CNC and Laser Engraving

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Pete Cyr
Posts: 1964
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:16 pm
Location: Suffolk Virginia
Country: United States
Laser Machine Make or Type: Boss 1630
Laser Power: 100w
Laser Bed Size: 16"x30"
Home Position: TR
Control Software: RDWORKS
RDWorks Version: v8.01.18
Ruida Controller: RDC6442
Windows Version: Win 10
Accessories: roller rotary attachment

I use Aspire to design my models and on occasion i purchase a model if I am feeling lazy and it suits my needs. i have a Camaster Stinger II with a 1.74kw Spindle on a 3'x4' bed

I do quite a bit of 3D carving CNC work for mostly naval persons retiring or for gifts they have earned by being a Great Sailor and a All round good person. I often incorporate laser engravings to enhance work and especially where very fine detailed can not be shown in some constrains of the space I have to work with. The laser can capture detail that can certainly be carved with a CNC but usually it has to be a bit larger that can be done with the laser and still see all the detail.

As a process I lacquer almost all the wood I engrave and use plain old liquid kiwi brown shoe polish to darken the engravings. Smear it on and wipe it off - the polish is absorbed in to the surface that was lasered and wipes of with a clean towel and or a bit of Windex. Windex also removes dried polish from the lacquer if you have missed any AND works as a great resin remover in advance of using the polish (spray the Windex on a cloth and wipe the surface of the wood to remove any resins from the engraving process.

I have posted a few examples of my work below.
Dolphin plaque.jpg
hederson-1.jpg
hederson-2.jpg
hderson-3.jpg
sailor Boy.jpg
sailor girl.jpg
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Location - VA
Equipment - Boss Laser 1630
Power - 100W
Laser Bed Size - 16" x 30"
Home Position - TR
Full RDWorks Version - v8.01.18
First name - Pete
Gary Thompson
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:10 am
Location: Belfast
Country: Northern Ireland
Nickname: Gary
Laser Machine Make or Type: Mantech
Laser Power: 60W
Laser Bed Size: 600 x 400
Home Position: TL
RDWorks Version: v8.01.16
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Rotary attachment

Lovely work Pete. I like the idea of using shoe polish as a stain!

This is similar to something I'd like to try so could you clarify the process for the finer work? I'm reasonably au fait with the 3D carving on a router. Is it:

1. Varnish wood
2. Laser engrave (what sort of depth do you aim for?)
3. Stain and clean
4. Re-varnish?

Oh, and what thickness of wood do you usually use on your circular insets in the top few pictures?

Thanks
Pete Cyr
Posts: 1964
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:16 pm
Location: Suffolk Virginia
Country: United States
Laser Machine Make or Type: Boss 1630
Laser Power: 100w
Laser Bed Size: 16"x30"
Home Position: TR
Control Software: RDWORKS
RDWorks Version: v8.01.18
Ruida Controller: RDC6442
Windows Version: Win 10
Accessories: roller rotary attachment

Gary Thompson wrote: Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:43 am
1. Varnish wood (I use lacquer)
2. Laser engrave (what sort of depth do you aim for?) ( I engrave at 23watts on cherry - I haven't measured the depth but I would gues 0.015"-0.020")
3. Stain and clean (cleasn then stain with liquid shoe polish - the polish cleans easy and does not wick out under the lacquer finish)
4. Re-varnish? (I apply a finish over the polish I have applied if I am incoporating into a larger assembly that requires a finish - otherwise I generally do not)

The wood I use is cherry, thickness is aprox 0.1875"-0.15"
Typically I resaw 8"-10" wide stock about 30" long, joint plane, sand and lacquer. This allows for using most of my laser bed and making multiple engraving easily.
Location - VA
Equipment - Boss Laser 1630
Power - 100W
Laser Bed Size - 16" x 30"
Home Position - TR
Full RDWorks Version - v8.01.18
First name - Pete
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Gene Uselman
Posts: 2161
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:18 pm
Location: Suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
Country: USA
Nickname: Gene
Laser Machine Make or Type: QC
Laser Power: 130W
Laser Bed Size: 900x1300
Home Position: TR
Control Software: LIGHTBURN
RDWorks Version: RDw .19 & Lightburn
LightBurn Version: Latest
Ruida Controller: RDC6442
Windows Version: Win 10 Pro
Accessories: I have a combining lenses, pin tables [homebuilt], honeycomb tables , wireless remote, Modifed Ultimate Air Assist, home built non-powered rotary device, PrusaMK4 and Mini Prusa printers.

