Would unfinished wood cabinet knobs be Glowforge laser-able?

Do you think the Glowforge could engrave the face of these unfinished wood cabinet knobs? How about metal ones?


Yes, definitely for the wood, possible for metal if you use something like thermark.

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Yes for these wooden knobs. The 1" height would not be a problem with the tray removed. Great find.

Metal would have to be treated with a cermark type compound. I’m also thinking of using paint on metal and lasering off patterns to expose metal. This would probably not be durable enough for knobs, the paint may chip with that much use.

Working bed: 12″ x 20″ (300mm x 500mm)
Maximum thickness of material with tray installed: 0.5″ (13mm)
Maximum thickness of material with tray removed: 1.5″ (38mm)
Focus range: 0.5″ (13mm)


Awesome, thanks! :slight_smile: I have to get a bunch of cabinet knobs now, so I need to plan ahead and get something I can laser when “Christmas” comes!

Great, I thought these looked pretty promising! Thanks for the great details.

Welcome @thejambi to Forum participation. Labeling or decoration knobs is a great application. Possibility also of drilling a relief in the knob face if they don’t fit into the Glowforge and then glue in an insert or just h ave a flat face cut on a knob and then use a button top glued on with the engraving.

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For the metal knobs, if it is straight metal, then you would need some like thermark, which people mentioned above. However, I’m not sure about some of the other finishes they have. For example, for the black metal fixtures, if they anodized them, you might be able to mark it with just the laser. Or this “Bronze” one (which is a “High-quality zinc die-cast base material”). I have no idea how they finished it to get the Bronze look. Depending on how they did it, you might be able to mark it with a laser. It will require some experimentation.

If you get a lathe, you can even make your own knobs :slight_smile:


I think I have saved enough PET milk jugs to make a stepped pulley replacement for my lathe. Just can’t face having to cut it all up and don’t have a strong enough shredder I’m willing to sacrifice for PET chads to melt.

Not sure I fully understand all of that because I’m pretty novice with this kind of stuff, but this is what I think you’re saying; please correct me if I misunderstood:

You have collected pet type plastic in the form of milk jugs, and you can use that plastic to 3d print pulleys for your lathe, but cutting it by hand is a PITB and you had thought of using a paper shredder but need one that is robust enough to handle that plastic?

If so, then most shredders can cut up credit cards with no problem, so I would think that a shredder that is designed for cc’s can easily do milk jugs, too? CC’s are pretty tough customers…

And if not, I guess you can maybe get one of those awesome blenders from the “Will it Blend?” youtube channel…that thing will blend pretty much ANYTHING!


good thing the glowforge is too big to fit in that beast

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Thanks for the encouragement. My office shredder might be able to do it, but it just does ribbon shreds and not cross cuts too. I think my staff would have a problem with me re-purposing it, but I guess there is no harm in trying. Not 3D printing but melting in the oven. I have a series of tuna cans that will work for the mold. just brazing them together. Then drill the 15/16th hole for the shaft. A flat belt will be able to turn it well enough to do one step for a v-belt and then the other two will be easy peasy. John Heiz does it with wood. I think PET would be great. I do have a blender, but not that powerful. I’ve cracked the base several times over tightening it.


Ohhh, nice. What if you just put them into something bigger to melt them down (without cutting them, or maybe just cutting them in half or 4 / 5 pieces), and then poured the melted plastic into the tuna can molds?

That’s awesome to hear. How safe do you think it will be to experiment on something like that when the GF comes?

Personally, I don’t think there would be too much issue with experimenting on metal parts. I would be more worried about plastic parts. But I’m by no means an expert on the mater. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: