Roman Belt


First steps for making a suspension strap for a gladius scabbard.

Veg tanned leather 0.15” thick. Cuts are full power, speed 140.

Embossed laurel leaves are done with a hand carved acrylic die.

The Glowforge is an ideal tool for cutting leather. Laser cut edges are cleaner than hand cut ones, lacking the fuzzy fringe on the backside. Dying belt edges is traditionaly a tedious task that is eliminated by the uniform dark coloring of the laser cut edges. You can see a mix of both types of cut edges here.


Beveling is still a must, if only for aesthetics and to keep that crisp belt edge from rolling or denting too easily. I used to rub the edges to remove the soot but I eventually determined that my multi step dying process was washing that off anyway.


Wow, they look really neat! I’ll bet you could make a pair of a Roman sandals as well.

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Given the sheer amount of cutting involved, yeah, this seems like the perfect application for a Glowforge.

Really like the embossing details. That’s something that might work very well with a Glowforge 3D engrave. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Now there’s a capability of this machine I haven’t even begun to explore yet.


For other folks reading…by that, I meant you engrave the shape out of the acrylic, not the leather…leather doesn’t 3D engrave well. :slightly_smiling_face:


It could be interesting to give that a try. I’ve used a lot of different techniques over the years to make embossing dies, from etching steel to carving acrylic to molding epoxy. My current favorite is digital sculpting and then 3D printing the die.


I didn’t realize something 3D printed would be sturdy enough to use for embossing leather…I’d guess you use a really high infill?

It doesn’t seem to take much to emboss leather. I think a standard 20% infill would probably do fine, but if you’re going to use it a lot, and especially if you’re going to whack on it, I’d probably bump it up to 50%.

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Pardon my ignorance, but how do these settings translate in the manual configuration panel in the Glowforge interface?

We were discussing the infill percentages on 3D Plastic printers, not the Glowforge. (Which can be a bit confusing…sorry.) :slightly_smiling_face:

Right, now it makes a bit more sense. I’m not familiar with the terminology because I have my prints done through Shapeways, where I need only worry about the material choice and leave the technicalities up to them. Gives me another less thing to worry about while running a business.


Gotcha! :wink:

The dyed and finished suspension, complete with cast bronze fibulam.


How did you cut a piece of leather that long? Pass through slot?