Engrave settings for a book

Hi there!

I’m looking to figure out the settings to engrave on my son’s baby book. It is a linen covered hard book (pictured) but if that doesn’t help it’s one of the Promptly Journals books.

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Also - has anyone created a cheat sheet for engrave settings for different materials? I’ve done some searching and the best I found was settings for the 1/4" plywood which was amazing but looking for something more broad for other materials too!

Thank you in advance!

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Britny try this Glowforge Materials Wiki -- The details

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I would suggest engraving and cutting an adhesive backed veneer and using it as a bookplate. You can get it just right without destroying the book.

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I’ve put plenty a book cover into my laser and every single one has its own personality. It really depends on the specific material used on the cover. Are you sure it’s actually real linen, or just that it has a fabric texture? And is blue the color you have?

If it’s a natural fiber fabric with a top-coated color, for example, you will likely (but not always) be able to engrave just enough to expose the (usually white) base fabric; go too far and you’ll brown it or even make it down to the chipboard. If it’s a synthetic (common with newer books) where the entire fiber is one color, you won’t have luck engraving with any contrast unless you want to get down to the chipboard.

Without a test piece or being able to look more closely at the fabric, it’d be really hard to say what the right settings are or if it will work at all. If you already have it, would you mind taking a close-up picture of the fabric? With that, I may be able to help you figure out whether it will engrave with contrast and some starter settings.

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I’m not actually sure it’s linen! But I tried to take a better up-close picture. Thank you so much for your response! Let me know if this picture is good enough! Otherwise maybe I’ll just look into maybe cutting a really fine stencil to then have it painted on the cover :l I just think laser would be WAY nicer!

Thank you again! :slight_smile:

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Looks like it’s probably not synthetic, so that’s a plus. Hard to tell from the picture if it’s coated or the threads are dyed. I’m thinking more likely the threads are dyed, which makes it a little unpredictable what will happen.

If doing this myself, I would start by using the back for some tiny engrave tests to figure out settings. It doesn’t take much space to get a feel for what the fabric will do, so it can be subtle even if you “mess up” anything. Start with a small rectangle at the bottom of the back cover that’s about a quarter inch wide and let it go for just a couple of rows of engrave. If you get contrast you like, great! If not, move the rectangle over or up and increase the power a bit and try again. If you can get the book flat enough, you could even test on a bit of fabric inside the cover.

My usual starter settings for getting a contrast etch from just the fabric are full speed, power 10, LPI 270 BUT that’s when I have an extra area available for testing. For this, I’d start at full/3/270 and bump up 2-5 power at a time.

It’ll be obvious if it’s not going to etch if you make it to about 25 power and still get nothing. Here’s an example of the kind of contrast you might be lucky enough to get.

IMG_8748

If it doesn’t want to etch the fabric with contrast and you want to just get it to expose the chipboard, I have full/60/270 listed as starter settings, but again it would be worth a small test on an inconspicuous part. This would benefit from some masking in case it gets sooty. In that case, avoid using anything wet to clean it up. Something like just putting down more masking to pull up soot can work well. (I don’t engrave down to the board much so I don’t have a lot of detailed advice.)

If you do a few tests and want additional advice, you know where to find me. Good luck, and can’t wait to see what you end up with!

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I did a book engrave over the weekend and thought of you – any luck on this?

I’ve been meaning to buy a cheap $5 journal book from Michael’s they currently have with a similar texture and feel of my book… so I can test that one!

I’ll post on here next when I get to do that! I would love for it to have the same effect like yours pictured above…almost looks bleached which is pretty neat.

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