Your Opinion, Please

Hey, all. My daughter’s mother-in-law has asked if I can engrave this recipe card on an acacia cutting board. I have concerns whether this will engrave well enough that it is readable. I’ve attached the photos of the recipe cards and the cutting board. I tried to import the recipe cards into Inkscape and turn them into a vector and removing the background, but it vectorize very well; very difficult to read.

I welcome any suggestions as to what I can try as far as settings and leaving them as .png , .bmp or .jpg or what I can try to do to enhance the handwriting better. Thanks!

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Yeah it’s attainable, a little reading for you:

and some more:

The first thing I’d recommend would be to try to get higher resolution versions of the pics. The higher the res, the better, to an extent. after that it’s just a matter of how much the project means to you, because it can take a fair amount of manual work to get it “right”. If it’s a labor of love for an heirloom, you can spend a couple hours on it, if it’s quick and dirty one off, you could get it serviceable in 15 minutes. Up to you.


i have had a LOT of luck with signatures using the score (similar to cursive writing)
I scanned the writing is as high res as possible, then convert to paths in illustrator
then score the writing onto the wood.

Aside from the actual logistics and techniques…I’m wondering how well that will even show up on such a dark board. Unless you have your heart set on the one in the photo, I would suggest using a lighter colored board.


I think in one of those links that @evansd2 post I gave a step by step of how I go about it, and I was able to get it to here in about 2 minutes just to show how easy it is to remove the background color. It obviously would take more clean up work to get the words and final edit, but it is doable. (But it would be much better with a higher resolution image like evansd2 said.) And I agree with @Xabbess that the dark acacia board won’t give the best results, and I’d go with a lighter wood with as minimal grain as you can find.


You’ve changed! But, only by a ‘hare’. :rofl:


If you have to use this dark of wood and it is decorative only (should be) you might want to consider masking and then spray painting.
Like everything, you gotta experiment.


:rofl: Just ba-hare-ly.


What was it Tom used to say?..“I like your bunny!”… :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Boooo…hiss! :crazy_face:


@evansd2 , @Deleted , @Jules , @Xabbess, @markevans36301 , @kittski Thank you, all for your advice! I tried talking them into letting me buy the board, and suggested bamboo, but the in-law purchased it and had it sent to my house. I cringed when I opened the box and saw that it was the dark acacia. :confounded: I really have my doubts if it will show up enough but I’ll give it my best shot! :wink:


A very labour intensive option but an option nonetheless would be to hand trace the lettering, then score the lines.

To dissuade them from using the dark board I suggest you use a piece of scrap walnut ply or something similar in colour to this if you have it with some of the lettering to show how dark it will come out and therefore not be too visible. Pushing for a lighter wood base will probably make all the difference in this case however you end up lasering it!

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you can great GREAT cutting boards (bamboo) at Walmart $10-20


That’s a great idea. Thank you, @awebs76

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Ikea even cheaper.

Amazon cheaper still.

Someone once found a score at a dollar store too.

Those were the boards I had my eye on. Maybe I’ll just pick one up since they’re so cheap and I’ll just engrave both and send both of them to her. I check out the price of the acacia board before I engrave it, just in case that’s an expensive cutting board.

One word of warning about bamboo: engraves can come out quite variably in the same board.

There are lots of threads about this phenomenon, but here is one:

Search around for more:

Really??? Wow! If I find some that cheap, I might stock up on a few to keep handy to make gifts. :wink:

Yep, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I had some trial and error with a few dishes that had bamboo lids where the majority of it was perfectly engraved but one small section that refused to burn very dark. I ended up using some black Rub 'n Buff over it, which worked well to make up the color difference.

Can you let me know what program you’re using to do this?