Desktop Bookshelf (1/4" Wood)

Hey all! I haven’t gotten my Glowforge yet (:frowning:), but I’ve got a design based on a small bookshelf that my grandmother had sitting next to her bed for as far back as I can remember. I don’t have access to a laser cutter, but I believe my math is all correct on this.

This is the original:

Here’s the plans to use to make your own:

Download SVG:’s%20Shelf.svg
Download AI:’

Btw, if anyone with a laser cutter would be willing to cut one of these for me, that’d be wonderful.


That’s awesome! I hope someone can test it for you! :smile:



what are books?

just kidding! this is great. Im sure people can make use of this


Think of it as a holder for your external harddrive backups. :wink:


ah my vhs collection!


Thanks for getting more ideas churning! That’s similar to something I made in 9th grade shop class in the 1980s. I noticed last week that my mother still uses it. I’ll have to see if I can find photos or shop notes from my other shop class projects as potential Glowforge projects. The guitar stand I designed back then could look pretty sharp with an updated design including some laser engraves.


I remember one of my grandmothers (I think) having a book shelf very similar to that. I think it ended up in an aunt’s house. Haven’t seen it for years. Thanks for sharing. I might have to make one of those too. Heaven knows I have too many books–well, that’s actually impossible, but that’s what some people tell me anyway. :wink:


CDs and DVDs? Still have them. Nice design.

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Actually I really want to make a few of these for small collections I have. I’ve been collecting the entire Flaming Lips discography, and since a bunch of them have awkward sizes, they’d fit well in this cradle design.

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Thanks for sharing this–frankly, my books have gotten completely out of control again. I think this design could also be used to store certain tools, supplies, and works-in-progress in my bookbinding work.


Yep, me too! It must have been some project that all shop teachers got as a “to-do” with their classes. We also made a design using dowels instead of the flat boards for the spacers/book supports.


I’m intrigued by this. A couple points to make:

  1. While you can see in the design better the shape of the object you want to cut, for ease of use in the Glowforge it saves you a step to make sure your shapes are not filled. A filled shape when imported is seen as an engrave. You can convert it to a cut, but it is an extra step.

  2. I would designate each of these with a different color. that way as you place the design on the materials, you have better leeway to choose grain patterns and other things like fitting in shapes. I’ll demonstrate that below.

  3. It worked just fine as it is. I just left the cardboard I had in the bed from an earlier test on bed image size and used it. It was 1/4 cardboard so it fit your design perfectly. I didn’t have enough power and slow enough speed so I had to finish with a box cutter but it still worked. I was wanting to test cardboard and haven’t done much work with it at all so this was a ten minute job from importing to finished print. Took a couple minutes to through cut the cardboard with a knife. Now I know a better range for cutting cardboard.

I liked the design but wanted to try to re-position the cross slats to better hold taller books, use tabs to insert in the sides for better structural fit and reduce cross sway, and also add a decorative element just because.

I had some .265" white cedar I had planed and wasn’t quite sure what I’d do with it since it is somewhat thick for a small box. This seemed like a perfect application of the design.

Here is what I came up with. I made each component a different color for ease of placement. That was important because I couldn’t do the whole design in one shot even though it exactly 10.5 inches in the design and I had about 11" of material, it just wouldn’t all fit in the window at once. So close and I tried to design within limitations but for now sticking with a 10 inch tall design will fit fine, even about a 10.25".

In any case it allowed me to make the cross braces first and then do a test cut on the pocket for the tabs.

Cut perfectly.

Then the side. I kept one of the pockets a different color so I could just print that at some waste point and then reposition for the full cut. The test cut was spot on to start with a nice snug fit so I didn’t need to adjust the design at all. Note how the one pocket in the design is highlighted and the test pocket that I had cut it on the top right of the wood between the stars.

Here is the finished book holder.

Of course it won’t be a MakForge original without some type of flaw. Note I missed the center of the board in placing the circle. Lost my place on the grid in Inkscape.

Pretty good work on the tab dimensions. One is a bit proud but that is because the sides are not perfectly planed to a constant thickness. You can feel it more than see it.

I kind of like the rough look. Might only need a sealer.

So when you see a design and immediately know it will work, intrigue you and be a good thing to produce that is practical, it’s pretty cool. @thatsmytrunks deserves a big applause for drawing attention to this simple design that the Glowforge can reproduce perfectly.

Holds the books and CDs just great and doesn’t seem like it would tip over or sway even without glue.


Would be a good design for parametric to use in different materials. Some day.

So this took about an hour and a half mainly because of the documenting. Tomorrow I need to get to that compass rose and the inlay.


Very nice! Also a nice selection of books, although to be honest I can’t tell what the second book from the left is.


Looks like The Broom of the System. Nice work @marmak3261!

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I remember having one similar back in the 70s… I wonder what happened to that. It was a beautiful dark wood, but the difference was that it was slotted. That is, the end pieces -take the cut out to the edge, then on the 2 horizontal pieces slot them near the ends so they slide into the side pieces. It was collapsible for storage , but sturdy when assembled. I think the slots may even have been beveled so it was even sturdier when slid together… :thinking:

Been thinking about a self-holding setup with dragon claws or with slot and key in a tongue.


I tried the clips and dragon claws. The solid wood was too soft and the points broke off. Might work in a small version with a thin hardwood. That being said, I’ve made it tight enough that it holds together so far loaded with books. Just a little CA in the slots would be enough.

Here is the latest design that utilizes the entire area of the bed accessible from the user interface at the moment with my pre-release. This is some .205" plywood I got from the HD at comes in24x48 sheets. I cut the plywood 17.75" by 10.5" and that allowed me a little wiggle room but use the complete bed. I also put a little divider strip just to use up the extra space. Could actually fit another side. Maybe engrave one side: “to be read” and the other “read” or just put a design on it.


I will put a spray shellac on this. I am not pleased with the masking I got from Laserbits. It doesn’t hold very well on unfinished surfaces like this plywood. Some of the edges came up even though I tried to rub them down tight so there is a little charring to attend to.

One of the things about ProofGrade is that you put it in and it just works. I am printing another matchbox and it had been over a week since I did ProofGrade material. Boom, all seven steps were filled in perfectly. I only had to align the design over the material.

Also, I’m trying to get the svg of the file to show, but it’s not on Chrome on Windows. I made the size of the image bigger and it shows in the preview pane but not in the browser. Puzzling.


Why put the personalization on the inside? Once it’s loaded, no one will see it. On the other side it would be displayed (assuming it’s on a front facing desk or table).

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I thought the same thing, but I still like the idea.

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