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  1. I bought this from a jumble sale for £1, and I would like to restore it. I am interested in cleaning it and fixing the whipping at the corners. I could also replace all of it, if necessary. Also happy to have any other advice! As far as I have been able to tell it seems to be made for the the tourist market sometime from the 1920s to 1940s, but happy to be told otherwise! I'm not sure whether is is suede or leather, the main part of is suede like but the embossed parts are more like leather.
  2. I have just acquired a work harness (with collar and hames) for my equine. It is not the fancy black multilayer high-polish carriage harness but rather flat, square-cut brown plain leather, 6 mm thick on stressed areas (breast strap, britchin, etc.) and 5mm thick on support straps. While dry and stiff from storage/disuse, there is no sign of cracking. I would appreciate any advice on restoring the leather to the natural flexibility it should have for harness work. My plan was to give it a good saddle soaping to clean and add moisture to the leather first and then to give it as many coats of Neatsfoot oil as it will absorb. I believe that I should not wait for the leather to be completely dry before oiling it, as the skin does need to be at a normalized level of moisture but I am not sure how to determine just how much moisture it needs. Should I: keep soaping it until I see a darker color going all the way through the leather as viewed from the edge and then let it dry until the surface lightens or should I just soap it up and wipe down once and then oil immediately? Once it is oiled, is there any way to add more moisture if it needs it? Please share your experience!
  3. Does anyone know anything about H.H. Schweitzer saddles out of Matador Texas? I have two saddles inherited from my great great grandfather and great grandfather. I know one was made for my great great grandfather, and don't know where the other one came from. I posted a few pictures, they aren't the best, but at least you can see what I'm talking about. If anyone has any info on the maker I would greatly appreciate it.
  4. I came across an older saddle that had the pinking Edged rossettes. Does anyone know of where to get them or the die? I need sizes 2" and 1 1/4".
  5. Here's something I've not seen before. When going thru the restoration process of a 1921 Dr. Bag, I found this small buckle and strap that was used to teather the key to the bag. I discoverer these very fine stitches used to hold the leather covering onto the buckle. Interesting to the point I'd share with everyone. That's it! Silverd
  6. I have not used these leather tools in over 30 years. My dad used them frequently and made quite a few items for me as he taught me... Because I was the only one who knew anything about them, they were left to me when he passed away some time ago... I have kept them stored in their toolbox in my tack room.. I have a "Hereford Brand Yokum saddle" that I primarily use when working young/green horses that's in pretty rough shape. When I went to replace the saddle strings, It appears they are run through the tree... I would love to replace the saddle strings, rework the current leather, tooling and reshading, cleaning up the edges where there is tooling. I know I can do some of this after having removed the back jockey... Because I am not a saddlemaker and consider myself a greenie , I am a bit nervous about taking this down any further. I know I have two more screws to pull on each side of the pommel.... I'm just worried about tearing the seat more.. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to do the replacement I know is needed to the seat where it has been repaired on both sides and where it is still torn up... I believe I really I need to find a saddlemaker for this portion of the restoration process, especially considering I plan to continue using the saddle... To those of you that have done restoration work or are saddlemakers, I'd like to know, if I walked into your shop with a partial, would you be offended? That would be the very last thing I want to do to someone with this skill set so would love some HONEST advice! Below are photos of the saddle I would like to restore and am still looking for more information regarding it's history prior to 1990 which was when it was given to me... Thanks in advance!
  7. I found this lovely old horse stashed away in an old leather shop in northern Oregon, and am lucky enough to get to play with it and do some restoration work. It has a maker’s mark of “Randall&CO CIN O.” and a name branded on it, G.B. Mason. I don’t know if that’s a company or an individual. I’m thinking it was probably a saddle maker from the Pacific Northwest or Montana, possibly even a hundred years back or better. I don’t know much about stitching horses but I think it’s a left handed harness horse. I’d love any info or links to where I can learn more, as well as any thoughts on restoration. I’d say I’m a lower level journeyman at repair and restoration of hand tools but this is a little different. For whatever reason, no matter which way I orient them a couple of these pictures are posting upside down, sorry.
