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ricosan

Leather restoration

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I have a 1932 Marmon. The leather is in “good” condition but is showing signs of drying out with an uneven look.

 

What is the process for bringing this leather back to life?

 

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Buy a container of Connolly 'Hide Food'.  Best product for reconditioning genuine leather.

 

Craig

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hmm.... 90 years old and looks great. Will probably look the same 20 years from now. Be careful applying anything, many products can speed up the drying process, or cause other issues, not sure I would do anything. 2 cents worth.

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15 minutes ago, Gunsmoke said:

hmm.... 90 years old and looks great. Will probably look the same 20 years from now. Be careful applying anything, many products can speed up the drying process, or cause other issues, not sure I would do anything. 2 cents worth.

Not sure it is any more than say 1980's old.

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I would clean it with glycerin soap and a nail brush, and as little water as possible. Dip the brush in water, get a little soap on it, and clean a small area at a time. Follow immediately with a damp rag and a then a dry rag to clean up the soap and dirt. Do this every few months and it will improve. It might not look radically different, or bring back any missing surface, but it will probably get softer.

 

Now if you want to make it look brand new, refinish the surface, etc. that is whole different game, and one I prefer not to get into. I have seen threads about that around here, possibly in the TC forum. I doubt it is good for longevity. I like the look and feel of old leather.

 

 

 

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I agree with Mark. Used Lexol on a tufted leather seat that looked like it needed to be replaced.  Used the cleaner first then the conditioner.  Looks brand new now.

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A lot of people, including the late Dick Teague among others, felt this was/is the best leather conditioning product:

 

http://www.leatherique.com

 

Used to be sold under the Clausen brand many years ago.

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I may have shared this story before, forgive me if so......

I have a bottle of rendered bear fat, given to me years ago by an old Indian from way up on the border of Minnesota and Canada. His family for generations has used that for treating all leather shoes and clothes. I used it on my hunting boots then and it was fantastic. Leaves no residue and really softens leather. About a dozen years ago I used some to restore an original leather interior in a 1913 Model T Ford. It worked great. My supply is dwindling rapidly now. I have no idea where I can get some. I better make friends with a bear hunter!

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I am pretty sure that Connolly Hide Food went away a long time ago. I think that Connolly leather is also gone. Hide Food was an excellent product. I used to buy it from Bill Hirsch.

 

A clear glycerine based soap with clear water and a soft washcloth are the best things for leather cleaning. The lather needs to be thoroughly removed and no excess water left behind. 

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saddle soap- that simple and inexpensive. Moisturizes and softens dried out leather.

 

 

 

I better make friends with a bear hunter!

 

Liawatha might be able to help you out with that.................

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9 hours ago, 5219 said:

I am pretty sure that Connolly Hide Food went away a long time ago. I think that Connolly leather is also gone.

 

Correct. From Wikipedia:

 

"Connolly Leather Limited was a British company that supplied highly finished leather primarily to car manufacturers. Founded in 1878, it went out of business in that form in 2002. A successor firm, Connolly Brothers, UK, has resumed producing traditional Connolly leather products and lines."

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10 hours ago, Jeff Perkins / Mn said:

I have a bottle of rendered bear fat, given to me years ago by an old Indian from way up on the border of Minnesota and Canada. His family for generations has used that for treating all leather shoes and clothes. I used it on my hunting boots then and it was fantastic. Leaves no residue and really softens leather. About a dozen years ago I used some to restore an original leather interior in a 1913 Model T Ford. It worked great. My supply is dwindling rapidly now. I have no idea where I can get some. I better make friends with a bear hunter!

 

KInd of aligns with the information that Leatherique claims about their 'Rejuvenator Oil':

 

"Known world wide for its ability to soften even cardboard hard leather. It is a complex blend of animal proteins, collagens, with absolutely no oil fillers of any kind."

Many years ago either the originator of this product (Clausen) or the current maker had an ad that featured Dick Teague claiming that he'd softened the original leather in some 1905 car such that the car didn't have to be reupholstered! I also know my late dear friend Tom Shriver in Nashville swore by this product line.

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Wow! I probably won’t find rendered bear fat at Pep Boys! 


Thanks for all the suggestions, your experiences as well as the products used. It sounds like I have a big job ahead if I decide to tackle it.

 

Richard Duvall

 

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On 1/17/2020 at 6:59 AM, mercer09 said:

I better make friends with a bear hunter!

 

Liawatha might be able to help you out with that....

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Well, Canada isn't that far from Syracuse when you are visiting the wife. Close to the casino as well. Maybe they sell it in the gift shop?  

 

Lots of bears in Upstate NY. They used to roam through my yard when I lived an hour north of here and would raid the trash cans at the marina I worked at. Usually sitting on the beach when we opened up in the morning next to the boats eating last night's dinner. It was always funny walking over probably 40 feet from them and getting in a boat to run out to the dock for the day's rental. People from the city thought we were nuts. I felt more comfortable with the bears than going in the city (still do).

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Yes, bears are noble, magnificent beasts. I developed huge respect for them while carrying a bear tag, and a 700ADL in 7 Mag. It was their territory, and I decided to leave them alone. I have never used dogs. Treeing a bear and shooting it down never appealed to me. I used to carry a cat tag, gave that up too. Now I live in cat territory. One might get me if I am not careful. I know sometimes when powerful animals hunt in folks territory, they have to be dealt with severely. Shortly , perhaps within this decade, according to Fish and Wildlife studies, we will have wolf in all counties in Washington. Oh what a mess.

 

Richard, how old is your leather? It looks wonderful, and you are very wise to take the time to preserve it. Study modern products well. Among the parameters of concern is the pH of the product. Read and heed. Automotive leather has different needs than other leather products, such as baseball mitts, etc.   -   Carl 

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On 1/16/2020 at 10:51 PM, 5219 said:

I think that Connolly leather is also gone. Hide Food was an excellent product. I used to buy it from Bill Hirsch.

 

I think they were trying to make a comeback (at least maybe two years ago when I last heard).

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Watching this thread because I would like to try something different on the original leather in my '29 Pierce Arrow.

Although I have not heard of any fellow tribal members hunting bear.  😆

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