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I recently completed my first every Rough-out project. Since the hide used has been in my shed for more than twenty years. But still in pretty good condition, sun darkened in places but not dried out.  I thought it would be a good idea to apply some conditioner. Since I did not want the leather to darken up any more than it already has. I obtained some Bick 4 which is advertised as NOT darkening finished leather. When reading the directions I found the warning "Do not use on suede, roughout, distressed, napped or any pre-treated leather"

Due to my job as a Diesel Mechanic. I have found that no matter how thoroughly or often I was my hands. I will leave dark fingerprints all over my work if I do not clean and seal the leather before I start stitching. I used a 50/50 mix of "Leathercraft Clear Sealer" to apply a light coat. I have read that Neatsfoot oil can be used sparingly on roughout but have also read that NFO will darken Leather. So now my question is; can I safely use the Bick 4 or not. And how do I clean it when that becomes necessary.

The project was a pair of lined holsters and a money belt so "oiling" the grain side is not possible.

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There have been 97 views of this thread so far without a single reply. Have I used the wrong title. Or is it just that no one can answer my question? Or am I just not being clear what my question is?

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Probably not a lot of experience putting Bick 4 on the rough/flesh side of leather.  Pure NFO used sparingly will darken the leather, but it should lighten up some over time.  The best way to answer this will be for you to take samples of the leather you are using, and experiment.  Every piece of leather responds differently, and any conjecture on my part as to how a 20 year old side might respond to different treatments would be folly.

YinTx

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I revised my answer somewhat as Yintx replied while I was composing my reply.  I'll start by saying I normally treat roughout like any other leather, which is a liberal coat or coats of neatsfoot, depending on the project.  However, let me add that I do not build holsters, or at least not very often. Using Bick 4 will not cause harm to the leather, but I suspect it will leave a very smooth, slick feel/look to the roughout.  Anything that will "seal" the roughout to prevent you leaving dark fingerprints will tend to do the same.  My advice is to do a practice piece on a scrap of the same leather you are using for your project.

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Thanks guys. I've got a couple of pieces of scrap left from the side so will give it a test on them.

On 6/1/2020 at 1:30 AM, YinTx said:

and any conjecture on my part as to how a 20 year old side might respond to different treatments would be folly.

I was surprised how good a condition the leather was in when I started using it. It has been in my shed for about twenty years but; I think my brother bought it sometime in the 80s. So it's age is probably nearer to forty than twenty.

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2Hill, I just took a look at this and may have a product for you to consider.  I just took delivery on a custom made pair of "rough out" boots.  They recommended and sent along a container of Skidmore's Leather Cream(www.skidmores.com).  I haven't used it yet and I have no association with them but take a look, might just do for what you need.

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On ‎5‎/‎25‎/‎2020 at 3:34 AM, 2Hill said:

I recently completed my first every Rough-out project. Since the hide used has been in my shed for more than twenty years. But still in pretty good condition, sun darkened in places but not dried out.  I thought it would be a good idea to apply some conditioner. Since I did not want the leather to darken up any more than it already has. I obtained some Bick 4 which is advertised as NOT darkening finished leather. When reading the directions I found the warning "Do not use on suede, roughout, distressed, napped or any pre-treated leather"

Due to my job as a Diesel Mechanic. I have found that no matter how thoroughly or often I was my hands. I will leave dark fingerprints all over my work if I do not clean and seal the leather before I start stitching. I used a 50/50 mix of "Leathercraft Clear Sealer" to apply a light coat. I have read that Neatsfoot oil can be used sparingly on roughout but have also read that NFO will darken Leather. So now my question is; can I safely use the Bick 4 or not. And how do I clean it when that becomes necessary.

The project was a pair of lined holsters and a money belt so "oiling" the grain side is not possible.

I die then spray a sealer on a lot of my work pieces to avoid finger prints or cross contamination of glue etc.  Since using this process my scrap rate has decreased significantly.  

 

Silverd

Edited by Silverd

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If you want to you can clean the leather with saddle soap and WHILE iT iS STILL DAMP, apply Lexol conditioner by misting it or using a DAMP sponge, putting the Lexol on it, and wiping the leather.

It is important for both the leather and the sponge to be damp before applying Lexol (just a light coat, which can be repeated the next day but no sooner).

Lexol will not darken your leather unless you slather it on.  I don't know what is in Bick 4 but unless you know that it has NO waxes I wouldn't put it on roughout because it will ruin the nap.  It's like using hair gel on your hair--it won't look normal anymore. 

