View Full Version : Need ideas for cherry wood finish coatings

Norm Surface
01-25-2007, 11:08 PM
Hello all.
I do allot of photograv pictures on solid 3/4" cherry.
Problem is that no matter what protective coating I put on the wood after the engraving-the wood darkens and I lose the nice contrast between the the engraved photo and wood. No diff. if I put the fishish on first then engrave.
The end result is ok with dark images but with light images (fade outs) sure looks better without the coating. Have used everything, Danish Oil, Lacquer and you name it. Any ideas about products that will not darken the wood ?

Thanks, Norm

Mike Null
01-26-2007, 7:32 AM
This may take you in the opposite direction but when I engrave cherry plaques I increase my dpi setting which gives me a darker burn and increases the contrast between the engraved and unengraved portions.

Bruce Volden
01-26-2007, 8:09 AM

Such is the nature of cherry~darkens over time or when finished. Have you considered trying another wood? Maple works well but you'll have to dial things in a little bit differently (hard wood) for speed/power to obtain contrasts.


Bill Cunningham
01-26-2007, 10:57 AM
Plain, ordinary wood floor paste wax.. It protects the wood, puts a shine on it, and does not darken.. Here is a panel I did a while back, it's now in the bell tower of the Washington National Cathedral.. The colour did not really change at all.. The wood came unfinished, and I put a coat of wax on it just to protect the grain from smoke damage.. The customer liked it as is, so he did not stain it to match the oak in the main mounting..
The commemorative date on the plaque says 2001, but it was actually made in 2005

Norm Surface
01-26-2007, 9:32 PM
Thanks to all for the suggestions.

Bill, I really liked the end result of your plaque project (the cherry was protected but did not turn dark). What type (brand name) of floor wax did you use ? I understand that you put on wax before lasering to prevent smoke damage so does that mean you put the floor wax on after lasering ? Paste Wax ? Seems that it would clog up inside the text.
I need to stay with cherry and really want to get the same result that you were able to obtain.

Bill Cunningham
01-27-2007, 8:13 PM
Norm I answered your PM. but told you the wrong wax.. I just checked, and the wax was AerOwax Clear paste wax, Can says "Bright, Hard shine, Never Yellows"..

Now, I have no idea how old this stuff is, or whether its still available or not.. It's been kicking around my shop for 10-15 years.. A can of this stuff, obviously goes a long way:D You sand the wood, wipe this on thick with a rag, let it dry for an hour, then buff it up and laser it.. Once done I gave it a spray of windex, and wiped off the grunge...