  8. Hello Fellow Leather Workers, I picked-up a fun project from a client of mine yesterday. The images attached are of a vintage suite case of sorts, possibly a large Dr. Bag, which appears to have been originally made circa 1950-60s and is in obviously rather poor condition. Client would like to get it back into a functional state, which I can likely accomplish by replacing the main straps, recovering the carry handles and hand stitching back the failed seams. Internal condition of the cotton fabric lining is actually very nice aside from some discoloration. I didn't include internal photos as I will not be doing any work to it at this point. Cosmetically, \the client is also interested in having the hardware polished and if possible, the entire case repainted in the original color. The condition of the main bag leather is marginal. There is evidence of dry cracking at the corners, which I am hoping can be mitigated through application of leather conditioning products I have used in the past on very old halters and headstalls. Any suggestions? I'm thinking I will apply the conditioners first then sand and repaint if I decide to go down that path. This is similar to how Fiebings suggests leather be conditioned, colored then protected with Tan-Kote as a final step. Of all the work, repainting the leather may be the most challenging and the most risky. If there is someone in the forum who has any experience with this sort of work I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. All other advice as to the best way to proceed on this project would also be graciously accepted. Many Thanks in advance! Silverd
  9. Is there any hope of restoring this if I bought it.https://desmoines.craigslist.org/atq/d/weldon-antique-singer-leather-cobbler/7224794061.html
  10. I haven't really worked with leather before so I'm a bit out of my depth but I have an old belt that is starting to fall apart but it is quite important to me and I would like to be able to keep wearing it if possible. It isn't lined or anything it's just one piece of leather with stitching down the sides which is all starting to unravel. It also has a few surface cracks and the shape is quite warped. The best idea i have so far is to contact cement a thin backing onto it and then re-sew the edges. Is this going to be a lot harder than it looks or are there a lot of problems I'll probably run into? I'm fine with the sewing, cutting, detail work etc but have no experience with leather specifically and I really don't want to ruin it. I'm not really concerned with restoring its appearance as much as conserving its ability to hold my trousers up without breaking. If anyone has any helpful tips it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  11. Hello Everyone, First time posting here so please be understanding with terminology and what not - any help/suggestions is appreciated. I have what I believe is an early singer 16k SV - only issue is there is not a model number tag on it like most (aside from the serial number - 5603810 - 1883) - Do you agree with this or have any reason for why it could be a different model? Hopefully once this is confirmed I will be able to track down and eliminated a few of these issues: 1- When taking off the tension part from where the handwheel attached my brother broke it. I have no idea what this piece is called and have been searching high and low. It seems to have been connect by a pin to an internal spring maybe? We have not tried to remove the part stuck in the rod yet as I do not want to make a bad situation worse. I really feel even knowing the name or part number would really help. 3- I also believe that I have a jump foot and long beak shuttle - my brother and I broke the top foot and I am looking to replace this as well - any suggestions? 4- Needles, needles, needles....can anyone tell me what you would try first/what to look for? 5- Does anyone know what this little clip would be called on the slide plate? It still stays on but I would like to complete as much as possible. Again, thanks in advance and any iformation and or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  12. Good morning, last year a new client spoke with me quickly on restoring old saddle bags for his bike. At the time, he had a few moments and I noticed the straps cracking due to the buckles. I tossed on some proper screw rivets and removed the buckles to take some pressure off the straps. There was no time to use NFO on the straps due to weather and the bike was parked outside. Well, he returned. He wants the bags restored, but doesn't want the straps replaced just yet. Unsure why. He just wants the bags dyed. The leather near on feels and looks like a 2,5mm pull up leather. Quite waxy, but also harder than the pull up leather I normally use. Could be there is much change to the leather from exhaust and weather. They stink like an exhaust pipe! I plan on using NFO on the straps. Won't help the cracks much, but better than nothing for now. The question: On redying this leather. As I am unsure exactly what type it is and don't want to hurt the structure of the leather. I am thinking to saddle soap both bags (no the straps) to remove the 'gunk' and to prepare them for dyeing. When dry, dye and top coat. Obviously no dye to the insides. Thoughts, ideas or critiques would be appreciated. Cheers!
