Make Professional Gifts From Recycled Materials With a Lazer Burner

Introduction: Make Professional Gifts From Recycled Materials With a Lazer Burner

With today's economy who can afford a thoughtful gift for that special someone. Let me show you how to recycle material such as wood into a keepsake that will have your girlfriends and wives going goo-goo eyes over you and your boyfriends and husbands thinking " I think she really likes me".

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Step 1: Choosing the Item That You Want to Make

The first thing that you want to do is to choose what you want to make. A lot of times you can find what you want online or in a catalog. Save the picture of what you want to make on your computer. If it is in a paper catalog go try to find the sight of the company and find the item on there. If not, scan it onto your computer. Try to get picture that is a good size. If the sight has right-click disabled push prtsc sysrq and then ctrl V into paint on your computer.

The piece that I chose I found at the Christian Book Store here in Phoenix. It was $40 and made out of a non-precious metal. Needless to say not many of us have that kind of cash for something that cost China $1 to make.

Step 2: Making You File for Burning on the Laser Burner

When I make things for laser burning I use CorelDraw X4. So for this instructable it is the program that I will be explaining the process for. If there is another program you will most likely be able to transfer the steps as most of the art programs like this are very similar.

First you will need to open a new document in Corel and import the image you want to recreate into it.
Keep the image as big as you can, this will aid in tracing it.

Next using eclipse tool make a circle to match one side of the coin (because the coin is split in the picture you can only work on one side at a time). Make sure that your line width is set to 0.0069, do this by hitting F12 and change the width setting, do this to all the lines you make. Now copy and paste this circle and shrink it to fit the inner circle. Now you have the coin shape. Just remember work on one side the select all that you have drawn and move it over to line it up with the other side.

Now that the coin outline is done we will work on the ribbons. Just like before you will need to do one side and then do the other. Use the bezel tool to trace the outline of the ribbons. Make a complete outline but because you can not line it up with the other side without moving it just make a little extra off the end, we will work with it in a moment.
Once the line is connected back at the beginning go to the top of the tool bar and click on Select all Nodes. It will look like three dots. When you have clicked this go to the left and click on the Convert Line to Curve option, it is a curve with an arrow on each end. Now, using the shape tool on the left you can manipulate the line over the turns of the picture. This will be the process throughout this stage.

Once the top and bottom ribbon is done the next thing to do is the two hearts.
The hearts are done just like the ribbons.

Next is a tricky part. The ribbon overlaps the heart. For the burning process you need to eliminate that overlap because the vector will burn it even if you fill it and put it to the back of the hearts. So you will use you shape tool and double click on the heart line where it overlaps the ribbon. This will add a node, do this at both intersections.
Now click on one of the nodes and then go to the top of the tool bar and click on break curve, it is the third button from the left. Now delete the node that is connected to the other one you made and no more lines. If you mess up and delete the wrong node and the long curve of the heart disappears, have no fears just click CTRL+Z. This will bring it back. Thrust me this will be your friend.

Now on to the texts.
On the tool bar to the left of the screen click on the big A, this is the text tool. click on the top ribbon and type Mizpah. Now go to the top of the screen to the drop down text menu and click on Fit text to path. Now you can line the text up in the ribbon but you are going to find it difficult to get it perfect, don't worry just get it close.
Now when you click off of it you might notice that it is connected with the ribbon now. Lets correct this problem because you may have also noticed that you cannot move the text. Select the curve that the text is attached to and then go to the top of the screen to the Arrange menu. Open it and select break apart, now you can move the text and stretch it to fit in the ribbon. Do this for the bottom as well.

Now on to the verse.
This verse is from Genesis 31:49 and for those of you who do not have a Bible handy it is where Jacob and Laban have made good terms with one another at Galeed and a sort of pact is made. Mezpah in this usage means a sort of watch tower. So this is where the Mezpah coin comes from.
Same thing as before type the text into the hearts but now when you are done you art going to select the text with your pick tool and go to the top tool bar and select the Edit Text tool (you can also find this option in the text drop down menu at the top). Now hit enter where you want the text to be on the next line and space where you need it to move over.

Top connector rings.
These are important because without them you would have to drill two holes in the coins in order to where them, but you can if you want, this is your project do with it as you please.
Follow the same process as you did with the outline of the coin and make sure that you overlap the lines of the connectors on the outline of the coin. This needs to be strong because we are making this our of wood.

