Inlace and laser engraving idea...

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Forum topic by DRStevick posted 12-05-2011 05:14 AM 2958 views 1 time favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 2375 days

12-05-2011 05:14 AM

Topic tags/keywords: inlace koa purpleheart business card laser

Not sure if anyone has tried this, or maybe has some better ideas…

I’ve been making some business card holders like the one pictured here in koa and purpleheart. I am in the Navy (submariner) and was thinking of having a set of “dolphins” – the submariner’s insignia – laser engraved, then filled with silver (or gold for officers) inlace metal powder (probably set in white inlace).

Some concerns: Cost – the inlace is fairly expensive. Wood thickness and depth of engraving – the wood is only 1/8” thick, so the depth of engraving couldn’t be more than about 1/16”. Is this deep enough to hold the inlace?
Finally, design complexity – the dolphins I posted are probably too detailed for what I’m trying to do…

Thoughts? Any ideas would be great!


3 replies so far

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3802 days

#1 posted 12-05-2011 04:23 PM

A bubble head!
Wow…great project. I haven’t done this method before. I am interested in your choice and outcomes. I’m working on a similar project for my son. I thought a laser engraving filled with gold lace (hobby store stuff) would work. That’s what I’m embarked on now. I’ll post when I finish. I would love to hear about the details of in-lace metal powder…never used it!
PS: Thank you for your service to country Go Navy beat Army!

-- Max the "night janitor" at

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2701 posts in 3526 days

#2 posted 12-05-2011 05:20 PM

I used inlace in this project.

The dots are about 1/4” deep.

Originally I put inlace in the grooves above and below the dots. The grooves are close to 1/8” deep. The inlace would not stay in the grooves. The sides of the grooves are not as precise and square to the top as a laser cut would be. Maybe I did it wrong. I think in your situation it could work.

If you already have the inlace, try it on scraps. If you’re having the laser work done, talk to the person about it. I’m sure it or something else has been done before.

-- My reality check bounced...

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30 posts in 2375 days

#3 posted 12-05-2011 07:05 PM

Charles, I’m interested in your project as well, using gold lace “hobby store stuff”. Hairy, I talked to the person who does my laser engraving, and this is what he said.

“I have used that on a couple of occasions. A wide or thick black line s best and I think the inlace would work well in this case. The problem is getting the money back out of the extra time and expense. I think a couple times over the same engraving will be deep enough and depending on volume you would be looking at $5 to $6 probably to zap each one twice, a third might be required but I would need to experiment to see what will give you the best overall depth for success. Too shallow and ooops you sand off the design and too deep is a non starter although that might be a nice design element on a few.”

I might go ahead and have him engrave one and try it out. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


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