Daniel from D Taylor Woodworking makes bespoke furniture. A customer had commissioned a desk made from maple. They wanted a quote engraved it to make it extra special and Daniel asked if I could help.
Will the wood fit the laser?
Whenever a customer asks about projects that sound big, I always ask what size the pieces are to be cut or engraved.
My machine bed is 1200 x 800mm and even although it’s a good size, it can still be too small for certain jobs. It’s always best to manage expectations at the start of discussions rather than wasting a customer’s time and mine discussing a project that doesn’t suit the machine.
Daniel told me that the piece to be engraved was a thin strip of maple that would be build into the desk after engraving. It would fit the laser without any problem.
Setting up the artwork
Daniel sent a vector file with the artwork text scaled to fit the maple fillet to be built into the fascia of the desk. It was perfect and ready to use.
Vector files are necessary for laser cutting but also work very well for raster (fill in) engraving. The area within the vector lines can be engraved.
Working with maple
When the wood was prepared, Daniel brought it to the workshop for engraving.
Maple a beautiful pale wood, a bit like sycamore. We got a sharp contrast between the engraved and unengraved areas, and a good 3D effect in the text depth. When engraved wood is finished with varnish, it accentuates these features, making engraved areas look even darker, which is exactly what Daniel wanted.
Daniel sent me some pictures when it was finished. He was really pleased with it!
He had initially enquired about having the artwork below the text engraved, but it was very detailed. Because of the effect that Daniel wanted to create, he decided that print would work better. This was a good decision as the work surface would remain flat. It would have been textured if engraved.