All things marble

So I have been meaning to do a writeup on marble in the glowforge and am finally getting to it. In this first post I will just show the results and settings of the types of marbles I have done. I will do follow up posts on this thread that will go into the best vendors I have found for these items, trade offs of the marble types, and other random marble stuff you can fit in the glowforge.

The marbles in this thread are honed and polished marbles. The settings I used for all the honed marble was full power, full speed, 270 LPI, and two passes. The settings I used for all the polished marble was full power, full speed, 270 LPI, and one pass.


The different marbles and the results when engraving

So lets start with just the standard white honed marble (marble that is smooth with a matte finish). This is the marble I commonly see people use in the other marble posts on these forums.

As you can see, the design stands out some but not as much as the other marbles I will go into. One option you can do with this honed marble is use a colored filling to fill in the engraved design:

I do not remember the paint I used but I do know that it was one that I found when using the glowforge forums and so you can search for marble paint and probably find it on this forum.


So now lets go into polished white marble (marble that has the glossy finish)

As you can see, the design stands out much more and the variations in the veining of the marble standard out more. Hang in there though because I will go into the trade offs for picking this type of marble in my follow up post on this thread. There are down sides to using the polished marble.


So now, here is polished black marble

And here is polished black marble next to honed black marble


And finally for this first post, here is polished green marble

The cons of polished marble

No doubt, designs look amazing on the polished marble. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1) They are prone to breaking/chipping

With the polished finish on the marble, the edges become fragile which causes them to chip easily. When they do chip, the rest of the polished surface makes the chips stand out that much more. Below is an example of a ding that did not take much effort to have occur:

2) Vendor supplier

Polishing a marble to the quality like the ones in my photos is not something someone can do DIY with honed marble and still get the same look at mine. The boards used in my photos are all made by FoxRun brands which is a company that has dominated the market when it comes to these types of boards. So that means you really just have one brand but there are a few options where to best buy that brand. I will get into that in the longer session on vendors. I actually have a wholesale account with FoxRun but I do not order these boards from them often for some reasons that I will get into.

3) Standout veining

All marble will have veining however, the polishing of the marble will make the veining stand out much more then the honed marble. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Personally I think the variations of veining is really cool and what I love about the polished marble.

The thing you have to keep in mind about this is that it means there is a lot more variation from slab to slab. So if you are going to sell these slabs then you have to be prepared for customers that do not like the veining of the one they got. No matter how much you explain this in listings, you will get customers like this (yes, I can be a little snarky in my responses to some of my customers):

So if you sell them, be prepared for people often asking you if they can have a “prettier board” (whatever that means)…

Where to buy from - buying wholesale

At the time of when I first started selling engraved marble pastry slabs for my Etsy, I already had a webstaurantstore membership (I was getting my slates from them as well). So I started with ordering these slabs from webstaurantstore for about $25 and that comes with free shipping. Things were going well with that until suddenly they were out of stock. I needed some slabs and decided to order 20 from various online department stores. Out of the 20, only 3 were in perfect condition. The rest had little dings around the edge or damaged corners. It was not damage from just the shipping but from having been sitting on a department store shelf where people pick it up and over time, chip it. Once webstaurantstore restocked, I made sure to have a good amount of extras on hand in case they run out again. After selling over 300 marble slabs I decided to see if I can qualify for a wholesale account with FoxRun brands and they approved me.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you are ordering wholesale:

  • There are minimums for how much you have to spend to order and “free shipping” is not an option for most places.

  • When you order online and you do not have an established shipper (i.e. a contract set up with FedEx or UPS) then you can select for FoxRun to find the best shipping rate for you when it comes time to ship your items. The thing is that you will not know how much the shipping will be until the item ships and you get your bill. This means you will be taking a gamble on what the end total cost is. Additionally, you will be notified when your items are about to ship but you will not get information on when they actually ship and a tracking number. This means your order will just show up when it shows up.

  • If items are out of stock, they stay active online and so you can still order them. Sometimes your representative will reach out to you if you ordered an item that is not in stock (this usually only happens if you order a lot of that item). If you only ordered a few of an item that is out of stock then when you receive your order, those items that were out of stock will not be in the box (but you will not be charged for them). Basically, you do not know for sure what all you will be receiving and how much you will be paying until the bill comes. You can work with a representative to find out if specific items are in stock though.

