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Old August 2, 2007, 03:48 PM   #1
j-framer
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How to finish/seal raw leather edges?

Hello all,

I recently performed a modification to a holster that resulted in the exposure of several “raw”, or unfinished, edges where I used an X-ACTO knife to remove some material. Though I’m not concerned about appearances, I would still like to seal the porous-looking cut edges against perspiration or other moisture.

Can anybody tell me how leather-workers finish the cut edges on their holsters or--if their methods are not suitable for amateurs--recommend any expedient, non-toxic alternative way to finish the edges?

Neutral or colored shoe polish came to mind, but I am not sure what the pros and cons may be, and if there is a better, more dedicated product or procedure to accomplish this, I’d prefer to use it instead.

Thanks in advance.
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Old August 2, 2007, 10:18 PM   #2
James A. Mullins
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James here. The leather is already taned if it is formed into a hoster. You can burnish the edges with a piece of deer antler or a small round piece of steel. Then you can finish wirh either matching shoe polish or neutral polish.
Hope this helps.
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Old August 3, 2007, 05:02 AM   #3
BradS
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I use beeswax, you can use just plane wax, and burnish the edge using a piece of canvass cloth. A piece of jean material will work just fine. I then add a coating or two of Fiebings Aussie leather conditioner and rub some more. Just my 2 cents.
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Old August 3, 2007, 02:17 PM   #4
j-framer
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James A. Mullins and BradS,

Thank you both for the suggestions. Think I'll put my trust in my old friend Kiwi for the initial treatment. Maybe then I'll use beeswax on top to finish, since I've heard that a Dremel with a soft polishing attachment can be used to buff it, heating the wax and helping it to "melt in".
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Old August 4, 2007, 04:35 PM   #5
skeeter1
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Sno-Seal

I've been using it for years, with great results on most tanned and finished leather products, holsters included. Just keep it away from suede leather, it makes as ugly mess out of that.
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Old August 4, 2007, 04:37 PM   #6
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Oops, forgot the Sno-Seal link:

http://www.atsko.com/snoseal.html
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Old August 4, 2007, 05:29 PM   #7
Bill DeShivs
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www.jantzsupply.com has everything you need.
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Old August 4, 2007, 07:15 PM   #8
j-framer
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Thanks to both of you, Skeeter1 and Bill DeShivs.
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Old August 8, 2007, 11:47 AM   #9
Johnny Guest
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Gum Tragathanth

Hi - -

"THE stuff" for leather edge smoothing is called Gum Tragathanth. I've used several different methods for edge finishing, but this is quickest and easiest to use. It is sold through the Jantz catalog, page 51, in the right-hand column. Member Bill DeShivs gave the Jantz site above - - I just located the item.

A single four-ounce bottle will last a hobbyist for years, so long as it is tightly capped. you daub the gum onto the area to be smoothed, and then polish with smooth hardwood, smooth, rounded steel, coarse canvas, deer antler, or the llike.

Good luck in your projects.
Johnny
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