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Scrollsaw meets laser engraver – another take on my floral vial holder

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  • Scrollsaw meets laser engraver – another take on my floral vial holder

    Hi folks!

    Excuse me if this post smacks of heresy on a scrollsaw forum but I’m a great believer in combining craft techniques if the outcome justifies the means.

    A while back I posted a project I designed of a heart shaped floral vial holder in which the heart shape and legs were cut on the scroll saw and the face had a very simple set of concentric rings lathe turned into it as a decorative feature. Recently I’ve been experimenting with using a laser engraver as another way to enhance my craftwork and this week I had an ideal opportunity to put my experiments into practice.

    An ex work colleague and very good friend of mine who lives in Turkey – he’s half Turkish, half German – got married in September and although Norma and myself had an invite to the wedding, circumstances prevented us from attending. To our surprise, just after the wedding he announced that he and his wife were planning to honeymoon in Mexico, visiting the Mexican Riviera i.e. Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. They arrived in Mexico about 10 days ago and before heading back home to Turkey they will be routing through Mexico City and will be meeting up with us tomorrow ( Friday) and the coming weekend.

    As a wedding gift I decided to make another heart shaped vial holder but this time I used my laser engraver to decorate the face as a momento of their wedding. This will also serve to remind my friend, Emre, to not forget when their anniversary comes around! I also used the engraver to lightly engrave directly onto the wood the scrollsaw cutting lines, eliminating the need to produce a paper pattern.

    The wood I chose for the heart is beech, which takes engravings very well. I used walnut for the legs as a contrast. I cut the 1” thick center core on the scrollsaw using a Flying Dutchman #2 heavy duty blade taking it slow and steady. The back and front faces and the feet were cut with a regular reverse toothed blade.

    I didn’t stain the heart red as previously because I wanted the engraving to stand out. Normally I would apply tung oil onto the wood, stained or otherwise, to accentuate the colours before applying a final varnish but due to a lack of time to produce this gift I dispensed with the oil and finished the piece with a Behr Water Based Quick Drying Gloss Finish Polyurethane Varnish.

    To add a final touch my rambling rose, which should have stopped flowering at the back end of October, suddenly produced one solitary bloom a week ago. It really sets off this piece!!

    I’m pretty pleased with how this project turned out and I’ll definitely be looking for more ways to enhance my scrollsaw work with laser engravings.

    Waiting for the verdict at the weekend from the happy couple and from you folks on the forum.

    Cheers!


    Disclaimer – no wood suffered black charred cut edges in this project!

    heart front.jpg heart oblique.jpg
    Last edited by jim_mex; 12-02-2022, 09:01 AM. Reason: typo correction
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

  • #2
    That piece is really fantastic. The engraving really stands out. Nice and dark and clean.

    I have toyed with getting a laser and this really makes me think it really would enhance my scrolling.

    The couple is going to be very impressed.

    Don McFarland ​Member - Durham Woodworking Club http://www.durhamwoodworkingclub.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Jim that is absolutely beautiful. A gift that will be cherished for a life time. I dare not show this to my CFO or I will be buying a laser in the near future. 🤔
      Scott
      Creator of fine designer sawdust.

      Comment


      • #4
        Morning Don, Scott - thanks for the kind comments. I’m really pleased you like this piece.

        For enhancement of special items such as this momento piece, adding personalized text or applying a custom backstamp I definitely see the laser engraver as having a role to play in scrollsaw work. Even the simple task of engraving a cutting pattern direct onto the wood has its benefits. The only issue I have with the engraver is that using it to develop ideas becomes addictive.

        Cheers!
        Last edited by jim_mex; 12-08-2022, 07:29 AM.
        Jim in Mexico

        Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
        - Albert Einstein

        Comment


        • #5
          Beautiful! That is the perfect use of a laser engraver.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ok folks - Confession time!

            I didn't show a photo of the back of this piece because when I was putting this post together I realized I made a mistake when engraving it.

