Lasers Part 3: Lamp Styles

An Overview of Laser Cut Lamp Making - January 08, 2019 by Luna

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Recently I found myself referring to various styles of lamps I have made this past year, which made me realize that if you line them all up there's rather a lot of different sorts and I figured it might be useful to list them all out so I can refer people to the different types. So.

Various styles of lamps I have made in the last year using the Glowforge laser:

1) Engraved Veneer

This is where I take a very thin piece of wood, usually a light wood such as maple or birch, and engrave an image directly into it. Since this is an engraving the image can be very complex and detailed. It needs to be reasonably high contrast but otherwise pretty much anything works. After I engrave it I stabilize the now very fragile wood with epoxy resin.

When this is lit from behind, such as when I make it into a lamp and the lamp is turned on, the dark parts of the image glow. Since the wood char is so thin different colors of light can be used for various effects.

engraved angel lit from the front
front lit

engraved angel lit from the back
back lit

lit with different colors
back lit with colored lights

2) Hidden Images

I cut a symbol through a back piece and cover that with a piece of maple veneer. When the lamp is off all you can see is the smooth unmarked veneer. When the light is turned on it shines through where the backing was cut and the light shows through the thin wood. The symbol can only be orange or red because that is the only light that penetrates the wood well enough.

plain maple veneer panel
front lit

image glowing through veneer panel
back lit

3) Resin Filled Cuts

Similar to the previous one, I cut symbols into a wood panel but instead of covering it with veneer I fill the gaps with epoxy. I usually use a glow in the dark pigment which is milky white and transmits any sort of light well but then glows (often blue, but other pigments are possible) when the lamp is turned off.

maple wood panel with resin filled symbol
front lit

maple wood panel with glowing resin filled symbol
back lit

4) Gem Studded Resin Cuts

I cut something all the way through the wood panel then fill the space with small gems and pour clear epoxy resin over them to create a gemstone mosaic stained glass effect. This is the most time intensive and allows the least detail since I need larger spaces to place the stones.

maple wood panel with resin and gem filled symbol
front lit

maple wood panel with glowing resin and gem filled symbol
back lit

Smaller Lights, Night Lights, and Suncatchers

5) Sun Catcher or Christmas Ornament Made from Wood and Vellum

This is cut through like with the lamp panels but instead of filling the gaps I simply mount it on a piece of translucent vellum.

wood disk with symbol cut through, mounted on gold vellum
front lit

wood disk with symbol glowing though
back lit

6) String of Lights

Same technique as the wood/vellum suncatcher except I attach two disks together back to back with fairy lights between them.

string of wood and vellum lights
lit from within

7) Acrylic Nightlight

Engraved acrylic panels mounted on a night light base or an LED light stand

blue acrylic night light
side lit
gold acrylic night light
side lit

8) Engraved Glass Mirrors

These make good coasters as well as lights, not something any of my other pieces can boast. I engrave an image into the back of a glass mirror. It works as a coaster, a candle holder, a table setting, or side lit in an LED base as a dramatic light.

engraved glass mirror detail
normal lighting
engraved glass mirror
side lit

More examples and better photos of some of these can be found in my Etsy shop:

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