Yup, just some 3/4oz economy sides I’ve had sitting around for ages. I’ve still got a ton of it, and planning on using it for all sorts of projects. I’d really like to find a good quality low-tack paper masking material that I can use on it, so I’m keeping my eyes open for that as well.
I know some people have purchased some low tack paper masking from a few different places. I want to say @Tom_A had a good source/experience recently with some, maybe from johnsonplastics?
I’m curious to see how other leathers tanned in different ways react to being lasered. I know Dan mentioned a while back that oil tanned leathers just turn to goo, but I read a post recently where someone had used some oil tanned leather and it turned out fine.
The leather I’ve been working with is combination tanned…some veg and some chrome, I believe. I’m not sure how that would work either, since most say pure chrome tanned leather is a no no.
(Discourse doesn’t like that we’ve had so much of a conversation. ha)
I see that Johnson Plastics has this stuff (https://www.johnsonplastics.com/glassguard-6-x-100yd-paper-mask-for-laser-engraving), which sounds like the best fit, but I’d love to hear directly from someone who has used it on leather before I buy a full roll. I got a bunch of masking tape that will work great for wood and plastic, but it’s too tacky for leather, and tends to pull up tiny flecks of the surface when I remove it.
I’m planning to stick with veg tanned, at least until I clear through the pile of backstock I have sitting on my shelf. I’d be interested to hear how the others burn, though!
I just cut my first bit of leather today, box-o-scraps from tandy. I used TransferRite Hi-Tack (592U) to mask both sides. It pulled some fibers from the suede side, but not too bad. The edges didn’t smell great (mild burnt-hair smell) but I was not hit with the noxious scent I was expecting after reading other folks posts. I washed the pieces in the sink with warm water and some gentle kneading. Now they just smell like slightly damp leather.
Most of the time, at least in my experience, the longer the masking material stays on any material, the more the adhesive will cure, and the more difficult it will be to remove later.
I think you’re absolutely right about adhesive sticking more and more over time. I keep trying to mask the piece right before I cut, and remove it right after, but I have two young sons and so literally nothing in my life goes according to plan.
Wasn’t me. But I’ll say that I’ve used regular ol’ beige masking tape for everything so far and have had nothing but great results. I have a 2" roll. NOTE: Haven’t tried it on leather yet.
And that stuff is pretty cheap too, so that’s good to hear. I would bet it is too tacky for leather, just like @septimus39 said for whatever he was using.
Do you find that the 2" roll does just about anything you want it to with multiple passes if need be?
I’ve found the 2" roll is really quite good. No need for multiple passes. At first I thought I wanted like a 6" roll. But 2" was readily available at the local store so that’s what I bought. And I’m glad I did. 2" is a little more versatile. BUT! Early on I wondered what would happen if there was overlapping strips or, conversely, tiny gaps between the strips. There’s definitely a difference in both. As such, I’ve gotten surprisingly good at lining up the strips edge-to-edge.
This is what I’ve noticed as well. I’ve got a bunch of 2" tape that I’ve been using for my leather and if I leave even the tiniest hairline gap or a tiny bit of overlap, it definitely affects the result underneath. It’s not as tough to line it up as I thought it would be, especially on smaller pieces. I really wanted to get some 6" wide stuff too, particularly so I could just lay it down on a large piece of leather and then cut things out of it until it was just scrap, like I do with Proofgrade materials. If I can find some that doesn’t get too sticky over time, I’d still like to get to that point, because it’s just so easy. I can ask my wife or even my 5-year-old to drop a pre-taped piece in there for me while I’m at the office, which is nice.
I figured it would take some precision with how you lay the strips, but that is really comforting to hear that some readily available rolls will do just fine.