How to Customize your Honey Bee Boxes with a Laser Engraver Step By Step Demonstration and Review

How to Customize your Honey Bee Boxes with a Laser Engraver Step By Step Demonstration and Review


so hello everyone welcome to my youtube
channel today’s Friday September 20th and today guess what we’re doing we’re
reviewing a laser engraver this is a fantastic way to personalize your bee
boxes and all of your wooden we’re I’m gonna show you some samples at the very
end but we’re gonna review this piece of equipment that I purchased full price
from Amazon this company is a Chinese company this is inexpensive I looked at
a lot of laser engravers because I decided would it be cool if I could just
set something up and personalize my bee boxes my high visors theater shims and
everything else without having to sit at the kitchen table for hours doing
pyrography so that sent me on a quest i started looking at laser engravers and
in particular those that would burn into wood and there’s a wide range of gear
this one’s inexpensive it’s under three hundred dollars I was really impressed
by that and there were a couple of choices here they had power levels that
were different so I picked the one that had the highest power level this thing
is just lasering the wood it’s burning it and the wood particles are vaporizing
and going out the window the one reason that I really like this unit is because
it doesn’t have to connect to my computer see this little connector it’s
out of focus there you’re supposed to hook it up to your computer then a
screen comes up you’re supposed to download their software this is a
Chinese company that made this their instructions are very Spartan so I
decided I would tie in a tutorial here and show you how to use the equipment
now they have a mode where you plug it into your computer download the software
and use your laptop or whatever to do this or you can do it on its own
transfer the data to a thumb drive that they include and go ahead and make your
own you can see there’s a lot of logos and stuff that come pre-loaded on this
thing that that doesn’t meet with copyright law so I would not recommend
just using established logos now the thing puts together very easily there’s
only four parts and that’s good because the instructions again
are very poorly put together you can also focus the laser see that little
turn plastic nylon piece right there that houses the laser lens and then they
include a stylus so that you can use the little touchscreen that comes on the
unit so it’s standalone you don’t need to connect this to your computer but I
am going to show you in this video how to prepare an image to use on this wood
burner in this laser and you control the power of the laser on the top line there
it’s at 35 and you control the depth of cut at the bottom there so I have it all
the way down to number 4 this thing will just about burn a hole in a piece of
pine if you put it on maximum depth this is the AC adapter that comes with it and
I plug that into a surge protector I want to protect the unit also there’s no
on/off switch that comes with the laser engraver so use the on/off switch on
your surge protector this is the whole thing would sit right on your kitchen
counter kitchen table but here’s what I recommend I recommend that you put this
thing right next to a window because that’s where it is here so I’m a
drafting table it’s upstairs it’s next to a window with a screen and don’t
forget to wear the glasses that they provide
now these glasses are kind of I don’t know there’s just a dark green sunglass
material but you have to protect your eyes and of course include tools with it
you’re going to need your own phillips screwdriver because this little phillips
screwdriver thing that comes with it doesn’t even fit the screws that they
included there is a little allen wrench also that does fit thank goodness but
you can eat your own screwdriver so and it has the four bottom pieces that go
together there are screws for that for each and there’s four screws here for
the main traveling arm and that uses the hex wrench so again even without
instructions you can put this thing right together very easily and
everything else comes preassembled so you don’t have to be some kind of tech
genius to put this up plus I like that it’s only connected at one axis there
and they’re aluminum extruded material that’s nice and rigid this thing doesn’t
have any play in it here’s the feet that support it and of course your piece of
work goes right into that and because it’s bridged up like that you
can put a really long piece of wood in here and burn your logo for example this
is one of my high advisors and this is on a piece of cedar so that’s very soft
wood and it burned in nice and deep nice and clean and here’s a close-up of the
warning label on the laser of course don’t look at the laser it says what the
wavelength is that it’s a class 4 laser product and it complies with the Code of
Federal Regulations this little nylon turn screw let you focus a laser down to
a flat surface under it up to something that’s three inches thick now look at
the dirt that’s in the little fan here you’re gonna want to get yourself canned
air unit so you can puff out that dust every now and again it did generate
piles of dust which is why you want to vent it now let’s get into how to set up
your image for burning so I’m going into my computer here I’m using Photoshop
this is one of my photos of a honeybee on a landing board of course it’s a nice
close picture I’m going to open it up with Photoshop of course and there it is
that is the most awesome macro photo of a honeybee on the landing board that was
ever taken on earth or in the universe for that matter now let’s move on so
we’re gonna do some adjustments to it first we have to change it to black and
white there you go and then a little screen comes up that lets us adjust
yellows reds greens blues what you want to do is create a contrast we’re edging
wood remember you can put this on other materials too but I’m only testing it on
wood I’m only gonna use it on wood and once they get the contrast where I want
it I get out of that and now of course we’re going to make brightness and
contrast adjustments which most image editing programs have so brightness and
contrast at a minimum is what you would do and it also has a very specific
format we have to save it in so we’re going to do that too so now I’ve got my
little B little worker bee image there and I need to change the file format
right so we’ll click Save As and then I’ll pick the folder I’m putting it on
