Ironing laser prints onto wood

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Forum topic by Maclegno posted 09-30-2010 06:28 PM 20315 views 2 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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224 posts in 3061 days

09-30-2010 06:28 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I read somewhere (possibly here) that it is possible to IRON a pattern printed by a laser printer onto another surface. I have tried this but with limited success. Is there a secret I’m missing? Help please,

-- Maclegno,Scotsman in Italy

22 replies so far

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10479 posts in 3427 days

#1 posted 09-30-2010 06:42 PM

Your limited success is more success than I’ve had.
Here’s and article I just pulled up. Transfer
If you use it, Tell us how it works,

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View StumpyNubs's profile


7592 posts in 2799 days

#2 posted 10-01-2010 03:43 AM

I don’t work with iron. I work with wood.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3114 days

#3 posted 10-01-2010 05:48 AM

hello Gerard good to see you again

but I´m sorry I can´t help you here when it comes to laserprint
but if you use an inkprinter it shuold be quet easy after what I have heard
and I believe that after all you can´t send a letter thats printet with an inkprinter
out in the rain, yes you can do it but 20 min later no letter…lol

take care

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2982 days

#4 posted 10-02-2010 12:59 AM

I have heard of this done on a photo copying machine but not from a laser printer. Something about how the ink is applied that makes it work with heat from a photo copying machine. Have you maybe tried using damp cloth that was wrung out well and place on top of the pattern and then the iron applied? Just a thought.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Maclegno's profile


224 posts in 3061 days

#5 posted 10-13-2010 02:47 AM

many thanks to you all, especially Gene for his link. I didn’t know what XYLENE was but guessed it might be a solvent I use called NITRO, anyway it worked extremely well. I tried it with a line drawing of a Celtic pattern onto Walnut, which is what i really need it for.
My only problem now is how to reverse Writing ( I also do inlays of Calligraphy) before transferring it to wood.
Any ideas?

-- Maclegno,Scotsman in Italy

View randi's profile


43 posts in 2819 days

#6 posted 10-13-2010 03:01 AM

Maclegno: You can use a photo editing program to reverse your image, print it out and then the transfer should be correct (i think haha) or you could take a photo of your desired image in a mirror, then print it out on a laser printer or copy it on an anolog copier….both use essentially the same processes depositing toner onto paper.

Gregn: Most modern copiers, and laser printers use a xerographic process to deposit toner onto paper that is then fused onto it with heat and pressure, so in theory they both should be able to be taken off with the same methods…depending on the toner, and the quality of the paper and the methods involved as well as the smoothness of the application surface your results might not be consistent due to issues with contact between materials.

All be careful with xylene, or any other solvent, proper respirator, goggles, gloves etc are a must…that stuff is NASTY.

-- "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila." ~Mitch Ratcliffe

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3161 posts in 3108 days

#7 posted 10-13-2010 03:06 AM

You can do reverse writing with a Microsoft product called VISIO. The Standard version cost me $100 a few years ago. You have access to most of the fonts available in any MS product. I upgraded to the Professional version in order to make CNC-ready drawings, but that’s $1000, and you wouldn’t need it, methinks. Since you are in Italy, it may be export- controlled by the US Gov., I dunno. Check it out. At least I KNOW it will do what you want.

I’ve some metal etching texts that talk about ironing laser printer/copier images onto metal. I’m not sure where your problem lies (I haven’t tried it yet), but maybe it’s the temperature you are using. Maybe someone here is a printer guru and can tell you what the fuser temperature is in the laser printer. I expect it’s going to be one HOT clothes iron.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Mogebier's profile


170 posts in 3032 days

#8 posted 10-13-2010 03:29 AM

I have tried different methods like the ones in the link Gene posted. Those are not what you are looking for. All those do is use a medium to capture the ink, then you wash off the paper and you have the ink left trapped in the medium – acrylic etc. So you end up with a piece of plastic with a crummy image in it.
If you are looking to actually transfer an image directly to wood, I have never heard of a way using only paper. The way I have done it is using the T-Shirt transfer material. You run that through your printer, then iron it to wood instead of to a shirt. It works, and you don’t need a laser printer to do it. But you end up with a lot of extra material stuck on the wood unless you cut away all the unwanted areas before ironing.
You will have to do a lot of testing to find the temperature it works at, and to figure out if you need to moisten the wood first etc.

-- You can get more with a kind word and a 2 by 4, than you can with just a kind word.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2982 days

#9 posted 10-13-2010 04:30 AM

Thanks for the info Randi, It had been along time ago I heard about using a copying machine for transferring patterns.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View mrg's profile


823 posts in 2998 days

#10 posted 10-13-2010 06:31 AM

In your printer settings you should be able to mirror image or reverse print your image.

-- mrg

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3662 days

#11 posted 10-13-2010 02:17 PM

I don’t use an iron or heat to transfer laser images to wood … I use lacquer thinner. I just place the printed side down on the wood and dribble on some lacquer thinner. Doesn’t take much, just spread it around and use a J-roller to spread it around.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2829 days

#12 posted 10-13-2010 02:24 PM

For reversing the image, in my HP print settings, you click on the finishing tab and then check the box for mirror image.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View swirt's profile


2737 posts in 2971 days

#13 posted 10-13-2010 05:33 PM

TheDane, how long do yo leave the paper on the wood before you peel it off? Is it just roll it down and peel it back off?

-- Galootish log blog,

View swirt's profile


2737 posts in 2971 days

#14 posted 10-13-2010 05:58 PM

I found this transfer iron online. Have no idea how well it works

-- Galootish log blog,

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3662 days

#15 posted 10-13-2010 07:57 PM

swirt—Just a few seconds … if you leave it on too long (or use too much thinner) it bleeds and the image loses some of its definition. I haven’t used this for anything with lettering (the image reverses), but it is great for making templates and scrolling designs.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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