I had to source out a laser job

My friend and neighbor took his life last month, and I was asked to make a little plaque to go in front of the cowboy-themed urn during the family service. I figured they wanted the stylized image I had made of him, but they just wanted the text and coiled whips. They wanted it on black metal of some sort, and picked DieBond from the various materials I had laying around the shop.

It is a very little plaque, 3"x4". So little that I was having trouble weeding a stencil. All these tiny little cursive letters. If I had my Glowforge, this project would have been remarkably simple. I don’t, so I tried to go the stencil route, figuring I would either paint it or use an etching creme (although I have never worked with etching creme, and this isn’t how I wanted to start playing with it).

It took a very long time to weed the first test version, and I still lost some internal shapes in the end. I’m surprised it cut as well as it did, but when I pulled my first test stencil away, I found that the letters were so small that a lot of the paint did not even get down to the surface of the material, instead bridging over the stencil cutouts and then peeling away with it.

I wasn’t about to spend the rest of the night weeding another one to try with etching creme, so I started looking for a local engraver, any kind. The local trophy shop told me they could look at the project in three weeks, and go from there. A google search led me to a local jeweler, who gave me a five week lead-time for $80, or one-week ‘rush’ for $117.

Back to google, and I finally found a local guy with a big Full Spectrum machine: Lyris Laser Studio.
He told me to come on over. He had never worked on DieBond before, so I brought an extra piece and he did a few quick tests, and then engraved the full plaque. I was there for maybe twenty minutes, and he charged me $10.

It looks good, it will work. If I had a machine of my own to do this on, I think I could have made it look a lot better. It certainly would not have been as painful.

Rest In Peace James.


I’m sorry for your loss, and for theirs. :disappointed:


What a beautiful tribute. Thanks for putting this out there. I know you will be able to do so many cool things for so many cool people once you get your Glowforge. Prayers for James and his family and friends.


What a lovely tribute. My condolences on your loss.


That is so, so sad. Good on you for being persistent to come up with a good solution.


Thanks for sharing – I’m moved by your love for your friends.


Sorry for your loss, thanks for sharing. The stylized image is magnificent.


That was such a sad, yet uplifting post. I’m sorry you lost your friend and glad that you found a great solution for the plaque. It must have made you anxious about being able to complete the family’s request.


I’m so sorry for your loss; what a beautiful gesture.


My condolences.

Good to see DiBond engraves well with a laser. I have lots of small black offcuts left over from making Mendel90 kits and am hoping to be able to engrave them with GlowForge. It should be great for smart looking instrument panels and the like.


That is so sad. :cry:


My condolences, friend.


From the little description and tribute you have given him here, I have gathered he must of been an awesomely interesting chap. I am incredibly sorry for yours and the families loss.

I have a feeling you would have gone to the ends of the earth to make sure this little project got done in time. I am just happy you were able to find a local resource to help you knock it out.


Such a touching gesture.


So sorry to hear this @jbv!


The artwork that was not used is fantastic. Wish I had something like that for myself, because I hate photos! Sorry for your loss. Nice work!


Thank you all, for all of you kind words.
It means a lot.


As transient creatures, Nothing like that to snap us back to reality.
Good on you for giving of yourself for your neighbor. :+1: