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  1. Those look good to go. Glad to hear the recipe is working out for you.
  2. Any color you can fiddle with the hue/shade as I mentioned but colors like saddle tan dye for example, tends to come out of the bottle on to the leather pretty dark with a dauber. But if you cut it and or use an airbrush, you can get a much lighter version of saddle tan. It's more apparent with the darker colors, but you can also see the same results with yellows and reds. A normal airbrush can handle dye. The Badger airbrushes are a good baseline model to start with that are not too expensive and provide good results. and yes, the dye will get lighter when you cut it with alcohol, when using an alcohol based dye.
  3. I have found that colors like blue or other colors where you have different shades of it require a bit of trial and error on a scrap piece in order to get the desired shade/hue. A couple ways that have worked for me are 1. Apply with an airbrush. This I have found will give you the most control of how it looks on the leather from lighter to darker. Using a dauber or sponge, etc always seems to produce a result that is a shade darker than I want. 2. Cut the dye 50/50 with alcohol and test on scrap using dauber,sponge and adjust the cut of alcohol until you get the desired shade. Its a bit of experimenting each time,as each piece of leather takes the dye differently. but once you know your ratios, its typically a small adjustment to get the desired shade. Hopefully that helps you get to the shade of blue you are looking for.
  4. Unfortunately, there isn't a white dye like there are for all the other colors available commercially that I am aware of. White Acrylic leather paint is your best option. If you can apply it with an airbrush all the better, as you can control the application over a large surface and its fairly quick compared to applying it by brush/sponge,etc
  5. I use the liquid out of convenience, but bar also works.
  6. Here are two recipes that I have used that may work for you. You can replace the coconut oil with NFO if thats what you want to use. The glycerin sopa comes out hard while the other one will have more of a firm paste feel to it. RECIPE #1 16 oz of Dr Bronner's Castille Soap(choose the fragrance you want. I used peppermint in this recipe) 1ea 1lb block of beeswax and coconut oil Melt 1/2lb of the block of Beeswax/coconut oil down for a less waxy end product thats softer or melt the entire 1lb block down for a harder but slightly waxy feeling product. **If you cannot find the pre mixed block like the one mentioned, you can buy and add the ingredients individually. The quantities are as follows: 1/2 cup of Coconut oil 16 tablespoons of Beeswax Solid beeswax can be measured by displacing liquid. For example, to measure 1 Tablespoon beeswax use the following method. Since 4 tablespoons of liquid equal 1/4 cup, add 3 tablespoons of water to a clear measuring cup. Add lumps of solid wax until the water reaches the 1/4 cup line. Pour off the water. The remaining wax equals 1 tablespoon. Set the wax aside to dry before using it in any formula.** Once completely melted down and liquified, turn the heat down and add in 16 oz of the Castille soap and stir until mixed thoroughly. Once you remove it from the heat, you need to work quick, as it will start to set up fairly quickly. Pour it into your tins/mason jars or bowls. This will set up fairly quickly and after a few hours be semi solid. After 2-3 days, it will harden even more. The end product will lather up nicely with a toothbrush/shoe brush and water. RECIPE #2 1 ea 1lb of Glycerin 1/2 cup Coconut oil 16 oz Castille soap Cut up the Glycerin into cubes and drop them into the pot and stir until entirely melted, lower the heat. Add in the Castille soap and stir until thoroughly mixed and then add in the coconut oil and stir it in. Remove from heat and begin pouring into your tins/mason jars/bowls and allow to harden. This recipe takes a bit longer for it to harden completely, but is solid to the touch after about 2 days and ready to be used. Using a tooth brush and water, the product produces a moderate creamy lather.
  7. If you are worried about getting 1oz exactly, I would suggest you get a 1oz measuring cup and pour your liquid into it and then into the tin. If you have 1oz tins, simply pour directly into it and eye ball it and don't over think it. If your OCD won't allow that, get the 1oz measuring cup.
  8. Measure out each of the ingredients separately using a measuring cup to the specified amounts. Then add them into the container on the stove, in the order as described in the recipe thread.
  9. OK, have fun storming the castle. Let us know what you decide to use and how it turns out for you. Best wishes with the sandals.
