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Frequently Asked Questions


About Scheduling
About Files
About Sizes
About Veneers
About Completed Jobs


Q. How long does it take to get my inlay?
A. We usually complete an order within 3-5 business days but seasonal fluctuations may cause delays of business 10 days or more.  Your quote includes a scheduled date. If you accept the quote (pay for your order) prior to the schedule date your job it should be produced at the scheduled time.

Q. If I miss my scheduled time do I need another quote?
A. No. Your quote is good for 30 days.  If you place your order (make payment) after the scheduled date your order will be scheduled in the first available slot.

Q. If I loose or damage a part how fast can I get a replacement?
A. Reorders due to loss or damage are given our very highest priority. Except in unusual cases we can usually turn your reorder around in 3 business days or less.


Q. What file formats work best?
A. When supplying a quantized bitmap the BMP and GIF formats are the only ones that do not incur a setup charge.  When supplying vector work, only DXF does not incur a setup charge. In both cases the file must be cut ready.

Q. What is a quantized bitmap?
A. This is a raster image containing less than 16 colors. Each color represents 1 veneer cut pattern. Such images must be sent in a lossless format (bmp for example). Lossy formats like jpg are incapable of holding a quantized bitmap.

Q. What do you mean by 'cut ready'?
A. For raster images, it means that no additional processing such as quantizing or removing orphan dots is needed. For vector images it means each set of vectors to be cut from a given piece of material is alone in its own layer. That is, each layer is ready to cut as it is.

Q. When I send a photo, what DPI is best?
A. More often than not, customers asking this don't realize how many details in a photo will either be lost or result in parts too small to handle. Photos with high Dots Per Inch (DPI) are more likely to have this problem than lower resolution photos. Web quality 72 DPI produce vary acceptable results. As DPI goes above 100 the quality of the result does not usually improve much.

Q. When I send a quantized bitmap, what DPI is best?
A. DPI isn't as important as you might think. It's the effect DPI has on part size that you need to understand. If you provide a 50 DPI drawing then each dot represents .020 inches (our minimum). Higher resolutions produce higher quality output such as smoother curves up to a point (about 200 DPI).  At 400 DPI, any part less than 8 dots wide in any direction will be too small or fragile to handle.


Q. How big of an inlay can you create?
A. No single part can be bigger than 12 inches by 24 inches without needing to be created from pieces that size or smaller.  There are additional costs with such oversized jobs. Depending on the veneer selected, this limitation might be much smaller.  Your quote will include a notice if some veneer parts will have seams.  Seams due to intrinsic veneer size limitations DO NOT incur oversized charges.

Q. How big of a stencil or template can you create?
A. No single cutout can be bigger than 12 inches by 24 inches. Overall size is not limited in length but cannot be more than 26 inches wide.  Items larger than 12" x 24" incur oversize charges that are job specific and so must be quoted in the context of a specific job.

Q. How small can a part be?
A. Our equipment can cut parts much smaller than we can realistically package (or sometimes find!). We can't accept responsibility for parts smaller than .04 sq. in (.020 x .020). Nor can we guarantee that parts thinner than .02 at any point will make it through shipping undamaged.  Certain 'difficult' veneer species can have even more stringent restrictions.

Q. What are 'orphan dots' and why should they concern me?
A. Some customers try to save money by creating their own quantized bitmaps using common photo editing software.  If not carefull the results can contain 'orphan dots'. These are single pixels or sometimes pairs that are different in color from the immediate pixels around them. They result in very tiny pieces being cut and ultimately lost, leaving little holes in the customer's work.

About Veneers:

Q. Is your veneer backed, raw, PSA, what?
A. All inlays are made from raw veneers. We can special order other types and even cut customer supplied veneers.  Contact us with any specific requirements you might have.

Q. What thickness is the veneer you use for these inlays?
A. That depends on the manufacturer, the species ... seemingly the day of week. We don't make our own veneers and so have no control over thickness. You should assume there will be differences in thickness between species.

Q. Wood moves!  How can I expect all the parts will still fit together once they arrive?
A. When new veneers arrive they are quarantined in our flattening room for a minimum of 3 days before moving to general inventory. This gives the veneers a chance to stabilize to the same conditions as other veneers that might be being used for your project. We are quite strict about humidity being between 47% and 51% with the temperature between 73° and 78°.  You can request the temperature and humidity conditions at the time your job is cut to be included in your shipment.

About Completed Jobs:

Q. What if I damage or lose a part during construction of my project?
A. If you need replacement parts for any reason you can reorder a specific layer.  In some cases we allow ordering of just parts of a layer.  We keep your job on file for 90 days to allow for shipping damage or problems with installation and finishing. You can reorder a particular layer or an entire job within 90 days without any setup charges. See also scheduling.

Q. Is there a way to keep my job on file longer than 90 days?
A. For a nominal fee of $5/year we will keep your job on file so you can save setup charges if you plan to reorder. You have until your 90 days expire to ask for retention.

Q. When does the 90 day period start?
A. On the date of your quote for that job.

Q. Can I keep the job files myself?
A. Yes and no. If your job involves us processing a photo into quantized bitmaps you can save this bitmap and later use it to reorder. Files created from other processing we might do are not released.

If you have additional questions please contact us.


Laser Doodads
926 Evar St. N.
Maplewood MN 55119


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