Simple engraved box prototype

Quick and dirty:

Simple 2” cube box with a highly engraved top. 1/8” solid maple.

I just wanted to see what an edge to edge engrave would look like on a top like this. The top is butted up against a fingered base (this way no fingers get in the way of the engrave). Simple and easy, lined with 1/16” walnut.

Would I do it the same way again? Nah, I’d have a border that is either unengraved or engraved solid black. The rough edge is kind of cool but not refined enough for my tastes.

Engraving came from this excellent site from @rbtdanforth


interesting burn/grain edge on that outer box. it almost looks like it’s not even the same wood as the exterior. looks speckled.


Yeah that speckling seems to happen if you engrave pretty hard, which i did here. I went at it to get a deep engrave in one pass with a tight focus. I could probably avoid some of that by backing the power down and doing multis or defocusing, IDK. @rbtdanforth is deeper here, he might know how to beat this already.

inb4: if you want to get into settings have at it, I don’t mind if this ends up in BTM.


Well done! Really like the depth on it ! Well done!

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If you stopped the engrave at the outer edge of that circle and 8 fingers in the corners instead of the flower cutoffs would work well. The other alternative as the deep carve is on thicker wood is to have your fingers come up halfway to the top.

Cleaning up after has many possibilities, A key one of these is a harsh brush even brass bristles, will remove the weakened char but you have to take care not to remove thin bits of design. the next and biggest is bleach, some woods like oak can be grayed so care must be taken but it could totally eliminate the staining. then some woods warp more than others so may need to be clamped flat until dry.

@jbmanning5 was using a tumbler that can get into everywhere , so I bought a vibro tumbler that can get anywhere but am still experimenting there


Yeah I agree, but…

I’m actually running a new thing now, I am just doing that inner circle, and then going in inset it into a pocket in contrasting wood (mahogany). Should have pics to share shortly, 20 more mins to go on the job.

Your idea of half depth finger pockets is a cool one, some of my decorative finger joints stuff comes to mind there. Might give it a whirl, but as I recall the problem was getting a uniformly deep pocket (not really possible or repeatable).


actually, i meant this part here:


Oh yeah that’s just an untouched edge from maple. I always get that speckled honey color. I often sand it off, but left it “bright” this time.


Tried to upload this example earlier but got hauled out the door to dinner but this is Mahogany? Teak? It does not burn up as bad as other Mahogany. but the treatment after with bleach type toilet cleaner that is thick sticky soapy removal and bleached left it very clean then sounded to 2000 grit and treated with pledge furniture oil produced this…


Here’s that mixed species pocket inlay/engrave. Maple over mahogany.


Very nice 3D engrave. Color combination looks great. :grinning:

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if they are only holes just inside as this section shows…

Then you do not have to be all that precise as the side piece fingers only have to be shorter than the holes in the top are deep.

Fun test box. Like the Maple and Mahogany top!

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