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ScottWolf

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  1. Noydini, I'll offer up some advice in addition to what others have already mentioned. CLEANING: Saddle soap has been mentioned but that is a generic term and what one saddle soap has in it can and does differ from brand to brand. In your case, an older, damaged and stiff piece of leather needs to be brought back slowly over time. A simple damp cloth wipe down should proceed anything. Get the surface dust and grime off and then actually clean it. This can be done with something as simple as Dawn dishwashing soap, a soft brush and or a rag. Dawn is pH friendly to leather and won't dry the leather out any more than it already is. You want to avoid drying already damaged leather out even more during the cleaning.Multiple gentle cleanings may be needed. It's really important that during this cleaning and subsequent handling that you don't bend or flex any of the stiff leather pieces/portions of the bag while cleaning and later on, conditioning, until such a time as the leather becomes pliable again. Granted there will be some movement but don't try and overly bend/flex portions of the bag while cleaning it initially. Once you've wiped it down and have moved on to washing it, wetting the leather will cause the leather fibers to swell and regain some flexibility while they are wet. This would be then time to carefully reshape or remove any creases on/in the bag. Once you've cleaned it, allow it to air dry at room temp, don't use heat, natural or otherwise, you don't want to damage the leather any further. The leather will become stiff again after drying out, but it should now be less brittle for a day or two after. This is when you want to start conditions it, so it doesn't become brittle again. CONDITIONING: The key with old and dried out leather is that it lacks the fat and oils that were put into it during tanning that act as lubricants between the leather fibers. You want to slowly over days, maybe even longer, re introduce those fats and oils into the leather and allow it to absorb in and re lubricate the leather fibers. So several applications of one or more leather conditioners will be needed. I know neatsfoot oil has been mentioned already, but I would caution against using it on your bag initially, as there are better alternatives out there that will do what your leather needs, and thats re introduce fats/oils into the leather. There are several commercially available products out there that use natural ingredients, many/most also used during the tanning and finishing process. Products that use ingredients like Cod liver oil, castor oil, lanolin, tallow, beeswax, etc(just a few examples, not all encompassing ) or a combination of them will reintroduce the fats that the leather needs to become lubricated and soft again. Once the leather is soft, pliable and supple again, then I'd consider using something like neatsfoot on it, but not before then. I see you are in the UK, but I'd imagine you can obtain or make something similar to this commercial product, which has ingredients your leather will need to become soft again. See the ingredients list in the FAQ's section in the link below. This is just one example product of many that can be used that have the fats and oils in them that your dried out leather will need to bring it back to life. Hope this helps and check back in with your progress, as it looks like it is a nice bag and worth restoring. https://coloradoleatherbalm.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions
  2. It shouldn't cause it to rub off, as I often use this as a sealer to items I have dyed, but using Fiebings/Angelus dyes. Just be sure to wipe down/buff the stained pieces with a soft rag/t-shirt to remove excess stain as much as possible, then apply the conditioner. You may get a little rub off/color at first on the rag, but nothing to be concerned about.
  3. ScottWolf

    make wax

    Dude, ease off on the caffeine or whatever has you so amped. I was just asking what you use for conditioning, since it appeared you were attentive to what's in the products you use. And face it, it's weird that you'd participate in a thread on conditioner, yet guard what you use like its a secret you are afraid to reveal. CONTEXT. I assumed everyone would be able to gather that from my initial post, as I even explained the circumstances, but "there is always one" as we say in the military. Taking something out of context, like you just did in your statement above, is why people in leather forums keep parroting misinformation about "going rancid". Yes, as I stated,BY THEMSELVES, substances can go rancid, that can be quantified by the substances Iodine Value, which by itself, doesn't disqualify a substance's use in a product. The two most widely used substances used in leather crafting , generally speaking, that is routinely used by itself is Neatsfoot oil and to a lesser degree, EVOO ( Extra Virgin Olive Oil). The saving grace , and what offsets being used by themselves, is that most people use it sparingly/responsibly and also use other conditioning products on the leather, as well as take care of it. I think we both know what purposes MSDS serve. I think its you playing games here now. And by aggregate, I simply meant gather various MSDS of conditiong products , with the same/identical substances in them, to illustrate what ever point you were trying to make in asking if I had an MSDS for the products I make at home. So, with all that out of the way, care to share with us what conditioning products you use besides neatsfoot oil? No strings attached, I promise.
  4. ScottWolf