That effect on the nap is why so many conditioners recommend against use on suede or roughout.  The suede or roughout doesn't know that it is roughout so will absorb it all just the same.

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Sorry for the long post.

I was going to create a new topic about this but I just found this one. Does anyone know how to fix an uneven nap on suede?

I think everyone hates suede/rough out and nobody uses it much these days, because nobody knows how to take care if it properly and it gets ruined easily. It doesn't seem to hold up well over time.

I had a suede leather jacket awhile ago that I tried to clean, the nap was very uneven and it was dried out.

So basically I sprayed leather conditioner on it and brushed it with a polyester/horsehide brush and that seemed to help a lot. The leather looked a lot richer after that and a few layers of conditioner/brushing and the coloring was a lot more even.

However my main problem was that the conditioner droplets were very large and didn't really set well, and it gunked up the spray bottle and the brush didn't seem to fix the nap very well, even with VERY hard brushing.

I even tried fine grit sandpaper on ruined suede  and I feel like it made things even worse...

I feel like you may need a metal brush to actually fix the nap, I haven't tried that, has anyone had luck? Polyester and horsehair brushes seem to have little or no effect.

I just bought some split veg-tan leather and want to make it nice for making a bag, but I never figured out how to restore the suede/roughout "luxurious" feel that comes from new suede goods.

Also if anyone has any advice on treating/finishing veg-tan split leather after dying also, it would help. I plan on mixing some water with regular eco-flo leather dye and dying it mahogany, then trying to finish it with carnauba oil. The regular eco-flo satin finishes don't seem like they would work on roughout since they are acrylic based, it seems like it would ruin the leather.

 

 

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Suede brushes are typically nylon bristles (more aggressive) or brass (curiously, less aggressive).  It requires some pretty stiff bristles to fix the nap.

 

At shoe stores you can buy a "suede and nubuck kit", which contains an eraser-type cleaner that helps remove dust and dirt, and then a brush to restore the nap.  Fiebings makes one, and it usually is about $4.

 

To clean suede or roughout, there are some specialty cleaners such as Lincoln EZ cleaner.  My favorite, because it is an awesome all-purpose cleaner for delicates, is Angelus Foam-Tex.  Great stuff!

 

There also exist " Suede Renew" products, which are to help restore the color as well as protect or moisturize (I don't remember which).  It is also available in Clear or Neutral (again, I don't remember which).  Moneysworth & Best is one brand.

 

Generally, they recommend using suede-specific dyes for suede or nubuck.  (Note that roughout just means "flesh side out"  and is otherwise just regular leather).  I don't know the difference but they say regular spirit-based dyes will ruin the nap.  Fiebings, amond others, have a line of suede and nubuck dyes that work well.

 

I do not suggest spraying any cleaner or conditioner directly onto the veg split.  Even something as trustworthy as Lexol (or worse, something like Mink Oil) tends to leave "splatter"  marks from the droplets soaking in very fast when they first hit the leather.  Eventually, they will dissipate and fade but it takes a while.  I would suggest using a damp sponge or a damp soft brush like a horsehair brush to apply the product.

 

If it were me, I would use Fiebings liquid glycerin saddle soap as a light cleaner and moisturizer to get the veg split damp and softened.   I would let it soak in and dissipate for an hour or so, or overnight.  I would then use something like Kelly's wax-free leather lotion or Lexol to condition.  I suggest NOT using beeswax, carnauba, or any wax on the outside.  You can apply lightly to the inside, but wax will make the nap stick together, like hair gel does.  

 

Note also, waxing suede/split is regularly done, and can look really great, BUT you specifically wanted to keep that nap/luxurious feel.  Waxed suede looks a bit like a pullup leather in that it shows scratches and stuff (which fade and can look great as it develops patina).  The scratches can be buffed away because you are warming and respreading the wax.

 

Instead of wax, I suggest using a spray-type waterproofer and stain repellent and I would use a specific one.  Do NOT use a silicone waterproofing spray because it will spot.  I suggest tracking down Tarrago Nano Waterproofing spray.  It has a silver can with a blue cap, IIRC.  It's about ten bucks a can but look it up on Youtube--it's pretty awesome.  If Tarrago Nano is not available then Moneysworth & Best also make a Nano (smaller molecules, better penetration). 

