Living Dangerously

Months before my GF arrived my husband purchased for me some gorgeous leather in a variety of colors. I had not yet read about the various types of leather tanning, but now that I have, I realize that my beautiful leather stash is not veg tanned. I did the float test. Yet I could not resist trying it out on the GF. So I opened all the windows and doors that I could and donned my gas mask and lasered my leather. These are the results.

The leather cut like butter. I just wish I could be less fearful using it.


You could always incorporate it into other projects so it doesn’t go to waste and you don’t have to worry about lasering it. Like, just adding a leather strap to things wouldn’t require you to laser cut it. Or maybe even mix laser-safe leather with the not-safe stuff. Since you have a bunch of vibrant colors, it might be really cool to add natural colored leather for contrast. Then anything that really needs to be lasered could be the safe stuff.


Please continue to cut your leather, and enjoy your creative experience.
I know your post has a degree of tonguee-in cheek, thank goodness, but, and here is a rant warning.
This is a wonderful friendly forum, but I have never come across so much fear of the unknown in my 79 years.
What happened to common sense ?
I could go on, but I think a screwdriver might be in order.
And I don’t mean the one in the workshop.
EDIT it’s probably because I just read of the danger of lasering chromed leather - ‘chromium gas’jawdropping


I would liked this but I’ve run out… :sweat_smile:

I do agree there definitely seems to be a lot of fear of the unknown. When I was younger we would’ve just done it to see what happened. I’m sure much of what we did was “unsafe”.

1 Like

Lovely turnout!

1 Like

Beautiful leather and great project! What a sweet hubby for getting it for you. I wouldn’t be able to resist it either and would have cut a little bit too :slight_smile: I’m glad you’re being a bit cautious though, it’s so tempting to ignore bad stuff we can’t see.

Wow. Just from the machine perspective, I guess you’re ok with destroying the optics, motion control system, and corroding any metal inside.

I won’t even talk about how dangerous chlorine gas is to humans.

Could you be clear and say who this is aimed at ?


I’m not here to sing the praises of hexavalent chromium, nor government recommended levels of potentially harmful chemicals, but the amount released by what can be expected from some leather projects appears to be well below OSHA’s actionable level. Nice stitching by the way.

Still confused how it went from products of chromium combustion to products of chlorine combustion.


Cool looking tags & pockets. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m no expert but did do some work in implementing some hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] processes and procedures in the EPC industry.

My understanding of it is that the chrome-tanned leather process is trivalent chromium - not hexavalent chromium. Chromium III is significantly less toxic than Cr(VI).

It’s my understanding, not a chemist, that when chrome tanned leather is burned as cooking fuel in the slums that surround Indian tanneries, it is at least one byproduct and is causing additional health issues for those unfortunate people.

I do risk analysis documents and am allowed to group together numerous individual risks and then only evaluate the worst one. Sometimes I break them out, especially when the rate of occurrence is drastically different, but not always. That’s what I did here. Also, trying to avoid janet’s beautiful work getting booted to beyond the manual.


@janet_schrock, your work is stunning! I love what you’ve done with the catalog designs, and how you’ve made them your own.

Since this discussion includes procedures we don’t recommend, I’m going to move it to Beyond the Manual. As a side note, we’ve achieved very similar results by using dyes on vegetable tanned leather in house, and long-term would love to offer solutions for colored Proofgrade leather - it’s in the PG team’s hopper!

1 Like

So let it be written, so let it be done.

1 Like

You could also sell us the dyes that you’ve determined work well with the existing leather. It’s not as cool as a rainbow of Proofgrade colors, but I bet many would not shy away from an extra step.

1 Like

I found out that lawnmover gas even though it looks pretty clear/white isn’t the same as “white gas” for a camp stove. :smile:

1 Like

My bad on the switch from chromium to chlorine. I was bleary eyed when I wrote that.

1 Like