  10. No, you are misunderstanding what I am trying to tell you. YES, those ingredients are oils, but lets look past that for a second. What I am trying to convey to you is that you can use what ever ingredients you choose, using the formula (ratios) of ingredients to one another. If none of your ingredients are oils, thats fine. Don''t focus on the ingredients mentioned, focus on the formula. Hope that helps.
  11. No, those are recipes that have oils in them, which most conditioners do; they are examples. The "Recipe" itself(how to go about making it) allows you to insert what ever ingredients YOU want to use. You don't want oils, cool, use the ingredients you prefer, using the ratios stated in the recipe as a baseline to begin with and then you can work on refining your product from there. The saddlers grease you mentioned, you already have. You said you bought tins of Colorado leather balm previously and the ingredients you just listed above are what is in the Colorado leather balm you have. So give it a test run doing it the way you just described on some scrap pieces and see if it gets you the result you are looking for. Why use a de-greaser in your grease? To be clear, we are talking about solvents, it just so happens that some solvents work well as de-greasers, among other things. A small enough amount of a solvent is used in the product to make the grease easier to spread and so that is absorbed into the leather easier. It's what solvents do and why they are used in most commercially available leather conditioners. You don't have to use them obviously and if you want to rely solely on the water to swell the leather fibers so that the conditioner can penetrate between the fibers, that will work. I even mentioned in my previous statement above, that part of my order of operations is using my Conditioner A while the leather is still damp. I do it for the very same reason, it is a technique that one can use to get conditioners into and in between the leather fibers inside of the leather easier than if it was dry. If you want to use just beeswax, lanolin and coconut oil, use the ratios in the recipe and combine all 3 ingredients. If you want to just use the beeswax and lanolin and apply the coconut oil separately, then start with a 1 to 1 ratio to see if it produces the consistency you want. If it isn't soft enough, up the ratio of lanolin and or reduce the amount of beeswax. If you want more of a true grease consistency, don't be surprised if you end up having to add the coconut oil to the mix, as using just beeswax and lanolin, you may end up with something ranging from the consistency of a Carmex chapstick to a stiff balm as you play with the ratios. If that doesnt achieve the consistency you want, you may also try applying just the anhydrous lanolin by itself, as it has a consistency similar to a sticky grease and then use a conditioner consisting of the beeswax and coconut oil. If you do decide to apply straight coconut oil to the finished product as a final touch, expect the leather to darken significantly at first and remain that way for a period of time before it lightens up.
  12. I think you are over thinking this. When D-L is mixed into the product it doesn’t present the same issues of flammability and irritation to skin as it does when you have it in 100% liquid form near a heat source or when you get some on your skin while handling it. Once its in a product, those concerns aren’t an issue. If you’ve used any product that says “citrus” on it, it very likely has a % of D-L in it. D-L is a solvent, but a better alternative to other solvents currently used in some/most commercial leather conditioning products. As is with most solvents in a product, D-L will evaporate over time and exposure to air. The advantage of D-L in a conditioner is that it does assist in the absorption of the conditioning ingredients down into the leather fibers where you want it and not just sit on the grain of the leather, as well as makes it easier to spread/apply. This reduces the amount of times you would need to apply a conditioner, as the D-L is assisting in getting those conditioning ingredients deep down into the corium of the leather. When you use a product that has D-L in it, you will notice how fast and easy it is absorbed and the need for rubbing the product in is reduced. Of course, this is the case and purpose that other chemical solvents that you may be familiar with are used in some commercial leather conditioning products. And like all solvents, once it has assisted in carrying the conditioning ingredients down into the leather, it will eventually evaporate as most carriers do. So your concern about the leather being in contact with skin and being an irritant isn’t an issue. I don’t buy a lot of it. As I mentioned earlier, a little goes a long way when you are using 100% pure D-L. However, before I started using it, I did a lot of research on it and the learned about the differences I mentioned in my previous post above. I use D-L in my conditioner(s) as described in the paragraph above, as a solvent and also for the pleasant aroma. I also use it as an additional product that I add to my cleaning product when cleaning a particularly dirty piece of leather. I add a small splash of it to the soap product I use when scrubbing the piece when it has a layer of built up grime or a foreign substance that isn’t coming off with normal soap and scrubbing ( like pine tar or tree sap for example). Again, a little is all that is needed and the grime/foreign substance comes off easily, some times wiping a rag across the piece is all that is needed to get the substance/grime off of the leather. Once you start using it, you will find it has multiple uses around the house and in the leather shop. The short version of why I have made all the different batches of conditioner is because I got tired of trying to figure out what product out there best suited my needs. I believe I do explain this in more detail in my DIY recipe thread. Basically it started with Camp A claiming NFO is evil and they only use Lexol and Camp B saying products with NFO in them is OK to use (this was before Lexol started putting it out there that NFO is Lexol on the website). So I did some