If you are planning on engraving wood for decorative or functional purposes, you should hire professional laser cutting services for assistance. In general, wood is a durable material with great aesthetic appeal. These properties make it a perfect choice for numerous fabrication projects. Unfortunately, the material is also prone to damage, especially when exposed to adverse conditions such as laser heat. With an experienced technician, you can avoid damaging your materials and minimising costs. However, if you are interested in engraving wood in your work shop using your bought or hired machine, you should use the practical tips below for ideal success.
Protect the Wood From Stains
You should protect your wood from staining during the engraving process. A laser machine works by burning wood with the beam and vaporising the material. Unfortunately, when this process occurs, some smoke is produced. The smoke will exit from the exhaust of the equipment and flow across the timber surface. The final result will be brown stains or yellow residue. This problem can be avoided through the use of masking tape. Simply speaking, you can apply low tack masking tape to your wood surface, engrave and then remove it. The low tack ensures smooth removal. If you are planning on carrying out detailed laser engraving, the masking tape might be difficult to remove because of the constant exposure to heat. In this case, you can use a scraper to eliminate the residue.
Clean the Wood After Engraving
The wood will get some burn marks and smoke stains even if you take the correct precautions. However, the discolouration can be eliminated as long as the wood is not severely damaged or covered with deep stains. Typically, you will need some denatured alcohol for the cleaning process. Under ideal circumstances, you should fill a bottle with the alcohol and spray some on your engraved wood. Then, you should clean off the stains using a white paint rug. You should also use circular motions for maximum effectiveness. Remember, a coloured rag can cause more damage because the dye might seep to the wood.
Choose Hardwood Material
The choice of wood for your laser engraving project will have an impact on the final results. Often, people use plywood and end up with unsatisfactory results because the upper veneers get damaged too easily. Therefore, you should think about investing in hardwood for your work. This material has exceptional structural stability; there will minimal damage under the heat treatment. Additionally, you will have more flexibility because the material can handle more heat.