CNC Laser Engraving Wood Logs (Pioneer Bling)
Our Canadian registered businesses CNCROi.com and Guest Blogger Jon Cantin shows how to engrave wooden logs using his Trotec Speedy 400 flexx laser!
CNCROi.com works with a wide variety of woods during the course of normal operation, including wood logs, or what we like to call, “pioneer bling”.
I grabbed one of the scrap logs from a recent project we did, having a split means it wasn’t to spec but for our purposes here on CNCROi.com, it’s more than fine as a demonstration of what we can do with our Austrian industrial wide-format laser.
After focusing our lens, we powered-up our CO2 laser source (we have a dual-sourced machine with fiber as well) and began engraving away, but first, we had to mask the wood log. The process is the same when we do large natural wood signage, masking, laser engraving and then sealing.
Masking is important as it protects the surface NOT being engraved from vapor and smoke deposits that tend to stick to the surface. The surface may be uneven like this log piece by up to a centimeter without any issues with our laser, as we have a wide focal tolerance when it comes to wood and other materials with similar densities.
In this case, we set-up our CNC laser to vaporise about one millimeter of material from the surface after it was sealed… sealing keeps that “wet look” even when it’s dry and protects the wood long-term from moisture. Sealing prevents the expansion and contraction seen throughout the season as it provides a barrier from local humidity.
The CNC laser engraving went perfect, we were looking to achieve a dark mark that would be clearly visible. Keep in mind, there is NO PAINT FILLING in this project, we are just exposing the charcoal that the laser made during the engraving process.
Taking a look through the masking paper, you can clearly see that we not only produced a very clear set of letters, something not possible with hot branding or CNC table routing, but also exposed the beautiful grain at the same time.
After the masking was removed, there was some smoke overspread exposed, not an issue in this case as it’s easily removed and dramatically less than if we didn’t use the masking.
Another spray of sealant over the entire piece of log once again to keep the charcoal and any wood “seams” exposed during the CNC laser process sealed and the results don’t look good, they look SPECTACULAR!
To give you an idea of scale, I have an averaged sized hand. We can do wooden logs over a meter wide to small little miniature ones to suit any project, several inches to several millimeters in height.