As the holidays move closer, many of you are swamped with holiday craft shows, Christmas pre-orders, fundraiser orders, and corporate gifts . . . all on top of your own gift giving and familyneeds. Value your limited time by choosing laser materials that save you effort. This will saveyou time and stress, adding hours back to your life that you can spend with your family or, if you
are a workaholic like I am, use to take on additional projects and bring in more revenue for your business.
1. Choose a natural wood variety instead of staining.
Staining wood is a messy and time-consuming task. To do it properly, you must first prepare the wood by sanding. This is then followed by the application of the stain, which may or may not require a set time. After allowing the stain time to dry, the process is usually followed by the application of a sealant, which often requires multiple coats with sanding performed in between. Consider the time this activity takes as well as stain/sealant costs when deciding between a $5 piece of Baltic birch and a $10 piece of walnut that naturally has the deeper color you are trying to achieve with stain. Every time I visit a local craft fair, I see cheap wood stained to look like walnut. It isn’t fooling anyone. When we think of the beauty of trees, we often think about the colors of the leaves in Fall. I challenge you to dig deeper and look at the beautiful variations in the wood itself. We carry plywood and hardwood in over a dozen varieties, with natural coloring varying from purple to rich brown. With different varieties come different textures and grain patterns, adding to the uniqueness of the lasered goods you create. Another bonus beyond the time and money saved by not staining is the higher price point you can charge for your lasered goods made with “exotic” varieties. Give your customers the option of something extra special and be sure to highlight in your display the fact that you are using these natural wood varieties. Try something new! You may find that a particular variety you had never before considered really makes your designs stand out.
2. Only purchase products made for lasering.
We hear stories time and time again from customers who were lured in to a seemingly unbeatable deal on bundles of wood online or at their local big box hardware store, only to find that the wood didn’t cut consistently, contained giant voids, scorched terribly, or emitted a noxious smell when cutting. What
started out as a great deal turned out to be a giant waste of time and money. Save yourself the trouble and invest in materials made for lasering. Every single item we carry has been manufactured with lasering in mind and run through our own laser for testing. If it doesn’t laser properly, we don’t sell it. For every product we release, there are probably five others that failed our testing. Big box stores and most random hobby sellers online are not taking these extra quality assurance steps and cannot help you troubleshoot when your laser can’t cut the material. Remember that big box stores sell products for home improvement tasks, so materials are optimized for those uses. Save yourself from wasting time and money on materials you can’t use efficiently and stick with products designed for lasering.
3. Stop painting.
Our invention of PatternPly® directly stems from our own experience with limited time. Back before we sold laser substrates, we sold photo engraves, earrings, and ornaments to family, friends, and whoever else we could convince needed lasered goods for Christmas gifts. Angela’s high school desperately needed new merchandise for their revamped bookstore, and we were fortunate enough to get the contract. We quickly became overwhelmed, however. With all of the intricate cuts, several coats of paint, and gluing of multiple layers, the earrings and ornaments we made took several days to complete and always looked a little more “rustic” than we preferred. We figured there had to be a way
to create a material that could save time and provide a professional finish. Once we switched our business to laser substrates, this became a goal of ours and PatternPly® was born!
PatternPly® is 100% the most effective way for you to save time with your lasering projects. Instead of hand painting the ornaments, we could have purchased solid color PatternPly® in the high school’s exact colors and simply cut the shapes. The finish would have looked professional, and we would have saved hours. With that time savings, we could have reached out to another school and stocked their bookstore as well. Instead of engraving the penguin mascot into dozens of pairs of earrings, I could have ordered a custom sheet of penguin PatternPly® and spent no more than ten seconds per pair cutting tear drop shapes. PatternPly® enables you to cut simple shapes but still have a dynamic, eye-catching product. With our different core color options, you even have the ability to engrave in a different color, saving you the time and effort of paint filling your engraves. With 908 solid colors, 1000+ patterns, 22 substrates across various thicknesses, and the ability to order customized PatternPly®, we have exactly what you need for your project. We have repeatedly had customers tell us that they were able to take on larger volume projects because of the time they saved with PatternPly®. It’s a game changer, and I hope you will consider giving it a try with your projects!
As you can see, an investment in quality materials is an investment in your time, and that is priceless. We wish you luck in all your business ventures!
-Casey and Angela Cruise
For quality laser materials, please visit http://www.smokeyhilldesigns.com and join over 16,000
members in our Smokey Hill Laser Supplies Facebook Group.
Top timesaving products:
- Even simple shapes look complex because of the patterned surface. If a colored core is selected, you can engrave in a different color with no paint needed. Bonus timesaving points--unless the PatternPly® is white, you don't even need to mask it! Time advantage: No need to paint or create complex designs--cut and move on to your next project! And no need to mask most of it!
- Still a little hesitant about exotic woods? Try EcoBirch! This faux, MDF core wood has a completely finished look and feel and cuts like butter. You don't even need to mask it! If you want a consistent look across all of your products, this is the "wood" for you. If you can cut MDF, you can cut EcoBirch. Time advantage: Fast cuts and no need to mask!
3. Quality Plywood
- We offer many different varieties to ensure you can find the look and feel you desire for your products with no need to waste time staining! Not sure which wood you like best? Try a sample box! Available in a 1/4" / 1/8" mixed assortment box and an 1/8" only box. Time advantage: Get the look you want with no need to stain!