 

I would recommend doing two coats inside and out, drying overnight between coats, immediately after completing the bag or after the pieces are ready for final assembly.  This will help protect them from stains and water spotting.  Think of it like Scotch-gard, but for suede/split/nubuck (and also leather).  If you get caught in a downpour, I would let the bag dry naturally with plenty of air (but no heat!) over a day or two and then touch up with a little more spray.

Hope this helps!

 

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FYI/PSA, as I see it mentioned in a lot of discussions in the forum, Lexol leather conditioner IS neatsfoot oil per the MSDS ( 70-80% water and additives, 5-10% neatsfoot oil)

https://www.mws-d.com/images/PDF/2307286.pdf

 

Edited by ScottWolf

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I am one of the people that regularly recommends Lexol, so I'd like to add some thoughts.

5-10% neatsfoot oil isn't really the same as saying Lexol IS neatsfoot oil. Lexol contains neatsfoot oil (good), and water (good), and is also the correct pH for leather.  It is superior to any individual oil, including neatsfoot oil, coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc.  The water it includes is good because leathers have particular moisture levels to be maintained, and processes like dyeing can dry it out.

I put 5-10% sugar on my Raisin Bran, but that doesn't mean Raisin Bran IS sugar.

For what it's worth, neatsfoot oil is often included in British Museum Leather Dressing, which was based on a 50 year long study of museum conservation of rare leather books.  When you have priceless books you don't eant to deteriorate, you do your research to ensure they are well-protected.

Additionally, if you own a Ferrari (don't we all?), or many, many other premium automobiles, Lexol, specifically, is the conditoner recommended by the factory.

The patent that was awarded to Lexol was based on the property it has of not migrating out of the leather, unlike most of the other individual oils.  My understanding is that Lexol is, effectively,  a replacement for what was considered perhaps the best leather conditoner: whale oil, which is no longer legal.

In the years that I sold leather conditioners and related products, I never once had a complaint about Lexol.  It can be safely used on nearly every leather without discoloring or damaging it.  It is among my favorite products (though, in fairness, there are many many good products out there, and most of them contain one or more of a dozen or so common ingredients).  Frankly, I'm just glad it's not petroleum-based.

It is not a waterproofer, however, just a conditioner.

Thank you for looking up the MSDS.  I found many, many useful MSDS reports from Weaver Leather's website, for lots of the common conditoners and products.  That has helped guide my recommendations.

Edited by johnv474

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2 hours ago, johnv474 said:

I am one of the people that regularly recommends Lexol, so I'd like to add some thoughts.

5-10% neatsfoot oil isn't really the same as saying Lexol IS neatsfoot oil. Lexol contains neatsfoot oil (good), and water (good), and is also the correct pH for leather.  It is superior to any individual oil, including neatsfoot oil, coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc.  The water it includes is good because leathers have particular moisture levels to be maintained, and processes like dyeing can dry it out.

I put 5-10% sugar on my Raisin Bran, but that doesn't mean Raisin Bran IS sugar.

For what it's worth, neatsfoot oil is often included in British Museum Leather Dressing, which was based on a 50 year long study of museum conservation of rare leather books.  When you have priceless books you don't eant to deteriorate, you do your research to ensure they are well-protected.

Additionally, if you own a Ferrari (don't we all?), or many, many other premium automobiles, Lexol, specifically, is the conditoner recommended by the factory.

The patent that was awarded to Lexol was based on the property it has of not migrating out of the leather, unlike most of the other individual oils.  My understanding is that Lexol is, effectively,  a replacement for what was considered perhaps the best leather conditoner: whale oil, which is no longer legal.

In the years that I sold leather conditioners and related products, I never once had a complaint about Lexol.  It can be safely used on nearly every leather without discoloring or damaging it.  It is among my favorite products (though, in fairness, there are many many good products out there, and most of them contain one or more of a dozen or so common ingredients).  Frankly, I'm just glad it's not petroleum-based.

It is not a waterproofer, however, just a conditioner.

Thank you for looking up the MSDS.  I found many, many useful MSDS reports from Weaver Leather's website, for lots of the common conditoners and products.  That has helped guide my recommendations.

I think you're being pedantic here. Lexol IS neatsfoot oil. That is the principal leather treatment in the product, per the MSDS. At the end of the day, that is what is useful to the leather. The whole point of mentioning this is that if used in moderation, if one has a bottle of neatsfoot oil vice Lexol, that its accomplishing the same thing. Not to mention that an entire bottle of neatsfoot oil is comparatively less cost wise than a bottle of Lexol, as one is getting more actual neatsfoot oil at the end of the day. People will recommend to "use NFO or Lexol" often when commenting, as if they were two distinctly different products, when in fact, they are actually the same product(NFO); it is a redundant statement.