            I'm very good at making typos in my posts which I invariably edit and correct later after I've spotted them but when engravings have a typo you're into a whole new different ball game. In the original engraving on the back of this piece I missed out on an 'a´ in the word 'congratulations' and I didn't spot this before varnishing the piece. This morning I had an attack of conscience and sanded down the back side to remove the engraving - which was no mean feat - and corrected the error. I still need to apply a couple more coats of varnish but as I will be driving to the airport later in the day these will have to wait until I return.

            Here is the back face with the correction!

            heart back.jpg
            Last edited by jim_mex; 12-04-2022, 03:56 PM.
            Jim in Mexico

            Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
            - Albert Einstein

            Comment


            • #7
              Jim, that is beautiful and your laser work is excellent, RJ
              Life Begins @ 190 MPH

              Comment


              • #8
                Great looking project and the happy couple will love it no doubt. Glad you caught and fixed your typo, even if it meant a little more work. 🙂

                like you, I feel that there is nothing wrong in having and using various tools in the shop including a laser. As a matter of fact, like you, I got my laser to enhance my other wood working and scrolling projects in particular. We also have a CNC machine in the shop. It too serves a purpose.

                I like to learn new things, and do different types of crafting and the ability to combine them, just makes it that more worthwhile. However, that also means that my workroom and the workshop are rather full. 🤫
                Melanie from East TN

                Comment


                • #9
                  Beautiful piece! What a wonderful gift. How did you create the file for the floral boarder?

                  Like you I use my laser on certain projects to lightly burn the pattern on the wood. Especially on small stuff like tree slices.
                  Rolf
                  RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                  Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                  Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                  And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks again to all responders for your appreciation of this piece.

                    Rolf
                    How did you create the file for the floral boarder?
                    The image was originally a jpg download from the internet. After importing it into Lightburn I used the trace function to convert it into a vector image which the software does remarkedly well. I then engraved it using the Fill mode with 3 passes and a moderate power setting.

                    I'm finding that using the Fill engraving mode does a crisper job than simply engraving the jpg image in Image mode and also tends to engrave deeper into the wood.
                    Jim in Mexico

                    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                    - Albert Einstein

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A quick update - after meeting up with my friends on Friday evening and then suffering a painfully slow drive through Friday evening Mexico City traffic to eventually get to my place in the city of Pachuca we then followed up on Saturday morning with a breakfast of typical local fare before heading to nearby Teotihuacan to do the obligatory tour of the famous and impressive Aztec archeological site. Back in Pachuca we had a late afternoon and very nice meal to celebrate my sister-in-laws birthday and then headed for home and a rest.

                      I then presented the tired but happy couple with my gift and they were both surprised and delighted with it.

                      Mission acomplished and now its early Sunday morning and time to pick them up from their hotel and drop them off at the bus station to head off to spend the day in Mexico City before flying out to Turkey around midnight.

                      It was a whistle stop honeymoon for them but one they thoroughly enjoyed and especially for the opportunity to meet up with Norma, Kevin and myself plus it spurred me on to finally make something to post on the forum after too long an absence!!

                      Thanks again for the kind comments
                      Jim in Mexico

                      Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                      - Albert Einstein

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Lightburn continues to surprise me with its capabilities! AS DO YOU Jim
                        Rolf
                        RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                        Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                        Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                        And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Nice work Jim I might have to look into a laser for my Christmas present to myself.
                          Tim

                          If you need a tool and don't buy it, you will pay for it and not have it

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nice work Jim I might have to look into a laser for my Christmas present to myself
                            Hi Tim - I'm amazed that with your love for hi-tech tools you haven't already got one!!!
                            Jim in Mexico

                            Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                            - Albert Einstein

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Jim

                              Hi-tech tools are great, my problem is I am not home enough to use them.
                              Tim

                              If you need a tool and don't buy it, you will pay for it and not have it

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