Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fresh laser-cut flowers

When we went to Las Vegas back in 2006, one of the souvenirs we bought Andrea was a light switch plate from the Bellagio with her favorite flower, a hydrangea. This plate was a fixture in our bathroom from the day we returned until the day we moved to Seattle.

Unfortunately, our new house uses the larger 'rocker' style light switch instead of the traditional toggle, so this face plate is relegated to our junk drawer. Enter The Garage, where yet again, I am etching metal. This time around, I went a little more deliberate than the douglas fir face plate.

I started with an outline of a hydrangea I found online. Using the rocker template I whipped up, I reduced the complexity and, more importantly, the area required for the laser to hit. The resulting file was about what I planned to cut:

The final cut took under ten minutes.

The result was pretty good, though I neglected a bit of offset at the top, and some of the details on the leaves didn't get cut.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Graduating to lasering metal

Several years ago -- probably before Jacob was born -- my dad dabbled in the making of knives using very hard bimetallic blades, some Corian for the handle, and heavy gauge copper as a plug. He worked with me to make my own, which Andrea and I kept in regular use in our kitchen.

I decided to take this blade to The Garage and etch Dad's signature into the blade using some fairly high-res signatures he sent me. The resulting etching turned out rather well:

I also had an extra single gang lightswitch plate, so I grabbed an image of a Douglas Fir from the flag of Cascadia; scaled, transposed, trimmed and aligned the image to the dimensions of the wall plate. The cut turned out relatively clear, and I installed it in my office at home:

Bonus points to those of you that recognize my first attempt at etching metal.