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Kenl

briefcase finish

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I am attempting to make my first briefcase. i am using Herman Oak Latigo finished leather. the inside will not be lined. going for a more rustic look and feel. the gussets will be turned in. folded in. My question is i am thinking that I need to work some extra oil and waxes in to the gussets to prevent cracking and assist in softer to work while shaping and sewing. What leather conditioner would you recommend. i tried Obenaufs leather preservative which is a great product but it allowed the prefinish to keep rubbing off, espeially on the inside. Plus what finish would you use on the outside of finished bag. Thanks ahead for any replys.

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I've discovered that latigo comes in many forms and finishes, so there is no one answer as to the best leather conditioner to use. But what I do know is that I would rather have the leather finish come off on my bench than have it come off on my customer, so I thuroughly clean the leather before any construction, typically using "magic erasers" and saddle soap (in a spray bottle). It can have an effect on the pre-finish, but in the end this allows for the leather to more evenly absorb any finish that I might apply.

One trick that I use when applying oil finishes is rather than have to wait (up to 24 hours) to let the leather absorb the oil, I use a dryer rack and run our clothes dryer on low for 30-60 minutes to warm up the leather and encourage penetration. Works like a charm.

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