Laser Engraving and Precision Board HDU

Laser engraving of Precision Board HDU

Laser engraving a 2″x2″ Coastal Enterprises logo on PBLT-15.

We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about whether or not Precision Board HDU can be laser engraved.  It absolutely can!  We decided to take a closer look at laser cutters in general and how they interact with our HDU material.  Our good friend Jim Dawson from Synergy Sign & Graphics LLC tested out his 75 watt Vytek laser cutter on a few different densities of Precision Board HDU and sent us the results.

Jim used his eight year old laser at 100% power, and though it works really well, he thought the newer machines would work faster.  He did two passes at 30 inches per second on the PBLT-15. Changed to 10 inches per second with two passes on the PBLT-18.  “I ran two passes on the 15 lb. to see how deep it would cut the material, then changed it to one pass on the PBLT-30 and three passes on the PBLT-40 at the slower speed so I could get better detail on the higher densities.  You’re not going to get a ton of detail in the lower densities, so if that’s what you’re looking for, start at the 30 pound density or higher depending on what you’re going after.”

Jim prefers the laser for projects requiring finite detail, especially on smaller size designs.  “Anytime you’re doing something super small, you can use laser. You can also have text that is very small.  We had some pretty impressive results in the PBLT-30 and PBLT-40 samples engraving a 4” by 4” Coastal Enterprises logo.”

Some benefits of laser cutters:

  • Lasers are extremely versatile, able to cut a wide variety of materials and need no additional setup, i.e. chemical additives or post processing.
  • Ease of use, with software packages compatible with most graphics programs.
  • Low energy consumption and speedier processing times.
  • Minimal equipment maintenance with low wear and tear due to no-contact process.
  • Extreme precision and detail.
  • Reduced waste and by-product because output is vapors which can be exhausted or ventilated with an air-filtration system.
  • Consistent quality level due to ability to save parameters of specific jobs and materials in database.
  • No material finishing required.

Source: “Advantages of lasers versus other methods of cutting, marking and engraving signs”

Laser engraving of Precision Board

Laser engraving a 4″x4″ Coastal Enterprises logo on PBLT-40.

You may be concerned with the toxicity of using lasers on Precision Board, but you shouldn’t be.  According to a study conducted by Universal Laser Systems on the effluent created from laser cutting several different densities of Precision Board indicated that, “the effluent stream is primarily composed of carbon monoxide, acetone, propene, and acetonitrile.  The concentration of the detected compounds did not exceed their respective OSHA PEL at any level of filtration during this study.”  Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) are federal regulations that dictate safe chemical exposure levels.

You can read more HERE about the testing methods used and see photos of the various densities after laser-cutting.

Precision Board is perfect for laser cutting and engraving, so get out there and laser it up! Laser cutting foam HDU is a great processing method, so click here for a free sample and start laser cutting Precision Board today.


Texturing Made Easy: TSF-45

Creating a wood texture finish, cross-hatching for an extra dynamic dimension, or achieving the perfect stucco effect can be made easy with TSF-45. This tough yet flexible coating has been made specifically to create a variety of texture finishes on Precision Board, but can also be used on wood, concrete, steel, glass, and even galvanized metal.

The great thing about TSF-45 is that it adheres directly to Precision Board with no priming. This process speeds up production time – which saves over all time and money. Here is a step-by-step guide on the basics of using TSF-45 on Precision Board Plus.

  1. Open your can of TSF-45 and notice the viscosity of the product. It has a thick consistency and, once applied, will hold its shape and not slump.

viscosity1 viscosity2


texture like frosting

  1. Be sure to apply an ample amount of TSF-45 onto your Precision Board surface. Apply enough for a wetout of the areas you will be covering and to ensure you have enough to create your desired texture.

spreading1 spreading2



  1. Once you’ve achieved a full wetout and have enough TSF-45 to create your texture, begin to mold, stipple, brush, comb, etc. the product.

addingmore1 addingmore2

  1. Once you have your texture designed, leave to dry over night. Use a shop fan blowing across the surface to help speed upt he drying time and to make sure the entire product is cured. You’ll know the product is dry when the thickest part that was applied is no longer soft.

textureoption wetout1

shortbrush finish

Please call us if you have any questions. We work with our products a lot and our technical department will gladly assist you. To request a sample pint of TSF-45, click here!

Request a sample size and we'll send you a pint!

Request a sample size and we’ll send you a pint!

For more information, check out our youtube videos, tips and features, and our Product Data Sheet.

**Be sure to stay tubed for the next blog on finishing the TSF-45 on Precision Board.

Machining tips and more!

