Maker Faire 2009: Scott Landon Woodturning and Lasercutting

Wood-turner Scott Landon was hanging out in the shop building at Maker Faire. He's trained as a machinist, but now spends most of his time at the Sawdust Shop working wood on the lathe and experimenting with the ways he can use the shop's Epilog laser cutter to do new things with wood. He's come up with some pretty amazing stuff!

Traditional veneer inlays are quite tricky, so he's been experimenting with using the laser cutter to etch the space for the inlay then testing different materials to fill the gap. Check the pictures below for examples using thread, laser-cut fabric, laser-cut paper, and polymer clay as inlay materials. These materials are more conformal than wood veneers, and can span the curved edges of a bowl nicely. For those interested in following up on his experiments, he swears by Gorilla Wood Glue as it apparently dries without cloudiness.

We'll definitely be trying some of his ideas here at with our own Epilog laser! I bought one of his small laser-cut paper pendants (see the red piece below) to put up at Instructables as inspiration.

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Do you think it'd be possible to make a laser lathe?
canida (author)  Weissensteinburg8 years ago
We've got a rotary tool for the Epilog - what do you suggest we try with it?
I was thinking more of putting a lathe inside a laser cutter, or something similar. As the wood spins, the laser would go down one axis with varying intensity.
Kinda like a 3-D Lightscribe on a CD burner?
Exactly! but it would be rotating parallel to the laser, instead of perpendicularly.
Hmm, custom laser-etched light sabers with your annointed Jedi-name and home planet... *trips Wburg and hops on bike to head to the patent office...*
With an angle-adjustable laser! It could burn at a tangent for "traditional" lathe work, then angling it in towards the axis of rotation (and further), and combining timed pulses with varying speeds of rotation of the worked piece, it should be capable of some some amazing objects, turned, engraved and pierced on the same tool.
But wait, there's more. It chops, it slices, it dices... Act now because this special offer is only for a limited time!

Ohh that's awful.
stoned German