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Re: Period Finishing for a leather costrel

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  • Tom Apple
    ... Bill Ruppert who is one of the best bottlers around and who has studied that in the UK and owns some original costrels, finishes the exterior with dye and
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 27, 2008
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      --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Michael and Nicole Anderburg"
      <cotihardie@...> wrote:
      >
      > I was wondering if anyone had a reference (or just ideas) for the
      > finishing of a leather bottle, costrel, etc.

      Bill Ruppert who is one of the best bottlers around and who has
      studied that in the UK and owns some original costrels, finishes the
      exterior with dye and buffs with wax but there are not boiled in wax.

      Brown could be achieved by a variety of vegetable/plant dyes, black
      would have been achieved with logwood based dyes or iron/vinegar dye.

      The logwood based dyes oxidize over time, especially when exposed to
      sunlight eventually becoming brown in color. The iron/vinegar dye will
      only work on oak tanned leather and not chrome tanned leather. You can
      make the iron/vinegar by placing about half a pad of fine steel wool,
      00 or 000, in a jar of vinegar and let it set for a couple weeks, the
      steel wool will dissolve and settle out, but when you apply the
      vinegar to the leather, the leather will turn black. Waxing and
      buffing the exterior will help seal the finish, but is not used to
      make the vessel watertight.

      Originally the costrel would have been lined with pine pitch. This
      however is a carcinogen so Bill uses a commercial thermoplastic used
      by the brewing industry called "brewer's pitch" which looks the same
      and is food-safe. As brewer's pitch is not always easy to get, (Bill
      gets it in 50 lb. bags) some people today will line the bottle with
      beeswax as a modern expedient.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,

      Tom A.
    • Diane Sawyer Dooley
      ... {snip} ... {snip} ... I tried making vinegaroon (iron oxide + vinegar) using Brillo pads, and my leather turned grey. It s a nice color, but not what I
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 27, 2008
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        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Apple" <tom.apple@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Michael and Nicole Anderburg"
        > <cotihardie@> wrote:
        > >
        > > I was wondering if anyone had a reference (or just ideas) for the
        > > finishing of a leather bottle, costrel, etc.
        >
        {snip}
        >
        > Brown could be achieved by a variety of vegetable/plant dyes, black
        > would have been achieved with logwood based dyes or iron/vinegar dye.
        >
        > The logwood based dyes oxidize over time, especially when exposed to
        > sunlight eventually becoming brown in color. The iron/vinegar dye will
        > only work on oak tanned leather and not chrome tanned leather. You can
        > make the iron/vinegar by placing about half a pad of fine steel wool,
        > 00 or 000, in a jar of vinegar and let it set for a couple weeks, the
        > steel wool will dissolve and settle out, but when you apply the
        > vinegar to the leather, the leather will turn black. Waxing and
        > buffing the exterior will help seal the finish, but is not used to
        > make the vessel watertight.
        >
        {snip}
        >
        > I hope this helps.
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Tom A.
        >

        I tried making vinegaroon (iron oxide + vinegar) using Brillo pads,
        and my leather turned grey. It's a nice color, but not what I was
        after. My leatherworking teacher says it's because of the aluminum
        content in the Brillo pads. I let the Brillo pads steep in the
        vinegar for ~2 weeks. At the end, there was nothing left of the pads
        but sediment. I may try putting more Brillo in there to see if I can
        make the solution stronger, but I'm also going to be looking for
        other, purer sources for iron oxide and make another bottle of
        solution. White vinegar is about $2 a gallon, so it's the most
        cost-effective method of coloring leather black, hands-down.

        I have also read on leatherworker.net that logwood+vinegar=brown, as
        do hickory nuts:
        http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=5607&hl=hickory At
        some point I'd like to try black walnut hulls.

        Tasha
        who just got new books on medieval leatherworking
        and will be in her bunk.
      • valkerie1000
        MODERATOR NOTE: MODERATOR NOTE: As a courtesy to our many members who receive their list email in digest form, we ask that you not top post your replies and
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 27, 2008
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          MODERATOR NOTE: MODERATOR NOTE: As a courtesy to our many members who receive their list email in digest form, we ask that you not top post your replies and snip any portion of the previous message that does not require repetition. Thank you. Jehanne de Wodeford, Pacific Time Zone Moderator.

          MESSAGE ORDER REVERSED:
          -----Original Message-----

          Brown could be achieved by a variety of vegetable/plant dyes, black
          would have been achieved with logwood based dyes or iron/vinegar dye.

          Tom A.

          Or you could just throw the thing into some Pennsic water.
          Have you seen what that stuff does to leather?
          I threw some veg tanned stuff in there and a minute later clouds of
          black stuff came off of it and when I pulled it out it looked like
          oil-tanned leather. S'truth!

          But on a more serious note, I would think that Walnut hulls would make a
          great leather dye...

          Laura
        • Tom Apple
          ... You mean the kind with soap in them? It may be some sort of alloy to inhibit rust. Get some of the real fine steel wool (no soap) from the hardware store.
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 27, 2008
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            --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Diane Sawyer Dooley"
            <tasha_medvedeva@...> wrote:

            > I tried making vinegaroon (iron oxide + vinegar) using Brillo pads,
            > and my leather turned grey.

            You mean the kind with soap in them? It may be some sort of alloy to
            inhibit rust.

            Get some of the real fine steel wool (no soap) from the hardware
            store. It worked pretty well for me. It may take more than one
            application. Whatever you do, don't spill it on oak flooring. The
            stuff really reacts well with the oak tannins.

            Cheers,

            Tom
          • Diane Sawyer Dooley
            ... No, I very specifically bought the kind without soap. I m new at this, not stupid. The soap would have changed the pH of the vinegar, anyway. Tasha
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 27, 2008
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              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Apple" <tom.apple@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Diane Sawyer Dooley"
              > <tasha_medvedeva@> wrote:
              >
              > > I tried making vinegaroon (iron oxide + vinegar) using Brillo pads,
              > > and my leather turned grey.
              >
              > You mean the kind with soap in them? It may be some sort of alloy to
              > inhibit rust.
              >
              > Get some of the real fine steel wool (no soap) from the hardware
              > store. It worked pretty well for me. It may take more than one
              > application. Whatever you do, don't spill it on oak flooring. The
              > stuff really reacts well with the oak tannins.
              >
              > Cheers,
              >
              > Tom
              >

              No, I very specifically bought the kind without soap. I'm new at
              this, not stupid. The soap would have changed the pH of the vinegar,
              anyway.

              Tasha
            • Tom Apple
              ... Oh no, I didn t mean to imply that! I figured you may have washed the soap out. When you said Brillo that s what I pictured, the kind with soap. In a
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 27, 2008
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                --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Diane Sawyer Dooley"
                <tasha_medvedeva@...> wrote:

                > No, I very specifically bought the kind without soap. I'm new at
                > this, not stupid. The soap would have changed the pH of the vinegar,
                > anyway.

                Oh no, I didn't mean to imply that!

                I figured you may have washed the soap out. When you said "Brillo"
                that's what I pictured, the kind with soap.

                In a pinch I've used a Brillo or SOS pad after washing the soap out to
                scour some armor to avoid a trip to the store.

                I'm not trying to disparage anyone.

                Best Regards,

                Tom
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