geargarcon

Burnished Edges Separating/Cracking/Fraying

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Hi All -

My apologies if this information is already on here, but I was unable to find it through numerous searches.

I bought some cheap veg tan leather and made my first wallet a while back.  I've been carrying the prototype for the last week to see how it carries/wears and have found that my burnished edges are cracking (the 3 layers of leather are separating) and fraying a bit after only a couple of weeks.  I just used water and several iterations with a hand burnisher and fine grit sand paper initially which I followed by a couple iterations with paraffin and the hand burnisher.  My stitching is maybe 3mm from the edge.

While I have found the pdf which explains how to hand burnish, I haven't found an explanation as to why my edges are cracking (layers separating slightly).

Will using gum trag or glycerin soap instead of water change the characteristics of the leather and help them hold together more?
Is the paraffin too hard causing each layer to stand up on its own and not move with the others?  Do I need to use beeswax?
Will edge kote help keep things together?

I also cant seem to find any explanation of what physically differs between the function of glycerin soap vs gum trag vs water other than the explanation that they all reduce friction slightly and that gum trag may prevent dye from penetrating.  Can anyone shed any light on what physical differences these products impose on the leather?

Thanks in advance.

gg

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Bob Park has a thread on here on burnishing. Are you gluing the leather together? A paraffin/beeswax mix helps a lot. Glycerin soap will help with initial burnish and I find it helps with overall look. Then after that use paraffin/beeswax to seal it.

 

Hope this helps

Mike

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Thanks for the reply, Mike! 

Yes, I have read the thread and PDF explaining how to do it.  After reading through that I feel like I have an understanding of the "what" behind his process.  Now I'm hoping to gain some understanding behind the "why" and what caused my results to be so different.

I did glue my wallet using Tandy's Eco-Flow glue.  I was contemplating using gum trag to burnish in order to add more hold.  I may also be experiencing a hurdle in my design.  The wallet is designed so it does bend a bit in the pocket.  Maybe any bend makes it impossible not to have some issues?

 

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If you didn't glue all the way to the edge, the layers can separate and smoosh a little.

After sanding, I edge, singe fuzzies, and wet with water. Wait about 5 minutes. Then I burnish with the glycerine soap. Wait about 5 minutes. Dye. Wait and 10 minutes. Put on gum trag. Wait 10 minutes. Then burnish. Then rub the edge with some denim or canvas. 

I think the waiting is a key in the steps, especially with the gum trag. If you attack the edge too early in any of the rubbing stages it will smoosh up.

Allow for some penetration time.

Edited by bikermutt07

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3 hours ago, bikermutt07 said:

If you didn't glue all the way to the edge, the layers can separate and smoosh a little.

After sanding, I edge, singe fuzzies, and wet with water. Wait about 5 minutes. Then I burnish with the glycerine soap. Wait about 5 minutes. Dye. Wait and 10 minutes. Put on gum trag. Wait 10 minutes. Then burnish. Then rub the edge with some denim or canvas. 

I think the waiting is a key in the steps, especially with the gum trag. If you attack the edge too early in any of the rubbing stages it will smoosh up.

Allow for some penetration time.

Very helpful!  Thank you!

Can you tell me the different affects of the glycerine soap and the gum trag?  Is it just that the gum trag has an adhesion element?

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I'm not exactly sure. The soap is just a step in the process that I learned from people here.

The gum trag seems to seal up and almost plastise the edge. I paint a very light coat of it onto the edge. I have some small paint brushes and use my desk as a guide like this:

FB_IMG_1471381764775.jpg

A lot of people have had bad results from using it and stopped. Someone here posted once about letting it have time to penetrate before burnishing would produce great results. 

I have had pretty good results with it every since reading that. Slowing down our steps in this craft creates a better product, period. We all want to rush to get it finished. But after we make ourselves slow down, we (me anyway) find an intimate groove with each piece of leather. I look it over very closely. Basically, putting some love into it. This is my hobby and putting that effort into it relaxes me. Especially, when it turns out nice. I still consider myself a novice, but the more I play, the more I learn.

Always have some scrap to take through the process with your piece. This helps to teach you what to do and not do to your project.

Chrome tanned leather is very difficult to get a good edge on because of the way it is tanned. I was able to achieve this edge by taking my time and using practice pieces throughout the process.

FB_IMG_1474745097788.jpg 

It's not perfect, but pretty good for chrome tanned. FB_IMG_1474745076001.jpg

Hope this helps. 

Edited by bikermutt07

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