Awards & Engraving

April '18

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14 • A&E APRIL 2018 WEE CORNHOLE My other favorite retail item is a mini bag-toss game, a tabletop version of the yard game also known as cornhole. Similar to the business card cases, I went from a simple wooden version of the game through various improvements to the current pop- ular multi-colored, painted models. It was all made possible and profitable due to the use of the laser. I still make the basic, natural wood-finished set. The painted ones, however, are unique and command premium prices. GLASS BALL ORNAMENTS The personalized glass ball ornament is a great example of a crowded retail field. My journey with these was similar to what I went through with the insulated tum- blers. I first started engraving them using simple jigs, like foam koozies or cutouts in chipboard boxes. Without a rotary device, my engravings were limited in size to no more than a 1 1/4-inch square on a 2.625-inch diameter glass ball ornament for my machine with my lens and settings (see sidebar on page 15.) I could mark almost anywhere on the ornament but could not easily do a longer line of text. Then I got my rotary device. This allowed me to engrave a 1 1/4-inch band all the way around the ornament. I had several jigs to keep the ornament rotating in a straight line, but in using the jigs, I limited myself to engraving just that band around the equator. So, I changed to weighting the ornament by filling it with sand and plugging the neck with duct tape. That allowed me to freely rotate the ornament in almost every direc- tion and engrave lengthy graphics anywhere on it. Doing this in combination with other techniques makes the entire sphere available to me as a canvas for my designs. The glass ball ornament is a blank canvas for working the magic with your laser that puts it at a higher level. By combining tech- niques, you can create a unique, custom item that stands above the competition. The keys to successfully engraving glass ball ornaments are: • Low power • Low resolution (DPI) • Quality stock • Darker colors for greater contrast • Silvered interior • Matte finish to set off the silver • Knowing your graphic size limitations • Knowing the graphic adjustments for a sphere on the rotary • Compensating for mistakes and broken stock by ordering more than needed A high-level painted cornhole set.

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