Old Leather? Any good?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MikeJoel, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. MikeJoel

    MikeJoel Well-Known Member

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    We have a bag full of leather in big sheets. The problem is it seems to be old and tearing.
    I am wondering if there is any treatment that could be used to make them usable. They are still pliable but tear easy.

    If there is no use I will just toss them but I was hoping they could be usable.

    Mike
     
  2. mousecat33

    mousecat33 Well-Known Member

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    Might try some Neats Foot Oil.....

    mcandco
     

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Any oil type will work we use old bacon grease here as its free (sorta)
     
  4. I found a big cow hide a couple of weeks ago at a yard sale. Problem was it was old, dry, and falling apart also. I didn't know if it could be fixed or not but it reminded me that I had better mix up some of my concoction and see to it that my hides and leather will last a little longer.

    Bring a small sauce pan with a couple of cups of water to a boil. Grate in 1/4 of a bar of bath soap. Pour in 1/4 cup neets foot oil. When grated soap has diluted into the water remove from heat. In another container pour in about 1/2 gallon of hot tap water and then pour in your neetsfoot/soap solution. Add enough hot tap water to make a full gallon of mix. When mix has cooled enough that you can keep your hands in the water without scalding them then soak a rag in the water and then rub rag all over both sides of leather or flesh side of hair on skins. Do not saturate, just slightly dampen. Roll up and then place in a plastic bag and keep there overnight. This will place some oils back into the skins or leather. Do this maintenance 1 to 2 times per year.
     
  5. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mike, not "any old oil", you want neats foot oil, Often you will see a product called neats foot compound, DO NOT USE THIS!
    I would buy a small amount of neats foot and try it on one piece and see if the leather recovers some quality. Any oil will temporarily restore leather, but most will ultimatly destroy it. Another good product is mink oil.
     
  6. beaglady

    beaglady Well-Known Member

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    Ok, what kind of animal is a 'neat' and do they really get oil from it's feet. :)
    Seriously, what is neatsfoot oil made from?
     
  7. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Even if you can't revive it, don't toss it! You could lay in down in the garden paths to keeps weeds down. Cover it with mulch, 'cause it might be slippery when it rains.
     
  8. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    For Monty Python fans it is: Oil from the foot of 'Nee'
     
  9. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    LOL!! NEE!! NEE!

    Okay, all Pythonisms aside, my FIL took an old, crackly leather coat, and every night would thoroughly rub mink oil into it. After a few nights of his attentive ministrations, that old coat started to look pretty nice. He still has it today.


    Pony!
     
  10. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    "Neat" are cattle.

    There is a product called "dubbin" which will penetrate and preserve/restore leather. It's made from tallow and oils. You could make it yourself, using an edible or clear oil - NOT motor oil, although clear parrafin oil ("food-grade mineral oil") will work. Personally, I'd feel happier keeping mineral oil off leather - I've seen motor oil rot leather. You can also substitute beeswax for some or all of the tallow - the more wax the closer it gets to show polish.

    I understand something called saddle soap will do the job too, but I personally have never used it.
     
  11. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Saddle Soap is what you are looking for. I'm sure that there are many brand names. Mink oil is very good for leather too. Leather dries out.