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Chocolate syrup--100%; chocolate milk--5-10%.

Edited by LatigoAmigo

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31 minutes ago, LatigoAmigo said:

Chocolate syrup--100%; chocolate milk--5-10%.

Ya forgot the egg white;)

 

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1 hour ago, ScottWolf said:

I think you're being pedantic here. Lexol IS neatsfoot oil. That is the principal leather treatment in the product, per the MSDS. At the end of the day, that is what is useful to the leather. The whole point of mentioning this is that if used in moderation, if one has a bottle of neatsfoot oil vice Lexol, that its accomplishing the same thing. Not to mention that an entire bottle of neatsfoot oil is comparatively less cost wise than a bottle of Lexol, as one is getting more actual neatsfoot oil at the end of the day. People will recommend to "use NFO or Lexol" often when commenting, as if they were two distinctly different products, when in fact, they are actually the same product(NFO); it is a redundant statement.

Lexol is made from rendered cow brains and neats foot is made for rendered cow shin bones and feet

they are not the same thing but are the same thing  like a steak can be a porter house or a t bone they are both steaks but are different parts of the cow

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3 hours ago, ScottWolf said:

I think you're being pedantic here. Lexol IS neatsfoot oil. That is the principal leather treatment in the product, per the MSDS. At the end of the day, that is what is useful to the leather. The whole point of mentioning this is that if used in moderation, if one has a bottle of neatsfoot oil vice Lexol, that its accomplishing the same thing. Not to mention that an entire bottle of neatsfoot oil is comparatively less cost wise than a bottle of Lexol, as one is getting more actual neatsfoot oil at the end of the day. People will recommend to "use NFO or Lexol" often when commenting, as if they were two distinctly different products, when in fact, they are actually the same product(NFO); it is a redundant statement.

Definitely not interested in arguing over semantics.  I am offering my experience and research, as well as others' expertise that has been shared with me, to help those who would welcome my suggestions.  That said, I am not an expert.  You are welcome to ignore my comments and advice.

Lexol is not interchangeable with neatsfoot oil.  Their applications, pros and cons are different.  I know this from both research and firsthand experience using them both on hundreds or thousands of my own projects, several years selling both products and getting feedback from customers, as well as comparisons with the hundreds of other products I sold for the years I worked as a wholesaler and retailer in this industry.  In that role, my job was to help people (newbies to professionals) to get better results in their projects and to repair damage caused by others.

Somewhere I still have the article written by, IIRC, one of Lexol's engineers, explaining the differences between Lexol and other plant, animal, and petroleum-based oils, and the reason they were granted a patent.  At the moment I am not particularly inclined to find or share it, however. Those who care can do their own research.

I am not an expert or a leather chemist, just a guy giving free advice so you get what you pay for, bro.

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If the neatsfoot oil is taken out of the Lexol conditioner, it is no longer a leather conditioner( per the MSDS of ingredients). If you take the raisins out of the raisin bran, it is no longer raisin bran. Again, the point is that both Lexol and NFO accomplish the same thing, much like making copies or Xeroxing a document, or like Kleenex and facial tissue. Call it what you want, but its the principal ingredient and the end state(results) is the same. 

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4 minutes ago, ScottWolf said:

its the principal ingredient and the end state(results) is the same.

...and the earth looks really flat from here.

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9 hours ago, Frodo said:

Lexol is made from rendered cow brains and neats foot is made for rendered cow shin bones and feet

they are not the same thing but are the same thing  like a steak can be a porter house or a t bone they are both steaks but are different parts of the cow

Where did you get that from, Frodo? That is NOT what the MSD sheet says! 

And I really wouldn't want someone substituting cow brains for my T-bone steak!  :lol:

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I thought they were the SAME?  "Lexol IS neatsfoot oil."

Here are the ingredients listed in the MSDS

Water or Hydrogen Oxide Purified Water 7732-18-5 70 - 80 %

Sulfated Neatsfoot Oil 68424-50-0 5 - 10 $

Oils, vegetable, Me esters, sulfated Sulfated Sperm Oil 68648-42-0, 68424- 75-9 5 - 10 %

Tall Oil Fatty Acid 61790-12-3 5 - 10 %

You have been here for two months and half of your posts refer to this MSDS, that you haven't even read correctly.

