When a laser engraves glass objects, such as mirrors, it is referred to as micro chipping. Heat from the laser causes the glass to flake and fall off. The correct power settings are important to avoid chipping off large flakes which results in an uneven look.
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Dampening the front surface of the mirror prior to it being engraved gives the engraving a smoother look. This is accomplished by cutting a piece of copy paper slightly larger than the area to be engraved. The paper is placed on the work surface and wet down with glass cleaner. The moistened paper reduces the heat and prevents chipping of large flakes.
Typical settings for a 40-watt laser used on mirrors are a speed of 35 and the power set at 100. Laser power and speed settings depend largely on the wattage of the laser. Refer to your owner's manual for suggested settings.
When laser engraving the back side of a mirror, it is important to gauge the thickness of the silver coating. Adjust the depth setting on the laser accordingly. In order to maintain optimal temperatures, you should employ dampening. Some other tricks that work well are a thin layer of dish detergent or masking tape.
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