Freedom

Contact Cement Vs. Rubber Cement For Sheepskin

   17 members have voted

  1. 1. What Glue for Attaching Sheepskin Lining to Saddle

    • Contact Cement
      8
    • Rubber Cement
      7
    • Other?
      2

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17 posts in this topic

Was wondering what you all prefur for gluing the sheepskin lining on a new saddle?

I know the nightmare of removing old sheepskin from skirts for relining when contact cement is used, but I am wondering if Rubber cement will last and hold long enough to keep the sheepskin securely glued in place for its' life.

Thanks

Edited by Freedom

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I use rubber cement for sheepskins. It is probably all in how a person was taught. I know good makers who use rubber cement and good makers who use contact cement.

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I use rubber cement for sheepskins. It is probably all in how a person was taught. I know good makers who use rubber cement and good makers who use contact cement.

I'm not a saddle maker, but I have what I hope is a clarifying question/comment.

I know there are at least 2 types of rubber cement out there. The stationery store type that peels off very easily, and more durable stuff that really sticks and holds like Tanner's Bond Barge Rubber Cement. I have to (want to) assume that you are refering to the Tanner's Bond or equivalent rather than the stuff people use to mount photos in a scrap book.

CTG

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I'm not a saddle maker, but I have what I hope is a clarifying question/comment.

I know there are at least 2 types of rubber cement out there. The stationery store type that peels off very easily, and more durable stuff that really sticks and holds like Tanner's Bond Barge Rubber Cement. I have to (want to) assume that you are refering to the Tanner's Bond or equivalent rather than the stuff people use to mount photos in a scrap book.

CTG

I use Masters or Barge ...but the last batch of Barge Rubber Cement I just got is that new "Tolene Free" stuff and I am a little afraid to use it if the general opinion is to use somthing better...

I have alway used Masters Contact Cement...but I know it will require tearing the lining off in shreads when it comes time to reline the skirts.....So I was considering making the switch to Rubber Cement if it works well enough.

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I certainly don't mean to insult anybody, but using contact cement on woolskins always seemed like welding the lugnuts on your pickup. Sooner or later you've got to make a change. I use the barge in the blue can, and if you smear it on the skirts and the woolskin like you were looking for the bottom of the can it'll stick tighter than Dick's hatband. There's lots of guys that are way smarter than I am that may say different but I can't see an advantage to contact cement on woolskins.

CW

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The only thing I use rubber cement for is woolskins and for what it is worth, the brand of rubber cement I use is Elmers. I buy it in the metal quart can at the office supply store. I was using Barge and paying the shipping. After visiting a few shops and seeing the gallon can or quarts of Elmers sitting there, I decided I could go that way easy enough. I don't see any difference in use. A couple of those guys told me that the glue stays better in the metal cans.

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For me, the difference between Masters, Elmers, and Weldwood ( the brand I use) is negligable . I live a mile down a dirt road, and fortunately for me, there is a hardware at the end of that road that carries lots of stuff I use, like cut tacks, stainless screws, and of course weldwood rubber cement. It is reasonably priced, holds very good, and more can be obtained in just a couple of minutes. Since it produces a good bond between leather to leather, leather to wood and leather to rawhide, you can guess what I use.

Bob

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I use Elmer's rubber cement. I used to use Barge in the blue can, but I can't seem to get that in California anymore (clean air laws). I tried Tandy's rubber cement, made by Barge, but it never set up like it should have (junk!!!!).

Ron

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For me, the difference between Masters, Elmers, and Weldwood ( the brand I use) is negligable . I live a mile down a dirt road, and fortunately for me, there is a hardware at the end of that road that carries lots of stuff I use, like cut tacks, stainless screws, and of course weldwood rubber cement. It is reasonably priced, holds very good, and more can be obtained in just a couple of minutes. Since it produces a good bond between leather to leather, leather to wood and leather to rawhide, you can guess what I use.

Bob

Bob,

I use the weldwood contact cement for everything except woolskins and really like it. I didn't know they made a rubber cement. What does the can look like? I am fortunate that Texas law is not as prohibitive and I get the barge from Panhandle Leather at regular shipping cost but it would be handy to have a local supply.

