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tricks to when gluing leather?

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#1 dai malbrook

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 09:25 PM

For aesthetic reasons, i want glue two pieces of leather that i would otherwise sew together. I've seen a couple different glues mentioned and I'm trying to find out if any of them will give me a semi-flexible bond that will hold two pieces of latigo. I seem to recall reading that barges doesn't work well on latigo. Is that true, and if so is there an alternative?

And how durable can i expect the connection to be? For a belt made with two pieces glued instead of stitched, should i expect the glued edges started to come loose from normal use and is there a way i can avoid that?

Finally, are there any tricks to getting a better bond when gluing leather?

Thanks for any help.

#2 bruce johnson

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:03 AM

I use pretty greasy latigo, so not much bonds mine all that well. I use Barge. My neighbor uses Masters All Purpose, and says it bonds latigo better. I don't think I would trust any cement to bond latigo together reliably without stitches for long. Masters is supposed to tack up quicker, but doesn't reactivate with heat like Barge. There are some latigos that are drier than equestrian latigo. They might glue up better.
Regarding how to get the best bond. Apply to both surfaces, let tack up to almost dry or dry and stick together. The old rule was to never stick a shiny glue surfaces, make sure it is dry. Some people use "primer" coat of thinner cement first, than add a second coat of slightly thicker. To firm up the bond apply pressure - hammer, press, slicker, etc. However, there are some applications for using wet cement (another Rule given to me - always use wet cement to bond wet leather) for things you want to move into position. Dry cement will peel off wet leather sometimes. These bonds can take a few days to cure.
All this is subject to change, because all the cements are being reformulated as we speak. The new formulas are going to separate and will need to be shaken or stirred prior to and during use. Whether they will behave the same remains to be seen.

Edited by bruce johnson, 26 July 2007 - 12:04 AM.

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#3 jsutterby



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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:58 PM

Bruce pretty much covered it, the only thing I might add that seems to help me is to rough the surface up before applying the cement. There are commercial "roughers" you can purchase, or right now I get by using some 40 grit sandpaper to make sure the cement has lots of surface area to adhere to. Usually with flesh side to flesh side you would be ok, but it wouldn't hurt anything to try.

Good luck-

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