More Goofin’ Around with the Laser Engraver

I’ve been playing around a lot with the laser engraver.  I’m having a lot of fun with it and the learning never seems to end.  Even with the greyscale laser test I did I still find myself making multiple versions at varying speeds.  My Brother and I have loved Alex Ross’s art since we were little and when I saw a variant of the Star Wars Darth Vader comic book cover I engraved a couple weeks ago, I knew I wanted to try this one too.  Like always, thanks and sorry to Marvel, but I promise it’s out of fandom not money making.  I’m making these for me not selling them.

I had a Goldilocks moment with this one.  The first version I tried was a little too light.  You can’t even see that the lightsaber is what’s making all of the light => whitespace.

DarthVaderAlexRossVariantLight Cool, but a little light.  Then I overcorrected and made another that’s a little too dark.

DarthVaderAlexRossVariantDark

You can only just barely see the front of Darth’s helmet a little too dark.  I think the Storm Troopers look cool though.  The other interesting thing was that this version took about 6 hours longer than the light one because of slowing down the laser.  This one took right at 25 hours to print.  Finally I picked a spot in the middle and came out with a gem (for now…)

DarthVaderAlexRossVariantJustRight

I think this one is an awesome middle ground.  You can see the light saber outline.  You can see the front of Darth’s mask and the storm troopers look cool and well defined.

Another idea I thought to try out was staining something that has been laser engraved.  I really thought it would work out well and I was really wrong.  Haha.  At least for the couple trial versions I did, it didn’t work out very well.  I thought a red spidey face would make a cool coaster so I tried it out.

StainedLaserAttempt1

My first attempt failed hilariously because I’m a dummy.  I was using a guideblock for squaring my workpiece and it was a little too tall and the bottom of the gantry caught it and kept moving the workpiece up so I got a nice back and forth line.  I wasn’t even mad at myself because of how hilariously dumb it was.  I still went ahead and stained to see how it would  turn out and it made me optimistic for trying out another version with a proper guideblock.  I wound up with this one:

StainedLaserAttempt2

Except I really don’t care for it.  The red isn’t red enough and it’s just ehh, but I learned.

I also thought to stain all three of the Darth Vader Alex Ross variants from above.

I used the same Red Oak stain I use on a lot of my furniture and it just made everything too dark.  You can still kind of see what’s supposed to be there, but it’s too dark.  (They’re even darker in person than the picture shows.)  I need to print the Goldilocks version again and either just stick to oil or try really light colored stain.  Live and learn.  At least I have a picture…  Haha.  Oh well.

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