Awards & Engraving

June '16

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A&E JUNE 2016 • 37 match/meet exact specifications of the customer." However, he is quick to return to the point that this is one of its best selling points, suggesting that retailers emphasize to their customer that he or she will own a one-of-a-kind product that doesn't look like anything else. The physical makeup of wood can also be a challenge. "Working with the grain of the wood can cause some frus- tration for retailers," Stephens admits. To avoid this issue, he recommends taking care to select a specific wood that works well with its intended application. "For example, a wood with a low/faint grain is the most desirable especially when photo engraving." Despite these few challenges, wood is still one of the top products to carry. "They have an extremely high-perceived value; therefore, they are never thrown out," Mikal finishes. Two Simple Methods to Decorate Wood Laser engraving and sublimation are both popular options to decorate wood products. Josh Stephens outlines the simple steps it takes to execute both. Laser Engraving 1. First, design and customize a desired graphic. 2. Next, place the material into the laser bed. 3. Select the machine settings based on material, thickness, engraving depth, etc. 4. Send the design file over to the machine software program. 5. Then, align the laser head to a desired starting point. 6. Finally, press go! Sublimation 1. First, design and customize a desired graphic. 2. Next, print an image on a supported inkjet printer using specialty subli- mation inks and paper. 3. Place the printed image on a sublimation-ready surface (coated with a special poly coating). 4. Then, place the product and print under a heat press (proper tem- perature usually hovers between 385°-400°F for around 50 seconds. Required pressure is usually around 30-40psi; check with your supplier). 5. Finally, remove the product (using protective heat gloves), tear away the transfer, and admire the finished product. A&E

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