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How Do I Stiffen Leather?

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#1 Maus



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Posted 26 May 2011 - 11:06 AM

I've got some masks finished and I love the way they are shaped and the tooling on them- my problem is is that they are kinda floppy. I've wet molded them- some are at the perfect stiffness and some aren't. What I am confused about is that they were all cut from the same hide... anyway, I'm trying to figure out how to stiffen them up. I know that some people make masks and then 'cook' them for a little bit to pull out the moisture and make them stiff. But I've heard that that can make the leather brittle- and I do not want that. Not to mention I really don't want to have to remold them. Also I know about some spray you can put on to stiffen saddles but I think that may be too stiff. Does anyone have any ideas I could try?


#2 Cattle Hide

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Posted 26 May 2011 - 09:42 PM

Search for Drying Cabinet and you will find that many of the holster makers dry wet molded holsters at 120-130 deg. F. for 30 or more minutes to stiffen the leather. Some like to lightly oil with Neatsfoot after drying.

There is a long article at: Cuir Bouilli/Hardened Leather FAQ that covers additional methods and historical data.

Hide quality and the area from which you cut your pattern can also influence stiffness.

I noticed that Weaver Leather had a new product in their catalog called a leather hardener. It was in gal. quantity only and I have no added details. It appears to be an acrylic material.

Others may have additional methods.

#3 Ladykahu



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Posted 27 May 2011 - 06:33 AM

I was looking at this site the other day (I purchased some antique from them) and noticed

No idea what its like...

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#4 ferret



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Posted 27 May 2011 - 01:24 PM

you could paint a layer of white pva glue on the back, that would stiffen them without any danger of shrinkage or overcooking.
Politicians are like nappies, both should be changed regularly for the same reason.

#5 oldtimer



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Posted 27 May 2011 - 01:40 PM

Shellac on the back side will stiffen your leather.

/ Knut
"The gun fight at the O.K. corral was actually started by two saddlemakers sitting around a bottle of whiskey talking about saddle fitting"...

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