-A message from Chuck Miller, CEO of Coastal Enterprises

“Over the years Coastal Enterprises has continually worked to improve Precision Board to meet the changing market needs and requirements. In the last few years change has come even faster to designs and tooling applications, which have required projects to be more sophisticated and complex. We have created a harder, stronger, tougher, and tighter celled Precision Board by upgrading our process methods. It’s still the same great Precision Board, just better.”

We didn’t change the formulation of Precision Board; we modified the process to make a higher quality product. One of the main goals for this process was to reduce the dust produced while machining. By increasing the capacity of the chip load, Precision Board machines cleaner and quicker than ever before.

Some of you might be wondering, “What is a ‘chip load’?” The chip load can be defined as the thickness of the chip that is produced while routing. It’s important to know this to keep the heat inside the chip and not on the tool. If you calculate the proper chip load, you’ll have a longer lifespan for your cutting tools as well as greatly decrease the heat transfer onto your routed piece. Check out our Speeds and Feeds data sheet for setting references.

IMG_1081   IMG_1077


Don’t take our word for it – see for yourself! Click here, or give us a call, and we will send you a sample. We are excited to show you what we have to offer.

IMG_1078  Click here to watch a video of Precision Board being machined.



Edge Bonding: A PB-Fast Set walk-through

Out technical staff at Coastal Enterprises has received questions frequently in regards to using PB-Fast Set for edge bonding. Here is a quick step by step picture aided explanation of how it’s done.

This sample of PBLT-15 was cut into two pieces. Our goal is to use PB-Fast Set and bond the halved pieces back together without any gaps or separations.



What you will need for this bonding project is PB-Fast Set, a spray bottle with water, paper towels or a shop rag, the Precision Board needing to be bonded, clamps that will fit the measurement of the Precision Board (we used pipe clamps), and a working space large enough to accommodate the project.


Place the two pieces of Precision Board in a way that the edges you want to bond are facing “up” or on top. You will distribute the PB-Fast Set on ONE SIDE of the two edges leaving ¼” of space away from the edge allowing room for the PB-Fast Set to expand. Spread the PB-Fast Set uniformally using a tongue depressor or brush.

IMG_2720 IMG_2721

With the spray bottle of water, mist the other edge needing to be bonded. This will activate the PB-Fast Set causing it to set up and secure the bond.


**NOTE** At the point of contact between the two edges being bonded, you will be on a bit of a timer. You have 4 minutes of working time, so you must work quickly to use your clamps and align/connect the edges.

We used pipe clamps to connect the two pieces. You may use any clamps you like that will securely hold the two edges together for a seamless bond line. Wipe excess adhesive off for an easier clean up.

IMG_2723 IMG_2724

At this point, you must allow a full 30 minutes of time to ensure the bond has fully cured. Once cured, sand the excess to a smooth finish allowing for a clean and tight bond line.


PB-Fast set requires no mixing, works well on wood, metal and most other materials. It’s easy to cut, carve, sand or machine, and cuts cleanly.



Find out more about PB-Fast Set and our other companion products here.

The Artists Who Happen to Make Signs – The Angry Bull

I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “taking the bull by the horns.” Well Xpressive Graphix takes the phrase to a whole new level. Creating a sign for the Angry Bull Saloon is a prime example of what the artists at Xpressive Graphix are capable of while following their motto: Expect the unexpected.

First being approached with the idea of rebranding one of Zanesville’s favored local saloons, Tony Rose, David Mattingly and the crew at Xpressive Graphix used their expertise to take this project above and beyond. Using Precision Board Plus, these artists were able to craft a sign that would stop any passer-by in their tracks.

The design created by Xpressive Graphix.

The design created by Xpressive Graphix.

Using PBLT-18, this sign is layered perfectly. Actual 19th century barn wood was mounted on a steel frame as a backing for one of the craziest bulls you’ll find on a sign. While the lettering and outline were routed on a CNC, the bull itself was HAND CARVED by Tony Rose. The hand carved bull was mounted using 100% silicone while screws where placed to hold the bull until the silicone set. The surly demeanor was captured perfectly and the Angry Bull Saloon is now the proud owner of an amazing sign using Precision Board Plus!

19th century barn wood and the steel frame.

19th century barn wood and the steel frame.


IMG_0003bull finish1


The Angry Bull Saloon by Xpressive Graphix, Zanesville, OH.

Tony and the team are doing an amazing job showing what Precision Board can become. Visit them at their website or catch Tony on his twitter to see what they can do for you.