 

I will go ahead and tell you that the most important thing about a conditioner is NOT getting the most actual conditioner in the bottle.  We don't want ultra concentrated conditioners.  Wait, you knew that already, right?  Ultra concentrated conditioners will take weeks or months to properly dissipate.  Leather is porous and absorptive, but ...

 

You know what?  I'm wasting my time.  Maybe you are just a cheapskate and trying to get the most conditioner/$. If that's the case, buy prefinished scrap leather. Go ahead and buy some super concentrated bleach and use that in your laundry, buy whatever you want for your leather.  In the meantime, populate the next 21 of your posts with projects that you have done or valuable objects you have restored as a consequence of your ultra concentrated concoctions.

 

I can't tell if you are a troll or 12 years old.  I'm sick of this.  I'm out.  Thank ScottWolf.

Edited by johnv474

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2 hours ago, johnv474 said:

I thought they were the SAME?  "Lexol IS neatsfoot oil."

Here are the ingredients listed in the MSDS

Water or Hydrogen Oxide Purified Water 7732-18-5 70 - 80 %

Sulfated Neatsfoot Oil 68424-50-0 5 - 10 $

Oils, vegetable, Me esters, sulfated Sulfated Sperm Oil 68648-42-0, 68424- 75-9 5 - 10 %

Tall Oil Fatty Acid 61790-12-3 5 - 10 %

You have been here for two months and half of your posts refer to this MSDS, that you haven't even read correctly.

 

I will go ahead and tell you that the most important thing about a conditioner is NOT getting the most actual conditioner in the bottle.  We don't want ultra concentrated conditioners.  Wait, you knew that already, right?  Ultra concentrated conditioners will take weeks or months to properly dissipate.  Leather is porous and absorptive, but ...

 

You know what?  I'm wasting my time.  Maybe you are just a cheapskate and trying to get the most conditioner/$. If that's the case, buy prefinished scrap leather. Go ahead and buy some super concentrated bleach and use that in your laundry, buy whatever you want for your leather.  In the meantime, populate the next 21 of your posts with projects that you have done or valuable objects you have restored as a consequence of your ultra concentrated concoctions.

 

I can't tell if you are a troll or 12 years old.  I'm sick of this.  I'm out.  Thank ScottWolf.

I am very familiar with the MSDS ingredients, If I wasn't, do your REALLY think I'd reference them and provide a link to the MSDS? Do you know what ME Esters  or Tall oil fatty acids are? I do and if you took the time to look into what they are, you'd learn what they actually are and what part they play in making lexol what it is and it's given consistency. What's that saying about horses and leading them to water again?

 

I'll ignore the ad hominem attacks in hopes that maybe, you'll be open minded enough to do a little research for yourself, as I am not trying to be confrontational or "win" on the internet.  And who knows, maybe at some point I'll post exact recipes for making both leather conditioners and cleaners at home, using all natural ingredients.

IMG_8683.JPG

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1 hour ago, ScottWolf said:

provide a link to the MSDS? 

I tried that link, and my computer warned me that it was not a secure site, so I did not click through.

So I looked around the internet, and guess what? It turns out that there is more than one MSDS for Lexol Leather Conditioner (they have been published at different times), so for the sake of argument, please post the a PDF of the MSDS that you are referring to so we can see what you are talking about.

Thank you.

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1 hour ago, LatigoAmigo said:

I tried that link, and my computer warned me that it was not a secure site, so I did not click through.

So I looked around the internet, and guess what? It turns out that there is more than one MSDS for Lexol Leather Conditioner (they have been published at different times), so for the sake of argument, please post the a PDF of the MSDS that you are referring to so we can see what you are talking about.

Thank you.

Here it is in pdf. You can also go to the Lexol website and click on "safety data sheets" on the top right of the tool bar/screen. They have gone so far as to include the words "neatsfoot" in the documents titles 

 

Lexol conditioner MSDS.pdf

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1 hour ago, ScottWolf said:

Here it is in pdf.

That document's properties indicate that it's from 2015. When you look at this Safety Data Sheet from the Lexol website, updated in June of this year, you'll see that it is formatted quite differently. "Ingredients" are on page 12. Hope you find this informative.

 

 

SDS_Lexol_Neatsfoot_Leather_Conditioner_US_en_2020_06_09.pdf

Lexol-Conditioner-SDS.jpg

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