Bowl Badge

When I turn something on the lathe, I like to sign it. Some folks use ink pen but that can wear off over time. Some folks use pyrography, where you use a tool similar to a soldering iron to burn in your signature, but one goof and some expensive wood and lots of time can go to waste.

Many of my bowls have a small inset at the bottom that holds them on during the turning so I use the GF to make a badge with my brand and details of the piece that I can drop in. Since the mortise is hand-cut, the diameters vary with each bowl so I use Inkscape to customize the diameter of the badge for a perfect fit.

The next pic shows me checking the size of the mortise but it gives you an idea of how deep it goes. This is the same bowl, by the way. You can see the grain match in the two pix. Also, no color is applied, just clear tung oil.

So far I’ve made these badges for bowls, cups, platters, and a vase. One of the GREAT benefits of using the laser is that when a piece has multiple species of wood, I’m able to legibly list all of them on the badge. Realistically, I suppose there’s an upper limit but I was able to make a badge for this piece with 8 species of wood and it was perfectly readable.

My Glowforge isn’t physically located in the wood shop due to sawdust, but I consider it an integral part of my wood shop just the same.


So beautiful! Thank you for sharing.


Your bowl badge is great. I have one of the branding irons which are a pain to use. I either have the heat too high or low and then don’t press the brand exactly flat and then have a brand that is dark on one side and light on the opposite side.


This is such a great idea and it looks great. Your bowls are stunning!


Tung oil is the best stuff - using your :glowforge: to sign your work is brilliant :slight_smile:


Great idea. Your bowls look very nice.


Wow what a wonderful way to finish such beautiful work.


I forgot about those. Mine came as a birthday gift that I had specifically requested. Then I realized how tough it is to get it right, that I need multiple sizes, and that adding the wood species and date meant that I still needed something else. Almost felt bad telling my wife I would not be using it, until she saw one of the badges in a finished piece. Then she was more than OK with it. Live and learn.

Thanks x 5!

I work with programs and code all day. That used to be my hobby and for decades it was what I did after work. Although it is very much about making things, the product is intangible. Unless you can read and appreciate code, there’s nothing I can point to and say “I did that!” So now in my free time I make stuff you can hold, feel the texture of, smell, and even hear if you thunk it with your finger. There are now dozens of people in the world who have something physical I made. Thanks to the Glowforge, many of them can look on the bottom to remember when it was made, what it is made of, and who crafted it.

Speaking of stuff you can smell…ummmmmm cedar! The shop smelled great for days after I made this.

Badge for a cedar bowl


I used to be a Dev Manager (left that behind and became a ScrumMaater). When you would ask my kids what I did. They would just say “I don’t know he just reads email all day”.


This is just wonderful and why I have got into making stuff myself! So fufilling to create something beautiful!


The laser engraving sets your product apart… I mean in addition to the creation itself, it’s a polish to the product. The precision of the badge engraving conveys an attention to detail and professionalism.
Looks to me like you’re having fun. The emergent art is a side effect, funny how that works.


I haven’t made much on my lathe, but for GF-created stuff, I have a “brand” that I put on the back of things that I give to people (I don’t sell anything). It’s a textured greyscale image, so using variable power, it looks like it was burned using a physical branding iron.


Great idea!!!

I’m working on a cedar lamp base during my breaks from framing work on our new shop/living space. When we started building I discovered that if I don’t wear a mask I’ll spend the day sneezing my brains out – I guess I’m allergic to pine dust! I really miss the smell of turning cedar, though, since the mask keeps out the odor. I did enjoy sniffing my hands last night after we quit for the day!

Here’s what I’m working on (from a tree we took down to bring in the electric poles/wires to our place)


That’s a gorgeous piece of wood! How neat that your lamp is made from a tree that grew feet away from its home.
Pleas share the finished work!
(I never think of taking a ‘before’ picture)


Love the large work all around! Nice to have a GF to finish it off! What type of lathe do you use?


A fabulous finish to your lathe pieces!!

@geek2nurse Nice work! I’m sure it’s thrilling watching it take shape.


Once again…I am impressed! That’s really cool!


I am super impressed. Is there anything that you can’t do? That’s a beautiful turning. :blush:


You should show us a pic of it when it’s completed. I bet those knots are really going to pop when you apply a finish.


Oh yeah – in the same sense that reading a Stephen King novel is thrilling. I’m always terrified I’m going to screw it up any second! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Sorry, @tdotrob, we hijacked your thread. Again. :bowing_woman: