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View Full Version : No longer a virgin! 1st & 2nd paid jobs. Hooray!



Darren Null
09-05-2007, 1:11 PM
Here's the first one; doing most of the glasses for a bar. The palm tree was a photograph of one outside, clipped, photoshop 'photocopy' filtered, imported as a .PSD into Corel and inserted into a space I left in the word. Easy. There were some tricky glasses in the batch, but I just aimed for the flattest place I could find and it all seemed to work OK.
The only downside is that the laser etching seems to go a bit translucent with liquid in the glasses as compared to sandblasted ones. Any way round that?
http://cambs.com/etch/z1.jpg
The second was not a challenge except that it was apparently the only decanter in town and the chap was leaving the next day so...only 1 go. In retrospect, I should probably have dropped the power for the vector frame around the edge, but the customer left happy, and that's what counts. Showed everyone in town in one day, from the feedback I've been getting. The die are a bit scruffy, I know, but it's a photograph of an ankle tattoo...of course taken with a phone camera from shoulder height. I eventually compensated for the angle and just clipped it out in photoshop.
http://cambs.com/etch/d1.jpg
http://cambs.com/etch/d2.jpg
The font for the 'Alea iacta est' (the die is cast) is a free one I found on the interweb called 'Base Christmas'. Swirly without being too ornate.

Thinus Rabie
09-05-2007, 2:20 PM
You have done a great job !! Keep us posted with future jobs you take up. Nice to follow peoples achievements and very inspiring!

Karin Voorhis
09-05-2007, 3:26 PM
congrats! Way togo adn what a nice job.

Bill Cunningham
09-06-2007, 8:48 PM
The only downside is that the laser etching seems to go a bit translucent with liquid in the glasses as compared to sandblasted ones. Any way round that?

Looking good!!
If the liquid is clear (vodka?) it will be hard to see the etching. But, when darker liquids are used it should stand out just fine.. Keep in mind, if the 'outside' of the glass is wet, the water will have similar optical properties as the glass, and the etching will again be transparent until it dries once more..

Darren Null
09-08-2007, 12:14 PM
Thanks for the encouragement. I'll sling future projects on here if I end up with anything postworthy. I'm having a go at some doors-open 'stunt engraving' at the moment, but so far it's looking better in my head than the results are turning out to be.

As for the engraving becoming translucent, I already knew that Bill, but you put it down in a more organised fashion than I had in my head. Thanks. The question I was asking was why sandblasted engraving appears to suffer marginally less from 'the translucency effect' than a similar piece done with a laser engraver.

It could be that sandblasting goes in a little deeper, or maybe it's something to do with the way the surface reflects light (sandblasting is a flatter rough surface, whereas all my attempts so far have resulted in a blobby pattern on the surface; very similar to that of dew condensing). I Might have a dabble with PostScript fills instead of the dark areas...do things with pure vectors and see how that turns out.

Here's a pic of my 'stunt engraving'.
http://cambs.com/etch/stereo.jpg
Not really turned out as I'd hoped, but I may be able to rescue it with the right lighting. It's a rendition of this image (http://cambs.com/etch/pano_fw1.jpg) (2.8Mb JPEG!), which is 3 10-megapixel images stitched together, and is possibly the best image I've ever got from a camera. The glass is a door from the cabinet of an old-style stereo system.

Jim Watkins
09-09-2007, 2:54 PM
Thats a nice job Darren,
Did you just place the bar glasses down on the platform or did you use the rotary tool?

Did you visit a few bars in the area with some samples to get the sale?

Can you share some of the details? I am new as many are here and have yet to do anything other than make some cool gifts for friends and family. While gifts are nice, it's not what I bought my unit for... lol

Darren Null
09-09-2007, 4:07 PM
The glasses were all done with the rotary tool. You can do them flat on the bed, but only very small logos (or writing printed sideways down the (straight) glass for that 'bored designer' look but you can do loads at once that way)- I have only a 12W laser and the power drops off sharply with the focus, so I may be a little more limited in that respect than most people on here.

I visited a few selected bars in the area with demo pieces that I made whilst learning to use the machine and gave them to the landlords as presents. I also have a PDA, and loaded it up with photos of more recent (and therefore more accomplished) pieces.
"Here's a present for you, and this is the sort of standard I'm achieving now just in case you're interested".

