Settings for Veg Tanned Leather from Tandy Leather?

Just went to the Tandy Leather store today and purchased some veg tanned scraps as well as some precut veg tanned items, like leather bracelets that already have the snaps in place. Has anyone used these items in their Glowforge, and if so, what settings? Did you cover with 3M tape, or something similar prior to engraving/cutting? Also, I asked the clerk if it was safe to place the pre-cut bracelets w/ snaps in my Glowforge for engraving and he said “yes, as long as I don’t cut where the metal is (of course)” - sorry for being a worry-wart, but I DON’T want to mess anything up, especially my GF - if ANYONE has advice, tips, tricks - please comment. I’ve had my GF for about a month and have learned to do some awesome things with it, but this is a whole new arena and my first time using non-GF purchased materials. THANKS IN ADVANCE!!

3 Likes

I’m going to move this over to Beyond the Manual since that is the only place we can discuss settings for non proofgrade materials. I suggest you do a quick search for leather settings, I think you will find lots of posts.

2 Likes

Wonderful - thanks so much!

Learn this technique and you’ll never need to wonder again:

The tricky part with leather is that it’s really analog. Variations in thickness are just part of the process. For each sample of leather I do an independent test, there’s just too much variability to have a “one size fits all” setting for all leathers.

As for masking, sometimes I do, sometimes not. Depends on the surface of the leather and what I intend to do with it. Leather is a massive rabbit hole and I’m barely looking down into it at this point. @morganstanfield no doubt has some good posts on leather working, if you search the forum for “leather settings” and “leather tips” I bet you’ll find a lot of info.

As for “messing up”, I mean, experimentation is part of what makes it great! Lean into the discovery process, and I bet you’ll figure stuff out really quickly.

8 Likes

I always start with the default setting for proofgrade leather and adjust from there depending on the thickness of the leather. (Hopefully you have a set of calipers so you can get accurate measurement for your leather!) The PG leather thicknesses are; thin approx 1/48", medium approx 3/64" & thick approx 3/32". So if your leather is close to one of those measurement, just use the pull-down menu to enter the PG leather setting and do a little testing from there.

I would highly suggest using some hold-down pins for the leather and if you are cutting something, look very carefully to make sure it cut all the way through before moving the leather off the GF tray. That way you can make another cutting pass without any aliment issues.

These were two leather conversations I had bookmarked that may have some good info for you. Good luck!

8 Likes

Thank you! Also, I just noticed that two of the packages I purchased pre-cut shapes have a P65 CA warning for cancer. This definitely scares me. I don’t want to release toxic chemicals by engraving on them. I have an email into Tandy Leather but thought I’d ask here, as well, to see if anyone has any knowledge about using a product with this warning on it. I wish I’d have seen this yesterday when I was at the store.

Thank you! Also, I just noticed that two of the packages I purchased pre-cut shapes have a P65 CA warning for cancer. This definitely scares me. I don’t want to release toxic chemicals by engraving on them. I have an email into Tandy Leather but thought I’d ask here, as well, to see if anyone has any knowledge about using a product with this warning on it. I wish I’d have seen this yesterday when I was at the store.

Your lungs, your risk… but pretty much everything you laser will emit nasty stuff to a greater or lesssr degree. If your ventilation is setup properly you should whisk the vast bulk of it away. You can augment things with a booster fan which would reduce your exposure even more.

Search the forum for “ventilation” and “booster fan” and maybe “inline fan” for lots more.

Definitely understand the difference between “these fumes are bad for me” and “there fumes are bad for the machine”. Stay far away from PVC, it can damage your GF.

2 Likes

Nearly everything has a California warning on it. If it’s Veg tanned and the dye isn’t from a questionable source, just vent well and if you want to add another layer, install a prefilter if you’re using the compact filter, and use an RZ Mask:

I use all three depending on what I’m doing, who is in my lab, and how I’m feeling.

3 Likes

Yeah, it’s hard to bu anything in CA without a warning of some kind. It looks like P65 CA covers some really common things so as long as you bough veg tanned leather, I personally wouldn’t worry about it. But if you’re really uncomfortable you could wear a mask like @HATCHideas suggested.

The P65 CA list contains a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that include additives or ingredients in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes, or solvents. Listed chemicals may also be used in manufacturing and construction, or they may be byproducts of chemical processes, such as motor vehicle exhaust.

https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/

3 Likes

Thank you all so much for the input! I appreciate the time & knowledge.