Successfully Working Suede on a Laser Cutter

When I was finally cleared to operate the 150W laser cutter affectionately called “Bumblebee”, the first thing I did was to turn in a complete circle, eyeballing everything within walking distance as a potential target for a laser-drilled hole.  After making an acrylic coaster and a few boxes, my focus shifted (no pun intended), and I started to think about making things I had a use for… the sorts of things that would not only look good, but would last a long time.

The first project I settled on was an archery bracer, made of buckskin suede.  Rather than start with an existing pattern, this was created from scratch in Illustrator.  For the 3/16th of an inch thickness of suede, a series of 1.5 mm holes in the pattern was enough allow the pattern parts to be laced together.  3/8″ holes were cut to place grommets in the suede, providing lacing positions.  The pattern consisted of an outer wrap, intended to go all the way around the arm, and an inner piece which would sit flush against the forearm.  Between them, a series of 10 “plates” of chipboard would provide armoring, absorbing the shock of impact in the event that the bowstring hit the bracer.

The armor bits were cut first from chipboard, and then the buckskin was placed into the cutter.  Soft leather naturally has a wave pattern to it unless its been laid or pressed completely flat, so it’s important to smooth out as many wrinkles as possible prior to starting the cut.  Immediately after the cut, the grommets were installed, and the armor bits were tied onto the doubler piece.  The rolled edge was whip-stitched by hand and a braided leather cord was used as the lace for the doubler.  Project complete!2013-09-07 08.48.53

**** IMPORTANT!   When planning to work suede on a laser cutter, remember that the cut edge will be covered in soot from the burn of the laser and cut pieces should be handled as minimally as possible to keep soot from being tracked onto the worked piece.  The best remedy for preparing pieces for handling is to cover the entire face of the piece in a layer of corn starch and use a toothbrush to smoothly and evenly brush the starch off of the suede face.  The corn starch will carry the soot with it, leaving the edges of the pieces clean.

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Public Class – Laser Cutting and Etching 101

Laser Cutter

Public Class
i3Detroit is dedicated to bringing DIY skills to the Detroit Metro community. One of the ways we do this is by holding classes specifically designed for the public.
Have you heard about laser cutters and wonder what they do?  This class will show you how to use a large 150 watt laser cutter to cut and etch acrylic plexiglass.
The course will deal with the concept of line cutting and area etching,  how to load a drawing into the laser cutter workstation, and how to move the design into the laser cutter and do final cutting and etching.
Each student will get to cut and etch their own small jewelry box from designs provided.  Students will take this box home with them.

When: Thursday, September 26, 2013 7-9PM
Where: i3Detroit in Ferndale, MI
Course Duration:  2 hours.
Prerequisites:  None.
Price: $29 limited seating
Sign Up: https://www.eventbrite.com/event/7893956035

Materials will be provided.  Bring sunglasses.
Students 17 and younger must be accompanied by an adult/guardian also taking the course.

2013 Elections

In the area and want to stop by for tonight’s meeting? Well it should be a good one!

Tonight we vote on who will be in control of finances, who talks to the landlord about roof leaks, and who gets to be the all mighty powerful CEO.

 

Also I am Nathan, I’m a founding member, Co-welding zone warden and running for the Vice Presidency position tonight.

New power wheels seat with freezer paper

 New power wheels seat with freezer paper

Using freezer paper to make a stencil and make any design on fabric.

You cut the freezer paper in to 11 x 8 1/2 sheets and put it in the printer. Print the design on the paper and then very carefully cut it out with a knife. Use and hot Iron to adhere it on the fabric where you want it. Paint it with a brush, Put a few coats on it, let it dry. Finally peal off the freezer paper wash it and wear it.

Art At I3

Recently displayed at Up In The Aether 2013, this watercolor was done completely at i3, and shows off some of the knowledge and materials available in the Craft Room!

MadameMoitessier_Clipped

The piece is a student copy of a full-size oil painting by J. A. D. Ingres, a 19th-century French painter. However, it’s been reduced significantly, posing a bit of a miniaturization challenge. (The original is 1 x 1.467 m [3.2 x 4.8 ft]; this copy is 19 x 28 cm [7.5 x 11 in]. The artist put in quite a few long nights working with a fine brush!)

Members, for more information on where to find watercolor materials and equipment in the Craft Room–or basic or advanced advice on working with watercolor–talk to the Craft Room zone warden, Kevin Flory. Or just stop by to talk about Ingres’ technique!