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#1 JamesR

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 02:32 PM

Does veg retan latigo (chrome tanned and also veg tanned) cause corrosion on metal? Should it not be used for knife sheaths? Thanks

Jim

#2 Lobo

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 07:43 PM

Jim: All chrome tanned leathers retain chemical salts from the tanning process. Those salts will, with long-term exposure, have an effect on finished steel. Not only will it cause corrosion on blued steel, I have seen it cause what I call "freckling" on stainless steel guns.

"Stainless steel" is a marketing term, describing steel alloys having higher content of chromium, nickle, etc. The metal is far more resistant to corrosion than other alloys, but is not rust proof.

I advise my customers to never store a handgun in any holster or leather case, as all leather will attract and hold moisture. Also, it is a good idea to get into the habit of removing the handgun from the holster overnight, wiping it down with a cloth treated with oil or silicone, and leave the holster in an area with good air flow to wick away any residual moisture.
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#3 JamesR

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 05:19 AM

Jim: All chrome tanned leathers retain chemical salts from the tanning process. Those salts will, with long-term exposure, have an effect on finished steel. Not only will it cause corrosion on blued steel, I have seen it cause what I call "freckling" on stainless steel guns.

"Stainless steel" is a marketing term, describing steel alloys having higher content of chromium, nickle, etc. The metal is far more resistant to corrosion than other alloys, but is not rust proof.

I advise my customers to never store a handgun in any holster or leather case, as all leather will attract and hold moisture. Also, it is a good idea to get into the habit of removing the handgun from the holster overnight, wiping it down with a cloth treated with oil or silicone, and leave the holster in an area with good air flow to wick away any residual moisture.


Lobo,
So do you not use chrome tanned leather for sheaths and holsters at all? Is this leather OK for carrying and not storage?
Most of the people I have made sheaths for prefer the feel of veg retan latigo to any other leather I have used. I have been told the vegtan leathers are too stiff and feel like cardboard on the flesh side! Thanks for the reply.

Jim

#4 TwinOaks

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 06:19 AM

I have been told the vegtan leathers are too stiff and feel like cardboard on the flesh side! Thanks for the reply.


That's one reason most holsters and sheaths you find will have grain out on both sides. The obvious exception is 'rough out' holsters/sheaths. The feel of the grain side can be changed a bit by conditioning. Also, another major player in the issue is the type of leather used. I've had some leather that the grain side was stiff and almost abrasive- like it'd been glued to make it lay flat. Others....well they felt like fine suede. Like I said, the type of leather is important. "Carving leather" as sold at box-mart stores usually doesn't have a really nice flesh side to it.
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#5 JamesR

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 06:28 AM

That's one reason most holsters and sheaths you find will have grain out on both sides. The obvious exception is 'rough out' holsters/sheaths. The feel of the grain side can be changed a bit by conditioning. Also, another major player in the issue is the type of leather used. I've had some leather that the grain side was stiff and almost abrasive- like it'd been glued to make it lay flat. Others....well they felt like fine suede. Like I said, the type of leather is important. "Carving leather" as sold at box-mart stores usually doesn't have a really nice flesh side to it.


Twinoaks,

I guess you mean that the sheath or holster is "lined" with another layer of leather grain side out? I will have to try that. Thank you.

#6 Lobo

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:57 AM

Lobo,
So do you not use chrome tanned leather for sheaths and holsters at all? Is this leather OK for carrying and not storage?
Most of the people I have made sheaths for prefer the feel of veg retan latigo to any other leather I have used. I have been told the vegtan leathers are too stiff and feel like cardboard on the flesh side! Thanks for the reply.

Jim


Jim:

No, I don't use chrome tanned leathers for holsters. Re-tanned latigo type would probably be all right for carrying, but I would try to make sure that the customer knew what steps to take to protect his prized shootin' iron (maybe a package label or insert "Not intended for long-term storage of weapon. All leather items may attract and retain moisture which may interact with tanning chemicals and may cause corrosion of steel and other metals", or something similar).

