Tried out some non-proofgrade Baltic Birch for the first time

I’m pretty pleased with the results!

I plan to try a tung oil finish and see how I feel about it. :slight_smile:


Looks good!

If you find that you’d like to avoid smoke marks you might want to invest in some masking. Check out #2 here:

Also might like 1a, and 6, and 4… it’s actually all pretty handy for new users! Enjoy and keep posting projects, it’s great to see new creative energy here. :slight_smile:


This will be a super useful reference, thank you!!


I hate all the smoke marks!! I mask all the time now!


I’ve been rubbing the marks away with isopropyl alcohol and that seemed to work okay so far.


I’ve used alcohol and it’s ‘eh’ okay. Baby wipes are another thing i use however, there’s still a hint of color even with rubbing it off.


I haven’t tried baby wipes yet, I’ll have to give it a try

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Nuke it from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

Ok I feel like maybe I should elaborate.

Sand the engraved BB with a nice 250-350 grit sandpaper using a block, it’ll take all the smoke marks right off without taking too much material. As a downside, it’ll also fill the engraved areas with sawdust, so use a soft paintbrush or something to remove the dust. (An air compressor works but do it outside because that dust goes everywhere!)

You’d be surprised how easy it is to clean out, and the contrast is still good. Even better, if you’re sealing the piece with poly or oil, any remaining dust is completely unnoticeable after you apply the sealant.


This is what i have had to resort to so it doesn’t have any scorch marks…I hate sanding:-) even the easy stuff! Masking seems to fit me better but it’s a pain to mask it all because i’m too cheap to pay the extra on my wood orders to mask it when i can do it for pennies myself :crazy_face:


I hated sanding too, until I got a good sanding block and precut strips to fit them.

Makes all the difference.

Bonus: a downdraft sanding table! No more dust in your shop.


My experience says eye of the beholder.
I did a trial burn of a cross on draft board for a friend and showed it to see if it was acceptable before using expensive lumber.
I mentioned it would be masked and the char down the edge and around the image would not be there.
Reply was, Why Not?


Its even easier to clear coat first, then use denatured alcohol to wipe clean. No masking. I pull the masking off of proof grade material beforehand now. So much easier than weeding


When I explained masking to my sister her immediate response was “what if I like the scorching for aesthetic purposes??”

It’s definitely subjective. :slight_smile:


Hey wow it’s @DesignsByPhil ! It’s been a minute!


it is in the eye of the beholder, but i think most people who like it don’t see much laser cut/engraved stuff and it’s unique to them. for most of us, doing so many pieces, the novelty wears off and i never like it on the raw wood.

and yes, i’m a sander, too. a quick buff with the random orbital sander most of the time, but for smaller stuff, like @evansd2, a quick block sand by hand will do. i bought 4 blocks (they’re cheap) and i keep a 120, 220, 320, and 600 on hand. no need to constantly change paper.


I mask when there are lots of little parts. No way am I sanding 400 pieces. I use a tape sandwich to de-mask.


Personal, i cannot stand the smoke stains. It just looks lazy to me.


True, there have been times it really adds to the piece.

Well i do like this idea…hadn’t thought of that. i’ll be trying it! Thanks!

Thanks for the reference. I’ll get some of these and give it a try. I have the tiny sanding pads for little corners, etc. and a couple of other pieces i keep at my desk. Ordering them now!