Next, I'm going to do some custom coasters- 3mm wood; varnish; masking tape; etch; cut (you can do both operations in one hit if you use the manual colour power settings...black for etching power, red (in my case- it's the next one down) for cutting); paint with carspray(I thought gold on a darkish wood); varnish and possibly sand cut edges; remove masking; stick felt or rubber feet on the bottom- job done. As long as I leave a bit of logo poking out of the shape so they're not a boring square or round shape all should be good. I've already got some tentative interest, but they're all hanging out to see the final results. I should have done this at the same time as the glasses, but I didn't think of it then. I've also got a couple of nibbles for engraved wine bottles for restaurants (note to self- knock out a couple of flashy-looking 'reserved' table signs before trolling round restaurants- also have a go a a blackboard) who get their house wine in bulk and have to re-use bottles. Some of them print up their own labels, some don't bother. Also have a look out for signs- business sign, toilet, emergency exit, and see if they need anything like that. You can get an excellent result using the same technique as for the coasters- have a troll through some of the other post on here; and you can also get a 3D effect by stacking layers of cut plywood (or other material).

On a technical note, I burn at 300dpi if there's any kind of a picture on glass- any higher and I just get a silhouette. 500dpi if it's just text because it comes out smoother whilst not taking too long.

I've also been burning my name and telephone on stones picked from the beach- free and seems to impress people. That's how I got the decanter job.
Just telling anyone who holds still for it what's possible and handing out contact details to as many people as possible. It's free, personal, non-invasive and seems to work. Also, people show other people the stones.
I might do some wood ones as well- not free, but the definition is better and using the same method as for the coasters, can (in theory) end up looking very posh indeed for not too much in the way of cost.

It helps both that this is a cafe society and that I'm one of life's natural minglers (it frequently takes me hours to get 1 thing from the shop round the corner and half the time I forget THAT, to the exasperation of my wife!). Many businesses (all the pubs around here) have a noticeboard where you can stick up a card or will let you some space in the window which is also worth thinking of.
If you're allowed to post adverts up anywhere, that's worth doing. A thing they do round here is have an advert for a service or event that has tear-off phone numbers on the bottom or side- a sort of mini business card. A refinement of this will be to encapsulate (plasticise?) it and have a more sophisticated tear-off bit; but this is one of the many things that I haven't got around to yet. This is a bit more high-maintenance, as you have to go round and replace the tagless ones periodically; but worth doing for your regular haunts- you get targeted custom (if they're not interested they don't tear off the contact details) and they phone you.

The basic premise is to let as many people as possible know what's possible, and approximately what it'll cost them. I'm no salesman, by any means- couldn't 'close a deal' if my life depended on it. But art and dangerous toys are two passions of mine and I will ramble on about them to anyone who'll listen- and then hopefully people will sell themselves.

Stephen Beckham
09-09-2007, 11:33 PM
Darren - try a couple of your 300 DPI images at 600 DPI on the laser. I've found that it gives a better glazing effect on the solid colors than 300/300 settings. I think the "divits" created are better overlapped for a solid etching versus sparsely placed. My 2 cents...

Darren Null
09-11-2007, 12:41 AM
I've tried. The settings jump from 300 to 500 dpi on my machine. 300dpi = discrete dots, 500dpi = silhouette. Even with a photograv'd image.

*starts rambling discourse that has nothing to do with lasers*

Half an hour ago. The storm's still going on, but the battery on my camera ran out. Hmmph.
http://cambs.com/b3ta/lig1.jpg
And yes, those lights on the sea are fishing boats still working. They take a statue of the Madonna for a trip round the harbour every August 15th, followed by a extremely large fireworks display. I guess that must make them invincible:
http://cambs.com/b3ta/lig2.jpg
The best of the bunch. I've included a full-fat version. The town it's hitting is Salobreņa, south of Granada.
http://cambs.com/b3ta/lig3.jpg
The big version. 1.38Mb (http://http://cambs.com/b3ta/lig3.jpg)

*Hope you didn't mind the detour.*

Thinus Rabie
09-11-2007, 1:26 AM
Amazing pictures Darren ! You have a beautiful view.