Author Topic: > for leathersmiths  (Read 1104 times)

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Offline JEB

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> for leathersmiths
« on: June 14, 2019, 11:04:49 am »
I picked up an  RH  PAL #36 fixed blade knife at a yard sale today. In doing some checking it appears as though this is a WW 11 military knife. The sheath is stiff. What can I do to soften up the sheath a bit and maybe what to do with the leather handle on the knife. The handle is very solid but I am sure very dry. This knife and sheath appears to have some value, maybe $75.00.  I gave $2.00 for it.

Any info would be appreciated.

Offline paulsemp

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Re: > for leathersmiths
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2019, 12:23:45 pm »
Lexol leather conditioner works great. if it's too far gone there's really no restoring it. lexol does not leave an oily residue like neatsfoot

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: > for leathersmiths
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2019, 10:19:18 pm »
Ballistol might work, but I haven't used it on leather.  Sno-Seal might also be an option.
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Pat B

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Re: > for leathersmiths
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2019, 05:47:44 am »
I think the Lexol or neetsfoot oil, both penetrating oils are your best bet. Sometimes leather gets too dry and not much can be done. The handle will probably react better than the sheath unless the sheath isn't too dry.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 11:03:51 am by Pat B »
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline JEB

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Re: > for leathersmiths
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2019, 04:18:51 am »
The sheath seems pretty brittle. I will give these ideas a try to save the original sheath. If not, no big deal as I wrote I have very little invested. The knife and handle appears to be pretty solid. I just need to clean it up a bit.

Offline burtonridr

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Re: > for leathersmiths
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 12:15:30 pm »
I know this thread is a little old, but I'm going to share what I learned last year just in case you havent had the best results or someone in the future is wondering the same thing and comes across this post.

I have a 20+yr old pair of leather boots, for 20 years I where them almost all winter long and until last year I didnt apply any kind of conditioner or anything. Usually I would give them a good scrub in the sink and then apply a black shoe polish a few times per year. So after 20+ years of wearing and storing them in the dry high dessert of Idaho, the leather was VERY dried out and generally stiff.

Last year I started doing research on both new and traditional methods of making leather boots water proof since my feet always got wet in the rain. I did a lot of reading and, to make a long story short, I came to the conclusion that the traditional methods are the best for leather. This method involves saturating the leather with natural oils that block water absorption through the pores in the leather hide. For about 4 days I applied a home made paste of coconut oil, cocoa butter, beef tallow, and parafin wax(next time I will use bees wax, much better for the application). I would basically set my boots on the heater vent after rubbing in the paste, then let them sit about 24hrs. After 24hrs they would look like nothing happened, still dry looking. But after about 4 or 5 days, the leather had absorbed so much that it started to look like damp conditioned leather again.

Now, what this has to do with softening leather. After multiple applications of the homemade cream, the leather became not only water proof but very soft and supple. Also, I learned that leather is very similar to our own skin. When it gets dried out, it can take multiple applications and a little time to soak things up. The rule of thumb I learned is that if it is something you would put on your own skin, it will be good for leather. So things like; coconut oil, cocoa butter, shae butter, heck even just regular lotion will work. Just dont use oils or fats that have a tendency to go rancid over time (for example olive oil and bacon grease).

Anyway, hope this helps someone out. Good luck!
« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 12:32:52 pm by burtonridr »
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