the little USB that they provided now I made my own copy of it just in case
there’s goes bad and they have these folders in there
the picture folder click on that look up at the top there’s another little folder
marked BMP that’s where you want to save your images that you’ve altered and BMP
just stands for bitmap and that is a black-and-white format that saves a lot
of data then we have to change it instead of JPEG we’re gonna pick bitmap
in the format saving here and we’re going to select that there it is BMP and
another thing I want to do is I want to change the name of the file so that when
it comes up on the little USB Drive I know what I’m looking at so here we go
let’s get rid of that and we’ll type in best B photo ever I’m sure you agree
with me I know you probably got you know you get you know all excited when you
saw hommies and the picture was plus I put dot BMP at the end just for kicks
now you got bit-depth choices here’s what I found out it does best 24-bit and
this is a Windows system so we’re gonna save that format bitmap 24-bit and there
it is now we have to do something else to personalize it you better put your
name on that so we’re gonna pull up the text here and I’m gonna write my name on
there and of course the date I want to know what year this piece of wooden ware
was put into service so I want to see how long it lasts you can put this on
all your hive parts by the way do your hive parts before you put them together
so if you get bee boxes if you’ve got Flo hives whatever you have save the
panels out first and do your wood burning or customizing on that and then
I also added best be photo ever to so that I would have one with text and one
without and then we’re gonna save that now we’re gonna burn it on this this is
actually the end of a flow hive to cedar box I just want to put that on there
stick your USB in weed all this before we turn it on and before you turn this
thing on make sure you put on those safety glasses too because guess what
the laser comes on whenever you turn it on so there’s no intermediate thing
protect your eyes at every opportunity then it has a little warm-up thing it
goes through moves through its entire range of motion
here and in the video description I’ll give you a link to this laser burner
I’ll also give you some more information about the parameters as to how large a
piece that can burn but let me tell you if you start to burn an image on here
that’s like 10 inches by 10 inches or 12 inches by 12 inches which it seems to be
able to do that’s gonna take about four hours so I try to keep these small I
think the biggest one I burned was 6×6 and so you just clip on your little file
folder there and then you can down the line of course it’s preloaded with all
the stuff they have provided for testing if you don’t have art on your own and
then it comes up that’s one of theirs that they provided not what I want to
use but it’s just showing what they’ve already included if you wanted to test
the system but you definitely want to use your own photos get your own photos
make your own photos maybe you’ve got a drawing function on your tablet or your
laptop anyway we’re gonna pull it up it’s loading there at the bottom and
then we’re gonna make some adjustments by the way I happened in the
black-and-white mode that turned out to be the best mode it’s a high contrast
mode if you go to grayscale for example it would fill in that entire square and
it’s really not sensitive enough to do a grayscale image if you’re doing
something really soft like cedar or pine but if I had a block of maple or
something like that I might try that out just for demo purposes or we can leave
it on black and white I don’t want to just a laser power here 66 now by the
way when I change the laser power it does make it darker and but it creates
it a kind of cloudy image the other thing is 33 is really deep you’re gonna
find out it’s gonna burn a hole in it so later on I discovered that about 10 is a
good setting for the depth which is that bottom line and I like to leave the
laser at about 60 to 70 percent now it starts burning it also gives a little
counter there 2 percent for example and by the way if it starts burning in a
spot that you don’t want it right away when it starts out that’s the time to
reposition your piece because I found that that little button in the middle
there the circle that looks like a bull’s-eye
with the crosshairs in it that really does not center it up before it starts
burning like it’s supposed to so I don’t know what’s going on there maybe you get
better results if you do connect it to your laptop or something I did not do
that again I just want it to be a standalone piece
generates a lot of smoke as it goes you can see that coming up there and also
you can adjust the parameters while it’s burning so if you decide you want the
laser to be stronger you want the depth to be deeper or lighter and so on you
can just get your stylus out and adjust those sliders and as you go the other
thing is I put up a piece of card there so it’ll block that laser from view even
with sunglasses I don’t trust it and I look how it really burned a deep image
into this piece of cedar so obviously my depth was too strong maybe my laser was
too high you can fool around with a dad you go in fact I recommend that you take
a test piece and start to burn your image and then just make adjustments as
it goes through to see what gives you the best image this is my Victorian
image of a girl holding flowers which course didn’t come out in great detail
but it still makes an interesting piece the other thing I probably want to
caution you about is where you get your images to use you want to get them from
free sources something that’s really old and does not have a copyright on it
don’t just grab somebody’s logo and use it and you can do your own sketches and
scan them in on your computer scanner your printer scanner something like that
it’ll accept anything but of course you’re gonna have to convert it to a BMP
so this is like from 1890 and I just took that as an example for
demonstration it is gonna be on a B box and of course you can seal them up with
clear finish whatever you want to do when you get outside but this helps
identify your B boxes and B equipment if somebody stole it let’s say they even
painted over it this thing is burning image with the laser so deep into the
wood that’s even gonna show through pain I hope you enjoyed this and if you want
one look in the video description here are some samples of the work I’ve done
have a great weekend you

