View Full Version : Engraving in Wood

Ray Mighells
05-17-2006, 6:59 PM
The only thing I knew about laser engraving before I got my machine was that it would produce beautiful work. I might explain that I've been a woodworker and woodcarver for a long time and have produced a lot of cut-offs and otherwise short stuff that I can't bear to discard or burn. Sound familiar? I don't remember where I saw the Epilog ad, but a bell went off in my head and I looked it up and before long I had the perfect means of using my small pieces productively. I plan on pretty much sticking to using up my wood without getting into all the other good stuff, and I've read some pretty interesting entrys in this forum. I would welcome any pointers or suggestions on stuff to make, and how you are treating your wood. I've tried finish, no finish, wax and for the simple stuff I'm doing there doesn't seem to be a difference. The main thing is to start with a smooth blank and be very careful with speed and power settings. So far I've tried Aspen, Basswood, Hard Maple, Black Cherry, Black Walnut, Ash, White and Red Oak, Brazilian Cherry, and Ipe. So far I've been mostly working with script and some ot the clip art in Corel and modifying some of my woodcarving patterns. All responses appreciated.

Lee DeRaud
05-17-2006, 7:11 PM
Do an 'advanced' search on my name using the 'threads started by' option, in the laser and general woodworking forums: the laser got involved to some extent in just about all the stuff I've posted here (except the turnings, which is a whole 'nother story.:p)

If you're set up to resaw thin wood, you're not limited to engraving: the precision of the laser when cutting wood allows those scraps to be turned into all sorts of stuff.

Joe Pelonio
05-17-2006, 7:40 PM

Do you have any solid mahogany? That's the only one I've tried that wouldn't cut. I tried every combination of settings and it would just scorch and catch on fire. It was some African exotic variety, the customer brought it in. I ended up using some Oak I had here instead.

Ray Mighells
05-17-2006, 7:52 PM
Joe, that's how I feel about Ipe. I carved some African Mahogany one time and that was enough. I have lots of Luan which carves pretty well except stringy, I haven't tried to engrave it. I have several thousand pieces of laserable wood both in 1/16 to 1/8 and 1/8 to 1/4" all between 5 1/2 to 7 3/4" and between 4 and 6' long, so I hope I get a lot of ideas from this group.