Long-term weatherproof material cuttable on GF?

I find myself very jealous of all the uber-lasers/waterjets out there that cut metal people can use for outdoor signage and yard sculptures. Has anyone come across any materials that are weatherproof in the long-term (like years) both in terms of waterproofing and durability? Seems like wood finish will eventually fade (especially on anything thin enough to fit in the forge) and acrylic, while obviously waterproof, is too fragile to last long-term.

While there are many materials you can etch on that might fit the bill, I really want control over the shape as well.

I’m betting the answer is no, but if anyone has come across a material like that, I’d sure love to try it out.

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I have acrylic signs that have been out in the elements since I made them around 1995…

There are finished woods that have been out in the elements for decades - it depends on the finishing. These doors have been hanging out since the 5th century

Even metal rusts if you don’t treat it

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I definitely appreciate that, but I guess my issue is I’d like to be able to do projects like this:

I don’t think wood and acrylic that the GF can cut don’t seem like they’ll hold up in any kind of delicate shape like that.

Definitely acrylic.

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Cedar is pretty good outside.

Not saying this is a great outdoor material, but it was pretty surprising. I cut garden stakes out for a friend and one for myself out of maple proofgrade. Since I figured it wouldn’t last long anyways, I didn’t bother sealing the edges with anything, I just shoved it in the ground next to my tomato plant.

It’s been almost a year and nothing has changed. There is no warping, no peeling, no discoloration. I use a high pressure hose to spray down my yard and plants (I’m an awful gardener), and we’ve had a couple of big rainstorms, and severe heat waves too…but then I made a set of earrings with the same wood and I was trying to use a damp cloth to clean the edges (it might have been a little more than damp…), and that crumbled between my fingers :rofl: :rofl:

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Makes sense. There is an old method called Shou Sugi Ban that is done by simply burning the very top layer of the wood, brush the loose soot off it and seal it with oil. Many experts say that this will preserve the wood for 80-100 years without any further treatment. :grinning:

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I guess the lesson here is I need to make a bunch of test prints in different woods and acrylics and have my parents put it in their garden (I live in a 5th floor apartment with no balcony) and ask them to take pics every week or 2.

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Or next to the building on the first floor - there’s got to be a spot tucked away where most folks won’t notice

“Untreated redwood, depending on it’s age, has a projected life span of 50 years or more when exposed to the elements. Pine varieties have a projected life span of only 5 to 10 years. Cedar has a life-span of between 15 and 20 years , and is priced mid-range, making it a good alternative to pine or fir, with better weathering qualities, at a fraction the cost of redwood.”

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My favorite :slight_smile:

Derlin cuts like butter, and it’s extremely good for outdoor uses. UV resistant and good thermal stability. Also pretty darn strong… The only issue with it is that it’s really hard to anything to stick to it, which includes paint.

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