25 thoughts on “How to Customize your Honey Bee Boxes with a Laser Engraver Step By Step Demonstration and Review

  1. Hey, BEST BEE PHOTOGRAPHER EVER, that was very interesting. Thanks for the overview of this laser. I have no use for one at the moment but maybe in future. I was wondering if you cut out the bee from the background as in a PNG file and put it on a white background, would it laser a crisper image? Is that how you did some of the bees images I have seen on your hives before or were they hand done by you pre laser? Also if your scrub it afterwards, does it leave a slightly 3D image as in does the char scrub away? You are a funny guy in a very understated way. I bet some people take you seriously without noticing the humor!

  2. Well, that’s awesome!!! Thanks for spending my money Fred!!! 🀣 β€œHey dear did you change the oil in the car?” β€œUh, no… I bought a laser printer for the bee boxes… β€œ
    I know what I am getting next. Artist I am not, but this makes it amazing!!!

  3. Did I just see that it supports exporting files to OS/2 ? When was this system made…1995?
    Either way, this seems really cool and for $300 it is not too bad on price.

  4. LOL LOL I am still trying to master the wood burning manually lol lol lol It is very very cool (or hot)ur logo looks fabulous

  5. You always do the coolest things to your boxes! So much easier than using a wood burning tool and it looks so professional! πŸ˜‰πŸ‘

  6. Mr. Fred, could you tell us what settings your laser was using when you had it burn in the image of your signature logo, the freds fine fowl and bees cirle with chickens up top and the one bee on the bottom. I really thought that setting looked amazing because it looked like it just heavy toasted the wood rather than burning it up. This is awesome! I am not very artistic and i have someone woodburning a bee box soon, but if i got this i could do it myself!

  7. Fred; I am up to 16 hives now, and one of my oldest hives with has developed a strong sweet smell that carries a long way on the wind. My wife calls it "smarmy." I have inspected that hive several times (all 5 boxes, every frame). Good active queen, large population, huge amount of brood, huge amount of honey and pollen, but nothing rotten in the hive. NO beetles or moths or ants or maggots or chalk brood or foulbrood. I am stumped. Any ideas?

  8. It’s cool and I’ve used a few different engravers. But the whole part of pyrography is a craft and meant to show your work like an artist. Really enjoyed your wood burning pyrography sessions with bee prints by hand. This is fun and cool but it defeats the whole reasons of crafting as a hobby.

  9. This is great!!!! i can't get one right now but I enjoyed watching it and i think you have four other laser companies giving you a thumbs down mr dunn great demo!!!

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