Dispatches from the front (Pre-Release Report) the Eat More Chicken Edition

Seeing some of the cool earrings and leather projects folks are turning out made me want to try the critter burning myself.

It’s been a long time (as in decades) since I’ve done any serious leatherwork but I’m jazzed. Wifey will love them. Ran to Michael’s for some earring hooks and loaded up a nice little design in the laser.

Fire in the hole! Proofgrade settings for the 1.5oz PG I had in there resulted in serious cooking of the cow epidermis.

Switch to manual and dial up the speed and power down.

And again.

And again.

By the time I got to 1% power and 197 in speed I wasn’t getting burnt curled broken pieces but I did get a bit of extra charring a couple of breaks in the pattern and inconsistent cut through of the outer cutline. BTW, I had placed the leather on a paper towel hoping to reduce flashback burning. Didn’t work so well.



The empty spaces are where the earring was curled cut toasted and crumbled to the touch.

Can’t run it faster or with less power. :slightly_frowning_face: Switched to a score but still can’t run it any faster.

So we’ll call this a fail. Chalk one up for those Chick-fil-A billboard cows.

On a positive note my wife told me a) she doesn’t want to be a walking craft show and b) in case I hadn’t noticed she doesn’t wear dangling earrings.

I confess, I hadn’t noticed. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Don’t Tell her though.


That’s a beautiful pattern though - it’s a shame it’s charring.

Do you have any of the adhesive paper masking tape that you can try on the back? I had tried some on that leather bracelet and it kept the back from charring.

(It was a little tricky to remove.)


While time consuming, a slow workaround (until we release ultra low power mode) is to use Illustrator or Inkscape to turn that path into a narrow fill, and then engrave away the cutlines instead of cutting them. The higher headspeed of the engraving mode may get you what you’re looking for.

Or just wait until we get ultra low power mode back out. :slight_smile:


Maybe a wet material would stop the flashback. Something like saturated pieces of printer paper placed under the material to be cut might have enough water to stay wet for the entire job, but not be wet enough to hinder the cutting of the material above it.

Disclaimer: water and electricity don’t mix. If you are careless with the wet paper, something bad might happen. Also, don’t put the wet paper over your eyes while operating a motor vehicle.


These “fails” are as important at the early stage as the successes. It’s great to see what works and what has problems. Thanks for sharing, especially the pictures.


I expect a slice of chipboard would have worked too for preventing the flashback. Just that the power settings are too high right now. Like @Dan said, when they turn low power modes back on it should be good and I’ll give it another shot.


Did I do something wrong by suggesting the wet paper thing?

I know that waiting for the settings to be updated is an option, but it appears that there are a number of people who would like to fix the problem by some other method in the meantime. Water and printer paper can be found in most households in significant quantities. I don’t know about other people, but I don’t have chipboard around my house, and if I did I might not be willing to use it up by cutting some up along with my projects that might be damaged by flashback.

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Absolutely not…I’ve been lasering damp materials without trouble. It makes a steam instead of smoke, but it tends to get sucked to the front by the air assist. :relaxed:

(I just happened to have the paper masking tape around, so I tried that first with the leather, and it worked pretty well.)


My girlfriend can’t wait to be a walking craft show! :smiley:


The flashback isn’t the primary problem. The bigger issue is the overpowered cut that ends up breaking the thinner spokes. @dan’s solution (change the lines to very skinny boxes and engrave at the higher speeds available to the engrave operation) should work but is a tedious workaround. It’s just not super high on my to-do list now :slightly_smiling_face:

That’s a great design. I bet it would look nice cut from wood of some kind and used for some purpose other than earrings. It would also be a lovely inlay. :heart_eyes:

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Have you tried it underneath other material to try to stop the flashback? Did it work?

I haven’t tried it yet to keep flashback from happening - I was actually just lasering damp material. :relaxed:

I’ll try to remember to test it the next time I run a non-PG material though.

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I have used a piece of light card stock as sacrificial with default cutting settings and barely got any flashback.

BTW, cereal boxes make great chipboard.