Laser Thursday: "check the obvious things" keychains!

Cool. Really has astonishing detail with the little icons.

Does one shellac before or after lasering? I imagine it makes a big difference in how the letters burn in?


That is EPIC!!!

Either works well.


Thanks. I think one of the first things I will make will be a set of prints of those standardized laser test patterns from Thingiverse and then try different materials and finishes. I imagine the combinations of material x laser settings x finish produce a staggering array of looks and feels. I’ve learned similar things with 3D printing (like some of the natural printing materials like Entwined change color over a 10 degree range radically). It will be a fun learning experience.

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Could you shoot me a link? I don’t know what you’re referring to.

Probably something like this:

though probably meant:

edit: hmmmm, doesn’t carry over the images in a shared link to a post.


@wesleyjames beat me to it, in addition:


Trying to decide of all test patterns what is the most helpful before my making my own template that would be like that wood one but with folder tabs so they can be looked through by people.
But those little ones are cute too heh.

With Proofgrade materials wouldn’t the need to run a test pattern be lessened if not eliminated?

They look very nice, but as a woodworker I wonder if they won’t break along the grain at the holes for the key ring?


Yeah, Shell warned me when we were putting the rings on that we could snap it there, but that it seems to hold up okay once on. I guess I’ll find out – I have one on my key chain now. :slight_smile:

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I bought a couple of key rings on our last Hawaii vacation that were laser cut and engraved out of some sort of local wood and it didn’t take long for them to break apart. Those were pretty thing, though, maybe 1/8-in maximum…

Not necessarily! :slight_smile: Though the proofgrade materials will come with pre-determined settings, templates like those shown are really great for being able to quickly visualize how changing up those settings will affect your material. Especially when engraving, having a sample sheet showing what 10% power looks like versus 100% can be suuuper helpful rather than running a bunch of tests beforehand to see how dark/light of an engraving you can get.

The way I’m imagining proofgrade’s use right now is that I’ll know without a doubt it can be safely used inside a glowforge, and hopefully the pre-determined cut setting will cut all the way through on the first try.


I’m also imagining that if I run off a sample sheet on one piece of proofgrade material those speeds/intensities will look the same on another sheet of that proofgrade material.

If I’m using some random stuff and color is really important, I would have to do a test pattern on the same sheet I’m cutting the real work from.


Yes! You might still want a few samples to see what the material looks like at e.g. 50% engraved, but you don’t need the iterative-cuts-until-it-works bit.


Agreed! If proofgrade prices match those of existing products, I’ll use them for everything…they are seriously going to save a heck of a lot of time.


@Dan, correct me if I am wrong, but I imagine for instance that as an example the extremely small text of the wingdings on the keychain look very different on different grained woods? I imagine a loose grained wood can’t hold that resolution while a dense wood does nice. Also the color of the wood probably shows fine dark items very differently?

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@henryhbk indeed, you get different visual results with different species of wood.


Thanks. That’s why those test-patterns will be so useful. It’s why with 3D printers we all print a 3DBenchy with each type of filament so you get some sense of how it prints and how it looks when printed…


You just made an argument for paying more for the Proofgrade materials. It depends of course on how much more the Proofgrade materials cost and what your time is worth. Also, how many times you’ll need to reprint stuff due to variations or errors in non-Proofgrade materials. It’s all cost benefit…completely a personal decision. - Rich