I’m new to laser engraving, just installed one on my 4’x4’ CNC router table.
Anyways… The laser module is a cheap Chinese 5.5 watt blue diode.
I’m having fun using it but notice a big difference between engraving MDF and Ash. MDF is consistent and the Ash because of the grain density and texture there is no consistency in the results. My question is for the Ash if I want the engraving darker, is it best to slow down the travel speed or up the laser power or both? For lines I’m running 1200mm/minute at 85% power. For fill I’m running 1400mm/minute at 75%
Thanks for the great suggestion about the baking soda water.
It worked really well!!!
Boy it sure is nice to be able to have a forum to actually talk with like minded people who have the same interests! Sure I could have just googled my inquiry and gotten a answer, BUT then I don’t get the nice personal interaction with nice like minded people such as yourself
Google is cold and has no personality!!!
Seems like you don’t have a lot of headroom on power so going slower would get better results. However, as you have noted, Ash, in particular, is very heavily grained with open pores on the growth wood so getting a consistent finish, vs MDF for example, is going to be difficult. Finding a more closed grained wood, like Maple, Holly, or Basswood (if it’s hard enough for your needs), might be a better choice.
Pick a grainy wood like Ash or Hickory if you want to accentuate the ‘woodiness’ of it, otherwise look for something more uniform. One interesting choice might be a wood sold in box stores as ‘white wood’[sic] but is a domesticated pine grown in Central America call Radiata. It appears grainy, but there is not a lot of difference in hardness between the summer and winter growth so it’s very easy to get a nice smooth surface (less differential erosion as you burn into it).
Interesting. Thanks for the info.
I haven’t tried to engrave it yet (I should have included that in my mention ), but I use it a lot in jigs and also in some interesting looking woodturnings. I glue up panels to create thicker pieces and the uniform grain creates very attractive swirling effects. Also very low cost and easy to turn.