I was recently reading a forum page from Sawmill Creek about engraving on Redwood. The general consensus on the forum was that redwood wasn’t a very good wood to engrave. I figured I should start my blog by addressing this misconception about redwood.
We have personally engraved hundreds of redwood pieces, and have been selling redwood slabs to engravers for years through our eBay store. Redwood engraves wonderfully. I personally know engravers who produce 10 to 20 thousand redwood laser products a year.
Redwood isn’t without its corks. For detailed or sign engraving, I have found it is best to engrave deep, even run the job multiple times if needed. Depending on the power of your engraver, and your DPI setting, (we run an Epilog 24EX 75 Watt Laser), you may need to paint the letters to make them darker, another reason to engrave deep, so you don’t sand the letters off.
The other little nuance about engraving redwood is its ever changing grain patterns. At Redwood Laser we are lucky to have lots of reclaimed redwood, and most of it is tight, vertical grain, old growth redwood. It engraves real nice! That said, the tighter the grain, the harder the grain becomes. Some redwood we engrave is 500 years old or even older at times. The tight grain makes redwood engraving a little tricky, because the grain won’t burn at the same rate as the wood in between the grain. This is another good reason to run it twice or engrave real deep.
Engraving on reclaimed redwood is a great way to give your customers a unique and truly rare product. Redwood has become pretty expensive and hard to get, which makes it a premium choice for engraving, but it is worth it.
Thank you and happy engraving!