Upcycling Metal Lid?

Hi, I have a bunch of these containers lying around that I intended to use for storage, but I love the metallic lids and would like to engrave some artistic designs. I’m just not sure if this material is ok to use with a Glowforge. I tried emailing the company but have had no response yet. I believe it’s a type of tin with a copper colored overlay. I scratched some of the top color to show the unfinished metal underneath. Any input? Thank you!

Plain copper is a no-no, since the wave length of the laser reflects off of it (low chance of damage to the lens). You could probably paint it or use something like Cermark to mark it, but that’s pretty pricey.

(Since that lid has a nice lip on it, I’d just do an insert on something like acrylic or wood and drop it in.)


The Glowforge won’t actually engrave any metal. You can engrave/remove a coating from metal. For example, if the metal is anodized it can remove the color coating or if it is painted it can remove the layer of paint. In your case it appears to be a coating of some kind and therefore it could be removed. The trick is to find the right setting. Keep in mind that any material that is not proofgrade material does have an element of risk.

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I think that if the sides are over a half-inch tall the blower part of the head will hit it if you try to engrave the inside, however, @Jules has a great idea of dropping in a circle of engraved wood to make them an excellent tray,

I suspect they are painted steel (a magnet would prove it) and if the sides are under a half-inch you could engrave off the paint, but wood or even cork would be more impressive!

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You can remove the crumb tray and just raise piece up to proper height to clear the laser head. I would bet money that it’s only a thin piece of steel with a coating. The coating will laser off. Maybe spray a clear coat on afterward to protect it and keep the exposed metal from rusting. You can also mask it, engrave your design, paint it, then remove mask, leaving your clean, painted design with the coppery background. Hope that’s a start.


Been there. As it turns out that if you lower the over half-inch tray enough to clear the head, the base is too low to work, much to my annoyance when I first tried…