enjoy reading about new and engenius ideas as to how Corian is being used (& for that matter anything reagrds to woodworking & lasering as well). Anyone else out there who can add to this please feel free to submit.

Pat Kearney
05-01-2006, 11:41 AM
What type of adhesive is used to join Corian? I spoke with one Corian rep and he said they have a special glue but crazy glue should work fine.
Anyone tried crazy glue?
Any other adhesives you may have tried?

Ian Zahn
05-01-2006, 12:08 PM
What type of adhesive is used to join Corian?... Any other adhesives you may have tried? This is what I have used so far, and it seems to do a very good job for the things I'm building. It is a CA (CYANOACRYLATE) glue like 'crazy' glue, and is widely available at wood working and hobby stores. Check around the pen turning supplies in your favorite ww store.

http://www.caglue.com/images/HST-4.jpgSUPER 'T'™
Super 'T'™ has a consistency similar to that of syrup and has the ability to fill small gaps between parts which don't fit perfectly. SUPER 'T'™ cures at a slower rate than HOT STUFF™, (10-25 seconds depending on the material). (http://www.caglue.com/index.html)

Keith Outten
05-01-2006, 8:22 PM

I recently have been using the Dupont Corian adhesive for several projects. Dupont's glue is a bit pricey and there is a special gun you have to purchase, kind of like a caulking gun that fits their special tubes that mixes the glue and hardener via a custom nozzle that spins the two together when you pump the trigger. Dupont's glue is a permanent adhesive, it chemically bonds the two surfaces together. Dupont's adhesive is sold via their distributors and comes in various colors to match their product line.

Lots of people use silicone ashesive and it is approved by Dupont for some applications but it is definately not the prefered choice for butt joints. Cyanoacrylate is also approved by Dupont for certain applications. I will check my Installers manual, maybe there is a table I can post that will help.

Below is a wedding box I just finished. The corners were butt joints that were glued with Dupont Cameo White adhesive. The top was engraved with a design that matches the window shapes and the wedding announcement. I also made two cake toppers for the wedding, one was bent from aluminum strip and the other was laser cut from acrylic mirror.

Keith Outten
05-01-2006, 9:56 PM
That is really nice! I've never worked with Corian...can some of you more experienced laser engravers tell me if I would be able to cut the designs and the rectangles out with my 25W laser without leaving it discolor.



You can't vector cut Corian with a 25 watt CO2 laser. I don't know if a 100 watt laser would be capable of cutting half inch thick Corian. When engraved Corian doesn't discolor, there is no burn so you must color fill to provide contrast. I normally apply engravers paper masking, engrave then spray paint. I then run my ROS over the surface and polish to the desired finish level. Sometimes I can polish before engraving then carefully weed the paper masking after painting.


Jerry Allen
05-15-2006, 9:10 PM
Thanks for the tip on the Micro-Mesh.
I ordered some from Rockler and used it today to fix some clear acrylic that I had to sand down with 220 grit to fit a hole. The 220 made it dull and opaque. I then used 320, 400 and then all nine levels of Micro-Mesh which brought the part back to smooth and clear.

Ian Zahn
05-16-2006, 12:39 AM
Glad I could help. Isn't the 12000 grit just wild, I always show the stuff to folks that come in my shop. I think the 12000 is less abrasive than a sheet of paper.