Engraving leather

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Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:25 am

Engraving leather

Post by marcooostendorp » Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:46 pm

Probably I am not the only one who thought about ‘engraving’ leather. Since there is no topic about this I will share my experiences here.

Engraving leather works but it is very precise work, 0.01 of an inch too deep and it looks ugly. A first trail with various depths thought me that 0.01 inch is deep enough, going any deeper will lead to loose edges. Especially small pockets, for instance in the a and e, are sensitive to tearing of the top layer of the leather.

As leather is a natural product it is not evenly thick which leads to problems. I solved this by putting slight pressure on the wasteboard with my hands when it seemed like the shapeoko hit a thicker part.

Not surprisingly: hard leather yield cleaner cuts than soft leather.
And last but not least: leather seems to dull your bit very fast.
leer bewerken.jpg
leer bewerken.jpg (178.45 KiB) Viewed 1252 times

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Re: Engraving leather

Post by clockit » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:33 pm

I would have never thought to engrave on leather... nice little project and looks amazing! Thank you for sharing and I learned something today... it's a good day, keep the projects coming!
Shapeoko 2, Full Kit #7071, Makita RT0701C Router, 1000 x 1000 upgrade, Acme Z Axis w/Nema 17 Belt Drive

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Re: Engraving leather

Post by WillAdams » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:01 pm

Please, don't use all caps w/o consideration of the ornateness and spacing of the font.

For more on Zapfino: http://www.tug.org/TUGboat/tb24-2/tb77adams.pdf

Cutting and working w/ leather was an impetus to my working up a drag knife design. I've been meaning to get back into leather working.If nothing else the pounding is therapeutic.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

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Re: Engraving leather

Post by TomO » Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:38 pm

Very cool - I'm sure I will give this a try eventually. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Engraving leather

Post by Xaracen » Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:12 pm

Very nice, I think I'll give that a go when I get a suitable bit of leather to try it on. I suspect it isn't amenable to the sort of fine detail I can get on copper or slate, given leather's ability to flex out of the way more easily than copper can, which was a problem I met in a recent project. I am surprised at the mention that leather can rapidly dull the engraving bits.
Shapeoko v1 #????
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