    make wax

    Chuck, thank you for that little peek into your personal life as a plant manager.Not sure what relevance it brings to this conversation or the question I asked you initially though. I didn't miss it or ignore your point, as you didn't answer the question I asked prior to that. I don't know why you are being so elusive about what conditioners you choose to use on ANY of the types of leather you are referring to. It's simple, do you use any commercial leather conditioning products, and if so, which ones by name? I just find it strange that you are intentionally going out of your way to avoid directly answering a simple question. Makes one wonder. Do I have a MSDS? That's some serious deflection friend. You know I don't have an MSDS. But seeing how you were a plant manager and had a book of MSDS, you know I don't need one, as I am not selling anything I make, it's all for my personal use. But if you want to be pedantic, I could make one through aggregation, given that everything I use is natural and also commonly listed in the MSDS's of most commercially available products. Items like Beeswax, Carnauba, Sweet almond oil, Vitamin E, Coco butter, Shea Butter, Lanolin and just about anything else that is natural and not a petroleum product and or a chemical alternative to a natural product. That includes the food grade D-Limonene I use in one of my recipes, as it is listed in the Code of Federal Regulations as GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and states as much on the actual MSDS I have for it. The only real concern is that it is a flammable liquid and something to keep in mind when making the conditioner. So what I think you are trying to get at is, Yes, I do know what is in my DIY leather conditioning products and so should everyone else, whether they buy their conditioner commercially or make it themselves. So, which commercial leather conditioning products do you use Chuck?
  5. ScottWolf

    make wax

    OK, let me ask this question another way. How do you know that the products that you do use, don't have any of the ingredients you are opposed to using in them? Do you know what ingredients are in all of the different conditioners you use , be it for your boots or wallet or any leather item of yours?
  6. ScottWolf

    make wax

    Take a look into how leather is made and the tanning process then. There are several oils(vegetable and animal) used in that process that most people swear off using. As I eluded to earlier, once you do some research, it puts to bed several misconceptions and the misinformation often shared on leather forums. As for the conditioners I make, all of the natural ingredients used are also found in all/most of the commercially available and used products(per their MSDS) mentioned in most leather forums. I don't expect people to take my word for it, which is why I encourage people to doubt me ( or anyone for that matter) and do the their own research. Out of curiosity Chuck, which products , commercial and or home made, do you use to condition your leather items?
  7. ScottWolf

    make wax

    Chuck, great example of what I mentioned above about the effects of oxidation and the concerns about using a substance by itself without other substances like preservatives and or emulsifiers to prevent/retard oxidation.
  8. ScottWolf

    make wax

    Take a deep breath, it isn't a personal attack against you, it's clarification on a commonly repeated rationalization to not use a substance on leather.
  9. ScottWolf

