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Old June 20, 2013, 10:50 PM   #26
newfrontier45
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Quote:
If you want to defend the indefensible, and excuse the inexcusable then continue.
No, I just prefer to have ALL the facts before passing judgement.

Overheating the leather and cooking off existing finishes would cause an odor.

Leather needs a light application of oil or a conditioner every now and then to restore lost moisture. Moisture is lost through the process of making a holster, through casing the leather for forming and/or tooling and dying with spirit-based dyes. It should be treated with oil or a conditioner like saddle soap or Lexol before it is finished and then periodically through its lifetime. It's the over-use of oil that causes a problem. Over-oiling causes the cells in the leather to burst and breaks down its integrity. At which point there is no saving it. Or at least that's what I've learned through making my own leather goods and taking lessons from a professional in the business for 50yrs.
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Old June 21, 2013, 08:18 AM   #27
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If the maker wanted to do the right thing he would ask to have the holster sent back to him. He could examine it and make an assessment as to what happened, and if the quality of his leather was a problem. He could then make some adjustment.

It would be well if makers put in a paper stating what not to do in the way of stretching and trying to soften and preserve the leather. Obviously he did not do that.

Still from the photo the leather looks thick and poor quality. Thicker is not better in a holster.

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Old June 21, 2013, 08:37 AM   #28
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No it doesn't, you're grasping. Most makers use 8-9oz leather for holsters and that's what I use. Also looks like what SR uses, or maybe a touch heavier. Your "perfect" idol Milt Sparks uses 11-12oz or doubled 7oz and that is the heaviest I've ever seen used on a holster. Put it this way, I use 13oz for heavy gunbelts and that stuff is 1/4" thick. Thickness only plays a role in weight and the heavier leather is a little more difficult to manipulate. You really don't know what you're talking about.

You mean like the return policy on their website's FAQ?

"REFUNDS/RETURN POLICIES
We provide semi-custom, quality leather holsters and accessories with excellent fit and function. Therefore, we ONLY accept returns if the items are DEFECTIVE in materials or workmanship. Items must be in “NEW” condition. If you have applied oils, Snow Seal, etc. to products they will not be accepted for return. We ask that you return the item in its original packaging."



Or this about maintenance:

"Q: How do I protect and preserve the leather?

A::Lexol or neatsfoot oil will restore and rejuvenate the leather"
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Old June 21, 2013, 11:23 AM   #29
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It would be well if makers put in a paper stating what not to do in the way of stretching and trying to soften and preserve the leather. Obviously he did not do that.
I’ve purchased two holsters form Simply Rugged and they did include a document which covered breaking in the holster and the application of materials to the leather. I wish I still had it so I could quote it verbatim, but I’m sure I tossed it.

I also own two Milt sparks holster and will agree that they are probably slightly better holsters, but they also cost about twice as much.

While I can understand the OP’s frustration I also believe it is wrong to attack an otherwise reputable company over one incident. I am sympathetic to the concern over the Customer Service issue and based on what has been posted here the manufacture could possibly have handled it better. However, as previously reported, they specifically state not to use certain additives and the OP apparently did.
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Old June 21, 2013, 12:27 PM   #30
dahermit
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I make holsters, straps, cell-phone covers out of leather. I have also worked with saddles, reins and other horse-related leather items.

For what it is worth, a couple of observations. Holsters work best if they are molded to the gun and very stiff. Once the lose their stiffness they become useless.

You cannot "rejuvenate" a holster...it is made from a dead animal skin. No matter what you do, it still is going to be dead.

Do not put Neatsfoot oil on a holster. Neatsfoot oil is a wonderful oil that makes reins wonderfully plyiable...you do not want a holster to be pliable; you want it to hold its shape. If you soak a holster in Neatsfoot oil, it will be pliable until you are dead and long gone. If you must "rejuvenate" a holster, you can polish it with Kiwi shoe polish. It it is scuffed up, use the same color as the holster, black on a black holster. If it is just dull and not scuffed-up, you can use Neutral shoe polish (a little less likely to come off on your white shirt). Shoe polish is made up of waxes not oils, it will not make the leather pliable.
A holster I made to copy Bill Jordan's "Border Patrol" holster. It has a steel insert that helps posistion the holster for fast-draw (double-action revolver), and to hold its shape.
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Old June 21, 2013, 12:45 PM   #31
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Quote:
If you soak a holster in Neatsfoot oil, it will be pliable until you are dead and long gone.
That's the problem, you should NEVER soak a leather product in oil.


