Loses power/results change same material/same settings

Hope someone can offer a reason why this happens, and a solution?

It’s happened before, but today is best example:
Used some thick natural leather & proofgrade settings, etched a design and did cut outs (oval hair holders). Cut thru cleanly, and removed the cut out pieces, leaving the rest of the leather in place (held down w/ magnets on the edges).
Took the same etching & cutting and just shifted it over to another section of this leather (about 20-30 minutes, so plenty of cool down time). Etching OK, but Cut did not go thru the entire thickness–about 95%. Left the pieces in place on the bed.

Cleaned the head & optics, replaced those & even cleaned the camera.

Without moving the leather, changed the etched designs and moved the cut out shapes to another section of leather. Etching ok, cutting was only 50% of the thickness! (had to finish cuts with craft knife).

I suppose even though the thickness of this leather is the same, it could be pressed, so density could vary a bit and thus cuts? (this is “sole bend” leather). But i’d not expect it to progressively get worse with each run…

But I’ve encounted this with other leathers that I’ve used different settings for–get a few clean cuts and then it gets crappy…

Ideas/thoughts appreciated! Thanks!

Replying to myself here–read some other similar threads, and the lack of material flatness is most likely the issue & so will use more magnets & allow for more scrap to place more magnets over the leather field, not just the edges… Guess I need to read the “Laser Etching for Dummies” book more carefully!


I’ve frequently had trouble with leather that isn’t Proofgrade (which tends to be kind of thin). Other tanners don’t seem to always have uniform thickness on the leather scraping, even on the same piece.

Don’t know what to suggest other than what you’ve already discovered…get it as flat as you can, pin it down everywhere with the Honeycomb Pins and be prepared to run a second pass, or use a slower cutting speed.

Thanks Jules,
Yeah, I’m tempted to complain about the “proofgrade” definitions of thick–they are pretty thin, indeed, compared to what’s on the market. So rarely can cut w/ proofgrade settings, usually OK for etching, though, but need to pay attention to my focal ht settings, too.

But more magnets/pins (need to make some)/weights to keep flat against bed. And guess as one area is cut, another lifts up some more… Will also need to work on flattening before using, too.

The leathers I’ve had trouble with are consistent thickness, but seems they are run thru hydraulic presses to get consistent thickness, which can change density if pre-pressing there were differences w/ scraping/splitting… (e.g. really smooth split side is good indication of pressing/rolling .

Since this problem is being seen on materials that were purchased from another company, we can’t offer support for prints that don’t come out as expected. I’m going to move it to Beyond the Manual so other folks here can help. Should this happen with a print on Proofgrade materials, please open a new ticket in Problems and Support and we’ll help you right away!

Thanks Pip,

But can I make a suggestion on the settings for the proofgrade leathers that will help leather workers who use the GF–the definition of “thick” leather is rather thin vs. what is really out in the market… Or add an “extra thick” category?

But it would also be really helpful to refer to the thickness also in WEIGHT, as leather is always sold by the ounces of the hide, which is then converted to thickness if needed. But usually just OZ tells leather workers a lot about the hide–e.g. 2-3 oz is usually garment weight, but 6-7 oz is common for tooling leather & 7-8 you get into bridle leathers…

FYI, what was trying to cut was 6-7 oz tooling leather (natural veg tanned), but significantly thicker than what you provide as proofgrade “thick”.

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