Every year, two members of the Epilog team make a pilgrimage to Arizona to watch seven games during Spring Training. While some people think this is more baseball than any two people should endure, the die-hard fans are convinced that it is not only fun, but is also undoubtedly the reason for the Rockies' success this year. To show off their tickets from the 2009 trip, we've designed a stunning inlaid ticket plaque.
Use this concept to design your own ticket plaque. Sports memorabilia is a big ticket item and can provide special memories for your clients.
Start by opening the file st_inlay.cdr. This file contains each of the inlay pieces you will need for the project. The page is setup with the cutting files for four different wood pieces: alder, cherry, maple and walnut. Using a thin sheet of each (we used 3/32"), cut out each shape from the corresponding wood slat.
On our 45-watt Helix, we used settings of 40% speed, 100% power, 500 frequency. For the harder woods, maple and cherry, you may need to lower the speed to 30% for the laser to make a clean cut.
Next, set aside the pieces for the inlay and place masking tape over the entire plaque. We will be engraving 3/32" deep in the inlay area, and this will protect the plaque from residue build up from the engraving.
After the plaque has been masked, place it into the laser. Open the file st_plaque.cdr, which you can see to the right. Select the black portion of the file and engrave it to a depth equal to the inlay pieces. We used 10% speed, 100% power on the 45-watt Helix, but we suggest testing one letter of the inlay first to make sure you are getting to the correct depth. Turn on air assist while engraving to reduce the amount of residue that gets under the tape as well.
When the engraving is done, remove the mask and you're ready to assemble the inlay.
Open the file st_inlay_guide.cdr and use the image in this file to help you assemble the inlay. As you place each piece, secure it in place with wood glue.
You might want to try putting together the entire inlay, then gluing each piece in place. After all the pieces are glued into place, we found it helpful to clamp a piece of wood over the top of the inlay for about an hour to make sure all the components stay flat.
In this photo we are engraving the masked plaque with the laser. When you remove the tape after engraving, you will have a clean engraving without a build up of residue.
After the inlay is complete, place the plaque back in the laser and reopen the file st_plaque.cdr. Now we're going to engrave the tickets. No special preparation was used on the tickets. They were scanned into the computer at 600 dpi and we engraved them with the "Brighten" dithering pattern in the Laser Dashboard print driver. As you can see from the tickets, the laser was able to capture the full range of grayscale within the tickets and provide a really stunning engraving on the alder plaque.
On our 45-watt Helix we engraved these at 50% speed, 100% power. Start with a higher speed and run a second pass if necessary.
Remove the plaque from the laser, wipe it off with a damp towel, and enjoy your sports memories!