  13. Hello, my name is Jennifer. I came across this saddle and it has sat in my house for a while now and I never looked at the maker mark until yesterday when I then discovered the maker to be William N. Porter. I am wondering if anyone could tell me anything about this saddle the number under the left fender is Q00160. Also why does this saddle have a maker mark that includes the name "William" before the N. Porter and why does the mark have a saddle instead of a Bull head? So much to learn with authenticating old western tack! Also if this saddle is a real N. Porter I am amazed at how great of condition it is In aside from the mold that it was covered with when I got it. Other than that, it is in fabulous condition and the leather is sooo supple and soft. Any info is greatly appreciated and I look forward to learning what I can about it!:) Edit. I am having difficulty uploading even 1 photo. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  14. Hello Everyone! I've had two people in two days ask me about restoring their leather goods and fortunately/unfortunately I've had to recommend them to look elsewhere because I do not have the experience nor the knowledge it would take to restore their items. I do not know of anyone in the Tucson, AZ, USA area to ask them to teach me their skills. Does anyone know of any good resources (digital, book, person, etc.) to help me gain more knowledge about preserving cherished leather heirlooms? Thank you! Matthew
  15. I am just getting into antique leather restoration, etc. and I have a problem. I have a nice "motorcycle" or "western" belt from the 1940s and at some point it lost it's name, which was "FORTUNE" in what would have been yellow brass or chromed brass letters. I have been searching all over the web for alphabet spots but those currently available are not of the right design or size to reproduce the name. Ace Western Belts in Japan appears to reproduce these, but the cost is high and I am not sure the size is right. The original letters were 7/16" tall, or nearly half an inch. Communication with these folks is not easy because of the language barrier. So, does anyone have any letters I could buy that I could use to finish this belt? The photo of the actual belt shows other losses which I have fixed, but so far I cannot get those letters! I am also looking at restoration of this type to be an ongoing effort, so I am also looking for a source of vintage spots and jewels for future projects. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help!!!
  16. I am working on an sewing machine were all the nickel corroded away from the neelde plate etc. i would like to nickel plate it again i can buy a set to do it myself: https://www.frost.co.uk/brilliant-nickel-plating-modules.html are there members who did nickel plate parts? difficult? Results? They also sell a set for "cold blackening" i orderd that anyway to try on some other parts https://www.frost.co.uk/frost-metal-blacking-solutions.html regards, michiel
  17. Hello all, Looking for a rising (or setting) sun camouflage tool to match what is on this strap of this vintage sidesaddle. The saddle could be anywhere from 80-120 years old. The strap was broken and someone used nails to "repair" it. The owner said she will only replace the whole strap if she can match the tooling exactly. Otherwise, we trim, skive, overlap and stitch where the break is. I haven't seen this particular tool before so am hoping someone in the community has. If it's available, we would be ecstatic. Thanks in advance! Anita
  18. Hey all, I'm looking into restoring a Singer 7-33 machine. Looking to get the upper and lower thread tensioning assemblies. Anyone have any ideas where I might pick these up at a reasonable price? Thanks, Jim Rasmussen
  19. I need advice cleaning and restoring an old veg-tanned leather wall hanging with lettering and floral carving. It is large - 5.5' x 3.5'. It seems to be thick skirting leather. It has been hanging on a office wall for about 40 years. The leather condition is dry but not stiff or cracked. It has general dirt, probably cigarette smoke, some small stains, and places where people tried to clean it (see photos - don't mind the shadows or glare). In places it looks like it was color stained and streaked, or maybe they tried to clean it and caused the streaks, or maybe they wanted it to look "antiqued". On tack and such, I use Feibings 4 Way Care cleaner, or saddle soap and neatsfoot oil, but I am not sure how to treat this thing. Probably would use just a cleaner/conditioner and not neatsfoot oil as I don't want to darken it much. Maybe first a light wash with a weak oxalic acid solution to get out the spots and generally clean it, then use the conditioner/cleaner? Thanks for the advice. --John
  20. Hi everybody! I'm completely new to leather work but have always been good with my hands. I can't believe that it's taken me this long to start working with leather. I recently picked up an old Brookes bike saddle that is in pretty nasty shape. I've taken the metal off and am removing the rust. I'll also soak the leather and reshape it once the metal work is done. I've sanded the leather a bit to get off the worst of the soil. My question is, what do I do to the leather to restore it? I live in Warsaw, Poland, so my options are a bit limited with regard to product. I'd love to hear some ideas about how to restore the leather and return the shine. I'd like it to look a bit like the one in the green background when all is said and done. Ideas? Can't wait to learn from you all. Best wishes, Ryan What I have. What I want/
  21. Here is a gallery of images of the leather I came across a large amount of leather at an auction that I got for cheap. I believe most of the leather is latigo, but I am a complete amateur at this and hope you guys can help me identify and solve my mold problem so I can make some stuff out of this horde of hides. I attached a picture of the thickness of the average latigo hide just for reference. Right now I am using a 1/16 mix of bleach and water with copious amounts of saddle soap. I was reading around the website and I plan to spray them with a mix of Listerine and white vinegar. Do you guys have any suggestions on the mold problem or could lend a look to identify what type of tanning was used? p.s.: Thank you. I just joined this forum and I already have more projects on my list!