Quote:
You cannot "rejuvenate" a holster...it is made from a dead animal skin. No matter what you do, it still is going to be dead.
Apparently you've never seen an old, dried up and cracked holster or belt. This is from a lack of maintenance. Light oiling, saddle soap or conditioner prevents this.


Quote:
Holsters work best if they are molded to the gun and very stiff. Once the lose their stiffness they become useless.
A popular misconception. There is such a thing as too soft but most commercial leather from companies like Galco and Bianchi is too stiff. It's easier for them to tell their customers to never oil their holsters so they don't over oil them. They really don't care if your holster lasts a lifetime or not.
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Old June 21, 2013, 02:10 PM   #32
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Re: Leather Holster Bleeding, Bad Smell, Need Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfrontier45 View Post
No, I just prefer to have ALL the facts before passing judgement.

Overheating the leather and cooking off existing finishes would cause an odor.

Leather needs a light application of oil or a conditioner every now and then to restore lost moisture. Moisture is lost through the process of making a holster, through casing the leather for forming and/or tooling and dying with spirit-based dyes. It should be treated with oil or a conditioner like saddle soap or Lexol before it is finished and then periodically through its lifetime. It's the over-use of oil that causes a problem. Over-oiling causes the cells in the leather to burst and breaks down its integrity. At which point there is no saving it. Or at least that's what I've learned through making my own leather goods and taking lessons from a professional in the business for 50yrs.
Saddle Soap is the worst thing to use on leather. I own and operate a high end auto detail shop and see all kinds of leather surfaces... Most cars that have "leather" upholstery is just cheap leather that is coated with a vinyl like coating. So you see the grain and pattern of the leather... Now, in high end cars such a Bentley, Rolls and a few Jaguars I service, they have full aniline leather... It's dyed, but not coated. The best products for full aniline leather is Leather Masters, Leatherique or Connolly.

Conditioners on coated leather are useless. Now... I am not a holster maker... But are custom leather holsters made from non-aniline or full aniline leather...?
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Old June 21, 2013, 02:45 PM   #33
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Aniline is not a term used in the gunleather industry but no, gunleather is made from vegetable tanned leather and is not coated. Dyes may be water or spirit based but do not coat the surface. Finishes run the gamut from natural water-based materials to acrylic finishes but none are designed to cover up the grain structure, scars or blemishes.

No offense meant but I'll take experience and the words of men who have made and used gunleather extensively over the last 50yrs. Lexol conditioner, Skidmore's and saddle soap are proven on gun and harness leather. I've used nothing but saddle soap on 50yr old floral carved Lawrence and H.H. Heiser holsters for the last 20yrs and they are still as good (and stiff) as new. They are not cracked, split or overly soft. As with anything else, moderation is the key. Once every year or two is plenty. No more than twice a year for leather used daily.

Last edited by newfrontier45; June 21, 2013 at 03:00 PM.
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Old June 22, 2013, 11:22 AM   #34
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Apparently you've never seen an old, dried up and cracked holster or belt. This is from a lack of maintenance.
No, it is from exposure to the elements as in Sun and Water. Cracking is due to frequent flexing; nothing else. A holster left unused in a dark closet will last indefinitely.

Quote:
Light oiling, saddle soap or conditioner prevents this.
Oil soaks into the leather and softens it. A holster that is soft will allow the gun to flop around out of position. That is one of the reasons for the Jordon Border Patrol holster had a steel insert...to position it and maintain its shape and stiffness. A soft, floppy holster makes drawing the gun more difficult.

Saddle soap is used on leather that has become encrusted with horse-sweat and dirt. Unless a holster has become dirty, there is not reason to use it. Neutral shoe polish (contains waxes), will protect a holster from dirt and water. Flexing is something that can be limited by using thick leather (or steel insert), but eventually, if used, all holsters will wear out. If oiled to prevent cracking, it will work for that purpose, however an oiled holster will not maintain its shape.
In short, a holster is not a saddle, not other horse equipment. What works for reins and saddles will not be good for holsters. The properties of the leather which make it useful for a particular purpose determine how it should be treated and maintained.
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Old June 22, 2013, 11:53 AM   #35
newfrontier45
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No, it is from exposure to the elements as in Sun and Water.
What do you think causes a holster to dry out? The sun, dust, dirt, water, etc.. Leather cracks when it has lost its moisture. Just like your skin, it needs moisture to maintain its integrity. Maintain your leather with the above mentioned products and it doesn't matter how much flexing it does. Do it right and it does NOT overly soften leather. What you said about "soaking in oil" is exactly what causes that and THAT is exactly what I'm cautioning against.


