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Thread: Preparing wood for lasering? And one cerdec question?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Question Preparing wood for lasering? And one cerdec question?

    Hi all, I've been searching the threads regarding wood prep. for lasering, but I'm still mostly confused. I have some beautiful bird'seye maple, and it lasered great with zero finishing (what did I know?), (I did a little monument for my dear departed Rusty dog) but there is a smoke haze around the letters and graphic. And, because I did zero finishing, it won't last outside, I figure. (Not that Rusty would really mind) Duh! That was before I found this site, of course I've bought some sealer, just a clear polyAcrylic MinWax, and some MinWax Paste Wax.
    Do I seal the wood, apply/buff the wax, apply my paper transfer tape, then laser? And can I spray paint fill without removing the transfer tape?
    I'm getting tired of messing up this bird's eye, it was bought for a customer 15 years ago, then he changed his mind to regular maple. I'd love to make some money with this chunk of wood, but I don't want to waste too much more material through "pilot error". We're a custom sign shop, mostly aluminum rotary engraving, and I'm not used to not liking this many pieces! I'm a wood newbie, fer sure My eyes are opening wider, I have always admired woodworkers skills, gosh, I wish I'd taken shop, not home economics! Didn't do me any good, I can't cook, still...
    I have an epilog legend ext, 60 watt. Corelx3
    Oh, and can you spray cerdec onto stainless, and then forget about it for a week or two? Or do you have to laser it immediately? It worked awesome, but my master sprayer/airbrush guy is expecting a baby any day now, I'd like to have some spare prepared plates on hand?
    Thanks for any and all thoughts
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 04-18-2007 at 7:49 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Sammamish, WA
    Welcome aboard.

    Yes, yes, and yes. I think you have it down. You finish the wood first, apply transfer tape, engrave, paint fill, peel.

    And the cermark is fine to sit at least for a few weeks, I don't kow the maximum exposed life but it is supposed to be dry when you laser it and I've had good luck with it sitting a week. Careful though, much of the stainless will have a clear coat on it, has to be bare for the cermark to work.

    Sammamish, WA

    Epilog Legend 24TT 45W, had a sign business for 17 years, now just doing laser work on the side.

    "One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop." G. Weilacher

    "The handyman's secret weapon - Duct Tape" R. Green

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    It isn't going to last outside regardless of what you do to it. It's life as an untreated piece of wood out in the elements is relatively short. If you still want to honor Rusty with it, you could sand off the residue with some fine sandpaper. I believe, it you buy some polyurethane varnish and after sanding it, put on a coat, then after it dries, do the same sanding process again and apply another coat, let dry and do it again until it looks the way you want it.

    Why don't you buy a $9.00 marble plaque and laser Rusty's photo on it and a nice verse. Put it out there at Rusty's resting place and Rusty's remains will be long gone before the plaque is. A fitting tribute to man's (er lady's) best friend.

    Don't know anything much about the cermark, other than I know it has to be dry before lasering. Don't know exactly how dry though.
    Good luck!
    Epilog Legend EXT36-40watt, Corel X4, Canon iPF8000 44" printer,Photoshop CS6, Ioline plotter, Hotronix Swinger Heat Press, Ricoh GX e3300 Sublimation

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Barb, we do much much wood stuff on our laser. We spray one coat of sanding sealer, lightly sand, then (at least) two coats of clear lacquer. On the maple plaques that we do for the state fair, we spray three coats. Then laser (we don't use any tape or mask). Remove the burn flare with a swipe of liquid floor wax (for wood floors), color fill, wipe down with a damp cloth, then final-wax to remove any paint residue and make it shiny.

    We use this technique on birch, maple, birch ply, bamboo...and it works for us. Haven't had any complaints yet.

    Nancy Laird
    Owner - D&N Specialties, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!
    Lasers - ULS M-20 (20W) & M-360 (40W), Corel X4 and X3
    SMC is user supported.
    It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

  5. #5
    I will reply on the Cermark. I do a lot of stainless. When I do plates for this one company I spray them 100 at a time. I have had them sit for as long as 3 months before I used them all. That does not generally happen but occasionally.

  6. #6
    I'll second Nancy's process, we do a very similar process on all our wood. We do two coats sand sealer, laser then sand with 220 Grit and then apply the topcoat. Works great and the only thing to make sure is using a top coat that is compatable with the sand sealer you use.


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