Darkly Labs Community

Thumbs up inlay

I was given a large box of assorted veneers so I tried a simple small inlay. I lasered a shallow pocket in the 1/8" birch ply then mirrored the inlay shape and cut it from the veneer. No offsets - it fit perfectly.
I’ll be trying more of this with different coloured veneers.

Nicely done Jared.

Nice work Jared.

Have you tried using two pieced of veneer, one light and one dark. Cut through both, one sheet at a time, keeping the inner of one piece and the outer of the other. Both will fit and when fixed down will be a flat surface like inlay

John  and 


If you are experimenting with veneer  (or thin plywwod 1.5 mm) you might like to try a project I have completed after experimenting with the living hinge idea.

As an alternate use I cut out a piece of thin ply to wrap around a glass candle holder.  Glued into a wooden base and you have a decorative candle holder.

PS . cut on my new Emblaser Core




That’s nice work John. I had seen similar concepts cut from corrugated cardboard, but never a wooden solution that fit over glass.


Did you need to do much cleaning out of the pocket you engraved?

Domenic … I just used a compressed air nozzle to blow the pocket out. I was working on a multi veneer one this afternoon but just got a job to laser a logo on the bottoms of 60 lathe turned and carved wooden bowls. so the veneer project is off to the side for a few days. I can see lots of uses for the veneer and will be doing more with it. Besides that inlay tryout I’ve cut a lot of the veneer for lumber for my miniature buildings.
The bowls I got today are taller than the emblaser allowed inside so I took the bottom off and propped it up level with some pieces of wood. It’s working fine like that.
Here’s a pic of the first two … 58 more to go. I just finished another job (two days ago) for this same association. That was for their logo on 50 maple breadboards they supplied. That emblaser is bringing in the $$$ right now.

John … I’ll try the idea of two different veneers stacked. I’ve got a thought though that when I cut through the veneer there’s a very slight inward slope to the cut. That’s why I mirrored the inlay piece so it’s slope would match and fit into the slope on the base pocket. It seemed to work. Another thing with the veneer is different woods cut much differently. Some veneers are a bit thicker than others and some are much harder woods. Some cut cleanly through with one pass at full power and some took three passes. I’m still using the emblaser1 with the 2.8 watt diode (bumped to 3 watts with the DIP switches).


The thickness of the veneer I refer to is only .6 mm thick so if the head above the workpiece is set accurately  you should be able to cut through ib=n 1 or 2 goes. 

With the emblaser core I can set the height of the head above the workpiece very accurately in Lightburn. Both pieces fit with a very little gap.


Hello Jared,

Good work! I look forward to trying one of my own soon.



I like the work you oo for the forest industrie. I notice  to areas that show yellow in the pic. One behind the mountains and one between the R and E.

Are these light etchings or coloured or just a the colour tone of the image.

Either way they certainly  add to the work.




I like the work you do for the forest industries. I notice  to areas that show yellow in the pic. One behind the mountains and one between the R and E.

Are these light etchings or coloured or just a the colour tone of the image.

Either way they certainly  add to the work.



John, the sun behind the mountains on the etchings is lighter, to set it apart from the mountains, is done with 50% power. The different etch on the R and E is because there’s a plug of different wood there to fill the spot where a screw held the bowl while it was lathed. 

I was on the third of the remaining 58 bowls when things started to go wonky. I discovered the linear bearings were failing so I’ve ordered the replacement kit, which is now on it’s way.

Nice work, Jared. You can use that trench-cutting method to get some pretty intricate inlay like the photo below. The smallest piece of maple in the image is about .5 mm.

I engrave a positive image 1–2 mm deep into the main piece, then engrave the negative on the inlay wood slightly deeper than the first engraving but not all the way through, so there’s still a skin of wood holding the inlay pieces together. Then it just gets glued in and planed flush with the main material. The engraving makes a lot of smoke (as you probably saw with yours), so you have to clean your lens frequently to keep a consistent depth. 

Very nice work Nathan. So many possibilities to try: so little time to do them all. At the moment I have to finish up that job with logos on 60 wood dishes/bowls.

Got the replacement bearing kit from Darkly Labs a couple of days ago. Ordered it Friday afternoon and it came from Australia to West Coast Canada to my doorstep (on the little island I live on) on Tuesday afternoon … for only $20 shipping! … it costs $20 to take the ferry to get to the island I live on.

Took a couple of hours to replace the kit items and get it focused again and I’m back burning logos. 30 more bowls to go.

What I do with cardstock and the veneer I’ve been cutting tiny bits and pieces from is to apply transfer/application tape (used for transferring cut vinyl) to the back side. My emblaser 1 cuts cleanly through the material but not the transfer tape which holds everything in place.  I can carefully pick either the pieces I want or the pieces I don’t want off the tape and the rest stays where it was cut.

I’ve got a good vent fan set up that draws a good volume of fresh air in one side of my case over the unit at the laser bed level and out the other side through an outside wall with the help of a good little fan. Smoke hasn’t been a problem in my set up.

Hi Jared, 

I know that feeling. I’ve always got a pile of projects and too much other stuff to do. 

Your transfer tape trick sounds much less wasteful than my method; I’ll give that a try. Thanks for the tip!