Coasters with local map engravings



I used to download specific maps and then edited out all but the roads in Illustrator. My goal was to score the lines of the map instead of engrave so I needed everything to be a vector. I did some test runs on some MDF which I was pretty happy with. What you see in the pictures was done on ProofGrade Medium Maple Plywood (default settings) which made the line work really stand out on the light wood.

I made these 4x4" coasters for my mom with the road maps pertaining to the locations of family. Really dense city centers with the close together lines typically burned or crumbled out of top layer of plywood. All line work was “scored” and the text and river were engraved. Typical time was 12-20 minutes.


Excellent! :grinning:


These are really, really great! The clean-up you did made a huge difference.


Great idea! And a lovely engrave!


Gosh, they’re beautiful!




These are great!!! Your Mom will love these!!


Very well down. Thanks for tip on map site.




INGNORANCE SHOWING HERE: so, how did you get the exported *.osm file into a graphics editing program? Or, did you do a printscreen and go from there?



Click on the “Share” icon on the right side of the screen (a little box with an arrow coming out of it) and it lets you save the shown area as an SVG.


You can save it as an SVG but i found that it was to cumbersome of a file. If you save it as a PDF and open in your graphic software, you can then select individual features. Idk what software you use but if it is anything like Adobe Illustrator, I used the direct selection tool, along with Select>Same>Appearance to select specific roads on the map. Then I “Cut” them and pasted them in place in their own layer. It took a few extra steps then I originally thought it would but still fairly simple.

Beware of the scale, I would make it as small as the website will let you before downloading. The file can get rather large very quickly.


instead of cutting and pasting objects between layers, there’s a much simpler way to drag objects from one layer to another in illustrator.


in the image above, i have an object selected on layer 1. note the little blue box on the right side of the layer 1 row.

grab that little blue box and drag it up to layer two and let go. now the selected object(s) are on layer 2.


voila. i find that much easier, personally. works in InDesign as well as illustrator.


This must be so meaningful for your family. Beautiful work.


Thanks for the Tip. However, since i used the PDF, all shapes and lines were originally in one layer and I was using this work flow to basically organize and eliminate everything I didn’t want. To find all the shapes corresponding to the roads i wanted from the layers panel, would have taken an eternity.


no, you missed the point. you don’t find the shapes and lines in the layers panel. you select them the same way you did. once you’ve selected objects you want to move to another layer, you can just drag the box from one layer to the next instead of using copy/select new layer/paste.


Wonder if I can get some help from someone who has been successful. I tried a couple different times with different maps and keep having the same problem when I open the SVG in Illustrator. I am on a Mac and if I to the quickview in the finder the map looks as it should but when I open it in Illustrator I get, what appears to be, large colored letters all over the place.



You can zip the Illustrator file and upload it here so someone can take a look at it. Iv’e never seen that happen before.

(But if that is all the text from the map it doesn’t bode well for turning it into an engrave.)

I don’t use a Mac, but whatever the equivalent is on that for capturing a screen shot, might be your best bet. Then you can save that, open it in Illustrator, draw your cut shape around it, and embed the image when you save the SVG.


I have to believe it’s not the file only because it shows as the correct map with the Finder Quickview, in Safari, and in Chrome. I only have the problem when opening it in Illustrator.


Just a quick guess - it looks like the stroke is set to a very large value.