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How Many Of You Dip Your Holsters For The Finish Coat?

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I've talked with a few makers about finish coats and a couple have said they dip their holsters, sometimes for as much as 2 minutes, in acrylic (one specifically Angelus cut with water 50/50).

I've considered trying this but I'm concerned about runs. I get enough of that if I overspray with my airbrush, especially on third coats where there is a finish on the leather already.

If you are dipping, what are your specifics? cut with water? drying method?

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Some time back a poster said they dipped their products and then used an air hose to lightly blow off any extra liquid.

I have experimented with it, . . . and I like the effect it gives, . . . which is a very light coating of finish.

For my IWB holsters, and my carry belts (the most of my business) I prefer to use a brush and a 50/50 mix of Resolene and water.

But, . . . I'm working on using an air brush, . . . just have to wait and see where that takes me.

May God bless,

Dwight

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I've finally settled on my finish. Been doing this consistently for about a year now. I dip my holsters and belts. Just a quick in and out making sure everything was covered. Then I let it dry. I try to let it set for 24 hours and then give it another dip. Works great, no runs. I use mop and glow cut with water - 50/50 mix.

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I dip in 50/50 resolene/water then spray off with an air compressor.

I'm just wondering how the mop and glow works. When I was in the military we would use it on our boots, just the heal and toe, to add a quick shine and protect the thick coat of shoe polish. It would end up cracking after awhile. Just wondering if you are having any trouble with it cracking or does cutting it with water some how make it more resilient to cracking?

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I dip in 50/50 resolene/water then spray off with an air compressor.

I'm just wondering how the mop and glow works. When I was in the military we would use it on our boots, just the heal and toe, to add a quick shine and protect the thick coat of shoe polish. It would end up cracking after awhile. Just wondering if you are having any trouble with it cracking or does cutting it with water some how make it more resilient to cracking?

I like the mop and glow a lot. I tried all the sheens and also the angelus acrilc. I never was satisfied with the feel. I always thought they were too tacky. Then I read on here a posting from some old grumpy guy about the mop and glow. I tried it and now I like it. I believe it wears as well as anything else.

Jeff

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I'm just wondering how the mop and glow works. When I was in the military we would use it on our boots, just the heal and toe, to add a quick shine and protect the thick coat of shoe polish. It would end up cracking after awhile. Just wondering if you are having any trouble with it cracking or does cutting it with water some how make it more resilient to cracking?

My personal experience is that Mop & Glow will discolor and crack - even when split/cut with water. It's a very poor substitute for a finish on a holster.

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My personal experience is that Mop & Glow will discolor and crack - even when split/cut with water. It's a very poor substitute for a finish on a holster.

FWIW; The first thing that I have found when using any of the acrylic finishes (including Mop and Glow, which I have used for years) is that most people tend to use way too much. The stuff isn't paint, It isn't designed to smear on in a thick coating. Thinned 50/50 with water, applied to warm leather with and airbrush or by a QUICK dip, and it should penetrate and dry quickly. When used, if you see a a milky white covering.........you got too much on. With an airbrush I mist, dust, or apply a very fine covering to WARM leather, the stuff disappears almost immediately, the same with dipping. It penetrates and seals. When dry, I'll usually then apply a little neutral wax by rubbing a finger in the stuff and rubbing that into the leather and buff to a final low gloss. No rag or applicator is used, you'll get too much on the leather. The secret is.......moderation. JMHO......from a grumpy old man. Mike

P.S. IMO leather should look like leather.......not leather with a plastic coating. The acrylics will penetrate and show almost no shine........until too much is used.

Edited by katsass

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FWIW; The first thing that I have found when using any of the acrylic finishes (including Mop and Glow, which I have used for years) is that most people tend to use way too much. The stuff isn't paint, It isn't designed to smear on in a thick coating. Thinned 50/50 with water, applied to warm leather with and airbrush or by a QUICK dip, and it should penetrate and dry quickly. When used, if you see a a milky white covering.........you got too much on. With an airbrush I mist, dust, or apply a very fine covering to WARM leather, which disappears almost immediately, the same with dipping. It penetrates and seals. When dry, I'll usually then apply a little neutral wax by rubbing a finger in the stuff and rubbing that into the leather and buff to a final low gloss. No rag or applicator is used, you'll get too much on the leather. The secret is.......moderation. JMHO......from a grumpy old man. Mike

In comparison of my use of Angelus acrylic #600, I've never had the cracking/peeling or discoloration. I stand behind my comment that mop & glow is a very poor substitute for a finish on a holster, regardless of how it's applied. But my being a back yard, redneck holster maker, what do I know?

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I'm just glad they make chocolate and vanilla.

I think I remember who the grumpy old guy was that I got the mop and glow idea from. My respects to you sir.

Jeff

Edited by Haystacker

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Sorry for bringing this topic back from the dead. It was the most relevant one I could find. I have a 5 gallon bucket filled with a 50/50 mixture of Angelus #605 and water. I have attempted to dip-finish my holsters but have had only one or two that were successful, and they were both solid black. I recently attempted a mahogany colored holster and it turned out very "blotchy." Specifically the mixture penetrated around the edges and stitch lines. I believe this is due to the needle holes allowing the mixture in there first and spreading from there, but I could be wrong. Hence, why I'm seeking advice. So, here's the pertinent information:

-8 ounce Wickett and Craig

-Dip-dyed in Angelus (custom in-house Mahogany blend)

-Wet molded

-Dried in drying cabinet at approximately 105 degrees for 1 hour, then hung up for 2 days

-Warmed in drying cabinet for 30 minutes at 105 degrees

-Dipped in finish mixture for approximately 5 seconds (the one previous to this was a quick in and out, had similar results)

I'm thinking my next attempt will be for at least 10 seconds, but I'm curious if anyone else has any information or tips first.

