Wood is one of my favorite materials. It is easy to work with. There is little or no landfill waste since it will decompose or can be burned. When harvested in a responsible manner, wood is very environmentally friendly. You can make furniture, kitchen utensils, houses, and even paper from wood and it’s byproducts. As a whole, wood is an inexpensive, practical material with a wide range of uses.
Besides all the practical features, wood is beautiful. Few materials have the warmth of wood, the range in textures and color, or the truly unique nature of wood (since every tree is like no other). Wood is by no means perfect and as a society, we have moved from using wood in the products we use on a daily basis, trending toward manufactured materials such as wood. As the environmental movement gains momentum and society is reminded of this great material, wood is making a comeback into our everyday lives.
My personal favorite: Cherry
Among all the woods I have worked with, my personal favorite is Cherry. Cherry comes in many varieties but the one I am most familiar with is North American Cherry. This particular variety is prized for its color and stability when dry. North American Cherry machines well and has a reddish-brown hue with visible, but fine grain structure. As a laser engraving material, Cherry make beautiful products and designs.
Laser engraving often includes intricate designs. One of the benefits of Cherry having a tight, fine grain structure is its ability to take and hold detail very well. Oak, for example, is a great wood but has a relatively coarse grain structure. There are often small voids in many varieties of Oak and in my opinion, it does not finish as smoothly as other woods. Cherry is also a strong wood so designs with thin areas or cross-sections are fairly robust and will withstand a bit of harsh treatment before breaking.
Cherry is a great choice for a variety of products and uses. One of my recent designs using Cherry was Christmas stocking names for my family. I was able to find a great script font, design a base shape, and cut along the contour of the script font. The result was very impressive and well worth the effort. The names were completed by attaching a bar pin to the back of the name and attaching the finished product to a stocking. It was a hit with the whole family.
Cherry in website design
Another way I have utilized Cherry while laser engraving is with my logo. If you look at the top of the Book Worm Laser & Design site, you will see the logo I designed and engraved in Cherry. Also, if you look at the social media icons, you may notice that they look different from icons you may have seen elsewhere. They are also laser engraved in Cherry. I have a name tag that I use at church engraved in Cherry as well as several samples from the laser manufacturer showing the capability of the machine.
To see some great examples of name tags laser engraved in Cherry as well as other woods, head over to WoodenNameTags.com. They have some great designs and images of custom designed name tags.
Overall, Cherry is a wonderful material to laser engrave. It results in beautiful products that if cared for, will last a lifetime. The detail that is possible is amazing and intricate. The resulting color and contrast from the engraved and non-engraved areas make Cherry one of my favorite materials to work with.
(Photo credit, flowers: Taylor.a)