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Thread: Newbie question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    39

    Newbie question

    Folks - I apologize for asking a horribly deficient newbie question but I didn't find anything in my searches on the forum.

    First off - I am blown away by the knowledge on this forum regarding laser equipment. I had no idea of the capabilities inherent in the gear in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing.

    In any event, I've been doing woodworking since I could walk into my dad's woodshop as a kid. I plan to make a cutting board as a wedding gift and would love to burn it with their names and wedding date. I have some wood burning pens and tips from my dad's shop but I am not sure I have a steady enough hand to pull it off - nor do I think the result looks very professional.

    My near term requirement is pretty simple and I am trying to reconcile the thousands of dollars being bantered about in these threads against the $200 laser setups available from Amazon. My hunch is that if I buy into a machine I'll want to use it for other projects which may force a re-buy downstream if I go too cheap which I'd like to avoid. I can envision using it to stamp my logo on future creations. The bottom line is that I'm trying to figure out where the investment sweet spot is for fairly straightforward burning/engraving use.

    Again I beg your indulgence for asking such a basic question.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,497
    First - don't buy a laser from Amazon or eBay. The sellers on either site are not in the business of selling and supporting lasers, they are in the business of buying cheap crap and selling it for a profit - that's it!
    Second - there a dozens of "what should I buy" threads, probably from this week alone... Search or browse and you'll find all of your questions are answered.
    I have done so much with so little for so long, that I can do almost anything with practically nothing...

    Trotec Speedy 400 80 watt 8/2015
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 1/2016
    G. Weike LF-30, 30 watt galvo fiber - 3/2015
    Fargo HDP5000 Card printer


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    3,918
    You don't sound like your sure you want to get into this. I would find a local engraver to do your cutting board. ask if it would be ok to watch him do it . Or see if there a makers shop near you that have lasers you can use.If your sure you want to buy one the invest in a decent Chinese laser, like Rabbit, Boss or Thunder, there all pretty decent machine and have good support. Thats my nickles worth.
    If the Help and advice you received here was of any VALUE to you PLEASE! Become a Contributor
    Rabbit RL_XX_6040-60 watt Laser engraving/cutting machine
    Lasercut 5.3
    CorelDraw X5

    10" Miter Saw with slide
    10" Table Saw
    8" bench mount 5 speed Drill Press
    Dremel, 3x21 Belt Sander


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    345
    Good intuition regarding not wanting to buy a super cheap laser and then regretting it. Bert's suggestion about finding a maker space is spot-on. Pay for a membership, learn on their machine, do your low volume work there until you are sure you want to/can justify fully jump into laser ownership.
    700mm x 500mm Ke Hui KH-7050 Laser
    80W EFR F2
    S&A CW5000 chiller
    Chuck style of rotary attachment

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Iowa USA
    Posts
    3,187
    For the price of that $200 cheap laser machine, you could get several cutting boards engraved.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Qe60+ Vinyl cutter. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach3

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    39
    Thanks guys. I appreciate the feedback. I'll get this one project done locally from a shop that has a machine and then investigate my own setup downstream.

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