My desire to get this right is because I love the firmness I got from the couple that turned out good. I think those were dipped for about 10 seconds as well. 

Thanks!

 

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I don't mind the look ya got there.  But I don't dip.  Reason being is not the LOOK but the fact that acrylic is a SEALER, and prevents the entry of conditioners.  It's good that a holster goes out the door looking nice - but I want it to STILL look and work good next year.  And the year after that.  At some point, how often depending on  use and atmospheric conditions where it's located, leather is going to need some rejuve one sort or another, and I don't want to have to STRIP a finish so I can use a conditioner.

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16 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

I don't mind the look ya got there.  But I don't dip.  Reason being is not the LOOK but the fact that acrylic is a SEALER, and prevents the entry of conditioners.  It's good that a holster goes out the door looking nice - but I want it to STILL look and work good next year.  And the year after that.  At some point, how often depending on  use and atmospheric conditions where it's located, leather is going to need some rejuve one sort or another, and I don't want to have to STRIP a finish so I can use a conditioner.

This is definitely not the look I'm after. I'm after a consistent and even penetration of finish. I hear ya though. Rumor is that Alessi dip finished his holsters, as well as several other top tier holster makers. Again, I like the firmness it gives and I'd like to learn more about it. 

 

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Untitled-1.jpg

SHOOOT... had to look at the pic.  I thought all along here was a SHADOW. 

 

Yeah, definitely not a good look.  Other hand, if it's "firmness" the desired outcome, maybe the Wickett-Craig leather is the issue.  Good LOOKING stuff, but nowhere near as firm as HO.

 

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3 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

Untitled-1.jpg

SHOOOT... had to look at the pic.  I thought all along here was a SHADOW. 

 

Yeah, definitely not a good look.  Other hand, if it's "firmness" the desired outcome, maybe the Wickett-Craig leather is the issue.  Good LOOKING stuff, but nowhere near as firm as HO.

 

Well, leather producers is a whole different conversation. I ain't been happy with neither one of those two here lately. Just about ready to finish my outstanding orders and throw in the towel and get a real job lol. It's been a frustrating couple of months. 

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27 minutes ago, OldNSlowMarine said:

Well, leather producers is a whole different conversation. I ain't been happy with neither one of those two here lately. Just about ready to finish my outstanding orders and throw in the towel and get a real job lol. It's been a frustrating couple of months. 

Agreed.  I remember the days when you ordered hides without seeing anything but a number in an actual catalog, and it showed up, 85% of the hide useable. :dunno:

Now, tellnig that to the new guys is like trying to tell a kid there was a time when we found ourselves nowhere near a phone ...

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4 hours ago, JLSleather said:

Now, tellnig that to the new guys is like trying to tell a kid there was a time when we found ourselves nowhere near a phone ...

Well, sometimes it is hard to believe things if folks ain't ever experienced em...  At least there's photos of them curly wires attached to a handset and a block with push buttons.  That was tethered to a wall for whatever reason.  How you supposed to drive and text if it is stuck to the wall??!?!  But I've seen no evidence of so called awesome leather hides.  :unsure:  I ahve heard that in the way distant past, leather was wrapped around things being shipped by rail to the west, and when the saddler got it, it was pretty beat up, but he had to make do with what was there.  I'd heard that stamping and carving helped hide the cuts scars marks and stains?

I've never dipped anything in acrylic or any finish coat.  I saw a harness maker dip some new bits in a vat of oil, so I tried that with a strap... once.  It is still dripping oil somewhere.

I dipped in dye.... once.  I use the strap as a straight edge now it is so hard.  Used up half the bottle of dye in the process.

I know folks have success dipping things, but not this dude.  Maybe the fries in the ketchup, that works ok for me.  But not so much with the leather work.

YinTx

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1 hour ago, YinTx said:

bits in a vat of oil, so I tried that with a strap... once.  It is still dripping oil somewhere.

:lol: Old memories.  Back in the day of wall phones, I tooled my first belt. Ugly as ever, I set it to the side, thinking I'll do it again, but save this hideous one for dye practice.  Second belt ugly, maybe not AS bad.  After about 15 belts, I had one that didn't look quite like the pic it was supposed to look like, but not really so bad.  And 12 or 14 dye practice sessions on the others, I was getting the hang of that (or so I thought).  So I dyed my first "i can live with this one" belt, and really wasnt' so bad.  Dip in oil as suggested... and #15 goes in the trash .... :blush:

But yea, seriously, a double shoulder from The Leather Factory (before it was "tandy leather factory", though Tandy may have already owned it, don't know) cut me about 15 er 18 belts - 50-60" long - of good clean, firm leather.  Ah... those were the days ...

Edited by JLSleather

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38 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

But yea, seriously, a double shoulder from The Leather Factory (before it was "tandy leather factory", though Tandy may have already owned it, don't know) cut me about 15 er 18 belts - 50-60" long - of good clean, firm leather.  Ah... those were the days ...

AND . . . don't forget you got change from 3 20's and a ten . . .  $69.95 

A nickel ain't much . . . but it was change.

May God bless,

Dwight

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