    make wax

    There is a good deal of urban myth/misinformation in your post that bears clarification. I see the term "rancid" thrown around a lot when it comes to conditioners and leather. There are many others on the inter webs who parrot this information, and it tends to cause some confusion as to what really is and more importantly ISN'T a concern. In the context of leather and use of products on and or in the processing/manufacturing of leather the term "rancid" refers to when the substance itself OXIDIZES. The oxidation of the substance is what leads to degradation and or untimely breakdown of a leather product. Now, everything used on/in leather products will/does change chemically at some point, this includes those commercially available products that people religious stand by while denouncing the ingredients that are actually in their favorite product. A way of preventing and or mitigating that chemical change is to use things like preservatives and or emulsifiers, be it a chemical and or a natural occurring product. All of which can and are used in leather care products. I won't get into the types of chemicals used, as that's a bit involved and beyond what most people can make in their kitchens. However, natural ingredients, like Beeswax, Vitamin E and products high in Vitamin E (Etc, etc, etc) can both serve as a preservatives and or emulsifiers that retard and or prevent substances from oxidizing as they normally would and in some cases prevent it outright. Case in point, neatsfoot oil is a tried and true "go to" substance used by leather crafters for centuries, I doubt many would disagree with that statement. HOWEVER, neatsfoot oil is a horrible product in the long term as it OXIDIZES terribly in leather (especially if over used) and causes that super hard and dried out looking leather that we've all seen in older leather products that haven't been properly cared for. This is also why, those who are wise in its use, always caution to use it sparingly and not over use it on leather products. A good example, LEXOL leather conditioner IS Neatsfoot oil, you can see the MSDS on their website that states as much, if you doubt me. That bottle of LEXOL liquid that some people swear by is approx 5-10% neatsfoot oil and 80% is WATER and any of the remaining ingredients are chemical preservatives and or emulsifiers to allow oil and water to mix and retard oxidation. So while every substance used in leather care out there has a varying IV ( iodine value), some of which are low (coconut oil for example) and some quite high, which pertains to the concern about oxidation, when used in combination with things like Beeswax, vitamin E, emulsifiers, etc ( or chemical equivalents), these concerns are mitigated, if not outright negated. It should go without saying (CPT Obvious moment) that if you use these substances without the other substances mentioned, that you may very well encounter problems with them oxidizing and causing problems in your leather products, especially if over used, on your leather. Lastly, this is not me or my opinion on the internet, it's summarized information based in Science and Chemistry that I invite everyone to research for themselves, as I have done, as it is quite interesting and eye opening in what has been used in the past and is being used now in the process of making/manufacturing leather and its maintenance/conditioning afterwards. The easiest way to start is to pull up some of the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) for popular commercially available products and go to section 3 on the document, where you will see what is used in those products and or the approx ratios of each substance to one another. In some cases it can be like seeing the man behind the curtain when it becomes apparent that things like Olive oil, Almond Oil, Safflower oil, mineral oil, etc, all the ingredients that people purport as being "bad" for leather on forums like these, are actually used in those very same commercially available products.
  10. Here is a post I wrote on this very subject, explaining ratios and products you can use.
  11. Where I have found doing this makes a difference is when you have a piece of leather or a leather item where there are sections/portions that are drier or dried out from age/use than the surrounding areas. Applying water to dampen (not soak) the entire piece/section before dying results in a more uniform dye job when it dries. As mentioned, it may result it a slightly lighter finish and take a little bit longer to dry but its nothing a second coat won't fix if you want it darker, but it ensures that the end product doesn't have spots/areas that are darker/lighter than the surrounding leather.
  12. As I stated in my initial post, I am FAR from being woke/PC or any of that other BS, because that is what it is. And no, as I am sure you know, squaw wouldn't be any better, that would be worse actually. Feelings have nothing to do with it, this is about pointing out an ignorant misnomer that people perpetuate. Yes, it might be pedantic, but would you rather someone told you that you were doing something (anything) wrong instead of just letting you continue to show that ignorance?
  13. Sorry, but it's not artistic license, it's simply wrong. It's as inaccurate as referring to someone that is of Asian descent as Oriental. Rugs are oriental, not a people. There is no such thing as an Indian princess and it's not a term of endearment or any other rationalization one may come up with. It's one thing to be ignorant of facts, but when presented with those facts and one chooses to try and explain them away and or ignore them, then it's just stupidity.
  14. Sorry if this is too pedantic, and I am definitely not being PC/woke here, but there is no such thing as an "Indian Princess". As a Native American, I can definitively say that in Native American culture, there is no such social hierarchy like what is found in a Monarchy, where there are such things as Princesses and Princes, etc. That aside, I do think the leather work is commendable in its detail and craftsmanship. Kudos.
  15. Just bumping this to the top with an update. I know some of you like to use things like NFO and Mineral oils, etc. I was curious and played around with them, and the above recipe works just fine as long as you keep the ratios balanced. The beeswax and mineral oil mixture looks a lot like petroleum jelly , just firmer in its consistency and not as sticky. It puts a nice shine on a piece of leather, as well as brings faded color back to life on worn pieces. I'd use other conditioners before hand if you really want to condition the leather and only use the beeswax/MO mixture as a final dressing to give it a bit of shine and bring some color out. I had similar results with the beeswax and NFO mixture but found that adding Lanolin to the mixture made for a decent conditioner and softener of stiff leather pieces without having to worry about over saturation of the leather with NFO.
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