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Thread: Does CerMark go bad?

  1. #1

    Does CerMark go bad?

    Hello!

    I don't use my laser all that often but wanted to make some stainless koozies the other day. They came out like garbage when I've had really good luck with this product in the past on the same koozies??? Just wondering if this stuff happens to go bad or if you might know why the results came out the way they did? Thanks!!!

    Here's a Google photo of what I'm talking about. Thank you again!

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/SuoS4qPB5fu3j5Vc8
    Epilog Legend 36EXT 75 watt
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  2. #2
    Could you please post your photos here and not link to another site, thanks
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I'm still using CERDEC I bought about 20 years ago!!
    Haven't used CERMARK but I assume they are the same.

    Bruce
    Epilog TT 35W, 2 LMI SE225CV's
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bert Kemp View Post
    Could you please post your photos here and not link to another site, thanks
    Sorry about that. For some reason I must have got this site confused with a different one and thought I wasn't allowed to post actual pics anymore. Sorry again! Here is the linked picture...

    Attachment 466526
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Volden View Post
    I'm still using CERDEC I bought about 20 years ago!!
    Haven't used CERMARK but I assume they are the same.

    Bruce
    Hmmm... gotcha. Just weird. Not sure what happened then. I tried to make 2 of them and they both came out pretty darn bad!
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  6. #6
    Which Cermark you using? LM6000? (it's all I've ever used, save for wasting my money on that Ultra crap)

    Doesn't go bad, I still have about four 20+ year old 'empty' spray cans of the stuff, when I have time I cut them open to get out the what's still in them. Mix with denatured alcohol until the thickness is right and go--

    What will cause the results you got:

    - Not enough power... a dirty lens or mirror, or a mirror(s) out of alignment a bit is all that's needed to absorb enough laser energy to make a weak mark...

    - engraving too fast...

    - Mix too thin- or too thick for that matter...

    - Not in good focus...

    - Laser not 'putting out' like it used to...

    FWIW almost EVERY time I've run into a weak mark like yours, a dirty lens or mirror was the culprit--
    ========================================
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Which Cermark you using? LM6000? (it's all I've ever used, save for wasting my money on that Ultra crap)

    Doesn't go bad, I still have about four 20+ year old 'empty' spray cans of the stuff, when I have time I cut them open to get out the what's still in them. Mix with denatured alcohol until the thickness is right and go--

    What will cause the results you got:

    - Not enough power... a dirty lens or mirror, or a mirror(s) out of alignment a bit is all that's needed to absorb enough laser energy to make a weak mark...

    - engraving too fast...

    - Mix too thin- or too thick for that matter...

    - Not in good focus...

    - Laser not 'putting out' like it used to...

    FWIW almost EVERY time I've run into a weak mark like yours, a dirty lens or mirror was the culprit--
    Thanks! That gives me something to start with so thanks very much!

    I ended up engraving on some powder coated Koozies I had and they came out very good with crisp lines and details was good.

    I was using the Cermark LMM-6000. I had made a number of stainless tumblers with this using 50% speed and 100% power with my Epilog 75 watt laser and it worked good and that's the settings I used here. I'll do some testing with different speeds and see if that might be it. I have noticed that it seems like the laser wasn't performing as well when I was cutting through some thin plywood so maybe you're onto something with a dirty lens or mirror. I had the tube refilled probably 6 years ago (maybe more?) but I don't use it hardly at all. I'll take some time and work on re-aligning the laser. The red dot has been off forever so will give me a chance to get that fixed.