Now it might sound like there are a lot of negatives with wholesale but there are some positives. Places like FoxRun also own a ton of other brands and so you get great access to so many options. If you are a cooking person, you could get lost for days in their catalog. You also get to be ahead of new trends. For example, FoxRun added some cool wine appetizer trays last year and I was able to buy a few hundred for an amazing deal and people were buying them engraved like hot cakes because they were new and not a lot of places had them yet. For things like marble, you will get access to tons of items that are not on places like webstaurantstore (i.e. marble cheese cutters, lazy susans, coasters) and those are usually pricy elsewhere. I will do a follow up post with all the various Foxrun marble items I have been able to fit into the glowforge. As always, happy to answer any questions and share my lessons learned.

47 Likes

These look awesome. I like printing on marble.

4 Likes

Thank you this info is fantastic, I think your work is beautiful and looking forward to learning more in your follow up post. Regardless you have provided lots of info here for someone (me) to be able to get started with this :slight_smile:

9 Likes

Thanks very much for sharing your experience with marble of different colors and finishes.

5 Likes

Wow! Great results on all of these.

7 Likes

I bookmarked this post as I want to be able to refer to it. Will also be waiting to see your sources. Your work is beautiful and marble such a gorgeous medium.

3 Likes

Thanks! There is so much to add to it. I might try and restructure the original post to look more like that guide that @evansd2 made and often directs other to. It’s format with the drop downs is really fancy looking :slight_smile: just need to learn how to do that.

3 Likes

When I first saw this post I was thinking “marble runs” and was really excited!

Then I saw it was engraving marble, and though I was disappointed it wasn’t what I thought, I was completely amazed at the beautiful results! Wow; thanks for sharing!

5 Likes

Great info! Lots of potential here! Thanks for the inspiration!

1 Like

I am looking to do something similar. Could you tell me where you got the marble?

1 Like

Are you looking for ones to make a few personal things here and there or are you looking at trying to make a business out of selling them?

I was working on the write up on the trade offs but can prioritize something on the vendors :slight_smile:

Pretty much for a few one offs. I like how clean they come out and would like to make a few memorial stones with the marble.

So I just updated the post with the information on the cons of the polished marble (which will tie into the question on where to buy them).

The post I will do on vendors will be much longer (it will take a bit more time to write) but I will go into a lot of great information on how it is to buy wholesale. For now a more to the point response to your question on where to buy them based on your specific uses…

  1. Because you wont need a steady supply of the FoxRun marble boards, the best place to get them for the best cost would be to go in person to local department stores (i.e. World Market, Khols, Bed Bath and Beyond) and see if they have them. The reason why I say in person is because you will want to open up the box at the store and make sure the board is not damaged (they damage easily especially if they have been sitting in a department store). You can get them for usually $20-$30 at department stores and save on shipping them. But no matter what, do not order them online from a department store. The ones they will send you will be ones that had been sitting on a shelf and likely dinged up.
  1. If going in person to a department store does not work for you then I recommend ordering from https://www.webstaurantstore.com/ When you order from them then you will be getting boards that are basically straight from FoxRun. So they have not been sitting on a shelf of a store where people have likely dinged them up.

Another option is to become a wholesale buyer from FoxRun, which is what I do but I also often just order the boards from Webrestaurantstore.

3 Likes

I have now updated the post with information on where to buy from and what its like to buy wholesale items.

1 Like

I did my first run on the marble cheese boards with @MyDogsThinkImCrazy wonderful and amazing tips ! By far the best thing ive ever created on my glowforge. THANKS again for all your amazing tips

15 Likes

I love it! The black marble is so pretty. I also picked up a pink marble slab and a tan one the other day. I’m going to see what comes of that lol.

2 Likes

Looks great!

:star_struck:

So you’re saying I can DIY my own headstone???

4 Likes

Funny u say that my inlaws asked me the same thing! They said no money for there funeral just use a marble board and make my headstone lol not sure if its funny but imagine if someone did amd how much money they could save families eho really cant afford it

3 Likes

This is really gorgeous, you must be delighted with it!

1 Like