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  #1  
Old 01-19-2013, 4:54 PM
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Default Restoring leather advice needed

As some of you may remember, I bought an M95 magazine pouch a couple of weeks ago.
When I bought the pouch, it was as hard as a rock. I realized this when I bought it and knew I would probably be unable to restore it to it's once grandeur.

With that said...

I have performed 2 restoration sessions so far...

1. After I bought the pouch, I soaked it in 50% Glycerin and 50% water for a few hours. The pouch was allowed to dry for a few days and during that time I molded the leather to it's prior shape. After it dried, the leather was somewhat pliable but still rather hard. The straps were stiff as well.

Today...
And so begins session 2. Again, 50/50 Glycerin and water. This time, I am going to let it soak for a long time. Exactly how long...
Said ammo pouch is in a bowl with the solution as I type this.

Flash back to an old SKS ammo pouch I have. This pouch was beginning to dry out, but still pliable so I think I can save it. I had soaked it in the 50/50 solution at the same time as the M95 pouch and it has turned out nice! I'm going to give it another soaking and then buff it up nicely.

So, am I on the right track?
Give it up?
Throw it out?
Frame it, hang it on the wall and call it a day?
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2013, 5:05 PM
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Mink oil to restore the natural oils in the leather. I use it on my son's baseball gloves. It will darken the leather.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2013, 5:24 PM
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I use saddle soap to clean my boots (basically glycerin soap) and grease 'em up with Danner's boot grease.

Saddle soap makes the leather soft and clean, but the boot grease really makes the bootleather flop around like a banana peel, especially when you leave the boots in the sun inside a plastic bag and apply the grease 2-3 times (until the leather stops soaking in oil and looks greasy).

EDIT:

Soaking in water might do more harm than good.

Causes this to happen (on boots anyway)


Picture borrowed from http://artofmanliness.com/2010/03/03...roofing-shoes/

Last edited by LeadSlinger585; 01-19-2013 at 5:27 PM..
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Old 01-19-2013, 9:01 PM
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http://nautarch.tamu.edu/CRL/conserv...in%20Treatment
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Old 01-19-2013, 9:33 PM
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Ballistol
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2013, 9:37 PM
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I like to wash the grime and dirt off with saddle soap (a lot of these things are old and filthy) and then I wipe it in neatsfoot oil. It does darken the leather quite a bit though.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:49 AM
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I won't lie, I'm surprised to hear that water plays heavily in their method of treating leather. I have water damage on my boots despite a higher level of care and attendance (than the average person).

Sounds like you're all set! Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2013, 2:27 AM
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According to a Swiss military manual the leather items should be brushed with mild soap water and not soaked under, after drying wax the leather with hard leather wax that's all.
It get's it's old shape and color back.
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2013, 8:41 AM
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I use Lexol on all my leather reenacting gear.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:15 AM
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obenaufs heavy duty lp

http://www.amazon.com/Obenaufs-0103-.../dp/B0020LQO1Q
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2013, 10:21 AM
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Mink oil OR saddle soap is the ticket...
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:46 AM
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I've used a blow dryer to warm the leather while applying mink oil, and or leather conditioner paste. Basically rub it on liberally<---(sorry for the bad word) and warm with the blow dryer till it soaked in and continue till it stops absorbing. The warmth opens the pores of the leather to let in the oil/conditioner.
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Old 01-21-2013, 1:14 PM
Alan Block Alan Block is offline
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A guy I worked with at the US Army Museum swore by Lexol. He was renowned for restoring leatherwork and saddle gear.
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