Author Topic: Maple veneer & leather etching  (Read 148 times)

ggallant571

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Maple veneer & leather etching
« on: January 29, 2019, 07:55:08 PM »
Last weekend I purchases some maple veneer from the local woodworkers shop (Rockler). Tonight I etched the US Navy emblem in leather, slate and this veneer with a 2.5W laser. The power setting I typically use for basswood (1500/255) just burned completely thru the wood. Eventually etched at 3600. Little light but not bad. The fine lines came out really sharp.I have a core-xy fixture so I am not sure what the real speeds are.  The material is 1/64 inch (0.43mm) thick and fits nicely in a picture frame.

The laser also cut out the finish shape at a speed setting of 500 in 2 passes. Suspect going little slower would cut with single pass.

The tan leather did not etch well. Burned dark enough but the char fell back into the surface. Tried to brush and vacuum it off but it just got worse. Gave up and tried washing but expectations are low. It is quite cold outside and the leather stinks when being burned so running an exhaust fan was a necessity.  Think I might try again after applying brown painters tape to the surface of the leather.

If you have been successful etching leather please post your procedure.
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kibodwin

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 12:50:22 AM »
Hi Ggallant,
Not sure this will help but here are my 2c...
Leather... it really stinks, an unforgeable smell so yeah, ventilation is a must.
Results vary from leather to leather... and even the colour of the leather has an effect.
I usually get extra for testing before doing the proper engraving.. I have not found a go to setup for all leather.
I zlso find that leather that does not engrave well with the 2.5 diode works on the Co2 laser...
Veneer, I have been trying to engrave on some very thin (under 1mm thick) and I have been able to dial it down to only leave the fibres.
This is not what I need so as my veneer is so thin I will cut out the pattern and then layer another piece of veneer on the first one. If is a fickle thing engraving on veneer..Also, be careful of the fumes, some of the veneers I tried came with finishes I am not sure are lasering compatible.
Let us know how you get on.
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wveagle81

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 06:28:07 AM »
Last weekend I purchases some maple veneer from the local woodworkers shop (Rockler). Tonight I etched the US Navy emblem in leather, slate and this veneer with a 2.5W laser. The power setting I typically use for basswood (1500/255) just burned completely thru the wood. Eventually etched at 3600. Little light but not bad. The fine lines came out really sharp.I have a core-xy fixture so I am not sure what the real speeds are.  The material is 1/64 inch (0.43mm) thick and fits nicely in a picture frame.

The laser also cut out the finish shape at a speed setting of 500 in 2 passes. Suspect going little slower would cut with single pass.

I've never tried leather, so I'm also interested, but I have done thinner than
1/16" Maple veneer several times.  It cuts nicely at a lower speed, but you
also need to use a very low power to engrave.  I believe I was using 80 power
and 1000 speed (on T2) with my 2.5W laser.

I'm also doing poker cut cards on 1/16" Maple veneer.  They engrave lightly
at 1100 speed and 150 power (I think that's what I'm using) and cut in two/three
passes at 300 speed.

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ggallant571

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 07:00:21 AM »
I would like to get some 1/16 and 1/32 non-plywood panels. Living in the middle of LowTech USA makes it quite difficult.
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wveagle81

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 06:46:03 PM »
I would like to get some 1/16 and 1/32 non-plywood panels. Living in the middle of LowTech USA makes it quite difficult.

Try this place:  https://www.cardsofwood.com/

I'm getting ready to order some stock from them.  My local Woodcraft store has a very
limited selection of veneers.
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rolx

