Glowforge and CNC collaboration coffee table

My buddy @shogun is making a coffee table, and enlisted me. He’s going to CNC pockets into a table and insert my engravings. He’s a big music lover so he chose a wide variety of album covers. Everything is engraved in solid maple that he ripped and planed to 1/8” thick. Each tile is 4.3” square, and took roughly 30 mins to engrave (high lpi, you pay the price for darker engraves). You can do the math but it came out to roughly 6.5 years of engrave time.

(Fleetwood Mac is out of focus here, but the engrave is actually really crisp in person.)

I loved how the grain worked out on War to look like face paint. I arranged it to align with his face pretty symmetrically. Gotta love accurate camera placement, my machine is good and accurate in the middle.

I’m going to leave it to him to wipe them down with alcohol to remove residue. I’ve done my part :slight_smile:


John finished the table and uploaded a video about it:

UPDATE UPDATE: he bought a Glowforge! @shogun in the house!


Yes you did. Cool Idea! Naturally it would be for a friend, a job like that would almost pay off your forge…


Cool idea to do album covers, and they sure came out great.


Great idea and terrific execution. Your friend is lucky!


Very cool. I dig the face lines as well.

6.5 years is a long time to engrave. :wink: I usually like the results, but yea, I generally try to avoid engraving projects for that reason.


Please Do update with a photo of the complete coffee table when it’s dont.


You are a great person to have as a friend.


I like it!


What an amazing project! I too, would love to see the finished project.


Add me to the list!


Man o man…what a beautiful project. That’s really going to get many comments from people who see it.

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That is going to be an heirloom piece. :sunglasses:

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So John completed the table and did a great video on the process. You can find it here:


Absolutely gorgeous piece. :open_mouth:


Wow really nice. I love seeing the jigs on the CNC. I must get better at jigging things.

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Thanks for sharing the video. Really an amazing piece.

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Thanks for sharing this video. I love the albums selected and the finished product! Also, the mechanics of the jigs for the top are perfect for those of us with the pass through slot. Carefully constructed jigs mean our size options are limitless. OK, not limitless, but at least as long as our workshop rooms.


Yeah John’s setup is a 2-car garage that has been 100% converted to a wood shop. He’s got a fair number of the fun toys, bandsaw, lathe, planer, router table, cnc, etc.

I wish he had a thickness sander, but they are viciously expensive. Alas.

I’m totally jealous of his space, I operate out of much tighter quarters.

King Krimson is in it as well! Check.

Super cool! I am very curious about tolerance when going from CNC to laser, as I have both. Do you happen to know/remember how or if the CNC vectors were adjusted to account for the inlay?

In other words, I assume the tiles were 4.3" square vectors, and then when cut on the laser, ended up being smaller by half the kerf of the laser beam. Were the CNC pockets exactly 4.3" or adjusted in some way? Thanks!