Now we are going to draw in our separating cut. This is done the same way as everything else but there is no reason to convert the line to curves, you want this to be straight lines.

Now select the text again and space it so the words fall on opposite sides of the dividing line.

Now the next part is a little tricky, it is like what you did with the ribbons but with more steps.
Select the outer curves of the connector rings with the Pick tool and then right click on it. Then select Convert to Curves. This will allow you to add nodes. Now do the same thing to the outside of the coin.
Now add nodes at the overlaps on the connector rings and the outside of the coin and do just like you did for the heart only do it to both of the circles. Now you will select the curves for the two connector rings and the outside of the coin and go up to the Arrange drop down menu. Select Combine and now they are one curve.

You now have a finished document for printing. Look over it and be sure you are satisfied with it.

Step 3: Burning Your Image on a Scrap Piece of Wood

Now for the moment of truth, burning your project.

I made this Instructable because the Epilog contest said to have a green twist, and I though lets give laser burning a green twist because it is for a Epilog laser cutter. So hear is the green twist, we recycle old stuff that had no use before and we give it new meaning.
For this example project I used an old scrap piece of thin plywood that was too small for anything else. You can use whatever you want but you just need to make sure that the laser is set up to burn correctly for it.
OK, so we bring up our file in Corel on a computer or laptop that is connected to the laser burner.
Now because this is your project you need to decide how big you want it to be. The original necklace that I got the image from was very small. I wanted it to be a little bigger so i stretched the finished image to around two inches. You do this by using the rulers on the top and left side of the screen. Use the Pick Tool to capture the whole image and stretch it to your liking.

Now, we then select the curves for the outside of the coin and the line the separates the coin, everything else stays in the picture. Just select them all at once and delete them, don't worry remember CTRL+Z and it will come right back we will need it in a moment.
Go to the top and select the Printer icon and the print preferences will come up.

I know some people who let me use there laser burner so this is how I have access, any plaque shop will have one and almost all of them use Corel, so use your skill of sweet talk and see what you can come up with.

click properties and set it up like this.
Vector: Speed 80%
Power 10%
Raster: Speed 10%
Power 100%
Auto Focus: Yes

Also change the document size to match the piece of material you have in the burner. Click apply and ok.
Now go to layout and click as in document. Now you are ready to print.

Now put you material in the burner and center it to where the rulers met at the top left.
I put tape on the back of the wood because it was warped and when the machine auto focuses it would move it. I would advise you do this with any material you choose to use for safety reasons.
Now just print the document and it will be sent to the burner. The process will be different with different machines but on this Epilog you have to select the document once it has been sent(printed) from the computer on the machine an the click run. The machine will do the rest. It will take about 2 minutes.

Step 4: Cutting Out Your Project

Now that the inside of the coin is done go back to the computer and hit CTRL+Z and the outlines and dividing cut will come back.
Now select everything else and delete it and just leave what you originally deleted. Make sure that lines that are left are set to hairline. Do this by hitting F12 and changing the width to hairline.

Now print the document as before only this time make Vector Speed 80% and the Power 100%. The burner is only going to cut the Vector this time. It may take a couple of passes but it will cut out the coin. Just print as before and reprint as needed.

Step 5: The Finishing Touches

Now gather together the materials needed to construct your necklace. I used leather cord and large split rings.
And assemble.

You now have that special gift for that special someone and hopefully you didn't spend a dime.

Please do not try to sell other peoples designs, this instructable is just a way to try to save money for people who do not have a lot of money, but still deserve to have things that can are nice. By selling things that you have copied and reproduced you could find yourself in copyright infrengment and be sued.

I don't want anyone to be sued.

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    5 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Pretty good ible! It looks cool. Thought I'd let you know you spelt LASER wrong in the title.


    This is my first instructable. Please let me know what you think and what I could do better. Please also let me know if this helped you. Raven


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You forgot a step. Acquire several thousand dollars to purchase a laser cutter. Sigh.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, this can be very difficult. when I leave in 7 months I will no longer have access to the one I use now. Like I said almost all engraving shops use this program, it doesn't hurt to ask for help from them and most people, contrary to popular belief, can be very helpful. Raven