Turning Archive

Air brushing vs engraving

Doug Dubowski
I am making three platters, each one to celebrate the birth of a grandchild (two for my partner, and one for me). The platters will be 10-12" in diameter. and will be made from cherry or maple. My plan was to have the name of the child around the rim of the platter and the particulars in the center - Date and Time of Birth, Weight, parents names, and place of birth. I think I have three options to do this:
a. have everything laser engraved. I can then leave the engraving as it, or fill the engraving with a paint (not sure what kind) to make it stand out. Have never had any wood laser engraved before, so am not sure of the finish. Was told to use a finish on the platters before engraving to minimum the amount of burning around the edges of the engraved sections. There is a local workshop here that does laser engraving.
b. air brush the letters onto the platter - that means somehow preparing a template with all the letters cut out on something that will simply stick to platter for later removal, then simply spray into the cut-out areas. I think cutting out the letters would be problematic, and would highlight my lack of skill in cutting out flowing lines. Adhering and aligning the templates to the platter is another definite challenge.
c. some how print the letters onto a clear sheet that can be somehow glued to the platter. Would have to do this in 2 passes, one for the rim and one for the center section. I can see aligning the two being a challenge, and finding a product that I can do this one - a more modern "Letraset", I guess. No idea as to what products are out there.

I have made a practice platter to try things out on. It is cherry, and finished with "Shellowax" - this leaves a glossy finish, but does not affect the colour of the wood.

Any ideas and guidance appreciated!


© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.