A stress test in twos


$2 at the dollar store.
2 packs of craft sticks.
22 minutes glueing.
2 dozen options.
2 hours, 2 minutes engraving.
2 minutes, 2 seconds cutting.

0 hiccups.
0 pauses.
0 overheats.
0 errors.

I was curious about engraving over an uneven surface and inconsistent medium. I had some stock images and a full 2 dollars worth of craft sticks from the dollar store. (Well, I’ve got about $.22 worth left over.) Different pictures, different orientations. After engraving, I used the laser cut to crop the finished product. (We do see some of that image shift at the extreme edges from the image processing @staff is working so hard to fix.) The results? You tell me.

I did not customize this, just used default engraving settings for draftboard. In retrospect, customizing settings would have helped with one of the images. Very dark images don’t do well, so maybe modifying the image would have improved it, too. Final learning, setup the cuts at the same time as the engraves, even with optical, it can be very hard to line up the cuts afterwards.

The bad/ugly

The tolerable

Living the pug life (bad cut alignment)

The good…


The freaking awesome!


not surprisingly, images with the most contrast came out the best.

some fun playing around with popsicle sticks, tho. and some of those came out pretty well on what’s probably a very cheap quality of wood.


They would have come out better with more customized engraving settings as the wood is certainly not :proofgrade:, nor was it masked. At the same time, the ones that turned out well also had a very good visual effect from the sticks. I have multiple websites of royalty-free pictures and clipart to use for commercial source images.


The wave is my all time favourite image. I even create a brise fan made out of Colorcore(Formica colored all the way through) with each colour like a jigsaw locking into the adjacent pieces.
Amazingly it worked, but it would have been so much easier with a GF.
Did it all with a jeweler’s piercing saw.


The Moose came out great and the wave looks pretty good too! Not bad for $2!


What a great, cheep way to learn. When OLD GLORY arrives, I’m trying that!


Looks like a pretty cool way to do a fence for a Dollhouse.


Mine too. I even designed a fractal take on it.


I find that an odd combination of disturbing and WOW !


For some odd reason this reminds me of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland…


Makes a neat variation on a puzzle, especially hard if you threw all of them together in a box.


Thought had occurred to me. Mask the back to hold them together, then peel and box.


Really cool! Iooks as of there are (at least) to very distinct kinds of wood.


When you complete your move over the pond, it’s “color” from then on :grinning:


I think I’ve mentioned this before, that the continual hopping back and forth is making me some sort of hybrid, with a flexible English of my own.
Bilingual, with both of them English.
< :upside_down_face: >


Plus you’re moving to the southeast, which means you’ll probably end up with a English/southern-drawl combo!


Interesting idea - thanks for sharing! The wave is striking.


I can’t go to any store without browsing for laser stuff anymore. Dollar store rocks because you can almost walk out with half the store for under $30. My grocery trips are even 25-35% longer now for browsing. Must laser all the things!

Art canvas for engraving to paint coming within the next few weeks, I hope.


Possibly, but probably not.
But I am acquiring words and phrases -‘putting out the trash can’ and ‘gassing up the car’ have surprised my UK friends !
My wife has lived in various parts of North America since 1965 and her voice hasn’t changed since we were teenagers together in Margate.
That’s how I knew that I’d found her, when my first phone call after 60 years was answered by exactly the same voice . :grinning:


I lived in Scotland for a while last century and I have permanently adopted several of the islands nouns and enunciations mostly to mess with people.

I get a lot of side eye when I say alUmenEum.