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Thread: New Member Seeking Laser Advice

  1. #1

    New Member Seeking Laser Advice

    New member here. When doing searches on fiber laser engraving, the majority of the posts seemed to be here, so I read a lot, and signed up.

    I am a FFL, a type 7 manufacturer with a 02 SOT. I am interested in being able to mark the NFA items we manufacture, as well as custom graphics on various firearms.

    After a few days of looking at various lasers I have to say I'm pretty confused. I believe what we need is something like a 30 watt fiber laser. Don't need a really large printing are. 6x6 would seem to be sufficient.

    The firearm business is a serious sideline, but my main job is a real estate developer and builder. I would like to be able to engrave house numbers on aluminum as well. The numbers need to be at least 5" tall, and some address have 5 of them. I have a mill and a shop full of metal working equipment. As long as there is a way to index a larger piece, it would be great to be able to print address plaques that are up to 18" wide or so.

    The eBay fiber laser engravers seem to be the bargain basement variety, and there seems to be a fair number of pretty happy users. Seems like an inexpensive way to try it out, though I'm sure there probably isn't much support after the purchase?

    The US based companies, many of whom seem to be using the same, or similar Chinese components, seem to ask much higher prices, but probably offer better after sale service and help?

    I've looked at some of the websites of companies I have seen mentioned here frequently, like Rabbit Laser. Any recommendations any of you with experience could offer would be very, very much appreciated. To get started I'd rather not spend any more than necessary until we find out how it works out for us. I have no problem upgrading within a year or two if it works well for us.

  2. #2
    Jeff
    Welcome to SMC. A little searching on this site will turn up more than you ever wanted to know about lasers including fiber lasers.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    NW Arkansas
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    I replied on your new post, but as far as the house numbers, you need at least a 300x300mm area and if just marking to a minimal depth, 30 watt would be fine. I might go to a 50 watt if you are doing a lot of house numbers.
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
    Ray Fine RF-1390 Laser Ray Fine 20watt Fiber Laser
    SFX 50 Watt Fiber Laser
    PM2000, Delta BS, Delta sander, Powermatic 50 jointer,
    Powermatic 100-12 planer, Rockwell 15-126 radial drill press
    Rockwell 46-450 lathe, and 2 Walker Turner RA1100 radial saws
    Jet JWS18, bandsaw Carbide Create CNC, RIA 22TCM 1911s and others

  4. #4
    300x300 is near 12x12", 200x200 will cover 8x8, plenty for 5-6" high numbers. There's several issues with going larger than a 330/200 lens, a big one is the substantial loss of power density... my 420/300 lens has great depth of field and will etch anodized and powdercoated aluminum nicely, but it won't ENGRAVE anything for squat, at least not with 30 watts

    I have 2 ebay fiber lasers, I bought them like 6 weeks apart, had them over 2 years now. They're branded as "Vevor". There are several Vevor 'things' out in the world. They work well, I'm very happy with them. I haven't verified it yet but I'm almost certain the second laser, which was I was told the last one in USA storage at the time, is a 50 watt unit. If it's not it's a very ballsy 30 watt machine Anyway, I'm suddenly in the mass-production game and I'm looking at getting my 4th fiber, I want a 50w and possibly a 100w machine, with a rotary. But alas, the offerings on ebay are devoid of ANY brand names or the sellers I've bought from. Suspicious as hell are pics of a supposed 100w Raycus source with a 50w ID tag, or in one ad, that part of the ID tag was whited out. There are no US stored 100w machines at all, and the 50 watters are all unbranded, and twice what I paid for my 30w machines. SOOoooo, I'm wary of buying off ebay at the moment. Pretty sure I would be okay with a US stored 50w machine, but still mulling over my options.

    That all said, I've had three 30w machines (or two 30's and a 50) for several years, they've served me well and have paid for themselves at least 5x over, probably more. A 30w machine will be more than adequate to start with...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  5. #5
    Thanks Kev. I was hoping you would post. I've read a lot of your posts, including the one about being an ebay guinea pig, and learned a lot from them.

  6. #6
    And I just read the other post, about SFX lasers, which I didn't notice during my last searches (but then, I wasn't looking for THEM exactly )

    anyway, I need to look them up
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    NW Arkansas
    Posts
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    Blog Entries
    1
    SFX sells Under several company names, but the main company is Luoyang Xinchen Precision machinery company. I think each salesperson has a different listing. (guess on my part)
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
    Ray Fine RF-1390 Laser Ray Fine 20watt Fiber Laser
    SFX 50 Watt Fiber Laser
    PM2000, Delta BS, Delta sander, Powermatic 50 jointer,
    Powermatic 100-12 planer, Rockwell 15-126 radial drill press
    Rockwell 46-450 lathe, and 2 Walker Turner RA1100 radial saws
    Jet JWS18, bandsaw Carbide Create CNC, RIA 22TCM 1911s and others

  8. #8
    That doesn't surprise me at all John Lifer. I still haven't pulled the trigger yet. Kev Williams had a good experience with 2 of them. I just know there is probably zero chance of any support after the sale if there is a problem or anything. The parts seem readily available though, which is somewhat comforting.

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