7-8oz leather journal

Howdy all! I’m brand new hear in the forums. I’m trying to find a good setting for some veggie dyed 7-8oz leather. I’m trying to cut the outline plus some holes for sewing. Does anyone have experience with this and recommendations on setting so I can get it right without having to waste half a hide?

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I usually etch 5-6 oil tanned for my work, but sometimes do work with that thick of veg tanned. The auto set focus is good, or manually enter the thickness as measured with a snap gauge or other good tool. But cutting may require multiple passes–better to turn the power down a bit & speed up for multiple passes, since too slow and/or too much power could actually leave scorch marks on the surface…

But you may find variation hide to hide, and even within areas of the hide, due to inherent differences between areas of the cow (e.g. shoulder vs. butt vs. belly) and how the leather is tanned & pressed & finished can affect the actual density of the flesh with the same thickness vs. another region or another hide… so what may work on one, might not have the same results on another piece…

Alas I’ve never done as small of holes like those needed for stitching–since there’s lots of soot you have to remove (or masking to minimize that on the surface), you might just be happier with a good stitching punch… But others that do hand sew may have some great suggestions–I machine sew, so no direct knowledge on dealing with the cutting/soot from the little holes… I recall reading once suggestion, if natural/undyed, soaking the leather first to minimize and scorching/soot, but I’ve not tried that myself yet.

Good luck!


As always, the key is testing. Get to know this method, it’s fast and the only way to be sure.

And welcome to the forum, I look forward to seeing what you make. :slight_smile:

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Just to confirm- veg tanned not dyed with vegetable dye correct?

If veg tanned then @bansai8creations is quite correct - there’s a ton of variation throughout a half hide that will affect laser cutting. You’ll have to examine your particular piece and test, test, test. Being an animal’s skin, how the hide was processed and any other treatments (dyed, oiled, waxed, etc) all have an effect.

It was veg tanned and dyed. I appreciate the help everyone. Off to test tomorrow. So far 130 and full power seems to work.

I agree with @evansd2, testing is key. I just made a leather travelers notebook style holder out of 4-5oz veg-tan non-dyed leather and I did little inch size tests to pin down the settings for engraving and cutting. These small tests will help you save material.

For cut settings on 4-5oz veg-tan leather I used:

Thickness GF Operation Speed Power LPI Passes Focus Height
0 .065 in / 1.651mm Cut 210 100 n/a 1 0.065 in

This can be a starting point but since your leather is thicker you would need to adjust accordingly. Good luck and have fun!