I also like to advise all customers ordering IWB holsters about proper weapon care and storage. The IWB's are exposed to lots of moisture when in use, so the weapon should be removed daily, wiped down, holster allowed to air out overnight.

Give the paying customer what he wants, but make sure he understands what he has. Otherwise you might just be hearing from an angry customer somewhere down the line.

Good luck!
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#7 Lobo

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:15 AM

That's one reason most holsters and sheaths you find will have grain out on both sides. The obvious exception is 'rough out' holsters/sheaths. The feel of the grain side can be changed a bit by conditioning. Also, another major player in the issue is the type of leather used. I've had some leather that the grain side was stiff and almost abrasive- like it'd been glued to make it lay flat. Others....well they felt like fine suede. Like I said, the type of leather is important. "Carving leather" as sold at box-mart stores usually doesn't have a really nice flesh side to it.


TwinOaks: Your observations on the flesh sides of hides match my own. Some tanneries actually do "paste" the flesh side to make it smooth and firm. I have done the same with pieces that have a lot of loose fiber on the flesh side (Elmer's Glue All, fairly heavily diluted with water, brushed on, then rolled out with a wooden dowel, allow to dry) with pretty good results. Even then, items made with those pieces go into my "seconds", sold at bargain prices with no warranty, as I think it is likely that at least some of the fibers will work loose after a period of use. I have not received any complaints on those pieces, and have actually received some very good comments on them from customers (lots of people like a bargain price more than anything else).

For the "stiff and abrasive" flesh sides, I have found that neatsfoot oil attenuates those qualities quite a bit. I apply a neatsfoot oil finish to all of my holsters, pouches, and belts anyway. It is readily absorbed into the leather, infusing all of the fibers, provides long-term protection against moisture infiltration, and provides flexibility to prevent cracking. With a good acrylic surface sealant applied after the neatsfoot oil has "settled in", I think the resulting finish is about as good as anything for most applications.
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#8 BOOMSTICKHolsters

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 10:37 AM

Something to keep in mind: the vast majority of suede is chrome tanned, so that is a no go as well (not to mention it makes a lousy lining for holsters that will see real use).


#9 Lobo

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 09:13 PM

Something to keep in mind: the vast majority of suede is chrome tanned, so that is a no go as well (not to mention it makes a lousy lining for holsters that will see real use).



Agreed. But the customers demand it, so I will keep providing it along with some guidance to avoid problems (which the customer can pay attention to or ignore at his discretion).
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#10 TwinOaks

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Posted 27 March 2009 - 11:27 PM

When I mentioned "rough out" holsters, I didn't mean a lined holster. I mean you build the holster with the grain side towards the weapon. The flesh side is what's visible when looking at the holster. There's a few advantages to this type of holster as an IWB. #1: It's pretty ugly. That's good because I'm more concerned about function in an IWB. For OWBs I'll do pretty. #2 Having the grain side in presents a smoother surface to the weapon. Smooth is good- less friction, better draw. And, since the grain is already "in" there's no need to line it to achieve the same thing. That cuts down on thickness, making the holster more comfortable.#3: With the flesh side out, there's more friction to help hold the holster IN the pants. Anybody ever try to draw and pull the holster up a bit too?
Of course, proper attention should be paid to molding, and I like the idea of a thumb strap. I don't always use one, but I like the idea.
Now that that's all out of the way.....Yes, rough out holsters can be molded, dyed, finished, et al. It's just like any other veg tan....just inside out.
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#11 BOOMSTICKHolsters

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 12:54 AM

JamesR, to answer your question to the best of my knowledge, if you are certain it is 100% veg tanned, you should be good to go.

