So I’ve been playing around with leather for a little while now. Love that I can laser cut it and make something with zero tools. I know this has been talked about before but I’m failing at searching so heres my question.
In the Glowforge campaign video what kind of leather is used to make the wallet? I like how flexible it looks!
We went to tandy leather and told them what we were doing. We left with some dye and a shoulder of 4/5 once tooling leather. It cuts great but its not flexible at all and super thick (almost an 1/8"). It makes a terrible wallet.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe @dan can chime in and point me to what they used or maybe @morganstanfield (the queen of leather or so I’m told)
I personally would want 1-3 oz veg-tanned leather for a wallet. I used something like 4-5 oz on my ministry of magic passport cover and it was fine, but by time you’ve folded a wallet in half and added a pocket or two for cards, it gets thick fast.
It looks like it was dyed before cutting? Is this possible? I mean laser safe? I wasn’t sure and being cautious I was dying after cutting. I have some of the medium Proofgrade leather and liked it - i’ll have to try the thin. The only thing I didn’t like was that it seemed to be an awkward size. I know you can’t answer this but I have to ask. Will it be available in bed size pieces eventually?
I’m with you…can’t wait for some leather projects.
Just be sure to read through some of threads about the different types of leather that laser well. If it is not veg tanned, supposedly it doesn’t work that well and some types just kind of melt, rather than cut.
I believe it also emits highly toxic chemicals that are not only bad for your laser, but for your lungs and the earth as well. I could be wrong on that one - still have not tried chrome tan BC of the early discouragement here. There has been a fair bit of discussion on the subject, but no conclusive answers that I’m aware of. Here are a couple of those threads:
Those comments were enough to give me pause. Though I do see laser cut garment leather out there, so I assume that it has to be possible. Not knowing what tannage they’ve used (chrome tan? oil tan?) I’m wary of experimenting, but would love a definitive answer on this one. Being able to use garment leather/soft leather would open up a LOT of possibilities.
Sounds like you got a lot of good answers already. I’ll just reiterate that what you need is veg tan, and just a thinner version and/or from a different animal. I’m a huge fan of kangaroo leather for just about any use except tooling–it strong, doesn’t stretch out much, and is about as thin as heavy watercolor paper. Dan says it lasers like a dream.
Also, please don’t make any decisions about what leathers to laser based on what you see available as laser cut commercially. Some of those will actually be die-cut, and the rest may be cut under bad circumstances (source considers their laser and/or staff to be disposable).
Almost the entire stock at my local Tandy is chrome tanned.
They had one table of heavy thick veg-tanned, and then a few under the table options for thinner veg-tanned.
I put a bit in the laser before the current settings came out - crisped it up like crazy, and decided to wait a bit.
I should pull it out again; but I’m chicken of ruining such a pretty and expensive roll of hide.
I think there ought to be other sources beside Tandy for large sections; but I don’t know them.
A agree that I’d like proofgrade in larger pieces. I know leather isn’t like wood; bigger means more expensive in leather, whereas with wood you frequently get a per square foot similarity on the same kind of wood.
I’ve ordered from Maverick Leather Co before and had a great experience. They sell a lot of leather and are great on the phone to chat and figure out exactly what you need. Plus, they run specials really often on their Instagram page.