So I’ve been getting into working with leather recently and have been finding my footholds with leather working. I’m trying to figure out the best way that the laser can come into play with that. Do most of you use it to cut parts of patterns or perhaps just score so you don’t have to mess around with taping or copying a pattern? If you use proof grade leather, do you dye the leather? Anything you do or don’t do with the laser being in the mix? Let me know!
I’ve tried using the score marks to put tooling patterns on the leather – it doesn’t work out well – they ALWAYS show. I have cut lots of leather in my GF, though, and as long as you can tolerate the smell, it works great! You do have to be careful about the char on light-colored leather. Use an extra-long length of cord when stitching, so the char from the stitching holes gets carried out by the extra length and doesn’t stain the part that will be the stitching.
You can also engrave stamps in delrin or acrylic to use on your leather – that’s pretty satisfying.
I’ve worked with leather quite a bit and I love it. Everything I’ve made has been using the laser. I’ve made earrings, an entire purse (won’t do that again), some small goods like coin purses, a small notebook cover. I have three leather items in the GF catalog. I love the process of dying it, stamping it…all of it. Stitching is therapeutic for me. I do have one ‘tip’ that you might enjoy; to create a line of holes for stitching; I use a text path and a lower case letter ‘o’. Specifically, a size 6, lower case ‘o’ using the font Courier New…with one space in between each letter. You can make a stitching line in any shape or form that way…even free hand. You’ll have fun!
Just thought of one more thing…when you’re stitching, if you’re using a saddle stitch, if you make sure to put your needle into the same place every single time… either on the top or on the bottom of the last stitch, it will come out looking nice and even.
Prince Armory on YouTube also did a whole series on making a suit of leather fantasy armor using a Glowforge. That’s coming from the perspective of someone with a lot of leatherworking experience. I haven’t watched much of it but, Prince Armory has a great reputation.
Definitely cut. I don’t want to mess up a beautiful piece of leather with a knife slip.
Occasionally engrave/score something decorative, but honestly I really don’t like the look of engraved leather, breaking the surface just looks cheap and weakens the material. Stamped and tooled is so much nicer and the pieces can then last for generations.
Nice piece! Great job with the stitching!
Very nice! I love working with leather!
I never ever mask my leather. I always case (wet) leather before cutting. I try to gum trag the veg tan leather before cutting. If I do not do it before—-I definitely gum trag after.
I have painted and stained the leather before the Glowforge.
I take a baby wipe and wrap it around a skewer. This is how I clean the soot from the holes.
Thank you! I regretted not bringing the stitching pony with me for finishing it off, made it a bit more difficult
I cut everything, and I love the look of scored/engraved leather especially after it ages.
I also use scores a lot to cut out a section of masking for painting or staining.
That’s frickin’ hilarious!
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