TwinOaks, I know that wasn't what you were referring to. I just thought my post was somewhat relevant to the thread. I agree with your assessment on the use of the rough side. That is how I construct my IWB holsters:

Posted Image

Posted Image

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I even use it on my belt holsters:

Posted Image

Posted Image


#12 JamesR

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 06:50 AM

When I mentioned "rough out" holsters, I didn't mean a lined holster. I mean you build the holster with the grain side towards the weapon. The flesh side is what's visible when looking at the holster. There's a few advantages to this type of holster as an IWB. #1: It's pretty ugly. That's good because I'm more concerned about function in an IWB. For OWBs I'll do pretty. #2 Having the grain side in presents a smoother surface to the weapon. Smooth is good- less friction, better draw. And, since the grain is already "in" there's no need to line it to achieve the same thing. That cuts down on thickness, making the holster more comfortable.#3: With the flesh side out, there's more friction to help hold the holster IN the pants. Anybody ever try to draw and pull the holster up a bit too?
Of course, proper attention should be paid to molding, and I like the idea of a thumb strap. I don't always use one, but I like the idea.
Now that that's all out of the way.....Yes, rough out holsters can be molded, dyed, finished, et al. It's just like any other veg tan....just inside out.


Twinoaks,
Thanks for the info. Please excuse my ignorance but "IWB" and "OWB" means? I am an amateur who is trying to come up to speed. The first step to learning is to find out how much you do not know and for me regarding leatherworking its a lot. I see your point about function first because I am of the same opinion. Thank again for any help.

#13 JamesR

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 06:57 AM

JamesR, to answer your question to the best of my knowledge, if you are certain it is 100% veg tanned, you should be good to go.

TwinOaks, I know that wasn't what you were referring to. I just thought my post was somewhat relevant to the thread. I agree with your assessment on the use of the rough side. That is how I construct my IWB holsters:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

I even use it on my belt holsters:

Posted Image

Posted Image


BOOMSTICKholster,
Those are some beautiful holsters. Are they rough side out? How do you get that finish?
Thanks

#14 BOOMSTICKHolsters

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 10:13 AM

The front of the holsters with the snaps and the clips are rough out. They are sanded (but not pasted) Hermann Oak leather. The back of the holsters with belt slots are rough out, and they are sanded, pasted, and plated leather from Wickett & Craig. Both finishes get rid of the scruffiness and unevenness on the flesh side of the leather (how's that for technical terms?), leaving the cleaner look that you see on the holsters shown above. The difference is, the sanded only will have a little more aggressive finish which means more friction, and therefore less movement. That is one of the reasons I chose it for IWB (or Inside the WaistBand) holsters, as apposed to the pasted flesh leather. When making holsters in the more traditional way, the pasted flesh will put a smoother finish against the pistol, reducing wear and improving aesthetics. If you are selling holsters for a living, it is worth it in my opinion to spend the extra money on leather with mossed or pasted flesh.

I actually really like the textured look of rough out holsters, and I have considered even making my belt holsters rough out. Forum member Billsotx makes some gorgeous rough out holsters that really make me want to play with the idea more. For now I just need to get caught up before I think about anything else.


#15 BOOMSTICKHolsters

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 10:29 AM

I have been told the vegtan leathers are too stiff and feel like cardboard on the flesh side!


When you do use veg tanned leather to make your sheaths, try using oil or leather conditioner to soften the leather. While it is a no go for holsters, it is just fine for sheaths. To my knowledge, Robert Loveless uses veg tanned leather and dips it in a neatsfoot oil and wax combination for his sheaths. I really like Lexol or Bick 4 as a leather conditioner for belts, and I would bet it will work to soften a sheath as well.

Sometimes you have to encourage your customers to be realistic about what they are asking for. The knife is going to be a lot harder than cardboard anyhow, and they sure won't want it flopping around because you used leather that was too soft for the application. If the common sense approach doesn't fly, remind them that Jim Bowe and Daniel Boone got along just fine with veg tanned or brain tanned leather. ;)

Edited by BOOMSTICKHolsters, 28 March 2009 - 10:38 AM.







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