    Was kinda hoping it might have been the Cermark but sounds like that stuff doesn't go bad so must be something with the laser. Ugh. Oh well. Fun fun. LOL Thanks again for the suggestions!
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  8. #8
    Join Date
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    I've a 250ml bottle of 6000 that I've had now going on 3 years. One thing I've found is that it will settle and clump up. I have a 6" piece of rod with a hook on the end that goes in a cordless drill that I use to mix. I only have to do when it sits for a month or longer between uses. I usually can shake up and paint on with foam brush. I did 30 plates Friday and they came out fine.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by John Lifer View Post
    I've a 250ml bottle of 6000 that I've had now going on 3 years. One thing I've found is that it will settle and clump up. I have a 6" piece of rod with a hook on the end that goes in a cordless drill that I use to mix. I only have to do when it sits for a month or longer between uses. I usually can shake up and paint on with foam brush. I did 30 plates Friday and they came out fine.
    Mine is in a spray can but did have some issues with the nozzle clogging. I shook it good but maybe I didn't shake it good enough. I'll have to build something too to shake my cans up better than I can do it by hand
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  10. #10
    If you're using from a spray can that's been sitting for awhile, the solids in the mix can separate from the alcohol enough that it could take a half hour or more it all to mix up. When I cut open cans to get the last bit out, it literally takes a screwdriver to dig out all the hardened Cermark-- It's a good bet your bad results are simply because the mix you got out of the can was severely on the weak side!

    FWIW the clumping problem isn't just confined to cans (I haven't bought a spray can of the stuff in like 12 years!), my own bottled mixes do the same thing. I put screws and nuts in the bottle as mixers, and if the bottle has sat for some time, just shaking it won't loosen the mixers from the mud...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  11. #11
    I haven't bought a spray can in years. I buy the 500 gram bottles and I use a ground down spade bit in my cordless drill to mix.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    If you're using from a spray can that's been sitting for awhile, the solids in the mix can separate from the alcohol enough that it could take a half hour or more it all to mix up. When I cut open cans to get the last bit out, it literally takes a screwdriver to dig out all the hardened Cermark-- It's a good bet your bad results are simply because the mix you got out of the can was severely on the weak side!

    FWIW the clumping problem isn't just confined to cans (I haven't bought a spray can of the stuff in like 12 years!), my own bottled mixes do the same thing. I put screws and nuts in the bottle as mixers, and if the bottle has sat for some time, just shaking it won't loosen the mixers from the mud...
    Wow. Ok, if the Cermark gets THAT HARD in the bottom then that could definitely be my problem because I only shook it for a minute or two like you would a can of spray paint. It took a bit to get the ball broke loose and then when it started rattling I shook for another couple minutes maybe. The can is nearly empty too.

    When you guys cut open these cans how do you do it safely and then how do you keep it sealed afterwards? Thanks for the tips!
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Null View Post
    I haven't bought a spray can in years. I buy the 500 gram bottles and I use a ground down spade bit in my cordless drill to mix.
    This will probably be the last spray one I buy. I'll try what you are saying.

    I bought some stuff on eBay years ago for under $10 and it was FANTASTIC. It left a super black mark and years and years later the tumblers I made still look fantastic. It came in a powder form. I searched for the company who made it but they evidently went out of business because I couldn't find anything. I've tried the dry moly but it seems like it takes a whole lot more power and it is way harder to clean off the tumblers. I know people on here swear by the dry moly but I haven't evidently found the right stuff or figured out the process yet.
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  14. #14
    I've never gotten any of the moly I've tried to do a thing other than make a mess

    how I open cans-- First, I just take something like a sharp ice pick and poke a teeny hole at the very top to let the pressure escape. After that, I put the can in a vice-- I find something to prop it up with so when tightened in the clamp I'll be cutting- with a hacksaw, about 3" above the bottom. As you can imagine you can't tighten the can very hard, so I hold the top of the can as best I can with my left hand while sawing with my right.

    As for a container, Cermark bottles are VERY airtight, I've never thrown one away. But any plastic jar that will be reasonably airtight with the lid on will work, worst case is thinning it out again if it thickens up!

    Viscosity-- Mike says 'consistency of 2% milk" works for him, myself I lean more towards 'chocolate milk'

    Cheap foam brushes are my best way of brushing it on. Keep jar, half-pint or so, about 1/2 full with denatured alcohol, use this to clean the brush afterward. When the brush wears out, give it a good rinse with the DNA, then squeeze it as dry as possible. AND, use your brush cleaner DNA for thinning future batches. Zero waste. Which is a good thing for something that costs $28 per ounce!
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  15. #15
    Oh yeah on the foam brushes!! Cheap and efficient. The only time I use my airbrush is on a large label job where I'm doing 1" x 3" ss asset labels etc.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

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

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