I plan to make some things that are box like in nature. For some of these projects, I want to have hidden joints, rather than the common interlocking joints that are visible on the edges.
With a given material, can you specify an engrave depth? Or is it simply experimentation with different power settings to try to find what works?
For example, lets say I engrave holes around the perimeter of a box base into which the sides will be “plugged”… For the box sides, I would cut the walls out of a 3/8" thick piece of wood in the shape as shown in TOP View. I would then want to shave down 1/8" or so off each of the tabs, so they would appear as in FRONT and SIDE views below. The size and placement of each tab would align with the engraved holes in the base so no joints will be visible on any side of the box. Is this easily doable?
You cannot specify depth. Yet. This might be something they can work out on really consistent materials and with the aid of the depth sensor, but it sounds like it’ll take a lot of trial and error and once it is working a lot of passes to get correct.
I think it’s doable but something like a CNC router is much more suited to a task like this.
Given the shape you are looking for, a plain old router (or even a table saw) plus the Glowforge would make quick work of that job. Just reduce the thickness of the entire edge in one pass, and then cut your tabs.
I missed the bit about the engraved holes to receive the tabs.
That is trickier, for sure. But… you only need the holes to be deep enough to clear the tabs but not so deep as to go all the way through. You can probably get away with multiple engrave passes even if the depth is not super accurate.
I have through testing been able to get very consistent results for going to a certain depth with Proofgrade. My stamp box has tabs that slide into each other. I go for 1/2 the depth of the material and they even up very well.
It’s kind of a balance with speed and power and number of passes because the char buildup can lead to non-desirable results. I think I do 700 speed and 60% power and three passes. Cherry, maple and walnut all behave slightly different so you need to test them. The best thing is to get a small test square and use that to see how it works. Start with two passes and see how that works.