research and looked at MSDS’s and discovered that Lexol’s conditioning ingredient was in fact NFO at about a 5-10% ratio and 80% was water and the remaining ingredients where preservatives and emulsifiers to hold it all together. This goes back to the on going debate people have about which product or ingredient is “best” or “worst” for use on leather and they only use product X because it doesn’t have ingredient X in it. I have found that some/most people have no clue what ingredients their favorite conditioning product has in it. So it became my own little research project to see what was actually the ground truth. Once you know what ratios to use with the different types of ingredients, making leather conditioner isn’t hard to do. If you can make Ramen on the stove without killing yourself or burning the house down, you can make your own leather conditioner in about 20-30 mins. Once you have the majority of the materials you need on hand, like beeswax or Carnauba wax, etc on hand, adding a different ingredient or a different combination is quick and easy to do. If you have the 4oz tins on hand, its as easy as filling a pot with just enough water in it to cover the bottom and then place the 4 oz tin in it and let the beeswax liquefy and then add the other ingredients in, then let cool/refrigerate. You now have a small sample to try out and determine if it gives the results you want on the leather. What I have found in all of this is that I have my own order of operations when it comes to using what product I will use either before, during or after working on a piece. So I will use my DIY conditioner A immediately after washing/cleaning an item and it is damp. Then after it is dry, I will work on the piece or make repairs and or dye, apply conditioner B which has different ingredients in it to further condition and or seal, finish the piece and then use Conditioner C as a last finishing touch. My last finishing conditioner typically has a small % of Mineral oil in it due to the PROs that it provides to the piece, such as bringing color out and adding a shine/sheen. I don’t use any product that has MO in It when my intent is to condition and lubricate the leather fibers, I prefer other ingredients for that specific task. So this is why I have tried and have so many combinations of conditioners with different ingredients and or different ratios of certain ingredients on hand. I have no issue with it. As I mentioned in a previous post above, certain ingredients have an observable effect on the leather. Coconut oil is known to darken leather. So if that is what you want to do, then that is an ingredient to use in a conditioner be it DIY or commercially procured. I can’t say that it has any discernible aroma in the final product though. I suppose if you used enough of it, it may have a slight aroma. If its an aroma you are after, I would suggest adding a “Essential oil” product to you recipe, as that is what most manufacturers do to get a specific aroma. Some essential oils also offer some anti fungal/preservative properties if that’s also your thing, but I take that with a grain of salt as to its actual effectiveness given the quantity used in a product. Personally, I think most use essential oils in a product for the users to enjoy while applying the product, as after its been applied you typically cant smell much of the aroma. I touch on this subject in my DIY recipe thread in the conditioning forum here. OXIDATION is what is happening at the molecular level. I am not a fan of the term “rancid”, as a large majority of people associate that with things like milk or meat, etc going rancid, as that is what most are familiar with. Here is the thing people conveniently overlook, EVERYTHING oxidizes at some point. As an example, an old grayish white leather product that has become stiff is something we’ve probably all encountered at some point. As an example: NFO oxidizes and crystalizes inside of leather over time and that is typically what is the cause of said stiff whiteish leather when proper maintenance and conditioning hasn’t been maintained. Yet you don’t read/hear about NFO going “rancid” in a leather conditioner. Because it doesn’t’ present the typical rancid odor that a different ingredient might have, but it most definitely did/does oxidize, given enough time and lack of maintenance. You will also see statements like “ I won’t use X in my product because it can go rancid”. Here is another point overlooked when you see statements like that. YES, ingredient X can and or will go rancid given the right conditions and or time. However, when you mix ingredient X in with other ingredients, like beeswax, vitamin E, etc and or other natural preservatives, it retards the potential of ingredient X from oxidizing before it is consumed through use. This is why you see some chemical preservatives in commercially available leather conditioners where there are not a lot or no natural ingredients with those preservative properties in them. At the end of the day, no one is using the evil ingredient X by itself and the ironic part is that you will find a lot of commercially available products in fact have ingredient X in it that some people may be opposed to being used and they are simply unaware of this fact. Saturated vs Unsaturated: This is a rabbit hole IMO. Yes, there is a quantifiable difference in how each reacts and its well documented/studied. But as I mentioned, everything oxidizes at some point, some faster, some slower than others. I look at this as a purely academic/scientific knowledge to have, but worrying about it as it applies to leather conditioners is like worrying about the arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s easy to put too much thought into every ingredient, as they all have different characteristics/properties and those differences, while relevant, are insignificant to the big picture unless you want to argue if ingredient A is better than ingredient B as an ingredient in a leather conditioner despite both being able to produce acceptable performance when applied to a piece of leather. It can become pedantic very quickly if you go too deep. This is why I don't worry about this or Iodine values, etc of an ingredient too much.
