Laser engraving on hardwood


Brand new user here. I’m up and running on my 2.0 (w/1600mW laser) and hope for some advice on my first project. I’m planning to laser engrave some vector images onto solid maple drink coasters. Hoping for a finished depth of 1-2mm. So far, I’m getting clean lines but very little depth. Does anyone have much experience working with laser engraving on hardwood and could offer some setting suggestions?

Much appreciated!


Do you try more passes? It might help.

Did you mean laser engraving? Hard maple (Acer saccharum) is an off-white, tan or yellowish wood. While it’s harder to work with than cherry wood because of its density, it’s great for laser engraving and finishes beautifully. Like the laser cutting process, the laser beam will follow the path of vector strokes without cutting all the way through the material. The width of the stroke is made at the kerf of the laser i.e. approx. 0.2mm. Varnish is an excellent material for making coasters waterproof because of its chemistry. It contains a high ratio of solids compared to other finishing solutions.

You can do more passes and slow down. But there’s a limit to how deep you can go with the laser. Especially with the 1.6. With the 10w it really blasts away the material and it will go much deeper, but it’s still basically a surface thing.
You could use the laser to cut out and glue together layers of thinner wood.
Or use the cnc and stain.