Uneven Engraving

Hello everyone. I was looking for engraving help with a specific issue I am having. I engraved text onto a bamboo cutting board but the depth of the text and fill of the letters isn’t quite right. I have attached a photo showing the areas where the letters aren’t fully engraved. These are the areas circled in blue.

Also, the center of the body of text is deeper than the sides of the text. I am unsure where to even start on this one and the search I have done didn’t really provide answers. Thank you in advance for the help!


that might be a material issue. looking at the segments of bamboo it seems to align with a segment of the wood.


Yup, this exactly. Bamboo is a grass, so it varies quite a bit in density. First question would be - have you scrubbed out the engraving? It may look more even after that.

If yes, then for the future your best bet is to verify that you like the look before you take it out of the machine, because you can always re-run it to make everything deeper (or just re-run the sections you want re-done). For this one you can attempt to put it back in and re-run, but lining up is going to be difficult. If you’d like advice about that, let us know.


For a truckload more info on bamboo and its engraving properties…


The forum is just a trove of info.


ok thanks!

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I was fortunate the most important thing I’ve made so far was a bamboo engraved cutting board for my parents’ Anniversary. it was a 3.5 hour engrave of the RECIPE that created our family.

lucky for me the density was uniform across the whole thing.

One thing I do is to mask the board before engraving. Then after I take it out I hit it with a spray of Minwax Polyshades Mission Oak. That stains it all an even dark color. Then I peel the masking. It does mean weeding but the Gorilla tape trick makes that easy enough. The Minwax is food safe once dry.


Does that stain bleed into non engraved areas at all?

Not usually. I just really brayer the masking on. The boards I’ve used are pretty dense so maybe that helps keep it from wicking. For other wood projects I use the technique on I use an initial spray of clear poly to seal everything before spraying the Mission Oak. I’ve had issues with cedar or pine wicking the dark stain otherwise.

I probably ought to do it for all wood just as insurance because now the next board I do is gonna wick :laughing:


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