AmyK

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About AmyK

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    Laser etching, machine sewing, carving, pattern making

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  1. I almost forgot to address your question about scanning. Most people use a free program called Inkscape to prepare files. It has similar (though limited) functionality as Adobe Illustrator. There are lots of YouTube tutorials on how to use it. There are also some free and paid svg files online.
  2. We have the biggest mama-jama one. It’s got a bigger bed and a pass through slot. I wouldn’t buy the cheapest one, it has a smaller bed and (I think) not as strong of a laser. I’d do the midrange one if I could afford one. Best of luck to you with your health. It can be a slog to get things figured out diagnosis and medication wise.
  3. Paul, oh yeah, you’ll get some small flames from time to time. That usually means you need to adjust your settings. I’ve never had anything straight up catch fire- just flame up a bit and char. You do need to stay near it and watch for flames when it’s cutting. It’s very good for cutting out repetitive pieces. I hate cutting circles by hand so I think that would be a good use for it. Haven’t been able to use it recently because of Covid- it’s at a makerspace im a part of- and cutting some circles the other day I did miss it! I have lupus that makes my hands stiff and painful some days - I can’t use a swivel knife at all! I use a combo of a NT swivel cutter, wax modeling spoons, sometimes my Cricut. I don’t pretend to be good at carving, but with all these work around a I can usually make something happen! I prefer to burn in a design using the Glowforge, but like I said before, it’s across town and hasn’t been available recently reliability wise, ours takes a beating since it’s communal use. It’s been down a bit, but I can’t speak to how many of the breakdowns wouldn’t have happened if it was a single user machine as far as scanning, I do that with my phone, upload to Inkscape to clean up and manipulate the image, then export to Glowforge. it’s easier than you think.
  4. AmyK

    Calling all Glowforge Owners

    I’ve used one pretty extensively on leather at my local maker space. Good: easy ui. Lots of support from other users on forums including trouble shooting and some free files. Nice sized bed (depending on model you get). Cleaning/routine maintenance is easy. Bad: we’ve had a lot of problems with ours and when it’s down it takes a long time to get back via warranty service. Could be due to so many different people using/abusing it but I’d recommend looking at the user forums. Also all the processing is done on glowforge’s servers. So you need a stable internet connection and for the company not to go out of business! feel free to ask any questions.
  5. People get hung up on the fact that Cricut sells their own content. I’ve literally never used any of it- you don’t have to with the modern machines. With the old Cricut machines you had to buy proprietary cartridges and only use those. Every font, image, you name it. Now you can exclusively use your own if you wish. And unless you’re trying to make a bunch of “country chic” crap for Pinterest there’s little for sale in design space that will interest you.
  6. To do the actual cutting, you use Cricut Design Studio which isn’t too hard to use. It can also remove backgrounds and isolate parts of images you import. You can create a design completely from scratch complete with text etc. To actually create something from scratch I typically use Inkscape though (which is free).
  7. First off, read my earlier review which includes info and tips on cutting and saving your mat. Tests done: New Engraving tool on quick swap housing, wet (line type: engrave) Old scoring stylus tool, wet (line type: draw) New Debossing tool, wet (line type: deboss) New Debossing tool, dry (line type: deboss) Fiebings Dark Brown antique paste was then applied. All tests done with Apple Chancery Font. Results (see photos) The engraving tool did NOT disappoint. If I’d beveled this before applying antique I think it would look even better. I prefer this over the other options previously reviewed. I’ve attached all the photos, but you can read my remarks on my earlier review. The photo with no label is the one done with the engraving tool.
  8. I hope to be able to test some alcohol markers and sharpies in the Maker soon. I also asked for some Inktense pigments Christmas which could be very interesting.
  9. Working on a project for my kid’s school. Just got in the new Cricut debossing tool and decided to test it out. Cutting First off, all the cuts were made on the maker on the leather setting appropriate to the weight of the scrap used. I’ve had NO TROUBLE cutting leather up to 5oz. It will cut a hole small enough for rivets. Tip- put transfer tape on the back of your leather before applying to strong grip mat to keep the fuzzies off your mat and avoid compromising the stickiness of your mat. Use a piece small enough not to go under the black roller wheels as it CAN get stuck and bunch up. use masking tape around the edges and remember to move the white star wheels all the way to the right so they don’t damage your leather. Tests done: Old scoring stylus tool, wet (line type: draw) New Debossing tool, wet (line type: deboss) New Debossing tool, dry (line type: deboss) Fiebings Dark Brown antique paste was then applied. I also tested out Cricut pens on dry leather: 0.4 fine point black as well as 1.0 tip in green (metallic petal) All tests done with Apple Chancery Font. Results (see photos) The old style scoring stylus (pen shaped) gave the cleanest impression but wasn’t very visible. The debossing tool was disappointing in that it was messy looking and you could see the dimple where it had started. I think either of these tools might be fine for a larger piece, especially in the case of the stylus if you were looking for a subtle effect or wanting to subtly mark a pattern for painting or stamping. I think this is where it would really shine. For the project at hand, I’m going with the pens. Caveat: the petal metallics are water based and the black pen’s composition was not on the packaging I had- I have not tested putting finish on them. Also note there are third party adapter for using other pens. I’m curious to see how refillable dye pens or the colored dye pens from Real Leather perform. Hopefully I receive some for Christmas so I can let you all know how it works. Bottom Line I like the Maker, and plan to use it more. I think I’ll import my patterns and use it to cut out patterns, mark alignment and fold lines when I have lots of pieces or small pieces that need precision. I might experiment with using it when I’ve got SO MANY HOLES to do as I tend to use a micro punch 0.5-1mm for my sewing holes (I know, I’m a heretic with joint problems, sue me). The debossing tool is not ready for prime time when in comes to leather though I can see some applications for it. I look forward to trying the forthcoming engraving tool which fits in the same quick change housing. Will it replace the laser cutter in my heart? No. But the Maker was affordable, worked for my many crafts, and doesn’t require me to drive across town to the maker space to use! Additionally, the company has made good on their promise to continue to release new tools for the adaptive tool system they introduced with the Maker.
  10. I cut and engrave with a Glowforge and I also use a Cricut Maker. The Maker can cut very thin garment weight leather. The Glowforge can cut much more- most I’ve done is 5-6oz veg tan but you might get thicker out of it. I’ve done tiny filigree earrings with the Glowforge I use Inkscape to draw patterns or digitize the ones I already have. Inkscape is FREE. Check out Punished Props Academy for a great overview video of digitizing patterns.
  11. AmyK

    Serge Volken flip top lids?

    Can confirm this link still works and the lids work great. And I have an obscene number of lids in my cabinet now.
  12. IKEA has Christmas wrap printed on brown craft paper. Makes great patters SUPER cheap when you buy after the holidays.
  13. How about this? I dont use regular sponges for dishes. I have these sewn up microfiber ones that go in the washer. So I’ve had the same “sponges” for more than 5 yrs. I agree, I can’t wash dishes with something that smells gross, so my dish sponge is changed every few days. Having said that, regular sponges can also go in the clothes washer or dish washer so you don’t have to pitch them in the leather bin.
  14. You think you’re cheap? I don’t even use daubers. I buy a bunch of cheap sponges.... then cut them into fourths! Keep an old soup pot in the shop for sponges, rags, buffing cloths and wash them in the washer when I run low. They’re stained of course but the color doesn’t transfer. My new motto. I will wear it with pride.