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Simple Laser-cut Leather Card Case

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Picture of Simple Laser-cut Leather Card Case
If you have access to a laser cutter, here is a quick and easy leather card case that you can make.




Thanks to Justin for demonstrating this Instructable and for drafting the dxf file.

"Submitted by Ace Monster Toys Hackerspace in Oakland, CA for the Instructables Sponsorship Program"
 
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Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials
You will need the following for this project:

*Leather -- Recommend: thin leather 2 to 4 oz weight, or 1.5mm to 3mm thickness
                     Vegetable tanned leather works best, but each leather cuts differently.
                     Do not expect consistent results across different kinds of leather.
                     Make sure to do a few test runs to make sure you're cutting successfully.

*Needless – upholstery needles with blunted tips work best.  For example something like this

*Thread – a heavy weight waxed works best such as this one

*Scissors

*lighter or soldering iron

*thimble (optional if you've got tough fingers)

*the design template .dxf file (attached to this instructable)

*a laser cutter 

*an awesome hat (well, not really.... but it seemed to help Justin)

Step 2: Laser Cut The Leather

The next step is to use the .dxf design file with your laser cutter to cut out the shape from your leather stock.  We recommend practicing on scraps of the material first to identify the speed and power settings for your laser that work the best.  On our laser at Ace Monster Toys, which is an 80W CO2 laser we used a speed of 40 with a power of 85. (You'll have to read your laser manual to see if that makes sense for your laser).

Step 3: Clean Up The Leather and Prepare For Stitching

To prepare the leather for stitching, you have to wipe off the soot from the laser cutting.  There may be quite a bit of soot actually.  It also helps to wipe the leather down with leather conditioner.  You can get this from a leatherworking supplier such as Tandy Leathers.

It is also important to ensure that all the holes have been cut completely.  Use the needle heads to clear any remaining leather bits from the holes.

Finally, if there are any rough edges from the laser cutter, you can trim them off with the scissors.
bdrousche9 months ago
what size are the holes in the dxf im trying to make my own template and i dont want them to be enormous
annekh51010 months ago
The .dxf file appears to be empty at the moment. I've checked it's not a problem my end by downloading and viewing .dxf files from elsewhere.
donovand (author)  annekh51010 months ago
Hmm... I'm not sure what's going on. I am able to download and import the file into Rhino on Mac, and I can "more" the file and see the contents. What system/software are you using? Perhaps it's a .dxf version compatibility issue?
I get it but I have to chuckle at the idea of "simple" and "laser-cut" going together. Still, it's a sharp looking end result and if I had access to a laser cutter I'm sure I'd use it every chance I got.
donovand (author)  The Rambler1 year ago
Fair enough... it's all relative I suppose. :) Though it would make life considerably more difficult, one *could* use the template and cut the leather out by hand as an alternative.
Haha I really was just kidding. Like I said, if you have a laser cutter why not use it? And when speaking of the design of this wallet it is true that it's simple. I may just make one myself, though I would have to go the considerably more difficult route of cutting it out by hand.
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