Round Tokens & Slide Top Box

Created this for our first commercial client. Double-sided round tokens to be handed out to customers and a slide top box with their logo on it to hold the tokens.

The double-sided round tokens presents an issue to make on the GF so after making 100+ of these I figured I would share what I have learned. These were created in horizontal strips of 10 all keyed together with a tab in the center. The first “star” side was engraved by varying the power for the different sections, with the more shallow engraved section being the entire circle minus the star, that went untouched. The second engraving was more powerful, for a deeper engrave, that only hit the “spokes” for that layer. This method kept the design more simplistic and fixed the issue of having thin lines between the two depths. The added bonus was that it produced a color difference that can be seen. After the engravings, the strip of 10 was cut out with the tabs that keeps everything aligned and then the whole row was flipped over the vertical axis. This allowed for us to easily align the back side. The engraving was done on the back and then the tokens were cut free from their tabs. Lesson learned towards the end was to flip the row back over to the front to make the final tab cuts. Doing this removed the effect of the angle the laser cut has, unfortunate it was learned at the end and many tokens have an exaggerated angle on the edge for the tab cuts.

The slide top box was created using the Inkscape Tabbed Box Maker and then modifying the output from that extension.

Tokens: Proofgrade maple plywood
Star Side: 1000/60 & 1000/80
$2 Side: 1000/90
Cuts: Proofgrade

Slide Top Box: Proofgrade Draftboard
Logo: Same settings for star and Proofgrade for the text


Great job! :grinning:
(And have you seen this tutorial? It describes doing exactly what you are doing here, but without the indexing tabs that have to be cut off. You can set up a single rectangle for flipping with ten coins on it. Just cut the coins out last.)


Thank you, Jules. I have not seen that tutorial before, the issue with using a outside rectangle would be that you would not be able to stack the token rows in a way that would overlap the rows that fall above and below. This way uses less material and I am able to get over 70 tokens per PG plywood. The token rows being offset and stacked close also cuts down on production time by allowing more engraving being done on a single line pass. However, making a cut that follows the curve of the tokens just out side would make a more solid row for flipping while maximizing material use and allow for a single final cut right where you want it.

Thanks again, I will make adjustments to the design and see how that goes. We delivered the tokens yesterday evening and got another order for 100 this morning, must be doing something right!!


Awesome work. Thank you for walking us through the process

Very nice and thanks for the process!

Hmm you could still use the Jules method, you would just bound the entire area with a larger rectangle that encompasses all your tokens. One big flip later, and voila, your fronts and backs can be aligned with very little effort. It’d take a little fine tuning of your workflow, but it is definitely doable.

True, you could but since the PG plywood is bigger the printing area we shift the plywood down and use the reminder material that was not available.

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I also forgot to mention that we were only able to do 30-40 tokens at a time and the star side had to be sent for processing in two separate passes. I am not sure if this is due to bandwidth, GF server side processing or the GF internal memory. Hoping it is on GF server side, that way they can increase this limitation and maybe we can get a large engrave print done all at once for the whole printing area.


for your slide top, are you etching the grooves or routing them?

Etching. After the box, without the top, was assembled I measured with calipers the width the lid needed to be and then cut that.


Update. I made the adjustments to the design file that was suggested by Jules, to make larger outside cut on side one, then flip and make the final token sized cut. This worked great, the final tokens no longer has the tab cuts exposed and the edge is clean and uniform. By making the first flip cut just slightly outside the final cut we still maintained the benefits of the previous method (material use optimization and reduced print time).



Oh great! Glad it worked! :grinning:

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How did you create the sliding top? What settings did you use, thickness etc? I want to make something similar.

I used the default proofgrade engraving settings for the draft board on the 3 sides for a width slightly larger than 1/8”. I then measured for the sizing of the top minus just a little, -1/8”,so it would not be too tight to slide.

May I ask how you take your photos? Is that in a lightbox and if so which one?

Yes, we use a lightbox and luckily my business partner is a photographer. The light box is from amazon, their brand AmazonBasics Portable Photo Studio, it is good for the money.


Cool, thanks! Just ordered one since it looks much better than the cheapo one I’m using :-). Here’s a link (affiliate) for anyone else who wants to grab one

Ummm…not to be a Richard on this but it seems a little rude to ask someone for a product reference and then come back and post an affiliate link to it that you’re compensated for.

Not sure if there’s a prohibition in the forum for affiliate linking but it does feel like they start pushing this towards a more commercialized community than the feedback & helping one it’s historically been.


I don’t see anything specifically about that, and there’s plenty of prior art that says it’s ok to post links to your etsy shop etc. Unless it’s in the TOS (which I didn’t read that thoroughly), I’d say it’s fine, if a little unusual? At least @cole disclosed that it was an affiliate link.

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Yeah, not looking to do anything sneaky here. This is just a thing where everyone benefits IMO. People looking for it don’t have to search and can just click a link. It doesn’t cost anyone anything extra. And it’s just easy for me to generate short links from the affiliate banner on the page (the alternative would be to link to which is ugly and takes up a lot of space). I wouldn’t have done it if Berger had linked it him/herself. I disclosed it was an affiliate link so if people don’t want to click it they can avoid it.

In general, if I’m going to provide an Amazon link, might as well make it an affiliate one. There are no downsides to it for any parties involved. Now if someone else had posted an affiliate link to the product and I posted my own to try and take their clicks, that would be a not nice thing to do and one that I could see getting upset over.

Also, who is Richard?

edit: Oh and also, I’m very careful to only recommend products I actually buy/use for myself. My intent is to not use this as a pure money making tool, but rather to make recommendations I would already normally make. I agree that the culture of this community is solid and I’m not interested in moving it toward a more commercial-centric atmosphere.