Quote:
What works for reins and saddles will not be good for holsters.
It is also a conditioner and that is why it is used and recommended by folks with a hell of a lot more credibility than "dahermit", anonymous internet expert.
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Old June 22, 2013, 06:45 PM   #36
dahermit
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What do you think causes a holster to dry out? The sun, dust, dirt, water, etc.. Leather cracks when it has lost its moisture. Just like your skin, it needs moisture to maintain its integrity. Maintain your leather with the above mentioned products and it doesn't matter how much flexing it does. Do it right and it does NOT overly soften leather. What you said about "soaking in oil" is exactly what causes that and THAT is exactly what I'm cautioning against.
The last process in producing leather is rolling and steam drying. When I make holsters (and many other leather workers), soak the leather in water to soften it to form around an actual gun or facsimile, and then it is clamped and dried. After the initial soaking of the leather, moisture i.e., water has no purpose. There is no need to worry about leather "drying out", inasmuch as after it has be dried at the leather factory, and after forming, moisture (water), serves no purpose. As a matter of fact, repeated wetting and drying (and stiffening), of the leather hastens deterioration, as many a pair of my shoes could bear witness when I was a kid. Note: the above mentioned products do not replace "moisture", they infuse the leather with oil which is different than "moisture", A.K.A., water.
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Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?

Last edited by dahermit; June 22, 2013 at 06:56 PM.
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Old June 22, 2013, 06:53 PM   #37
dahermit
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It is also a conditioner and that is why it is used and recommended by folks with a hell of a lot more credibility than "dahermit", anonymous internet expert.
Started leather working in the early 1960's, am almost 70 now, still work with leather, used/worked with horse related leather since the 1970's, No more or less credibility than Newfrontier45, anonymous internet expert.
Please show us some of your leather work.
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Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?

Last edited by dahermit; June 22, 2013 at 07:21 PM.
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Old June 22, 2013, 09:09 PM   #38
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I'm thinkin' youz two guyz don't agree...


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Old June 22, 2013, 10:18 PM   #39
newfrontier45
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The term "moisture" is not exclusive to water. If you moisturize your skin you're not wetting it with water, smart guy.

moisture

noun
1. condensed or diffused liquid, especially water: moisture in the air.
2. a small quantity of liquid, especially water; enough liquid to moisten.


A live animal provides moisture in the form of oils naturally. This keeps the skin pliable and maintains the integrity of the fibers. Leather is obviously dead and without a live critter to keep it nourished, must be treated externally periodically. Only flexed leather cracks? BS. I've had brand new leather crack because it was stored for a long time and never treated. How do certain artisans artificially age and crack leather? By drying it out with chemicals. Not bending it over and over again.

There's more than one way to skin any cat. Some people believe that leather holsters should be stone rigid, boned to its particular firearm and never conditioned. That is fine. You can certainly treat it that way but it will not last as long as leather that is regularly maintained. Other believe leather should be slightly pliable and in the case of tooled leather, it's never boned to the gun.

Some people don't understand that the only problem stemming from conditioning leather comes from overuse.

As for my work, my mentor oils his leather before the final finish is applied to restore what is lost during the dyeing process with spirit-based dyes. My shooting mentors use saddle soap. You are free to do as you wish with your but you won't tell me I'm doing it wrong. I have plenty enough orders to keep me busy and don't give much thought to exchanges like this.
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Old June 22, 2013, 10:31 PM   #40
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Spray it with wD-40 and light it with a match.
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Old June 23, 2013, 07:25 AM   #41
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I have to drop out of the discussion when "mentor" card is played...I do not have one. but my mama says....
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Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you only pay more for what you get.
Three shots are not a "group"...they are a "few".

If the Bible is the literal, infallible, unerring word of God...where are all those witches I am supposed to kill?
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Old June 23, 2013, 08:08 AM   #42
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Quote:
There's more than one way to skin any cat
I'm looking for a good cat skin holster for my 50 BMG derringer with tactical laser. Only one's I can find won't accomodate the rail and light.


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Old June 23, 2013, 09:37 AM   #43
newfrontier45
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This is productive.

