CoyoteSunCreations

Restoring Old Veg Tan Leather

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I have a few tubs of old tooling leather that's about 9oz. I'm brand new to leather so I'm not entirely sure if this leather is usable but my gut says yes. It's all pretty rigid and not very flexible but there is some flex. Is there a way I can oil the leather to make it more flexible? I need to split it for my projects down to about 5oz and I feel like because it's so dry, I can't split it properly. On the other hand, it could very well be that the cut of each piece is making for the rigidity as not all pieces are the same. Some are much softer and flexible. I've included a video so you can see a sample of the pieces.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lL7M8OCRfYE

Edited by CoyoteSunCreations

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Well for starters, yes it is certainly usable. The rigidity may be from the original tan/cut of leather. You don't appear to have all the same parts of the hide. Some may be a good cut where others may be from the belly. Do you have a splitter at your disposal? I know this sounds wishy/washy but it all depends on your project, how you want the leather to behave. Leather has a very long shelf life, to be sure. So you just need to find the right project for the right piece. 

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3 hours ago, CoyoteSunCreations said:

I have a few tubs of old tooling leather that's about 9oz. I'm brand new to leather so I'm not entirely sure if this leather is usable but my gut says yes. It's all pretty rigid and not very flexible but there is some flex. Is there a way I can oil the leather to make it more flexible? I need to split it for my projects down to about 5oz and I feel like because it's so dry, I can't split it properly. On the other hand, it could very well be that the cut of each piece is making for the rigidity as not all pieces are the same. Some are much softer and flexible. I've included a video so you can see a sample of the pieces.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lL7M8OCRfYE

This may be a stretch but many years ago when I was doing shoe repairs and selling leather craft tools and such I had one customer come in with a pair of old boots that were nearly solid. It did not matter what I did he said as they were not wearable now anyway. I knew that any normal leather conditioner was not going to go anywhere near close to working so I thought I would give this tanning solution kit a try out. The part I used was Leidreiters Leather Lube. I am not certain but I think the same stuff may be named Leder leather lube these days. The results were completely amazing. I got a brush and just painted over the leather and kept going on and off untill they stopped taking in any more. That was a mistake. The leather went that supple that it took another 3 months for them not be all sloppy when he wore them. I tried it on some tooling veg here to see how it would go and to my surprise it went soft but left no residue marks either. I found this page online and it may be of help. As I said I do not know if the formula is the same any more but if you give it a try please let me know the results her as I am sure a lot of others would like to know as well. http://www.archeryessentials.com.au/LederLeatherLube.htm

I just checked and that site is in Australia but a bit of a google should show up some a bit closer.

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I wasn't able to find the Leder Leather Stateside so I ordered some neatsfoot. The pieces I have are all very random but all in the 9-10oz zone. The guy who sold them to me used the leather to make bird toys, so they aren't the prettiest cuts. I want to use them to make earrings and bracelets. I have a desktop splitter that looks like this. I'm getting a bit better at using it. I noticed the leather does get more flexible when I can split it. I've attached a picture of the splitter. I was having some issues at first but realized I needed to flip it over to take off just a little at a time of the underside. 

 

s-l500.jpg

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I used some neatsfoot oil on some dry veg tan, one coat made a good difference and on some i did two coats but apart from darkening the leather the two coats did not make much if any difference, but i was liberal with the first coat using a paint brush

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2 hours ago, chrisash said:

I used some neatsfoot oil on some dry veg tan, one coat made a good difference and on some i did two coats but apart from darkening the leather the two coats did not make much if any difference, but i was liberal with the first coat using a paint brush

Yeah, I don't mind it getting darker as I plan on dying the pieces anyways.

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Looks like normal heavy veg tan to me.  Would tool very well, I suspect, except for the belly pieces, they will be a bit stretchy.  Take one and spray it with water, it should soak it up and become flexible.  Then you could tool/stamp it as you wish.  After, add dye, neatsfoot oil, aussie conditioner, whatever you like, should be good!

YinTx

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4 hours ago, YinTx said:

Looks like normal heavy veg tan to me.  Would tool very well, I suspect, except for the belly pieces, they will be a bit stretchy.  Take one and spray it with water, it should soak it up and become flexible.  Then you could tool/stamp it as you wish.  After, add dye, neatsfoot oil, aussie conditioner, whatever you like, should be good!

YinTx

Thanks for the advice!

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