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Author Topic: DIY laser engraver  (Read 713 times)

Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2018, 05:09:55 AM »
Hi, I'm making progress learning to use my laser engravers. A table was set up in the garage to do the engraving. I have a ventilator in the garage to clear smoke from when I'm smoking cigars in the garage. That ventilator will be useful to remove smoke from engraving.

This summer my daughter and son-in-law went to Paris on vacation. To help commemorate that trip I engraved the Eiffel Tower on bamboo coasters using my 10W laser engraver. The coasters still need a light spray of polyurethane to seal the engraving. The coasters set will be a stocking stuffers this Christmas. The coasters:



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

Offline 99whip

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2018, 08:17:39 AM »
That's really cool work Richard.  Endless possibilities...

Offline Yolla Bolly Brad

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2018, 07:52:55 PM »
Looking good Richard! Can you pull images off the internet to duplicate or do you have to use a special library of files?

Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2018, 04:15:52 AM »
Hi Brad, I copied an image of an engraving of the Eiffel Tower from the internet. Any photo or drawing can be used for engraving. The coasters were lightly spray coated with Spar Polyurethane and now drying. I thought I purchased a legal copy of CorelDraw from dBay to do halftones that would be ideal for laser engraving, but learned that I have an illegal copy that locked me out of the software. Working on getting a refund.

I ordered a low cost laser power meter to test my lasers:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pocket-Laser-Power-Meter-LPM-10W-450nm-532nm-Laser-Pointer-Accurate-Measurement/232550192207?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

From what I learned so far is that one needs a laser engraver with at least 2000mw power. Advertised laser power isn't necessarily the actual power. eBay has some ~$300 40W CO2 laser engravers that can engrave a lot of stuff. That's pretty cheap for a 40W laser engraver. That engraver weights over 60lbs and needs good ventilation. I'll consider that engraver if I find that my 2000mw and 10w laser engravers are too underpowered to do what I want.

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 #19 on: October 20, 2018, 11:46:07 AM »
Hi, I have an extra 1851 grips that I laser engraved:





They look pretty good IMO.

Tuco lives!

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

Offline mike116

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2018, 01:23:47 PM »
They do look good Richard.   Good work!

Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2018, 07:40:20 AM »
Hi, today I engraved Tuco and Colt on my 1851 38 Special conversion:





For those that don't remember, the Captain suggested I call my 1851 conversion Tuco in reference to Tuco in the Gun Shop from the movie The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Tuco is the ugly in that movie. Tuco at the gun shop:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR3aIzfNMXM

I think the laser engravings came out pretty good. Thank you Captain.

These engravings were done with my 2500mw laser engraver. The next thing I am going to try is to see if I can engrave bluing with my 10W laser engraver.

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 #22 on: October 23, 2018, 10:19:15 AM »
 
Richard,
           Now that I know who "Tuco" is, I can see that your laser engraving has rendered a pretty good likeness. I would like to see how it looks on imitation ivory grips. Wild Bill Hickok is the character that I'd like to see on my 1851's.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj63ryoh53eAhWpITQIHV4dAK0QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cowboysindians.com%2F2018%2F01%2Fjames-butler-wild-bill-hickok%2F&psig=AOvVaw0awB8R6-30Swq7imOVfMMy&ust=1540400914858816

Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2018, 04:28:21 AM »
Hi Brad, I copied a picture of Hickok from the internet:



And engraved it on a 4x4" piece of plywood:



The system after engraving:



The result:



Some more experimentation and the engraved image would improve. I have a set of faux ivory 1873 SSA grips that I will try to 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 #24 on: October 24, 2018, 08:05:05 AM »
Hi, I have faux ivory 1873 SAA grips that I bought off eBay a number of years ago. The grips needed to be fitted to my Colt SAA. The material is some kind of mineral loaded epoxy that is impervious to acetone. I laser engraved these grips with the Colt logo. The engraving is very deep and the fumes were a bit obnoxious. The engraved grips:



The grip on the left is the original engraving, the one on the right I added black magicmarker and then tried to remove the excess black with acetone. The acetone even removed the black in the engraving. A workaround would be to spray paint the engraved area with black paint and then remove the surface black with sandpaper.

There seems to be a lot of promise for laser engraving grips.

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 #25 on: October 24, 2018, 09:48:20 AM »
  That looks great Richard! Thanks for doing the work on the Hickok image. It would be great if you could come up with a method to emulate black on light grip material for a scrimshaw effect. Once again, you amaze me with how fast you get projects done!

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2018, 10:26:55 AM »
That is amazing, Richard!
I knew who the engraving was before even reading your post; it's THAT good!
And the Wild Bill is spot-on as well. You may have found your calling.
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline mike116

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2018, 10:34:13 AM »
Looks great Richard.   I'm impressed.
India ink is used to blacken scrimshaw work.   I don't think it would penetrate on plastic like it does on ivory but it might be worth trying.   Apply and let it dry, then clean the surface area with acetone or some other solvent.

Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2018, 07:35:35 AM »
Hi, thank you all for the kind comments. I ordered some India Ink to darken the engraving on the faux ivory grips and will give it a try. I did try to engraved a blued revolver hammer spring using my 2500mw laser engraver with zero success. The spring got warm, but there was no marking on the spring. I may try engraving the spring again using my 10W laser engraver. IMO metals have too much thermal conductivity to be engraved with these low powered laser engravers.

I think that the engravers may be used for cutting out shims like used on my Paterson to have the arbor align with the front frame pins. Brass shims may not work for the same reason that the blued spring didn't engrave, but a non metallic shim material may work. I will order some non metallic shim material and give it a try. I can use CAD software to create exact dimension shims.

Regards,
Richard
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 08:40:15 AM by ssb73q »
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: DIY laser engraver
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2018, 08:53:30 AM »
Hi Mike, I got the India Ink and dabbed the engraving with a q-tip. The excess was then removed with alcohol. It will now be interesting on how well it wears. Thank you for the tip.



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