Decorated a capo with my fiber laser

I’m still playing around with my 60W fiber laser (MOPA, JPT, whatever), and one of the hardest parts is coming up with a constant stream of random ideas to try out as I build experience with the new machine. (It sure is different than my diode and CO2 lasers.)

Well, we’re going on a road trip to see our favorite band on their second US tour, so why not take a bit from their album art, details from a custom guitar, and so on (with some of fan-speak, of course) and decorate up a nice G7th Performance 3 capo?

The round badges on the stock capo were replaced with brass discs that I deep engraved and then flooded with epoxy to give them a slight dome. One badge got the “compass rose” logo, and the other got their “TLJ” logo with some “celtic knot” border to echo the rosette from JD’s custom guitar. The smaller oval badges made a nice recess for JD’s initials… and a perch for the little bird from The Longest Johns’ “compass rose” logo. One side of the jaw got The Longest Johns branding and the other “Atlanta 2024” because why not. The spine got the lighthouse from the Between Wind And Water album cover, and the top was meticulously traced from the custom mother-of-pearl inlay on the guitar neck (from YouTube video screenshots – that was… interesting). And on the bottom, “ADEQUATE!” (the highest praise TLJ fans can give – hey, all communities have their humorous esoterica) and my Ward Fontaine maker’s mark.

All the tracing and design work was done in Inkscape and then brought into LightBurn for the many-layer setups. Since I only bought the one capo, I did a bunch of very small material test circles and engraving tests inside the 18mm insets where the badges are glued on. Engraving the material was interesting, as there are layers to it – to get dark colors, you have to first blast through the hard surface, and given the curves of everything but the faces, there was a lot of creeping up and winging it involved.

Anyway, I’d say it turned out… well… adequate. :smiley:

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