Author Topic: DIY laser engraver  (Read 143 times)

Offline ssb73q

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DIY laser engraver
« on: August 24, 2018, 09:25:08 AM »
Hi, I'm getting set up for winter projects with my BP revolvers. One item I just ordered is a DIY laser engraver, see:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Desktop-Laser-Engraving-Machine-DIY-Logo-Marking-Printer-Engraver-Cutting-2000mW/322337693479?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

It appears that getting the software working may be a bridge too far, we shall see.

The laser power is too low to engrave metal objects, but wood and leather engraving are well within its ability. It may be cool to engrave revolver grips with designs and name and the same for my leather holsters. I now have so many holsters that getting the right one for the revolver being used takes some time. I wrote the revolver type on the back of the holsters with pen, but that looks like shit. Laser engraving should allow some pretty nice lettering and cartouches.

The initial problem is to get the laser engraver assembled, and then get it working.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Offline drobs

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2018, 12:03:56 PM »
Looks like fun. Looking forward to seeing your results.
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Offline mazo kid

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 06:58:58 PM »
This could be the start of something.....

Offline Yolla Bolly Brad

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2018, 09:19:32 PM »
That would be cool if it could do scrimshaw on grips! Will it work on plastic? (fake ivory)
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 09:24:04 PM by Yolla Bolly Brad »

Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2018, 04:37:40 AM »
Hi Brad, yes it is supposed to work on plastic. Getting the software to work for the DIY engraver ordered may be an issue, but I have all winter to figure things out. There is another smaller engraver that has easy to use software that I also ordered:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-2000mW-USB-Laser-Engraver-DIY-Logo-Mark-Printer-Cutter-Carver-Machine-Fast/253646366343?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

There are a number of youtube videos on how to assemble and operate these DIY laser engravers.

While these lasers are not powerful enough to directly engrave metal, I saw some workaround videos that do allow engraving metal. One shows how to use brown packaging tape on metal, then use the laser to cut and stencil in the tape. The metal is then electrochemical etched using the tape stencil. Another video shows how to spread a thin film of mustard on stainless steel and then laser engrave a nice black image into the surface of the stainless steel. The result looks very professional.

Paper can be easily laser engraver cut to create templates for paper cartridges, make shims, etc.

I understand that some of these DIY laser engravers can use CNC software like EleksCAM and BenBOX. Some people are using evil 3d printers to laser engrave.  ;)

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2018, 08:00:32 AM »
Hi, one laser engraving of gun grips video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gqk8JmnkFg

There are many other gun grip engraving videos on YouTube.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Offline Yolla Bolly Brad

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2018, 06:33:21 PM »
Great project Richard, keep us updated on your progress. It might be a good side job doing work for people.

Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 08:55:43 AM »
Hi, I ordered this new modern handgun:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/STAR-TREK-Original-Series-ELECTRONIC-Black-Handle-CLASSIC-PHASER-Diamond-Select/132737732385?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

Maybe I can use the laser engravers to engrave Colt and a pony on it?  &\? &\? &\?

Regards,
Richard

There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!

Offline Miguel Loco

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2018, 02:58:12 PM »
I've been eyeballing these myself..... looks like fun! Like mentioned above, please let us know how it goes.
-Mick

Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #9 on: Today at 07:50:58 AM »
Hi, I have been screwing around with the laser engravers. The small unit represented as a 2000mw laser is very under powered, doubt if it is 200mw. Trying to get the DIY 2000mw laser engraver going has been quite a struggle. The software is in Chinese and missing software components. My previous concern on finding software that would work was right on. However, I did get the software Elksmaker software to marginally function. The laser on/off automatic control (TTL) still doesn't work and that is needed to have the laser off when moving to a new line or area of the engraving. This is my first effort with manually turning the laser on and off:





I ordered another controller board from China to see if it will make a difference for this engraver.

The 2000mw laser is plenty powerful enough to laser engrave wood, paper, cardboard, plastics, etc.

I have an interest is trying to surface etch metal and purchase a 10000mw (10W) laser on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10W-USB-Desktop-CNC-Laser-Engraving-Machine-Engraver-Image-Craft-Printer-US/253863464809?epid=13023612039&hash=item3b1b710f69:g:KNEAAOSwWTJbmw-P

However, that unit came with the y-axis motor panels broken. Days were spent arguing with the Chinese on getting the replacement parts until they finally gave up and refunded my money. They didn't ask for the broken laser back so I ordered a weak power laser engraver just to get replacement parts for the 10W unit:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/20-17cm-200mW-DIY-Laser-Engraving-Marking-Machine-Wood-Cutter-Printer-Engraver-t/282820896988?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

Since this unit is only 200mw it isn't much good for engraving, but the mechanical parts are useful.

Like Tim the Toolman Taylor says on the TV show Home Improvement, "We need more power!!".

I'm even thinking about getting a 40W laser engraver, but don't know if I can lift it, or where I would put it:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/40W-USB-DIY-Laser-Engraver-Cutter-Engraving-Cutting-Machine-Laser-Printer-CO2/260825065645?epid=896573756&hash=item3cba62a8ad:g:2AkAAOSw2kVbj1M4

The adventure continues.

Regards,
Richard
There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of bacon and black powder smoke!