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    Senior Member NorwichCadet is on a distinguished road

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    How To Soften Old Stiff Leather?

    Doing some repairs using old period looking stiff leather. I need to bend it 180 degrees. What is a good way to soften it to avoid cracking as much as possible? THANKS

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Primer88 is on a distinguished road
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    Dr Jackson's Rejuvenator from Tandy's Leather works very well.
    "Shudda shot a rabbit don't make no stew"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ozeanjaeger is on a distinguished road

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    I always use pure mink oil to keep my leather soft, supple, and strong, but I've never used it on anything that was too far gone. I would trust Tandy products.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bushwhacker is on a distinguished road

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    Pecard's leather conditioner
    God created men and Colonel Colt made them equal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member trains2planes is on a distinguished road

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    Just bear in mind that most likely ANY product you put on to condition leather will darken it somewhat - sometimes permanently. With that out of the way, Neetsfoot is an old standby that works great. But to expect old, dried, brittle leather to flex 180 degrees after treatment it may crack from this amount of deflection.
    Just work into it gradually and allow thorough saturation. If you can "wetmold" with say a block of wood or something wrapped in a plastic bag while soaking or brushing this stuff on even better.
    I'm not sure if you need this leather piece to retain this bend or just to flex 180 degrees, But the wetmold method works best to maintain a shape. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Calibre 38 is on a distinguished road

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    I've also used Pecard's with success...Jim
    "I was here and you were not, now you are here and I am not"

  7. #7
    Senior Member Recoil Rob is on a distinguished road

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    Get the softer Pecards Cream or their Lotion or Oil, absorbs much better than the standard dressing to soften up stiff leather. They tell me it's all the same stuff just varying amounts of wax.

  8. #8
    Junior Member YaakaKhiladi is on a distinguished road

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    I know what you mean. I bought a pair of boots online, and they're as stiff as cardboard.
    I bought it because they were lavender, one color I didn't have.......!
    But, the more you wear it, the more they loosen up, and you don't do a thing about them,
    they will get softer - not as soft - but they won't be as stiff anymore.

    Don't try to risk it by trying that method. Call a leather repair guy, they may have a better idea or put chemicals in to make them softer.
    Last edited by YaakaKhiladi; 11-21-2013 at 02:47 AM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member rednichols is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorwichCadet View Post
    Doing some repairs using old period looking stiff leather. I need to bend it 180 degrees. What is a good way to soften it to avoid cracking as much as possible? THANKS
    You've been given some surprising answers, all of which are relevant only to a finished article.

    If it's a PIECE of leather you're trying to work with, including bending, you'll get the best results by immersing it in very warm water for 15 seconds. Seriously. That's if it's not "dry rotted", which is where the surface is turning to dust; in which case it's "dead" and there is no Lazarus treatment.

    Then of course let it air-dry when you've done working with it. If you want the original stiffness to return, air-dry the finished article in an OPEN fan-force oven at not more than 150 deg F.
    Last edited by rednichols; 09-03-2013 at 03:26 PM.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member Matchlock is on a distinguished road
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    Hi Yaakakhiladi;

    I noticed that you're new here and I thought, if I could, perhaps save you a little embarrassment in future.

    When you tell someone to disregard the advice given by one of our members you are basically insulting that member. Insulting members isn't something we here at the Colt forum do because it's not only just not the right thing to do, but it's very rude as well. To say "Call a leather repair guy" is also insulting to the Colt Forum members that work with leather professionally. If you've browsed around the Colt Forum at all you may have come across our own Turnerriver who's very well known for his knowledge of leather and has helped many of us in the past with his vast knowledge on the subject.

    Telling Norwich Cadet to "don't try to risk it by trying that method. Call a leather repair guy, they may have a better idea or put chemicals in to make them softer." may not be well received, and the advice our members offer to those that ask isn't given lightly, or without thought as to what damage it could do. Many of our Colt Forum members are experts in the subject of Colts and related leather gear and they care greatly about another member that needs help.

    I'm sure you didn't mean anything negative by your post and therefore I hope you take this advice as something constructive. It isn't meant to be rude, or to chastise in any way.

    Regards

    Bud


    Quote Originally Posted by YaakaKhiladi View Post
    I know what you mean. I bought a pair of boots online, and they're as stiff as cardboard.
    I bought it because they were lavender, one color I didn't have.......!
    But, the more you wear it, the more they loosen up, and you don't do a thing about them,
    they will get softer - not as soft - but they won't be as stiff anymore.

    Don't try to risk it by trying that method. Call a leather repair guy, they may have a better idea or put chemicals in to make them softer.
    Last edited by Matchlock; 09-04-2013 at 03:26 PM.
    "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."


 

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