Settings for Engraving on Slate


DesignsByPhil what type of shellac did you use on this? Do you have a link to the product? Just messed up my 10” round slate charger and need to sand it down. It has shiny coat to begin with so I want to use something like what you did here. Thanks ~j




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Hey! I just got my glowforge and I was trying to engrave on slate with the settings you gave but nothing is showing up, what am I missing?

Perhaps you can share a photo of your interface settings and the slate in question.

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What is focal surface

The Focal Point is set at the Surface of the material. (The laser determines this automatically now.)

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So I assume this is just left blank now?

Actually it depends on the color of your slate…really dark slate might give a false auto-reading, but it’s unusual. Most of the time it should auto-read the height fine. (If not, enter it manually.)

These are nice! Do you know if that was the actual color of the slate or if these were treated/painted? Someone has asked me to engrave on heart shaped slate and it looks like it was painted black. I’m just unsure about that paint and whether or not that’s a good idea under the heat of the GF.

Definitely invest in a good pair of 10,600nm laser protective glasses.

Welcome to the forum. Why do you recommend the glasses?

they offer protection for your eyeballs from the light if you’re looking at it during the cut

I received some Slate that has rubber feet on them. It’s not going to be worth the labor to pick the feet off of the Slate and re-glue them back on. So I have 2 questions:

  1. I’m just etching in the Slate on the opposite side, has anyone left the feet on and done this?
  2. From the looks of it, the feet raise the height to 5/16 so I’m going to try Power 30, Speed 905, LPI 270 to etch a simple pattern into these.

Thanks in advance!

Actually not.

The light you see when cutting is in the visible spectrum. Laser light glasses for CO2 Lasers (10,600nm) are protection against the invisible laser light. They offer no protection against the visible light spectrum. For the light you see when engraving you’d be better off using regular sunglasses.

The laser glasses are needed when there is a possibility that the laser beam might be reflected out of an opening in the machine. Class 4 lasers have open pathways so the laser beam can escape out. Class 1 machines contain the laser beam. A GF Pro is Class 4 because of the passthrough slots. It’s not likely anything would be reflected through those slots but it is possible. They’re not needed or useful for the Basic or Plus models.


As you said, you are just etching the surface, so anything under the material is irrelevant, except for the height adjustment you are already considering.

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I leave the small rubber pads on slate coasters with them.

Measure the material thickness including the pads.

Leave the feet on and use the set focus tool. As stated above, the glasses are not necessary.

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Great feedback James, thank you!