  13. If you want to soften up your waxes, adjust the amount of "oils" in your ratios of ingredients. Higher % of oils to waxes will result in a softer balm or to a cream like consistency depending on how much you increase the ratio of those oils. Increasing the ratio of D-L in your mix might have the effect you want, but its an expensive one compared to just adding a bit more of the oil(s) you are using, which are less expensive.
  14. As an ingredient in a leather conditioner. Both the Veg oil and lard (pork) used in the conditioners I made started to have a strong odor like it was going bad , over a short period of time in the tin.
  15. As mentioned above, I have found D-Limonene use in conditioners to be a great addition to any formulation of ingredients one may prefer. I will add this about it though, as its worth noting when sourcing D-Limonene from all the products out there. When looking at the different grades and terms, this is what they mean in simple terms. D-Limonene vs "Citrus oil". Is there a difference? The short answer is yes. But its not that clear cut, so I will elaborate. Both D-limonene and orange oil are citrus-derived, however there is a difference . "Orange oil" is a broad term that includes several different compounds in it, with D-limonene being one of its components, at a lower % level than pure D-Limonene. To compare it to another substance we use, 100% D-Limonene is like 100% NFO. Citrus oil is like NFO Compound. Now, this is where it gets murky when trying to source your D-Limonene online. You absolutely can find products being sold with the words "Citrus oil" on the label and the words 100% D-Limonene right below and it is a clear liquid. You will also absolutely encounter products labeled "Citrus Oil" that will be dark orange-ish in color and when you look at the back label or the MSDS, you will see a % of D-Limonene it has in it, but it won't be 100%. I've seen it as low as 10%. When sourcing your D-Limonene, make sure it is a Clear liquid and or ensure the label say 100% D-Limonene. D-Limonene comes in different grades and you may see them listed as: 1. Technical grade (purity, +/- 95%) Comes as a clear liquid, which is clear/colorless to yellow tint with a strong citrus odor. 2. Food grade (purity, +/- 97%), Is a clear water-white liquid with a mild orange odor. Is often labeled as 100% D Limonene Bottom Line: If you want the best quality/purest form, it should be clear in appearance and it should state the % on the label. It should smell like Oranges and nothing else. If it smells like oranges and anything else, its not Tech or Food grade. If the liquid is dark orange-ish or has an orange tint, it isn't Tech/food grade, it's likely a "Citrus oil" type of cleaning product. *Safety note* D-Limonene is flammable. It also has a strong smell in a confined area and if you let 100% pure D-L sit on your skin too long, it may cause irritation. When I use it in a leather conditioner, I add the D-Limonene last. I start by melting the Beeswax over a heat source, as it is the one ingredient that will likely take the longest to liquefy. I then stir in and allow any of the other ingredients to liquefy, and mix them together until there is nothing floating around in the liquid. I remove the pot away from the heat source and will then pour in the D-Limonene while continuing to mix the liquid. I then pour it into tins and put the lids on and place them in the freezer. When it comes to determining how much D-L to use in your product, I will say this. A little D-L goes a long way. I use it by the cap/ container lid full. If you know your batch of conditioner will fill 4 tins, then start with 4 caps/lids of D-L, which breaks out to 1 cap/lid per tin. This is a ballpark amount to start with, so you can add more or less as you refine how much you want in your recipe.
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