|Neje Master 2, 20Watt Laser Engraver/Cutter, mounted up and in action.|
I had talked to my brother about getting the laser engraver but I hadn't really mentioned that I hadn't done anything with it yet. I was a bit intimidated and I thought that I needed some software for the design element. He asked if I could engrave some wood blanks that he was cutting from branches from his backyard that would then serve as name plates at the reception tables. With a little pushing from my wife I agreed and I pulled it to see what I needed to do.
First things first I mounted it on a sturdy piece of 1/2" plywood that was leftover from another wood project. I finished the edges a bit to avoid splinters and gave the surface a quick once over with the sander as well. So much for the easy part.
Using the QR code on the side of the engraver I got to the instructions and downloaded the controller to my iPad. At this point I discovered that all I needed to do was bring in the image and the controller would actually create a cleaned up image for the laser. I think I spent less time getting the image and adjusting it than I took mounting the engraver to the base (which did involve a run to the hardware store for some #8 screws, washers and nuts). Then it was just adjusting the output of the laser to get a good image on the wood. Something to keep in mind with these types of laser is that the wattage stated is the power usage, the actual output is about 7 watts.
|Full power, 100%, pretty much a charred mess. I could actually see flames!|
|50% power, better but still a lot of charring but a lot less flaming|
|25% power, much better, edges still a little rough and the cut is deeper than it needs to be.|
|15%, nice and sharp, but figured I would try the lowest setting to reduce the depth of the engraving|
|10% power, pretty much bang on. This is what I'm running with.|