Inch thick pine power settings?

Making a cool address plaque for my mom in law. My husband bought… this round chunk of wood for me to use. He knows how he’s getting it up by the box, that’s not my problem. My question is what power settings would y’all suggest for this?

Mastercraft Edge Glued Pine
Knotty B Grade - Surfaced Two Sides
1 to 1 and 1/8th inch thick

This is my first non proofgrade material. I’m not doing any cutting. Only engraving. Ideally a nice dark engrave and a nice medium/light engrave so I can get a two tone look. I only have one of these or I’d do some proper power tests… as it is I’m just gonna do some lines on the back and pray…

Test it with some light engraving first…fast speeds and lower power (30% or so). Use a little 1/2" square or something simple. To make it darker and deeper, increase the power and the LPI value - the higher the LPI, the darker it’s going to get, and the longer it’s going to take, but it’s a nice safe way to darken an engrave.

(Oh and be sure to mask it first or you will have staining all over the wood. Mask it for the testing too, so you can get an accurate idea of the settings.)

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Two suggestions - easiest first.

Create a 2 tone (color) engrave for the back. Something like “For Mom” & “Love…” Then using the PG basswood settings, engrave one as Draft (lighter one) and one as Standard. That will give you a reference for the front.

Option 2 is a bit harder but no need for a back engrave. Create a round cutout you can make in some cardboard so you’ve got a jig you can put the piece in. Make sure you have some alignment mark(s) on the cardboard and wood round. Mask the top and engrave the darker portion of your project with a PG Basswood Standard engrave. Pull that out, Spray it with Minwax Polyshades Mission Oak finish. Let dry and pull the mask and replace it with a fresh layer. Put it back in the GF jig (align your marks) and engrave again. using either the standard or draft settings. Remove and pull off the masking. You should have a dark and a light and the engraves should be aligned correctly.

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Dang it, I did some pine engraving a while ago, but must not have saved the settings. I’d do as Jules suggested and start with very conservatively numbers. Maybe full speed/power of 70 or 80 and a low LPI of 170 for the light areas and up it to full speed/full power 195 LPI for the dark tones. (These are just WAGs though.) James is right and I think Basswood would be the closest material and looking at those numbers can give you a starting point at least.

Give me a few seconds I have some pine laying around I could test on.

Here are a couple quick tries. First I did 70power and 270lpi. I thought it engraved pretty deep so I backed off the power to 50 (but up the LPI to 340lpi thinking maybe darker but it turned out not quite so deep but also lighter. No mask I just wanted to get something quick for you. If you want me to try something else I would be happy to. Of course take my tests for what they are worth. Your mileage may vary. :slight_smile:

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No comment on settings, but I used some edge-glued Mastercraft boards for a closet insert and stained them with MinWax classic grey (left it on for not even five minutes before wiping off.) The resulting color was a very weathered looking “barn board.” Took a cheap board I bought for its width and turned it into something very nice looking. Maybe not right for an address sign, but maybe something to keep in mind.

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