Video Tutorial: How to Design and Make a Slate Coaster with Your Glowforge

As I learn how to use the Glowforge, I figured I throw my hat into the video tutorial ring. Until I figure out a video workflow, some things are going to be uneven with respect to sound color, etc. Regarding the content, I don’t pretend to be an expert in any of the stuff I’m talking about, so please be kind when you notice mistakes. In fact, I’ve already noticed a few. If the mistake(s) is/are egregious, please comment and let me know, so I can correct it/them. It goes without saying, I am indebted to you all for your insight, wisdom, and kind attitude in sharing your experiences and settings, so thank you in advance. When one reads the forums daily, a lot of stuff seeps in and, in time, one forgets where one read certain things, etc. However, when I remember a source, I will try and thank the person or persons in the video descriptions.

The first thing you’ll notice in the video is some level of branding. In the future, I’d like to have a site running that is tutorial-based, along with free and paid designs that people will find helpful, particularly those that wish to make things for commercial purposes. I prefer using free and paid designs that have as little restrictions as possible and want to create a space for that. If any of you are familiar with with Andrew Kramer from, you’ll have an idea of what I am talking about. If any creatives here want to help, feel free to DM me.

Okay, enough talking. Here’s the video. Hopefully some of those who just received their Glowforge will find it useful:


Great! I’m going to move this to the Tutorials section. :grinning:

1 Like

Great. Thank you. I was not able to place it there, being a lurker here and not much of a poster.

1 Like

Very well created!! Great narration. Thanks!!

1 Like

Thanks. I appreciate it.

Did you try the image with Convert to Dots instead of vary power? Since slate is either burned or not burned - it doesn’t show a lot of subtlety based on different power levels usually, the dot pattern (half-toning) seems to work better for me.

BTW, did you re-run your cut line box after you put the felt on so it was cut to the edge of the tile and didn’t overlap on the right side? An Xacto knife run along the edges will also clean up where the felt ended up going over the edge. (only asking because you made the point of not liking foam feet that are placed on crooked :wink: ) I usually just make it a hair smaller than the coaster and eyeball it so nothing extends past the edge but it might not be perfectly centered (could make a 2 layer jig to place over the tile I suppose and then use a slightly smaller hole that’s centered in the larger one to place the felt in but I’m not that much of a perfectionist).


Thank you for commenting. I did not try converting to dots, but only because I saw other posts where people had done so and it was not to my liking aesthetically. I don’t like seeing the dots. With that said, I have not tried it myself and probably will now that you brought it up. There is no reason not to do so. Perhaps I will like it better than I think.

I did not re-run a cut line. In the video example, it did run off and later cut it with a razor blade. The first one I did (prior to the video), I actually measured the slate exactly and made the felt such that I could give it a slight stretch and have it fit perfectly (cut a hair shorter).


In slate you may not see the half-toning dots that you sometimes see with wood. I use 270 as the DPI - any more and it overlaps too much and you lose the benefit of the dot pattern. Less and you can get the stippling look common to half-tone images.

You can always try a test on the underside of the coaster since you’re going to cover it up with felt anyway :slight_smile: I do that a lot when trying to dial in settings. Or if I mess up a top, I’ll flip it over and test the next go round using the bottom so I’m not wasting a piece of slate.


Good idea. I’ll try that next time. Thanks!

Excellent video tutorial!

Thank you.

Today I figured out that you can “erase” the engraving from slate using a sandblaster. Blanks reclaimed!


I had good luck with another method…

Nice because no sandblaster needed… I would imagine not all of us have one laying around.


+1 on this. A quick pass with an orbital sander and the mineral oil wipe is all I’ve needed. :slight_smile:

Neat! and interesting… I tried a quick pass (by hand) with some 400 grit and saw no results whatsoever… but my slate had already been oiled, which I’m guessing just instantly gummed up the sandpaper. I was about to hit it with de-greaser, wash it, dry it, and try the orbital sander…
That’s when I remembered that I had a sandblaster laying around.