151: Slate

I have a delightful group of coworkers, and there is a rash of them getting married. Since I have the laser, I like to do personalized gifts, like we did with this engraved recipe box years ago. Inspired by Playbook Coasters I saw at a local shop Hearth and Hammer General, I decided to try my hand at marking slate for a personalized cheeseboard.

Luckily, slate is very chic right now, and a quick trip to Crate and Barrel had just what I needed. I picked up 2 cheeseboards; one for practice, and one for a gift. When I brought these home, Ryan was immediately inspired – the shape and the color of the slate was nearly perfect ringer for a dialog box in the videogome Chrono Trigger (And if you didn’t know, Ryan has a shop practically dedicated to video game dialog boxes 🙂 )

There’s a section of the 1995 SNES game Chrono Trigger where your team is stuck in a post-apocalyptic future. There is widespread famine in that era, and some enterprising tinkerer created a machine called an Enetron that would revitalize its user in place of food. The dialog box when you use the machine reads “HP/MP Restored!” followed by “But you’re still hungry.”

The slate engraved beautifully; better than I had hoped. The mark is a lovely chalky looking white, yet there is no residue. I wasn’t sure how the slate would react to the laser; Ryan wondered if there might be chipping like you get with glass. But no, it’s lovely, and the mark doesn’t wipe off. So we went ahead and made one the personalized one for the new couple – it was a hit at the shower!

Admittedly, I was excited about the possibilities of this product, so I ordered a whole bunch of slate coasters from one of our suppliers (that was a heavy order!) These were a little different in quality than the one we bought fron Crate and Barrel – they were shiner, like they had a coating on them. My guess is to help the contrast in lasering. I got an old map of Batavia Illinois in 1860 (thanks Library of Congress!) to make place coasters for the Depot Museum Gift Shop. After a little playing around with the design, contrast, and settings, we settled on a more zoomed in map, which we engraved with 30% power, 100% speed.

This feels like the shortest blog post ever, but it worked perfectly practically the first shot out of the gate! How often do we get to say that?

One thought on “151: Slate

  1. alainb1 says:

    Nice… loved that you began post describing marriage as a rash LOL.

    I have not worked with slate before but going to grab some to try out at the library I volunteer at. It looks like it holds detail very well so may be a candidte for photoengraving. Thanks as always for sharing your work



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