Mandala Turtle Clock - Glowforge Pro 15"x19"

Introducing myself, I am Michael Coffing, Glowforge Pro owner since Dec 2021. Here is my mandala turtle clock with 6 layers cut from the Glowforge Pro. Features hand-painted, gold accents indicative of the 12-hour clock hand locations. Three stained layers: dark Espresso base layer, walnut stain for middle layers, and the top layer is sanded + unfinished for a lighter finish. Engraved space on the back for personal messages. To date, I’ve made and sold 11 of these.
Dimensions: Height: 19", Width: 15", Thickness: .75"
Here is the link to this clock on my notofthisworldlights Etsy store


Welcome. Nice work. I hope you share other things you make.


Nice project, about how much labor time do you think you put into each one?

I see that your Etsy page has a price of $85 for the clock, care to talk about how you arrived at that price? I am not sure any of us are your target market exactly – we all have Glowforges of our own – but discussions about how to price laser jobs are a fairly common topic here. It’s tricky to figure out how much to charge for your labor materials and laser time, I’m always curious for a new perspective.

A quick etsy search finds the source turtle cut files, looks like the seller gives commercial rights to sell items made with the files, that’s a nice license with no real complicated instructions. Good choice of art to start from, liability is a risk on products like this.


Yes, super nice the license included commercial rights to sell. I modified the digital file to hide most of the clock base + battery inside the layers.

Total time is about 4 hours of manual labor plus downtime of staining and gluing to dry.
About 1.5 hours to cut the 6 layers with the pass-through slot including shifting/realigning. The pain-point is all the vacuuming required to suck out all the mandala pieces before I can shift for the next cut. They get stuck between the crumbtray and plywood if not. I cut from 20"x48" panels and 3 layers fit on one panel.

After cutting, 30 mins to inspect and cut any pieces still attached. 10mins to sand/prep, another 10mins to stain. I let the layers dry overnight before gluing. Gluing takes about 30 mins as I glue 3 layers at a time with a small paint roller and clamp for another hour to overnight as well. 1 hour to package and deliver for shipping. I came up with the price since to be competitive on Etsy you have to make your shop free-shipping. To ship these large clocks, it’s about $18-23 right there plus box, packaging material, and working clock parts. All-in-all I figure, they’re worth it to me if I walk away with at least $40-50. Thanks for your question! A good rule-of-thumb is to charge a little more than double what it takes to make. Save some room for errors, recuts, or in the worst-case, lost/damaged products and it won’t kill ya to make a replacement. :wink:


Ah, solid thought process on pricing, thanks for elaborating.

Ouch yeah I just now realized you’re doing this as a passthrough operation. That’s a big turtle.

I have an idea about how you would pull this off without the crumb tray, and all the pieces (or at least most) would fall through to the bed. Curious? Writing it up would take a minute, I won’t put in the time if you’re not looking for ideas like that.


@dklgood, for sure will post other things… I am currently finishing up the largest project I’ve ever done with the Glowforge and it will be EPIC. A project I’ve been wanting to figure out how to pull off since last Dec, and finally did! …a life-size parametric office chair! I’ll work on a new topic for it in the next week or so. Stay tuned!!


@evansd2, I’d be curious to hear about the piece fall-through idea. I still have to use the mushroom clips to keep the material down… especially when there is some warping going on… but for smaller projects, yes.


Wow, can’t wait to see this! Plus this turtle is awesome! And, really reasonably priced!


Well, it seems to me that you could make an open grid of plywood where the edges are exactly at tray height, and the cross members are more like a pin bed. Think something like this:


(right click to download)

You’d cut these guys, assemble them into a grid, and then replace the tray with them. You’d have to work out a way to secure them when the material wants to bow up, but the idea would be that the material is elevated and the pieces (mostly)fall straight through.

Most GFs come with a metal base plate that is laser proof under where the tray goes, but if yours doesn’t have that, I’d line it with foil to prevent laser damage from overcutting through the suspended wood.

Caveat: Be careful with anything like this, the pieces falling down can get jammed in the holes or other unexpected things can happen. If you try it, watch the job carefully.


Really great to hear the passthrough success story!


Interesting grid replacement idea @evansd2 ! Would that grid be cut from some type of sheet metal?
-I could definitely see it how it would work . :wink:


You could do it with almost anything, really. Plywood would probably be fine.

in hindsight, I don’t know about the pins. The idea was to keep support the material in the middle but the more I think of it the more I worry it’ll cause one of your cutouts to partially fall down and then potentially stick above the surface of your material, potentially catching on the air scoop.

It seems to me that the safe way to do this is with no pins so there’s no obstructions to the fall. So I might leave out the inner frame general the passthrough slots themselves keep my materials flat and pressed to the surface, if you find it wanting to bow up and away from the tray level maybe the issue is supporting the material outside the GF so it doesn’t pull down or push up?


Been awhile since I read the rules, but this is a brag thread on the forum, not an advertising link.
The way around this rule is to post your sales site in your profile, whereby people interested in sales can easily see a contact point by clicking on your avatar.
Sorry to be that guy, but I was actually surprised to see 12 replies without this mentioned.

Nice large turtle clock. good luck in your future endeavors.


OP did a very nice writeup of his process, I don’t have a problem with including a link.


I’m with @ekla — while @brokendrum is right that ads aren’t the custom here, I wouldn’t call this post primarily an advertisement. OP took a fair amount of time to write everything up and answer people’s questions, this was a great post, particularly for a first post.

@notwlights I look forward to seeing what else you make! We all appreciate new creativity here.


@brokendrum no problem and thanks for the information. Don’t worry, I have plenty of items to share coming up that aren’t sold, just made for fun.


Wonder if a change in font color would have the sales site info stand out against that background better?