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How do a cut and etch a belt out on a laser cutter when the leather is larger than the machine?!

Hi I would like to cut and etch leather to make belts.  However, the hides are large and even if I roughly cut the size it may fit width wise but length wise it will be too long.  I could perhaps try to line it up then shift it along but this isn't very precise and if I'm etching a pattern I fear I wouldn't line it up very well....   Also does anyone know what to treat leather with after it's been etched? after my experimentation it smells and leaves a black residue on your skin if you touch it.  I appreciate all and any answers! cheers, Lara.

Setting up a stop bar on the laser bed is the only way to do it, with care it can be very precise. We've cleaned etched leather successfully by blowing it off with a compressed gas tank, and then tumble drying it on cold for a bit, to knock any remaining stuff off.
laraamelia (author)  steveastrouk1 year ago
What's a 'stop bar' and how does one go about setting it up? (P.S thank you for your advice)
Fasten a wooden strip firmly to the machine to define an edge that you can slide the belt down. Mark the belt with masking tape, and mark precise intervals down the edge, which will be the pattern repeat. Mark a reference point on the wooden strip that your belt marks are aligned with. Now position the first mark against the reference: etch. Slide the belt to the 2nd mark, place it against the reference, and etch the next section.
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