Great work Pete- I love to see cross platform jobs.
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Ian Bell
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 8:55 am
Location: Bangor, N. Ireland

Fantastic quality of items Pete very impressive.

Out of interest, for the cnc scanning, what diameter ballnose are you using and what stepover, Can't see any machining marks :o

And how, do you get your lasering so dark, or is that due to the wood being used.
Location: Bangor
Country: N. Ireland
Nickname: Ian
Laser Machine: Red/Blk Chinese import (Redsail clone ?)
Power: 80w
Bed Size: 500x700mm
Home: TR
Status: operational
RDWorks Version: V8.01.22
Windows Version: 10
Pete Cyr
Posts: 1964
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:16 pm
Location: Suffolk Virginia
Country: United States
Laser Machine Make or Type: Boss 1630
Laser Power: 100w
Laser Bed Size: 16"x30"
Home Position: TR
Control Software: RDWORKS
RDWorks Version: v8.01.18
Ruida Controller: RDC6442
Windows Version: Win 10
Accessories: roller rotary attachment

3/32 6 deg tappered ball, 0.007" stepover This bit is from a company callwed Award - url= http://www.discount-tools.com/endmills1.htm
It is a bit made for machining metal, but it works just fine on wood. Bigger than a 1/16" and smaller than a 1/8".
I try to use the lagest bit with out comprimising detail.
bit-source.pdf
feed@speed.pdf
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Location - VA
Equipment - Boss Laser 1630
Power - 100W
Laser Bed Size - 16" x 30"
Home Position - TR
Full RDWorks Version - v8.01.18
First name - Pete
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Tim Mellor
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Shipwreck Coast, Victoria
Country: Australia
Nickname: beanflying
Laser Machine Make or Type: Vollerun WR3020
Laser Power: 40W
Laser Bed Size: 300x200
Home Position: TR
RDWorks Version: n/a
Windows Version: 10
Accessories: Modded and still Modding some more.

Really nice carving and finishes @ Pete

Aspire looks nice on paper as does the pricing :shock: $2k USD is still a lot of work needed for recovery in particular for those of us looking at home use. At least it is not a subscription model I guess ....
Pete Cyr
Posts: 1964
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:16 pm
Location: Suffolk Virginia
Country: United States
Laser Machine Make or Type: Boss 1630
Laser Power: 100w
Laser Bed Size: 16"x30"
Home Position: TR
Control Software: RDWORKS
RDWorks Version: v8.01.18
Ruida Controller: RDC6442
Windows Version: Win 10
Accessories: roller rotary attachment

Tim Mellor wrote: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:22 pm Really nice carving and finishes @ Pete

Aspire looks nice on paper as does the pricing :shock: $2k USD is still a lot of work needed for recovery in particular for those of us looking at home use. At least it is not a subscription model I guess ....
Thank you.

I agree about the pricing. But I do sell quite a bit of stuff and the proceeds have retooled my shop over the years several times and allowed me to buy Aspire. it is also light years better than RDWORKS for creating any kind of vector drawings...but then almost any other software does a better job than RDWORKS.
I have also found a way to create a 3D appearance using the models I create in Aspire when I laser engrave some of those.
Location - VA
Equipment - Boss Laser 1630
Power - 100W
Laser Bed Size - 16" x 30"
Home Position - TR
Full RDWorks Version - v8.01.18
First name - Pete
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