immiketoo

Edge paint VS Burnished edges showdown!!!

Recommended Posts

Thanks for the info! I'll try them both and see how I make out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, garypl said:

Niakulah, I am also curious how well the topcoat will hold up.  Did your test items peel immediately or after the coatings had been on for a long period of time (say a week)?  Was it only the topcoat that peeled or did paint come off as well?  I have used the Giardini dense paint for about 6 months now, mostly for shell holders, shooting pouches and small items and have not had any problems with peeling or wear on any projects.  This is the first time I used a topcoat so can’t comment yet on longer term results.

I haven’t had much time since I received the new paints and coatings to work with them - only built up edges to see if the base coat sealer will make a difference and wanted to compare the colors.  I buffed them briskly to see if there would be any color transfer and saw none.  

As I mentioned to JD, I plan to do some destructive testing on finished pieces of scrap to see how the paint and topcoat holds up.  I will post results when I have more information to share.  

Gary

It took only about 2 days of carrying the item around in my pocket. And maybe peeling is not exactly the right word to describe what happened to my items.

For the high gloss, it developed some less shiny spots as though it were peeling, but I never actually saw or felt anything coming off.

For the extra matte, it developed some cloudy white spots.

 Both were done on black leather, on top of black semi-dense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/1/2018 at 6:01 AM, Mark842 said:

Man that looks good..well both look good. I've always been traditional myself but this has me thinking. And frankly, maybe it's because I'm not as good as you but by traditional methods I'm slicking, sanding..repeat until silky smooth which usually takes 4 to ? times for me to be happy so three times with the paint doesn't sound like extra work to me. Not sure I really  understand the glue and hammer method. What kind of glue and are you hammering just to compress the fibers or?

I’m using barge or the equivalent.  The cobblers hammer sets the glue and fibers tightly together and makes edging easier.

On 6/5/2018 at 6:44 AM, Lobo said:

I see some exceptionally nice work displayed in this thread.

I also see an enormous outlay of time involved in each piece. That is just fine for the hobbyist, doing one piece at a time without worries about maintaining a production schedule, no worries beyond artistic perfection. No problems at all.

I spent 43 years in the business, about 32 as a part-time sideline business and about 11 as a full-time endeavor. My shop completed an average of 40 orders every week consisting of holsters, belts, and accessory items (cartridge pouches, magazine pouches, etc). I had to maintain a work-flow that maximized production for the time involved with each step of the production process.

Edge finishing says a lot about the quality of a leather product. A well done edge treatment shouts "quality" like nothing else. Burnishing by hand, edge paints, and other processes can produce beautiful results, but the trade-off is lots and lots of time and effort. Over the years I developed some methods (or I should say I adapted some methods from other processes) that produced excellent results with minimum time, effort, and expense.

In my shop the edge finishing was one of the very last steps in production. Most of my edges were of two-layers or more (lots of welted seam construction), so the process described below reflects that.

1. Dress edges on a power sander. Depending on the size, shape, and complexity of the item the sander may be a belt sander or a drum sander (drums of 3", 2", and 1" diameter are useful). I like to dampen the leather prior to sanding because that allows residue to fall to the bench rather than filling the air with dust and fibers, irritating the lungs and spreading the mess all over the place. Most pieces can be done in a couple of minutes.

2. After sanding to a smooth and even finish the edges need to be beveled. This usually takes only a minute or two.

3. Touch up dye on dressed and beveled edges. Another minute or so.

4. Rub exposed edges with a mixture of beeswax and paraffin wax (50-50 mixture, muffin-sized pieces work nicely). A minute or less per piece.

5. Chuck a hard felt polishing bob into the drill press, turning at about 1700 RPM. Burnish edges thoroughly (takes a minute or two per piece) with the friction melting the wax and forcing it into the compressed exposed edges. When done the edge will shine like a new penny, edge completely sealed against moisture, and very resistant to abrasion.

6. Proceed with final finishing (oiling, sealing, acrylic or whatever you wish to use).

Edge paint, as shown in this post, can be beautiful. It is also easily worn, chipped, and abraded in use. My edge finishing stands up to hard use very well, is easily touched up when showing a bit of wear, and stands the tests of time over years of use. It is also very fast and easy to do on a production basis.

You can work hard. You can stress yourself out over every result. Or you can work smart and be done with it in a few minutes, and at very little cost. The choice is yours.

Just a few little hints from the old retired MILLIONAIRE holster maker for your consideration.

I agree about the time outlay on edge coat.  As this was really my first time,  the time expenditure is much higher than my traditional edge which took less than a minute or two total.

 

Where I disagree is about the durability of the Italian edge paints.  If applied properly, they are more durable in the field and will stand up to years if not decades of use.  High end Italian bag makers have been using similar products for decades with great success.  Perhaps you are referring to edge-kote?  That stuff is truly horrendous, which is why I was a staunch traditional edge guy like you until recently.

