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Neatsfoot Oil Vs Lexol


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#1 Luna Slim

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 04:57 PM

First off, appologies for blunders getting set up with you folks - Seems like all the forums I belong to are set up differently.

I am starting off with (tooling?) leather in the 6-8 oz range making holsters and knife sheaths. Which is better for the raw (maybe sometimes dyed) leather, Lexol or neatsfoot oil?

Matbe more generically, what is each of these best for?

Thanks





#2 TimKleffner

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 09:36 PM

Howdy Luna

If your using veg tan leather , after the tooling or molding , some type of oil needs to be put onto the leather. Over the years neatsfoot oil has been used. I've used neatsfoot oil, olive oil, and have been told by others here they have used vegetable oil and even butter; the oil is a natural lubricant and preservative. Lexol, is a blend of ingredients that is typically used on chrome tan leathers ie upholstery type leathers. Lexol interacts with the leather and the chemical process, and does a very good job.
I currently use a product called Bee Natural Saddle oil on my veg-tan projects after I've finished my tooling.
Just a reminder, a little bit goes a long way.

Happy leather work
Tim

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#3 RWB

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:10 PM

Howdy Luna

If your using veg tan leather , after the tooling or molding , some type of oil needs to be put onto the leather. Over the years neatsfoot oil has been used. I've used neatsfoot oil, olive oil, and have been told by others here they have used vegetable oil and even butter; the oil is a natural lubricant and preservative. Lexol, is a blend of ingredients that is typically used on chrome tan leathers ie upholstery type leathers. Lexol interacts with the leather and the chemical process, and does a very good job.
I currently use a product called Bee Natural Saddle oil on my veg-tan projects after I've finished my tooling.
Just a reminder, a little bit goes a long way.

Happy leather work
Tim



Butter?? I've heard of the veggie oil thing and have to say I'm pretty skeptical, but butter?
Ross
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#4 TimKleffner

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 10:28 PM

Ross

I'm skeptical too! My thoughts on the butter is it would bring in the cock roaches and they would /will devour everything in site. I just made mention of it only because I saw a thread on oils used and butter was one of them. Glad you caught that.

Happy tooling
Tim



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#5 raftert

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 11:03 PM

First off neatsfoot oil is made by the natural oils from the lower bones of cattle legs. A long time ago people noticed that cattle did not suffer any frostbite in thier legs in winter because of the oils that did not get thicker. By boiling those bones after slaughter a low vicosity oil was produced. This oil when applied on veg-tanned leather prolonged the life of the leather and sofened it. The one problem with neatsfoot oil is it will darken the leather.
Lexal is a combination of mostly two ingrediants, neatsfoot oil , and liquid lanolien. Lanoline is a natural product from sheep. This product is very good because it will not darken the leather as much as pure neatsfoot oil.
The one thing you do not want to put on leather is a petrolium product, this will eventualy break down the leathers fibers.
See if this helps.
Tim

#6 BillinOK

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 11:14 PM

.
I currently use a product called Bee Natural Saddle oil on my veg-tan projects after I've finished my tooling.



Tim, how do you like the Bee Natural?

Bill

#7 David

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 06:18 AM

I use both Lexol and Neatsfoot Oil. When I'm tooling I put Lexol in my spray bottle to case the leather, I sure makes the swivel knife cut easier and need less stropping. When I'm finished with tooling, and the leather is dry. I use neatsfoot before the application of dye to the leather. I let it sit overnight before applying the dye.

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#8 Studio-N

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:58 AM

Here is an interview with Summit who makes lexol.
http://forums.roadfl.../4716867-1.html

There is no oil or lanolin in lexol. it is artificial.
There is no cow in neatsfoot oil. It is just a term for a generic oil (kinda like tung oil for furniture which may or may not contain the oil from the tung nut).
Neatsfoot is mostly rendered pig fat. You can easily see this if you let it freeze. The lard settles to the bottom.

So I reckon margarin would work as well as butter?
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#9 abn

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 09:08 AM

I was a big fan of Lexol until I started using Eco-Flo dyes. I found Lexol lifted the color quite dramatically. I switched to neatsfoot oil, and it seems to be very compatible with water-based dyes. Just something to keep in mind if you plan to dye your projects.

#10 TTcustom

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 12:51 PM

Here is an interview with Summit who makes lexol.
http://forums.roadfl.../4716867-1.html

There is no oil or lanolin in lexol. it is artificial.
There is no cow in neatsfoot oil. It is just a term for a generic oil (kinda like tung oil for furniture which may or may not contain the oil from the tung nut).
Neatsfoot is mostly rendered pig fat. You can easily see this if you let it freeze. The lard settles to the bottom.

So I reckon margarin would work as well as butter?


Some sources dispute the source of neatsfoot oil. Pure versus compound and all that has been a oft overheard debate. I am thinking I will start using olive oil but no oleo for my leather goods.;)
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#11 hidepounder

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 02:11 PM

Thanks to Studio-N and TTcustom for posting those links. Very educational! I have been using olive oil because I feel it's lighter, penetrates faster and dipserses through the leather more completely. It seems like my leather doesn't darken quite as much as it did with Neatsfoot oil, but that could just be my imagination.
Bobby

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#12 abn

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 03:46 PM

Bobby, it's nice to hear another member speak up in favor of olive oil. I experienced all of the same benefits of using it, but eventually shied away due to some folks claiming the leather could turn "rancid." For the record, I have several projects I did six or seven years ago with light coats of olive oil, and they all look (and smell) great.

How long have you been using olive oil? Any negative feedback from customers?

#13 amuckart

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:25 PM

If you can deal with the smell, raw cod liver oil is very good for veg tanned leather.

Mixed with tallow it's one of the traditional curriers fats. I rendered a few kilos of beef tallow a while ago which I've used on various things mixed with cod liver oil, based on a recipe from an old leather dressings book I got of abebooks a while ago.

The smell is an issue though, but it goes away once the oils have stopped oxidising. I don't understand the chemistry but from what I've read it's the oxidation of the oils in contact with the collagen fibres of the leather that is beneficial, so while 'deodorised' cod liver oil might be more pleasant it doesn't do the same job as the raw stuff.

It works best on things you can apply it to and then put aside someplace for a while to de-stink.

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#14 Luna Slim

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:45 PM

Thanks all for all the input on what I'm sure is a well thrashed subject!!
Olive oil eh? Cold pressed? Extra virgin? Actually, I think I'll try OO on something.
The videos were very informative - Thanks!
I went ahead and used neatsfoot on a holster I just made (WWII 1911 style for web belt - no tooling), and yes, it turned dark. That's OK.
Thanks again!
BTW - this is a great forum! LOTS of activity - so much to learn!

- Tim

#15 TimKleffner

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:54 PM

Bill

I was introduced to Bee Natural oil about 6 years ago and find that it does not darken my leather much unless I over oil. Even after 6 months I find that it leaves the leather far lighter than neatsfoot oil

Happy tooling
Tim

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