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Have a new caiman holster for my Colt Commander, that has been dyed and not sealed. The holster maker closed shop before he could seal it, and now I need to finish the holster. Any suggestions on what to use. I was told I needed to seal it, but no one knows what to use. Thanks for any help with the holster.
 

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An inexpensive sealer is a 50/50 mix of "Mop and Glo" with water. I try to find just the plain floor finish version. Submerse the holster for about 20 sec. Remove it from the solution and allow the mixture to soak into the leather before proceeding to have the holster dry. Essentially what you will see will look like the mixture sitting on the surface looking very wet and after a few moments it will soak into the leather and it will no longer look like the mixture is just sitting on the surface.

The next step is drying the holster. There will be two ways of doing this depending on how the holster was prepped before you received it.

If the holster has already been "baked" i.e. the holster is very stiff from sufficient and appropriate drying then letting the holster air dry should be fine in front of a fan for 24 hours.

However, if the holster is not very stiff then you will want to dry the holster in a heated environment, a very low oven temperature of about 150. And if this is the case you will also want to wrap your gun in saran wrap or place it in a plastic bag and put it in the holster as the drying process for a holster in this condition can cause the holster to slightly shrink and make for an extremely tight fit. Me personally, when I build holsters I "bake" mine in a cardboard box and use a heat gun. I've done enough testing to know what setting for my heat source and how to have constructed my box and how big of a box that I can maintain 150 degrees. I let it bake for at least an hour in this homemade convection oven. A word of caution, do not allow the heat source to blow directly on your holster, this will overheat the leather and deform it as the cells of the leather will over shrink from the excessive heat and you will not like the results.

If you have questions just ask. There are several makers here that can chime in.
 

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I haven't worked with caiman yet. I have a few caiman tails laying around waiting for me to do something with them. With that said, I was also thinking the 50/50 Mop-N-Glo might be a good bet. Most modern style, wet molded holsters are sealed with an acrylic like Fiebing's Resolene, or Angelus 600 series (my usual). I also cut mine 50% with water. Mop-N-Glo is also an acrylic, and I know of a few holster makers that use it exclusively as their finish, with great results. I myself have only tried it on some scrap. I felt the Angelus sealer I use was slightly better, but couldn't really tell on such a small sample. It did seem to do fairly well though. I think if I dipped it, it may have done as well as my normal finish. I've heard that it's easier to get an even application than with the "professional" finishes. The reason I use Angelus 600 is because it seems more forgiving than Resolene. It's not so likely to leave streaks or bubbles. It sounds like that is also the case with 50/50 Mop-N-Glo, and why I think that may be your best bet. Plus, it's available at your grocery store! Also, if anything, the acrylic sealers will make your holster stiffer, not softer. I only use hot moving air to dry and harden a holster immediately after the wet forming process, not after putting the finish on. I tried it once, and I had some discoloration on the edges. I don't know if it was the finish reacting to the heat or the wax I burnish into the edges. Had to redo the edges on that one. I do however hold the piece up next to a fan for a couple of minutes to help the finish dry faster before setting it down to cure for a couple days. Can you post a picture of this holster jbwine?

Paul
 
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