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2019, 03:10:04 AM »
To share my projects sometimes too this is what I did and my power settings.
As for veneers with 2,5W I cut throught all of them, the hardest one was mahagony. Depends on hard/soft parts but 4 passes 800mm/min works all the times for everything. I also used water based "mordant, bate" ? To make it colored. Then I put it on acrylic double "tape" sheet and made a phone cover. I also made 2 sides of different veneers and put them again together on acrylic sheet and made a bookmarks out of them. The settings I use to engrave is S230 and +- 1600 mm/min. I also tried inlays for the GIBSON.
And what I found out when cutting, it is better to run multiple passes as the cut gets cleaner. With 1 pass you have to run very slowly so you burn wider than your focus. So when I cut I rather do 3 passes or 4 for the cut to be clean and no fibers on the sides. Of course it depends on wood but mahagony is impossible to cut in one pass, it burns layer of wood, creates coal that insulates from temparature and light (laser) and you can't get underneath it anymore. So if you do more passes you actualy turn the coal into very fine dust or smoke and burn away layer by layer. -this it the 2,5W curse of ont owning CO2  ;D ;D
Also 0,43mm is really really thin. Most of my veneers are about 0,6 - 0,8mm thick which should be standard. It is really hard in europe to get something thinner if it isn't exotic wood or walnut. The walnut I have could be around 0,5mm and when I egraved the hexagons half of those fell apart in my hands.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 03:52:15 AM by rolx »

rolx

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 03:32:56 AM »
As for the leather as you guys noticed the smell is terrible. Well, you burn the leather. Sometimes the smell is mild and my garage gets the "dentist" smell and sometimes the smell is to terrible it starts irritating my eyes and and I have to use mask with VOC filters (I do everything in my garage because it is winter). The speeds and power depends on the leather type and COLOR ! (green being the dentist type and red the mask type) I did this template to  the test the best settings. Make sure that you weight down (?) the leather because it tends to curl as the power settings is larger. What I do is that I engrave, and then use a wet wipe and clean it. After that I spray the leather with hydrofobic coating for leather shoes. Some leathers are nicely cleaned and some spread the black residue (like on the green) all over the leather and make the cleaning really pain in the... You have to clean it like "peck drilling" (sorry can't find the right word  ;D ) .
Settings I used on the coasters with coffee logos- 6lines, S230, 1650mm/min
Beige CARWELLNESS key strap- 5L, S230, 1000mm/min
White-CW- 1000mm/min, Green- 1800mm/min, Red- 900mm/min, Blue- 900mm/min, Beige and blueish grey - 1100mm/min.
After that take a wet wipe for babies, clean it until no residue comes off and spray with sealant (not necessary).
I hope I helped a bit  ;)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 03:54:59 AM by rolx »

Zax

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2019, 04:16:14 AM »
@rolx Nice work. I gave up on leather, couldn't get past the smell... maybe I used the wrong stuff.

rolx

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2019, 04:26:18 AM »
@rolx Nice work. I gave up on leather, couldn't get past the smell... maybe I used the wrong stuff.

That might be it, the beige colors, the coffee and BS logo, after all those burns I could be in my 3*5 garage with closed doors and the smell wasn't bad at all, just mild dentist tooth brush that went out when I opened my doors for 5 minutes. But the red one... oh I don't want to see that stuff in my garage anymore. Also I never buy any leather, I just go ask my local upholsterer, he always has some left overs that he wants to throw out and can't use anmore, or cuts the legs off whole cow which he also can't use.

ggallant571

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2019, 07:31:36 AM »
Thanks for the detailed explanations. Your work looks great.

Ralph - could you create a dedicated channel for working with leather and seed it with Rolx's posts?
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Rebelturtle

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Re: Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2019, 05:02:33 PM »
Please create a section for leather. Leather etching is the reason I started looking into laser cnc. Would love to learn and discuss with others that are doing it.

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Stonemull

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Maple veneer & leather etching
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 08:23:25 AM »
I did some test burns on leather including wetting it a few months back, I did it for the purpose of seeing if it made any difference to the mark made but since then I have been wondering a few other things I am yet to check, firstly if you burn leather hard it stains the area surrounding the burn with smoke, secondly, it stinks.
I will have to try it again and check both of the above.
I was also wondering if coating the leather with beeswax before a burn would make a difference.

I also have a leather post on here (projects?) that could go into a new section.


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« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 08:25:00 AM by Stonemull »
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