Slate - Mineral Oil alternative?

Crazy question (it didn’t come up in my web & board searches): I want to try engraving slate but don’t have mineral oil. Do you think grapeseed oil or olive oil would work? Trying to work with what I have on hand. :grimacing:

Not sure. Vegetable oils will go rancid over time, which is why mineral oil is usually used for something like this. (Might get stinky.)


Sounds right. Figured it was a stretch! Thanks :+1:t3:

Coconut oil.

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That I have! :+1:t3:

I haven’t used oil on any of mine and they all turned out just fine.


Good to hear. Thanks!

As mentioned, oil isn’t necessary, but it will make the results “pop” in most cases. Regardless of the oil used, the slate will need occasional treatment to maintain that “freshly lasered” appearance.

I’ve used plain mineral oil, as well as a popular cutting board conditioner made with orange oil and beeswax (it’s based on mineral spirits, so not food-safe, but lasts a very long time).


slate, being a natural material, will vary. Some slate gives great contrast without any treatment. Other slate can have pretty low contrast between the engraved and non-engraved areas. Oiling before engraving can help to bump the contrast up, oiling after engraving can help to bump the contrast down.

I’ve had some success with orange oil, as another option.


I have used olive oil on slate and had no issues.


Yes! I should have made that distinction in my post.

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As long as it’s not being used for food, I think just about any oil would work. Bees wax is also always good to have on hand for many reasons and it’s food safe / not spoiling.

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As a fellow fan of the Floyd, this was one of the very first things I made. Its rather crude and simple to me now but at the time I thought it was the Mona Lisa :thinking:


I use linseed oil on lots of my projects. It’s my go to oil for just about anything that doesn’t touch food.

I use spray shellac. I love it because you don’t even have to clean the slate before.

Here is a video of how I apply it:

This is the spray shellac I use:

And yes, shellac is food and laser safe. I do this spray and let it dry for about 30 min before throwing it in the GF at full power and full speed.


Super helpful! Thanks so much! Just checked out your IG ~ it’s awesome. My son is wanting to try denim today (w/ passthrough), so going to check out your tips for that. :slight_smile:


I am glad it helped! For denim for sure use interfacing! The post I directed you to is the most perfected setting I have done with fabrics. I was trying all I can to get the denim to shred when pulling on it and it held perfectly. I have a set of jeans in a post a while back with the “She’s Like Texas” text; those are with my pro and they did good but in retrospect, I would have added the interfacing to account for the direction of stretch.


I realize it was a different post :slight_smile: These are the ones with the best settings and where I show how much interfacing makes a difference:

This is the interfacing I use. You just iron it on:

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