Thanks,

CW

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I have been using contact cement (S18 or XL8) for woolskins for over 20 years. I used to use barge and XL8 rubber cement, and had to much trouble with the cement releasing and the woolskin tearing, thus having to be replaced prematurely. Since using contact cement, I have only had to replace a few for genuine wear requiring replacement. I know It is harder to remove with contact cement, but since I seldom have to replace them, I am still saving time over the rubber cement being easier to remove. The contact cement also repels moisture better, and I have much less problems with sweat thru skirts. This is especially beneficial for in-skirt riggings. My vote is for contact cement!

Keith

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And to add yet a third hybrid method.....

I had a good conversation with a guy this morning who asked me to share how he has been doing it the last 15 years. He puts two thin coats of contact cement on the skirts/plugs and lets it dry well. This is to help with sweat penetration. Then he uses rubber cement over the contact cement on the skirts and the woolskins. He thinks the rubber cement is stickier with picking up some of the contact elements, but still can be pulled off easier than contact alone. Kind of an interesting approach. Anybody else doing this?

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Bob,

I use the weldwood contact cement for everything except woolskins and really like it. I didn't know they made a rubber cement. What does the can look like? I am fortunate that Texas law is not as prohibitive and I get the barge from Panhandle Leather at regular shipping cost but it would be handy to have a local supply.

Thanks,

CW

Sorry CW, I mistyped, what I meant to say is that I use Weldwood Contact Cement, not rubber cement, on almost everything including sheepskins.

Bob

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And to add yet a third hybrid method.....

I had a good conversation with a guy this morning who asked me to share how he has been doing it the last 15 years. He puts two thin coats of contact cement on the skirts/plugs and lets it dry well. This is to help with sweat penetration. Then he uses rubber cement over the contact cement on the skirts and the woolskins. He thinks the rubber cement is stickier with picking up some of the contact elements, but still can be pulled off easier than contact alone. Kind of an interesting approach. Anybody else doing this?

I have done this and it does work much better than rubber cement alone. Might be the best of both methods. Keith

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I just wanted to chime in here, . . . saying thank you to all the comments, . . .

I have a custom saddle here in my living room right now, all disassembled so I can put new sheepskin on it, . . . belongs to a friend of mine at church.

I was just hoping I could find out "anything" about this, . . . as this saddle had maybe a dab on the front and rear lower corners, . . . and that was all. The whole sheepskin on both sides was loose as the skin on a fat groundhog. It seemed that the maker used some kind of cement right at the edges where it was sewn, but nowhere else hardly on either side.

My Stohlman books said rubber cement, . . . but I just wanted a "second opinion" and you guys came through.

Again, . . . thank you to all, . . .

May God bless,

Dwight

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I thoroughly researched into this with a lot of makers around the country when I asked this original question.....I seems that the biggest problem/cause of, damage to the sheepskins is that the bond will come loose and this is what causes most of the damage to the skins. So by using a very strong bond (contact cement)...the skins will last way longer before they need to be replaced.

So the general thought was if you want your skins to last...USE CONTACT CEMENT!...Or, if you need the "job security" use the rubber...lol

Edited by Freedom

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I think that it is really a two part issue:

1) Glue

2) Construction

I have observed over the years that there are more sheepskin issues associated with construction methods that don't block the skirts correctly during fitting and then don't work at fitting sheepskins to skirt blocking. I was taught in a large shop environment and we used dextrin to put in the linings (and ground seats and most everything else) and did not experience comebacks except where varmints or big wrecks were the root. When I went out as a single, it was just plain too hard to keep the dextrin 'just right' so I switched to Barges for skirts, linings to be sewed and Ol' Yeller low sag (after going through Elmer's and a lot of other similar products) and haven't looked back. BTW, I have found that Barges works best when kept well thinned. Just my story

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I use weldwood cement, but only about two inches in around the skirt. 1 thin coat over the woolskin for sealing. I have relined saddles with this method, you only have to fight with the 2" around the edges this way. I wonder if rubber cement would work better? May try it next saddle.

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