Mountain & Island Coasters

Good afternoon and thank you for poppin’ in to my (succinctly titled) post!

One of my coworkers stopped by the office recently and saw some of the laser cut topo maps that I’ve been making on my glowforge. She told me that she had just bought 5 contour coasters of Mount St. Helens off of Etsy as a gift, but they “…were kind of expensive and I don’t like the shape”. (The outer shape was cut to the outermost contour line). She asked if I wanted to take a crack at making coasters as a gift for the rest of her family, and she was hoping to get 5x mountains and 3x islands, for 5 family members.

This is what I came up with (not yet sanded or finished).

Both of us liked the general design, so I made some small tweaks and finished the rest of them up today. I’m not all that happy with the 3x Hawaii coasters, but I’ll try test printing them tonight and see if I want to change anything.
EDIT: Screenshot below is the first version. Here is the current one:

(Version 1 in the “_old” folder in the download link)

HERE IS A DOWNLOAD LINK for two SVGs. One is a combined raster background for all of the coasters, the other is my “working” vector SVG (for anyone that wants to play with the design or split them into individuals). Feel free to use as you see fit!


Nice work, and thanks for the share!


Very cool! Thanks for sharing!


oh, I like these. I might have to take a crack at some of those mountain coasters on slate.


Ohhh, I haven’t tried slate yet. Does engraving on slate require any special chemical or coating?

No, although various coatings like shellac or mineral oil can be applied before engraving to achieve different looks and enhance contrast.
Slate is one of the materials that engraves lighter than the material, although as with all natural materials different batches will have their own unique characteristics. I have seen slate that engraved almost white, but most of what I have used engraves lightish gray.


These look great! I think I will try something like this for my surveyor husband.

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Tell him to let me know if he would prefer them in NAD83/NAVD88 :wink:

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Thank you for sharing!

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What a generous share! Thanks very much.


Cool! Thanks :slight_smile:

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Really like how you did the border - this is a very nice share - thank you!


Cool share!
That topo of St Helens really shows the lateral blast where half the mountain is missing.

The geology of the northwest is very interesting. Across many millions of years the volcanoes have changed the course of rivers including the Columbia. Many of the massive basaltic lava flows in the northwest were powered by the hotspot that now lies under the Yellowstone caldera. Study of the flows have revealed they originated from volcanoes that have completely eroded and no longer exist - geologists call them ghost volcanoes.
Looking at Mount Rainier, the rim of the caldera from the last major eruption is clearly visible, with the growing lava dome forming the new mountain top inside of it.

Those coasters tell the story of dynamic geology. Great idea, thanks for that!


Gorgeous! I love the mountain edge on the mountains especially :slight_smile:


I made some changes to the Hawaii coasters after doing a few test engraves last night.


Thanks! This is really great. We’re hoping to create something similar of the Columba/Snake River confluence. We spend a lot of time in that area of the rivers.


They are beautiful. Great job

These are fantastic. Can I get down on my knees and beg for you to do a fourth island one of Oahu? It would be nice to have four in this set.

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Very nice. Thanks for sharing

I spend a lot of time over there too, @labgirl88 . I work in Walla Walla, but do a lot of work for our Tri-Cities office too. I’ll be there next week, actually. Do you have bathymetry for the area? I’ve been wanting to make a laser cut topo of that area or Walula Junction.