Laser-cut coasters based on a nautical chart of Lynn Canal in Alaska

I made some laser-cut coasters based on a nautical chart near my hometown of Haines, AK, and thought I’d share it with everyone. It’s printed in proofgrade maple plywood. I used Adobe Illustrator to create the mask and cut layers.

They’ve been pretty popular with friends and family members. I’m now looking for ideas for other nautical charts to try out :grinning:



That’s some amazing detail you got there!


Those came out nice. I did some for a friend of our local lake.


Nice work.

Previously, possibly of interest:


Great sepia look!


They look great and the stand is a nice addition! Did you seal them?

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Yeah, that’s some excellent detail! :grinning:


Funny you should mention it, that’s where I got chart 17317.

Yes, I should have mentioned that. I sealed them with 2 coats of Varathane polyeurethane spray.


Pretty cool, especially like the way that it didn’t engrave very deep. Was this done with the Photo engrave settings? Also really dig that hexagonal shape you went with! Round is so square :wink:

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I used the photo engrave settings, and selected the SD version, as it had the right speed and intensity. I also made sure the setting was mapping the gray scale value to laser intensity, rather than using a dithering algorithm. The design ended up looking too speckled or dirty when dithering was used.

Finally, I made sure to remove the masking tape off of the proofgrade material, so I could get even finer details out of the engrave.


Love your coasters.

That one confuses me a bit because the two settings are at odds with one another.

Photo settings will use dithering; graphic settings should use the vari-power, and the 3D uses vari-power as well.

You’re right. I double checked the settings I used. I used Engrave -> SD Graphic, which uses “Vary power” for the bitmap options.

HD Graphic, on the other hand, seems to use “Convert to dots” which didn’t look as great.

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Those look awesome. Thanks for the explanation of the settings. Very helpful. Well done buddy!


I’ve always wondered why HD graphic uses convert to dots but we don’t really get answers like that unless @dan feels like dropping BTS info. It seems to contradict the SD setting with totally different behavior.


Love these!

These are really nice … your guests will love them!

Those are awesome. I need to steal this idea for some gifts for my father.