Reviving the laser

The laser haven’t been used in over a year. Missus wanted me to make sometimes for her yarn spinning. I spent a loong time getting it up and running, so many small quirks that are already forgotten. “Inline” cutting, M08 for air, M09 for shutting of air, and so on and so on. The Dupont connectors had come loose. What pin did I use again? Why haven’t I documented better!?!?

Well, I finally got back into it - but I’m not 100% satisfied with the results. How can I make the surface and the engraving nicer? Should I apply shellac before engraving? Increasing power or reducing speed would only char and soot more…


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IIRC, engraving is better without air assist. But I’m no expert. I hope @dkj4linux or @robertbu chime in with tips.

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Ah, that makes sense! But I worry for the lens, so I think I’ll try to turn the air pressure down during engraving, but not totally shut. Thanks! :+1:

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On the local makerspace laser cutter (100W laser), I had some success doing the following:

Cutting: Put blue painters tape over the area you’re going to cut, so when you peel it off the residue/charring is on the tape not on the wood.

Engrave: Run multiple passes at lower power. Build up to the full darkness. Air assist was mildly helpful if coupled with STRONG fume extraction from the enclosure.

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I don’t do a lot of wood engraving. For engraving, I mostly do tiles. For engraving on wood, I have produced some solid results by selecting a lighter wood and treating it with a borax solution. The laser then produces a nice, black engraving. The black will smear and therefore must be sealed. Note that engraving with borax will use lower power (and/or faster federate) and produce far less smoke in the process.

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I tried different settings. Several passes, slower, less power - and all that. But it seems that the surface of the veneer is very easy to smudge. I don’t know what to do, the engraving is very uneven. If I go a little too hard, I could sand away the soot, but that makes the engraving look bad… hm, what if I coated it with shellack BEFORE engraving, and then just wiping the soot off? I wonder if shellack creates deadly fumes?

I’ve done blue painters tape before. Cover the wood before and then after just peal the tape off. Soot comes off with the tape

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Getting better, thanks! There is a slight “bleed”, but things are definitely improved using the tape. It’s still hard to find a good balance. To get a clean engrave I need to ramp it up, but that leads to deep cuts, especially towards the edges of larger objects.

And now with blue tape, instead of yellow:

Speeds and power:

80mms/30
80/40
80/50


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I think there’s something wrong with your UTF-8 encoding :smiley:

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