Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Friday, July 30, 2021

First Laser Project Complete!

Finishing a project is certainly a rare thing these days but since there was a very specific deadline involved I was definitely motivated to finish it on time! I engraved about 70, or so, of these blanks that my brother gave me. There are still 20+ blanks in the box. They get progressively smaller as my brother chopped his way through the branch. In theory, they only need 54 for the reception, I figure 30% or so over is probably about right! These took 3 days to engrave but I was mulit-tasking with other chores. I could have done it a bit faster if that was the only chore.

The hardest part of this was getting it centered on the blank. You can see a lot of variation of "centered" in the ones you can see in the first picture. Centering an asymmetrical design on an asymmetrical object using a very symmetrical "preview" square is a bit difficult. If these had all been the same size I would have just set up a couple of stop blocks and I could have dropped in each piece in the same location every time. In the end each one is definitely unique. 

I really wanted to run all of these through the planer at least once or give them a quick sanding but my brother thought the cut right from the chop saw was smooth enough (Really? And we have the same mother? My mom is notorious for making sure her wood finishes are as smooth as glass, we went through a lot of sandpaper growing up). I thought I nice oil finish afterwards would have been nice but they are going out as is. They still look quite nice and a bit eclectic with the variations of "centering".

Definitely excited to try out some other ideas with this now that I have fully broken it in. I would like to find a good piece of design software that doesn't have an annual or monthly license fee, or doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

70+ laser engraved place name holder bases.

Same batch but now with holes. That was definitely the easiest part. Load up the drill bit in the drill press and drill holes till there are no bases left in the stack. Took about 15 minutes, maybe less.

And the wire holder in place. Note the slight sundial effect from the morning light through the window.


  1. Looks great, and I am sure the will be appreciated.

    Regarding design work, you only need something that can handle vector files, right? There should be several free or cheap options to do that.

    1. It doesn't even have to be a vector file, but those will work. There are a lot of options out there, but you are right there are definitely options out there.