I'm trying to burn a baseball on a whisky barrel stave - it's not round

Is there a mathematical solution to making my circle actually burn as a circle? It seems weird to me that I have a flat edge on my baseballs as “o’s” burn fine. Any ideas?

Have you done a calibration and skew to make sure your laser is cutting the dimensions it’s supposed to? Never assume X and Y are correctly calibrated from the factory.

How do i do this?

Set the laser to cut as large a square / rectangle as your bed will allow with a dashed line down the center. My bed was large enough I had to use some old Christmas wrapping paper.

Compare the actual cut dimensions to what it should be, and enter those in the stepper length page on your laser. There should be a spot to enter drawing vs cut, and it will calibrate the proper step adjustment. Once you have a cut that the outside dimensions match, fold it on the dashed line. If the corners match, your X and Y are square to each other. If not, that’s how much you need to adjust ONE side of your gantry by.

For me, I was out of square by 2.8mm. But the tooth spacing on my belts is 2.5mm. I just hopped one tooth and live with the .3mm. For my machine that’s well within the +/- of the kerf.

Excellent. Thank you.

FYI, your profile says you have a diode laser. If you make the jump to a CO2 down the road, be aware that most sub 100W machines ship with an engraving setup, not a cutting setup. There is a physical difference in the nozzle / air assist configuration. I purchased my 80W not knowing that, fought it, then found out and spent a fair amount of \$ getting it right. Trying to cut with an engraving setup puts you at a rough 40% disadvantage before you even un-crate your new machine.

You should look into how to engrave on a tapered glass. There are some size dimension corrections that need to be made to make circular appear perfectly round on a tapered object.

I’m not cutting on glass. I’m engraving on whiskey barrel heads and staves.

I know you are not etching glass but the staves have curves and tapers similar to a tapered glass. Just a thought.

I’ll second looking up the engraving on glass notion. You’re looking for tips and techniques to engrave on a curved surface, and glass is a lot more common media than barrel bits.

If you are talking a gentle curve, then you may still be back to calibration and skew. If you are talking a fairly decent curve, then it gets interesting. Even putting a furnace vent through the slope of a roof requires an oval instead of a round cut to get what functions as a circle on the vertical axis.

Hope that makes sense.

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