First Leather jobs with the Fusion

First stab at leather on the Fusion. I used the default settings and for my needs they worked out well. The bottom pic hasn’t been cleaned up yet. The top was a test and still wet.

For intricate patterns this can be a great way to trace them as it just kisses the leather.

Shout out to @mdredmond. Great call on gluing the leather to a board. I used foam board and rubber cement to get my piece to lay flat. Worked like a champ.


They look great. With what do you clean them up?

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Awesome! I love the solution to flatten it. Glad it worked out.

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Just water.

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I edited your title. I do hope this is what you meant to type.

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Little bit of saddle soap helps as well.

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I put a light coat or two of some sort of spray finish (usually lacquer) on wood before I laser/engrave it…that along with some judiciously applied masking/blue tape really helps with smoke/char clean-up. Anything similar recommended for leather work like this? Some sort of leather oil, perhaps? I’ve never tried…

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That is beautiful!

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Can you use the laser instead of a swivel knife to cut your pattern lines before tooling?

This is a good technique (but using acrylic as a backer) for keeping vegtan from stretching during tooling. If you plan to tool the leather, you might try acrylic next time and solve two potential problems at once.

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I have tried a little water before. It helped, as I generally tool the piece I prefer not to do that as I’ll clean it up and tool it at the same time. That way it’s not getting wet, drying out and getting wet again.

I haven’t tried that specifically. The laser won’t allow you to taper your cuts. If that isn’t important to your design then maybe? Depending on how much you cut it can give you a channel guide for your cuts.

I did these on Big Thunder. I use it to add details that I probably would not have been able to do alone. The engraving did provide a little channel for me.

Acrylic might be a good option, I am not sure I would want to tool on it. I guess depending on what you are tooling. Had it been a thinner piece of leather I may have just used mat board. The leather was 9-10oz and I had the foam board.

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The rubber cement releases from the acrylic more easily than from MDF or mat board.

Personally, I don’t anchor my leather when I tool it.

I have done leather in the laser: I’ve had good results by thoroughly wetting the leather before cutting. The moisture reduces char. Rinsing well afterwards removes most of the burned-hair smelll as well.

This was etched/cut on the laser and then some simple tooling done. No swivel knife work involved.


Yes I have sprayed either lacquer or an acrylic finish before layering. I would use Pledge to clean it up


Short answer is that it will make cuts but they are only a few thousands wide. That doesn’t open up as well when beveling, and so you end up chasing the lines with the swivel knife anyway. Although like Mike’s picture shows it is possible.
Also it can be difficult to control the depth when it hits a hard spot (scar or tick mark). There is still no substitute for the finest tool ever invented - the human hand.
Nonetheless it is a great tool for laying down the pattern before cutting/tooling. Cheers.


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