FWIW I had a similar experience when I was zapping slices of wet wood. No soot at all. (Of course most of them bent all over the place when they dried, but maybe I could fix that. Hmm, maybe frozen instead of wet.)
Hello lairdknox, I keep hearing that you should not run a laser with any wet or damp material. The article doesn’t say whether or not it causes problems with the laser or what. Can you shed some light on this subject since you laser with wet leather; I’m a newbie and don’t want to damage or cause problems with the equipment?
Thank you so very much for any guidance you can give me. “Sam”
Sorry I haven’t been on the forums for quite some time. The damp leather was interesting but didn’t really buy me that much. I just put veg tanned leather straight into the forge now. I then use a couple of cotton balls with some isopropyl alcohol to clean off the smoke. I generally don’t worry too much about the smoke stains because I am usually either going for an aged look or an uneven dye job in general.
The leather wasn’t that wet that it was dripping on the electronics or creating clouds of steam when cut. As long as you stick with vegetable tanned leather it should be fine dry or damp.
I was only able to cut some Zebrawood by getting it wet. With all the clouds of smoke and fumes I doubt that even fairly wet leather would be noticed much as the point under the laser would dry out immediately but the part a quarter inch away not so much. More energy would be needed to cut through but at the result would be the same on the face of the cut.