I reckon that all of El Paso Saddlery's work is garbage because it's not rigid.

I also reckon that all the guys on the CAS Leatherworker's forum are also morons because they use Lexol or Skidmore's. As well as John Taffin for using saddle soap.

No, I think dahermit just has to admit that there is more than one way to do anything.
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Old June 23, 2013, 10:03 AM   #44
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Chuck Burrows of Wild Rose Trading Co. wrote this about conditioning leather:

"1) Neats foot oil was not invented for use on animal hooves - one of it's earliest (18th Century) and most well documented uses was for gun oil and it has been used successfully on leather for at least the last 200 years. Neats foot oil is/was traditionally made from the lower leg bones and hooves of cattle and at least Fiebings still makes theirs this way, the majority of Neats foot oil today and since the 1930's is made with a hog lard base.

2) As for the destruction of leather by Neatsfoot Oil - at least three tests I know of have been run by bonafide labs and found no such thing - EXCEPT when over oiling and that is the same no matter what - increase the oil level in bark tan leather above 18-22% and you will cause cellular breakdown. After over 50 years making and repairing leather I will say that over oiling is the #1 cause of leather deterioration and since Neatsfoot is commonly used and abused it has gotten a bad name as being THE culprit rather that the fact that it is plain over oiling that is the fault no matter what type of oil used. Those lab tests were printed in last few years by The Leather Crafter and Saddler's Journal as well as the Harnessmaker's Journal

2) Lexol Conditioner does not include Neats foot oil - it is a secret proprietary blend (most likely incorporating jojoba) that is an almost exact analog of sperm whale oil. The company that produces the Lexol Products also produces balms for burn victims and one of the problems that they encountered with burns was the constant need to re-apply the various balms due to evaporation of the oils. Their research for slowing evaporation has been used in their leather care products to produce various conditioners that are much slower evaporate.

With that said I like Lexol but also use Neats foot as well as tallow and EVOO for leather conditioning - all depends on the final product and it's intended usage"



And this about saddle soap:

"2) Standard Saddle Soap used properly won't hurt a thing when followed by a proper re-conditioning (the idea has been promulgated by a single company to help sell their product) - as always with leather less is best when using any conditioner. Experienced Lutero smith, Purdy Gear wrote a real good article on saddle soap and conditioning in the SASS Chronicle a few years ago. Lexol Cleaner is nothing more nor less than a PH balanced saddle soap, despite their marketing (and I have nothing against Lexol - I use their conditioner frequently). Personally though I like Crown Saddle Soap - here's an article on how to care for leather goods http://www.jarnaginco.com/leather%20preservation.htm - at the bottom is a link for the Crown Soap. Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Montana Pitchblend, or Lexol Conditioner can be all be used in place of Neats Foot Oil for conditioning - just apply in a VERY light coat or two at most.

FWIW - I've been shooting BP for 47 years. I've been studying, building, and repairing leather for 48 years - it's my full-time profession - so you're welcome to take my advice as you will or not, you're choice....."


Read this article if you want the wisdom from a "real" expert.

http://www.jarnaginco.com/leather%20preservation.htm

Excerpts:
"Moisture: This is the most important point in leather care. All changes in leather are due to moisture differences. If too much moisture is lost leather becomes very hard and brittle. Water is the best lubricant; but it can be lost so some oil must be used in order to maintain a soft supple grain surface. When the leather was originally tanned the tanners oiled (cod) as a medium-term lube and (tallow) as a long term lube. Moisture can play another role if the climate is moist then mold can form on the leather surface. (see information on mold below)"

"Oils: Catch 22. It seems logical to lubricate the leather with oil to make it soft when in fact adding oil can cause damage. Oil is necessary in leather. Oil acts as a lubricator in the leather fibers. The oil in the fibers allows them to side over each other without causing damage to the fibers. The problem is when too much oil is used this stops the leather from being able to breathe. As humidity goes up and the leather adsorbs moisture if too much oil has been used the excess moisture will not be allowed to escape and this will start the leather to rot. Remember when it comes to leather a little oil is good but a lot is very bad. Oil used in a large quantity weakens the tensile strength of the leather fibers. This can occur with as little as 21% oil content in the leather. Leather coming from the tannery has an oil content of only 16 to 19%. The best guess I have is to keep the oil content under 30% overall."
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Old June 23, 2013, 10:17 AM   #45
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I think this one has run its course.
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