Quickie artifact stand

Not much time for playing with the thing, I got right into a real-world use.

The “Blackened Canteen” is an American aluminum canteen discovered in the wreckage of a B-29 bomber during the war with Japan. Twisted and burnt, the imprint of the flier’s hand is impressed into the metal. It is used every year to pour whiskey into Pearl Harbor, a symbol of reconciliation between the two nations.

Instead of letting the artifact just sit on a towel, the way we usually display it, I decided to cobble up a stand with a basic label. It had to rest securely on the stand, but also be easily removable. I noticed that my own hand was a decent match for the original owner’s hand, so I grasped the canteen firmly to get the finger spreading accurate, then taped my fingers together. I then scanned my hand with the fingers still taped, but spread flat. From there it was a simple cut-out job.

With the acrylic hand cut out, I baked it for ten minutes at 300 F or until soft. The now-pliable Plex hand was pressed into proper shape around the canteen.

From there it was just a matter of designing a stand and assembling it. I decided the “fingers” were too invisible and tinted them by misting on a Smoke shade.


That’s incredible! What a fascinating story behind the canteen, and a fitting display for it. :slightly_smiling_face:


Awesome project and thanks for sharing the story behind it.

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amazing. Thanks for sharing.



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Very nice presentation for a unique artifact – well done!


A beautiful use of the GF. I’m glad the canteen has a fitting display now and thank you for taking good care of it. If you don’t mind, I’d love to see the hand print on the back of the canteen.


I would love to see it, too. What a touching artifact and a great presentation created to honor it’s history.

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Some more information:


I’m floored by this! What an amazing piece. Very impressed by your resourcefulness in customizing the fit and color.

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This is the most amazing project! Truly an incredible piece!



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Whoa! This is so cool! Thanks for sharing the story.

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Wonderful project, great result!

My grandfather would have probably appreciated this. Was a navy man stationed in Pearl Harbor when it was hit.

My son and I saw this and read the article - amazing. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad Glowforge could be a small part of such an amazing tradition.


I appreciate you including the link to the article. I read it too, and it’s so touching.

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