FINALLY! My First Projects + Mother's Day gifts

Longtime lurker and once-in-a-great-while commenter/poster, but this is my first real post with something to show!

After ordering in October '16, I finally received my :glowforge: Basic back in March, and sadly I had been unable to set it up and use it until recently. However, this combined with the already extended wait has given me plenty of time to come up with a LONG wish list of project ideas.

After the Founder’s Ruler and Gift of Good Measure, my first project was a new sign for my wife and her coworker’s office door at work. We’re all big Eagles fans so including their logo was pretty much mandatory.

Used my first piece of :proofgrade: Medium Maple Hardwood and I was very happy and encouraged with the quality of the engrave. The sign came out to about 4" x 10". The photo is a little blurry, and it was taken before I located my Gorilla tape to finish weeding the tiny bits of masking tape. Both my wife and her coworker have both been Teacher of the Year in their district at different times, so I included a little “T.O.Y” and the respective year in the first letter of each last name. Some of the masking is still there in the photo so its hard to tell but the letters were very sharp and clear once it was all weeded away. Even the little periods between letters can be seen - I was really impressed by that.

Finally, the Mother’s Day present I made for my mom - special thanks to @marmak3261’s post from over a year ago that originally inspired this idea:

Heirloom Recipe Engraved Bamboo Cutting Boards

Since I saw this it has been one of my top project ideas for once my 'Forge was finally delivered, and I had just enough time to make it happen for Mother’s Day:

The recipe is handwritten by my grandmother, and was one of her “signature” recipes. You can see in the photos that the original recipe is a bit “seasoned” and has some staining, but nothing too bad. Took quite a bit of cleanup but Illustrator’s Image Trace feature is pretty much the best ever and saved me a TON of time. Thought the bird image in the corner was a nice touch so decided to keep it.

IKEA “APTITLIG” bamboo cutting boards - I did try to vary the power for the different shades of color in the bird image, but with the way bamboo engraves it was difficult to see the difference in the final piece. Some sections of the bamboo end up darker than others regardless of the power or speed setting. Still very happy with it and Mom loved it! I also made one for my sister on the smaller APTITLIG board.

Some things I learned:

  1. These particular bamboo cutting boards will “shed” a bit when weeded. This may be true of bamboo in general, but at least with these I noticed some small fibers being pulled up by the Gorilla tape and some others left slightly lifted on the surface of the board itself. Nothing really noticeable from more than maybe 6 inches away, but something that would need to be dealt with if the board was going to be used and not just displayed.
  2. I used Blue painters tape to mask the boards and I don’t know if its the tape or just the way the board was manufactured, but the tape definitely lifted some of the oil off the board and ever so slightly lightened the color on that side of the board.
  3. So, for these types of cutting boards I would recommend a pass or two with some steel wool or high grit sanding paper and a coat or two of cutting board oil to re-finish once the whole surface.

Now I just have to wait until my aunts see it and I’m sure I’ll be churning out a few more!

If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations of what might help improve the process next time (different brand of masking tape, maybe?), I’m all ears! Any and all comments are appreciated!


Awesome projects! I like the way the engraving on the bird turned out. :grinning:


I just got a couple of those boards and now I know what to do with them. Thanks!


I just love what you created. I have many little notes from my parents. This inspires me. I’ll share when I do. Thanks


Nice work! so glad you are putting it to good use finally.


LOVE IT! Especially since it’s in her handwriting. It will be treasured.


Both are exceptional … Enjoyed your post!

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Looks Fantastic! Any chance you remember your settings?