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Some trivets from my latest experiments

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Some trivets from my latest experiments
While playing with my new-to-me laser, I made some tiles that needed a home versus place on the shelf.

I bought a diode laser for my wife to help her with etching her fused glass art work.
Of course I had to "check it out" and set it up, what good husband wouldn't assist his wife with a new power tool?

The tiles are the standard white 6"x6", at $0.40/ea. perfect for experimenting.

My test was with the NWT method (Norton White Tile) that used Titanium Dioxide as the media. TiO2 is the white powder used to make paint white. It is actually a black mineral, just appears white when ground up due to the way it refracts light.

The TiO2 is mixed into a binder to create an inexpensive paint with a high concentration, I used watered down PVA glue for this.

The tile is painted and the pattern then can be etched with the laser. It takes some amount of testing to get the proper mix and laser parameters for that "perfect" black. One can image gray scale photos with amazing fidelity, these tiles were to just get the pure black correct.

The TiO2 is actually melted into the tile glaze and is as permanent as the glaze itself.
The patterns are some line art I had handy and I will place these in the gallery for anyone who likes these kind of things.



I could have used other tile colors which would have been better aesthetically, but hey, I had to get these test tiles outta my shop! 8^)

On to the frames

Woodworking here 8^)

Frames are from salvaged red oak, grooved for an internal plywood base and finger joined corners


The plywood base keeps the tiles slightly raised from the frame.

Inset fuzzy feet were applied to the corners.


I fumed the oak for a while to darken it then finished with pre-cat lacquer. 

Tile was sealed to the sides with white bath silicone caulk to keep moisture out and secured to the plywood with contact cement.

Anyhoo, this gave me some more ideas for "helping" my wife with her new tool 8^)

Thanks for looking.

13 Comments

New tools and techniques are always fun. These look great for practice pieces!

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

So you just mix a quantity of the TiO2 into watered down white glue and paint it on, then burn it once it’s dried? Does the glue seize peel off later or do you leave it on?

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Thanks for the comments people!

So you just mix a quantity of the TiO2 into watered down white glue and paint it on, then burn it once it’s dried? Does the glue seize peel off later or do you leave it on?
Ryan,
Yep, just mix to about latex viscosity and paint on a good layer (I used just the tip of a foam brush).

Let it dry, I put it into my old food dehydrator to force the process. The PVA is water soluble so I let it soak in a water filled tub for a while then used a green "scrubby" sponge at the sink to remove the unfused paint. 
The TiO2 tends to settle out so the glue keeps it suspended while applying. I'd rather spray it on but need to play with the viscosity. You just need it applied thick enough so there is 100% coverage. 
Interesting process and great results. Thanks for sharing that.
Cool, Splint! Good job “helping!”
Thanks Ron, Dave. I know, if I wasn't here to do these tedious chores how would she ever survive? 8^)
Bruce, you are indeed a mad, and incredibly gifted scientist. Tell the truth, how many tiles did you use up to achieve what you called " It takes some amount of testing to get the proper mix and laser parameters for that "perfect" black." 

Not to mention, knowing what to mix with what to get X. Like I said my mad scientist friend, who is incredibly gifted.

Awesome tiles BTW. :-)

So happy to see you here as well.
Hey George, good to (virtually) see you here!

Thanks for the kudos 8^)

The total tile carnage was only about 6. There are "test grids" generated that can quickly create an array of sample blocks while varying speed and power. The mix was the most involved but once I figured out what change was needed, I just followed my instincts (it needs MORE of something). My "bigger hammer" approach to the world and life in general 8^)
Those are sweet, really like the Roadrunner. Well done on the frames too.

Main Street to the Mountains

Thanks Eric, we have a large gathering of "birders" happening in a few weeks (Festival of the Cranes) and they  really like bird stuff. Wish I had spent my time making bird houses and feeders 8^)

Paul's birds 'n' bees box would be a sure seller, but alas....sigh.
I hear ya there, sitting out on the porch today there was a flock of Bluebirds just outside the door, they kept coming back. And I was thinking I need to get some Bluebird Houses built and hung up. Also a few different wood peckers, wrens, titmouse. So I need the feeders to.

Main Street to the Mountains