  22. I just finished up a restoration project I've been working on for several months, rebuilding and repainting a Singer 96-10. I'm in the process of fine-tuning him at the moment, but before I call it good, I want to ask the community a question. For anyone that owns / has used a gear-driven 95 or 96 class, do you notice the whizzing of the gears during use? I didn't actually sew with this guy very much before dissasembly, so I can't recall if I could hear the gears back then. When I was assembling him, I couldn't get sound from the gears to completely disappear. I got it quiet, but when he's running at speed, there's a definite whizzing noise. The teeth on these gears are just straight, not helical or hypoid, so I don't expect the sound to be non-existant... but I'm surprised it's making as much noise as it is. If you don't notice the sound of the gears, there's a couple things I can think of checking: I haven't packed enough grease in the gear boxes they need to be aligned in a specific way, with the correct teeth mating at the right spot they simply haven't been adjusted to quite the right spot. Should anyone have something to say on the matter, I would appreciate it! The results of my work: During reassembly
  23. I recovered this old saddle from my great-aunt's shed. She told me that her father (my great-grandfather) used to ride this saddle whenever he went out for a date! I figured it must have been very nice in its day, so I wanted to fix it (any tips on fixing bent/cracked leather, please share! I'm currently using Leather New and probably some saddle oil, but advice about other chemicals/techniques that would be better would be most welcome). It was kept on a shelf in a shed that was poorly-protected against the Mississippi elements (well, it survived a tornado that took down a bunch of massive pines, so it must be sturdier than it looks), and there were plenty of spiders living in the resulting folds of the leather. The leather has a lot of those webbing cracks in it, especially where it's been unnaturally folded from sitting on a flat surface. It's not so dry that it cracks at the touch, and for having sat on that shelf for God-knows-how-long, I'm surprised it's in such relatively excellent shape. There is a defined cut in the cantle, and the seat looks to have been scraped away a bit in one area. The stirrup buckles are very rusty, and the strap that connects the girth to the saddle (it's not like any saddle I've seen; it's kind of Y shaped, with the girth attachment at the cross-section of the Y and making the tail) has broken off in transport, although I still have what remains of it. I'm not sure if it will ever be like new again, but I'd like to get it as close as I can. Furthermore, I have no idea what type of saddle it is. I can't find a maker's mark anywhere, but I haven't looked too thoroughly for fear of cracking the dry leather any further. Online, I've found some types of saddles that are similar, but I'm not certain they're a perfect match. I'm not sure about the year, but I figured it must have been made around late 1800s or early 1900s (and if my great-grandfather got it from HIS father, even older? His father, my great-great-grandfather, owned a slave plantation, to give a bit of perspective, although I've no idea if that's where the saddle came from). If anyone knows what kind of saddle this is, or where I can go to find out, please let me know. (P.S. I've never posted to a forum before, so I honestly don't know how to attach the picture files. The file uploader keeps telling me the picture is too big, and I had 6 pictures total to get every angle; I can add the pictures later when I figure out how. Until then, I apologize. Please share information on leather restoration, at the very least!!)
  24. G'day, I may have a future task of restoring some blacksmith bellows.It will be my first set of black smith bellows, if I get the job. I hope I do, as my profile does state 'challenging projects' . I have done fire place bellows before , but this is way WAY different. I don't have any pics to show you ( yet). I have seen them. They are approx 100 years old, and the leather is in pretty poor shape. They are in a local vintage machinery museum...and in a tight place to remove, so a few weeks advance notice is required, if all goes ahead. I have only attached a sample pic. to give you some idea. Has anyone restored and/or replaced the leather/s on blacksmith bellows? The first thing I thought of doing, is take as many pics as possible from every angle before I even start, not just for a 'before, during & after' diary, but most importantly , as a reference to make sure everything goes back as it should. No need to take apart all the wood or the nozzle, as I am only replacing the leather. But no doubt I will clean up the wood, sand down, stain or oil etc. give it a spruce up. But any other advice, helpful hints tips etc. would be greatly appreciated , especially the removal of all the those domed nails. Keep & clean and re-use? If I do get the job, it will be a good learning experience for me, and perhaps a 'step back in time' to see how they are constructed. I also hope to find a makers mark. Thanks heaps HS
  25. Hi there, So I just received this head knife and it has obviously seen some years and could use a little restoration. I was kind of surprised that the knife still had a reasonable edge and it should turn great with a bit of sharpening. I also want to clean and polish the blade to bring the shine back, but I've never restored a tool before and I'm not sure where to start and with what. Can I do this by myself or should I pay to get it done professionally? Another pic:
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