However,  the real benefit is when using dissimilar leathers, say veg tan outer and chrome tan liner.  Then you can have a nice finished edge where traditional methods wouldn’t work.

Then again, I doubt I’ve made 40 of anything other than holsters, so there’s a decided gap in output between us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2018 at 6:24 AM, garypl said:

JD - I like the dense because it is easier to apply.  Seems to roll on more smoothly with less lines.  The thinner paint takes more work to get an even coat on the edges because it tends to streak when it is applied over a sealed surface - just like painting something with a watery substance versus a thick, tackier coating.  You can also thin the dense paint more with water to stretch the yield.  I added about 10% distilled water to all of the paint colors and did not seem to affect either type adversely.

You can create very smooth edges with either type paint.  The samples in the pictures are not meant to represent finished edges - I didn’t sand them smooth between coats because I just wanted to see how quickly the finish would build up.  I have more scraps of the same leather and plan to experiment more on what it takes to create a really nice finished edge using paint.  Then I will do some destructive testing to see how well it holds up under rough or wet conditions.  Like I mentioned to Lobo - I’m not doing this for the money, just having some fun and learning!

I have also used a thinned paint for backgrounding carved pieces.  I use a small plastic bottle with a needle applicator to apply thinned paint - works great to outline stamped letters or for backgrounding.

As far as which type paint to use, I don’t have enough time in yet to comment.  I expect that the dense will be easier to use for edges, but the basic will be more cost effective for other applications.  Suggest you get a small bottle of each type and play with it and decide which works best for you.

Gary

 

I decided to put the sample edge coated pieces to a severe test - I put them in a bowl of water and let them soak for @30 minutes.  When I removed them from the water I immediately noticed the clear topcoat had turned milky and easily rubbed off.  I then scratched at the edge paint and it was definitely softer and I was able to peel some off.

I think this was pretty extreme, but based on these results, I would not use these coatings on leather that will be used in an application in which it might become soaked in water.  I will use them on projects that I know will be kept dry, as I have many items that still look like new, even after rough use, as long as they did not become saturated with water.

I will take another picture after the leather samples thoroughly dry to if the edges return to “normal” or if they will have to be stripped and/or redone.  I think I will also repeat the test, but instead of soaking until they are saturated, I will expose to moisture that might be typically found during normal use, whatever that may be.

Gary

F05B9703-8A38-488E-A24A-F48F06CAEC91.jpeg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Gary, that actually helps a lot as I'm hoping to do a bunch of sporting equipment and it will surely get wet. I really don't  like Edge coat but haven't tried any other products because I cant waste money on another product that won't work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used various methods of edge finishing over the years.  On good quality vegetable tanned leather I have had good results with just dye and a wood burnishing wheel.  Lately on leather that is harder to burnish and good vegetable tanned leather, I use an electric drill to power the wood wheels and I have used Barry King's Quick Slick.  It works pretty good.  Another liquid that I have found to work really good is Fiebing's Neutral Leather Balm with Atom Wax.  Dye the edges (may take more than one coat) if needed and apply the Atom Wax with a dauber and let it dry for a little while then burnish with a wood wheel in the electric drill or bench grinder.  Then I apply some Bee's Wax and run it again on the burnishing wheel.  You can apply Resolene or Tan Coat over that.  

Thanks ABR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gary, thank you very much for the experiment. It helped save me some money :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Gary, Thank you for sharing your test results with us all. I wonder if before the clear sealer coat were applied if it were sanded back would the adhesion have worked better. Sort of reminds me of how PVA glue behaves when wet for too long.  I might try the base coat now having seen your results. Normally I just apply straight to the rough sanded leather 2 or 3 coats then sand back with an 80 grit? (Medium foam sanding block)to get smooth then finish of with another 2 coats. That separation line up the middle can drive me mad at times if I get too much on but its not to bad if I do as above. Again thank you for sharing so well this information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RockyAussie said:

Hi Gary, Thank you for sharing your test results with us all. I wonder if before the clear sealer coat were applied if it were sanded back would the adhesion have worked better. Sort of reminds me of how PVA glue behaves when wet for too long.  I might try the base coat now having seen your results. Normally I just apply straight to the rough sanded leather 2 or 3 coats then sand back with an 80 grit? (Medium foam sanding block)to get smooth then finish of with another 2 coats. That separation line up the middle can drive me mad at times if I get too much on but its not to bad if I do as above. Again thank you for sharing so well this information.

I did not sand the last coat of paint before applying the topcoat, but the fact that the topcoat softened so much likely means it would still peel or wrinkle unless it is sealed with another product.  I will play around a bit again, trying more aggressive sanding between coats as well as testing how well the base coat sticks to the raw leather when it gets wet.  Also want to paint and topcoat edges and follow up with sealer like Resolene and see how it looks if the water cannot penetrate under the paint.

 I suspect that plain burnishing and sealing with some type of wax will still be more durable for applications where leather gets really wet, but edge paint will still have a place in my workshop.

