A thoroughly wooden menu cover laser-engraved with the restaurant’s logo. This Matchbox (a vintage pizza bistro) is located in Fairfax, VA.
It’s probably a little strange to save this for the second week, but things just worked out that way!
At some point during the technical setup for 52 Lasers, I decided that I’d have to put together a logo of some kind; leaving the site’s name as a tiny text field just wasn’t going to fly. I settled on a condensed House Gothic fairly early on for its simple, tall letters. In tried-and-true quick logo fashion, I knocked out the second word and called it a day.
Once I realized that I wanted to cut a physical version of the logo for photography, I made some alterations to the letter forms to keep the R and A counters from being troublesome, and cut the whole thing out of 1/4″ thick transparent acrylic. As an added measure, I cut an additional rectangle around the outside of the piece, knocking out the knock out and making a nice template for aligning the loose acrylic pieces.
In addition to the photography accompanying this post, I shot several new photos to use as headers. All of the headers are brand new, and I wholly expect to make several more as time goes on. With the template made, I can introduce the logo to strange new worlds and snap some shots while I’m at it!
I think the best thing about this acrylic is how higher PPI settings will melt the edge as the laser passes, creating the mostly smooth (and entirely unburnt) sides of each character. PPI, or Pulses Per Inch, tell the laser how many times it should fire for each lateral inch it travels. Low settings like 150 can result in a perforated look—this can be used to functionally perforate thinner materials. Higher settings, like the maximum of 1,000 used in this project, overlap a lot of the heat. You can see this effect in most of the included photography and even some of the new headers.
In something a bit related to Week One, I made some more Triforce lapel pins, this time out of finished wood. Rub ‘n Buff pewter and Sharpie marker ahoy.
I cut my laser teeth on baby names. For my great nephew Anthony, the word TOOTIE was carved out of some oak ply. A large stroke of unetched material held the letters together, and the resulting block of text is sturdy enough to stand on its own.
The second nameplate was for Ella Lyn Baldwin, a great niece. Her entire name was to be used, so I chose some lean type. The etch was reversed, leaving the long letters standing atop their shadowy stroke. Some feet were added so that the piece could stand on its own despite the middle name descender. The result reminds me of a locomotive. Ella Lyn’s nameplate was mounted on the wall above her door, but her new brother Christian’s door was sadly unadorned. So for the first week of 2014, I set out to fix that.
His name, set in Buckingham, was wrapped in some sourced Celtic knot corners and carved into a narrow plank of salvaged wood. The wood is unique in its batch because it’s already been finished, and a light cleaning with a multi-surface cleaner brought an amazing shine to the letters, especially compared to the etched surface.
The prototype stopped there, but I wanted to experiment with some wax metallic finishing paste that we’ve had lying around for a while. I coated the unetched surface in black marker first, and then wore that away slightly with some isopropyl to leave a faint purple hue. It’s very difficult to see in the pictures.
Apply sparingly with finger or soft cloth.
Naturally, this particular instruction on the paste tube wasn’t followed. Despite my best intentions, a great many gobs were left on my cloth and I still haven’t been able to get all of the grey off of my fingers. The result looks great, though!
I really enjoyed how the marker only partially wore away with isopropyl; it’s hard to see in the images, but the letter surface has a cloudy texture to its sheen. I’ll certainly be playing with this material and the Rub ‘n Buff a bit more.