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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

Maybe found a new hobby
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Old 04-25-2022, 03:40 AM   #1
Rich Z
Maybe found a new hobby

Always been fascinated by lasers, so when I saw that prices on laser engravers have been coming down, and one caught my eye, heck, why not? What I got is a diode galvanometer laser, and quite compact. Called a LaserPecker 2, of all things. I'm not sure how many people would understand (and not giggle) when I tell them I have one. It has a 5 watt laser, which is quite modest, but still can do a number on certain materials. You CAN light the material you are working on, on fire with one of these. I originally wanted to try to engrave some machined metal parts I have, but evidently (and as I found out) that requires a different type of laser. A pulsed fiber laser, to be exact. And those start at around 20 watts output before they get useful.

Anyway, just played around with it a little bit over the last couple of days, but I can see where experience will be necessary to be able to select the correct settings for a particular effect you want to achieve on the material you want to work with. LOTS of trial and error, apparently.

First two are on a scrap piece of plywood I had laying around in the garage. The second two are a couple of folding knives with the engraving done on the plastic. Steel doesn't leave a hint of a mark even at full power. Supposedly stainless steel will take a mark, but haven't tried that yet.

Wonder if I can put a fiber laser in my garage?
Old 04-25-2022, 10:10 AM   #2
Those are really cool!
Old 04-25-2022, 03:11 PM   #3
Very Cool! Can you post a picture of the actual laser engraver please?

Old 04-25-2022, 03:56 PM   #4
Rich Z
Here is a YouTube video showing the one I got.

Bear in mind that the actual engraving is sped up considerably in the video, so don't expect them to be THAT quick.
Old 04-28-2022, 12:48 AM   #5
Love these! well done

Old 09-15-2022, 02:42 AM   #6
Rich Z
Had an idea for my larger fiber laser. I watched videos of people engraving coasters made out of slate, so just for grins, I bought some to see how well that would go. Went through quite a few of them just experimenting, and I had a LOT of trouble finding the right settings to get a deep engraving into that rock. Oddly enough, the laser would just melt the rock, leaving shiny globs all over the design I was trying to engrave. Very unsatisfactory result, as those melted rock globs would leave a very rough and unclean looking finish on the surface.

Not sure exactly what I did differently with the following videoed job, but whatever it is, I am getting exactly the results I was after. I have to take some notes about EVERYTHING about the settings for this job so I don't lose the magic settings for other designs. This is going to be for my niece and her husband who have horses. Kind of long, but I found I am fascinated watching that laser work, and have already watched this through, beginning to end, several times already. Watching via a video is MUCH safer than watching it in real time. I use protective glasses to protect my eyes from the infrared laser beam, and besides running an exhaust fan to pull off the rock dust generated, I also wear an N95 mask too.

Oh, this is in 4K/60fps if you can view it that way.

Only have one more to do, and I will have a set of eight to send to them. Takes about 22 minutes or so per coaster. The noise that sounds similar to music in the background is me plinking around on my arranger keyboard while waiting for the engraving to finish. Fortunately for you, you really can't hear it all that well.

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