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/12/2018 at 8:42 PM, cradom said:

I may be wrong but, I never burnish edge paint. Dye yes, but not paint. Takes the paint off in my experience.

 

 

3 hours ago, ABHandmade said:

Gary, thank you very much for the experiment. It helped save me some money :)

I don't think that his tests invalidates the use of this product.  I don't know ANY leather gear designed to stand up to what he did to it.

1 hour ago, RockyAussie said:

Hi Gary, Thank you for sharing your test results with us all. I wonder if before the clear sealer coat were applied if it were sanded back would the adhesion have worked better. Sort of reminds me of how PVA glue behaves when wet for too long.  I might try the base coat now having seen your results. Normally I just apply straight to the rough sanded leather 2 or 3 coats then sand back with an 80 grit? (Medium foam sanding block)to get smooth then finish of with another 2 coats. That separation line up the middle can drive me mad at times if I get too much on but its not to bad if I do as above. Again thank you for sharing so well this information.

I use the exact same process when I apply it, and it has stood up to all kinds of bending, folding and deliberate scratching.  It doesn't come off.

9 minutes ago, garypl said:

I did not sand the last coat of paint before applying the topcoat, but the fact that the topcoat softened so much likely means it would still peel or wrinkle unless it is sealed with another product.  I will play around a bit again, trying more aggressive sanding between coats as well as testing how well the base coat sticks to the raw leather when it gets wet.  Also want to paint and topcoat edges and follow up with sealer like Resolene and see how it looks if the water cannot penetrate under the paint.

 I suspect that plain burnishing and sealing with some type of wax will still be more durable for applications where leather gets really wet, but edge paint will still have a place in my workshop.

Gary

All I do for a finish is use RTC over the entire product, although its not necessary.  Any leather product would fare poorly under the conditions you put it through.  

As a foot note, I don't use the top coat.  Only the edge paint.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, immiketoo said:

 

I don't think that his tests invalidates the use of this product.  I don't know ANY leather gear designed to stand up to what he did to it.

I use the exact same process when I apply it, and it has stood up to all kinds of bending, folding and deliberate scratching.  It doesn't come off.

All I do for a finish is use RTC over the entire product, although its not necessary.  Any leather product would fare poorly under the conditions you put it through.  

As a foot note, I don't use the top coat.  Only the edge paint.

 

Mike - I agree that the test I did was extreme and any raw leather piece that is completely saturated will likely ruin any type of paint or topcoat.  When properly applied the edge paint and topcoat were very durable and flexible and I will use them in many projects.  Interesting to test the limits of things, you never know when a particular product might really stand out from the rest!

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, immiketoo said:

I don't think that his tests invalidates the use of this product.  I don't know ANY leather gear designed to stand up to what he did to it.

 

31 minutes ago, garypl said:

Mike - I agree that the test I did was extreme and any raw leather piece that is completely saturated will likely ruin any type of paint or topcoat.  When properly applied the edge paint and topcoat were very durable and flexible and I will use them in many projects.  Interesting to test the limits of things, you never know when a particular product might really stand out from the rest!

Gary

Speaking about the benefits of Gary's tests and saving money, I was referring to the fact that some limits of applicability of the product were demonstrated. And it is confirmed that there is no ideal product that allows you to abandon other ways of processing the edge. Therefore, one should treat it as one of many options and not buy immediately all the colors by liter bottles :)

Edited by ABHandmade

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Point is that I doubt other edge processes would hold up any better on soaked leather.  Not buying a liter of anything you don't have a use for or a solid process in place with is good advice though!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I let the samples dry overnight and now they look just about the same as before they soaked in water.  The pieces I scratched and rubbed the top coat off still look the same, but the tan edge sample appears to be back to normal.  When I saw the milky film on them yesterday I thought they would be ruined.  This is encouraging in that if a piece really gets soaked, it should return to normal after drying out, as long as you don’t abrade the edges.  Still more testing to follow...

Gary

BF3C29AA-CF86-448D-A0A6-0D68F2C6F1B0.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, immiketoo said:

 

I don't think that his tests invalidates the use of this product.  I don't know ANY leather gear designed to stand up to what he did to it.

I use the exact same process when I apply it, and it has stood up to all kinds of bending, folding and deliberate scratching.  It doesn't come off.

All I do for a finish is use RTC over the entire product, although its not necessary.  Any leather product would fare poorly under the conditions you put it through.  

As a foot note, I don't use the top coat.  Only the edge paint.

 

I should have added that after I finish putting on the last coat of edge coat I do polish it on a finishing machine which puts a coat of a beeswax mix on. This gives a barrier/seal on the paint to help it not stick to itself if left in contact in hot weather for long periods. For instance if a lot of belts are piled up against each other before being polished they can tend to glue together sometimes. Another thing - before polishing if I see any little bumps or grainy looking bits I use a grey fine scotchbrite to gently cut it back and the polish will blend it all in. Hooco wax neutral is one that I use frequently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now