View Full Version : Mobile Laser Engraving?

Jay Beller
12-04-2008, 4:59 PM
Is anyone ALREADY doing engraving work on-the-road?

I've been thinking about engraving at Street Fairs and Flea Markets - wondering if it's viable. Small stuff like tags.

I've tested out selling at Street Fairs - mailing the finished product a couple of days later. Mild success, but I think the "while-you-wait" factor would make a big difference.

If anyone has taken their show on the road, can you share info about where you're venting exhaust; how you and customers deal with the noise; what size generator you use and how much stuff you have connected to it; are you setting up inside a truck or on the street?

Brian Robison
12-04-2008, 5:50 PM
if you do, look at the Honda or Yamaha generators with a quiet option. I've done some work out of my enclosed trailer, the generator I have is too loud though. Try to figure out what you are going to do and maybe you can size a blower to the need and save noise and power needed. If your doing anodized aluminum you won't need as much cfm as you would for acrylic or wood. Also the smell would be a lot less.

Frank Corker
12-04-2008, 8:39 PM
Jay you also need to be very careful about moving your machine around, there are an awful lot of delicate expensive things inside which you most certainly don't want damaged, you also need to watch alignment.

Jay Beller
12-04-2008, 8:46 PM
Good point. Would probably need a way to stabilize during transport. How do those mobile groomers get all that equipment around without problems?:confused:

Steve Clarkson
12-05-2008, 6:32 AM

I seem to recall that it was Steve Beckham that had the mobile set-up....it was really cool too. He had tricked out a small bus (check his website, I think he has pictures on there), but then got rid of it for some reason. I'll be he would have some good advice for you.

Stephen Beckham
12-05-2008, 8:18 AM
Jay - Steve is right - I had posted some info on the bus. I do still have it sitting in front of my store.

Two plans - Sell it or re-populate it and go on the road again. Right now I'm by myself and do to blessings from the big Guy (don't want to get too religious and get bumped by TOS) - the store is overwhelming me. So it just still sits...

There are several things to take in consideration. I worked MI repair and design during my 20 years in the Army, so I put a lot of past memories to use.

The major concern for me was the bumps and damaging the equipment (as Frank mentioned). I used it for just over a year and never noticed any damage from movement. What I did was use a gel based pad (1/2" thick) under the laser to absorb bumps - but I also put in some eye-bolts to forcefully pull the laser into the sweet spot of the padding. Not too much, not too little... while travelling (forgot to put them back on once when I was in a hurry :eek:).

For noise - I used egg crate foam (commonly found as bed pads in dollar stores) The shape acts the same as in sound chambers and recording studios to knock down the drone of the air exhaust. The exhaust piping itself, I used 4" thin wall PVC to boost it about 18' in the air with tie downs for wind.

IF you think you might be interested in spending the time - let me know and I'll send you some photos during the different stages of work...

Oh yea and generator? Well, I had and RV power kit and RV A/C installed to keep from overheating the laser in the summer - so because of that, I went up to a 6.9K generator - got it from Sears (about $1K). Added a 50Amp plug to the chassis so the bus would plug right into it without additional need for adaptors or anything...

Jay Beller
12-05-2008, 10:09 AM
So glad to hear from you... now I can spend all my spare time :p thinking about tricking out a bus... or maybe a used Mr. Softee truck.

Did you ever try a Street Fair or Flea Market venue? If yes, what was your experience?

David Dustin
12-05-2008, 11:47 AM
We have done the "mobile" thing a bunch this fall and it was was very difficult to get people to buy.

Lot's of tire kickers.