Engraving/Negative engraving question

Hi !
I’m working on a project that has some engraving on it. I got a great first engrave but when I stained it it lost all of the character and depth. So I stained the wood first this time
but I need to clean the stain off of the white spaces in the image. Would rerunning in a negative or reversed image on a cleanup pass (high speed low power) “peel back” the stained layer ?
I’ve used cleanup passes before and had good success with removing the char, but I have never tried a cleanup on a reversed or the negative to strip the stain from the white spaces, any ideas ?

Thanks !

Usually you use a negative image because the parts you are etching off become white. Like these black coated aluminum cards. This makes the image appear in the correct relation of black/white.

Stain will go down to various depths, so you can’t just wipe it off with a laser pass or two…

Putting a part back into the machine and getting it lined up is next to impossible without some kind of external help, like a jig to hold it in place. It has to be very accurate if you’re going to expect it to line up.

With wood it’s unlikely that you can recover it… However it is good fodder to test out theories… You don’t need to test on the whole piece… you can pick parts…

I’ve used these a number of years and have only used cleanup passes on the fiber working with non natural products. I’d like to see how you’re using it.

Lots of people here do wood … so hang around. It’s always nice to see what you’re talking about… most of the time what we image from your words are not what we see in our minds or the photo… Photos are very helpful.

Good luck


Thanks for the reply Jack,

I hadn’t pulled the piece off of the laser bed so realignment was not an issue.
This is the final version I need a little touch up on a few spots with stain but I’m
satisfied with the outcome. I burned the piece, then stained after, I thought it would be more difficult but the staining actually went pretty easily.

This was the one that I tried the reverse engraving on. It did strip the stain back to a satisfactory level, but there was a halo of white around the image that was not desirable and removed some of the relief. I think if I had to do that again, I’d do the reverse engrave first very lightly to peel back the stain then do the full engrave.

This was the version that I first did and then stained the whole image, I tried to lightly stain but got a lot of fine lines that were off color. Ultimately I stained it all then tried to sand it down, It may have worked eventually but I was having an issue with the engraved script at the bottom, so I ultimately decided to start from scratch.

I like the first one…