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Re: polyurethane on leather?

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  • gavinkilkenny
    Vels, very interesting information, thanks for sharing. My experience with hide glue on leather is that it is forever water soluble - but I never tried making
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 8, 2013
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      Vels, very interesting information, thanks for sharing.

      My experience with hide glue on leather is that it is forever water soluble - but I never tried making it with milk.

      For the OP - finishes that work on wood will also work on leather (I really like the color that special walnut wood stain produces on veg tan cow.), with certain predictable caveats. If the finish is rigid, it's a poor choice for a piece that's going to flex. If the piece isn't going to be flexing, then a rigid finish is not a problem.

      A number of the leather specific finishes run afoul of the same issues, Neatlac being a classic example - it makes a fine finish for a framed piece of leather art, but don't use it on a handbag ;)

      Experienced leather workers have some more specific preferences in terms of exactly which polyurethane wood finishes make the best choices for leather - but as with Everything in the leatherworking world, opinions vary ;)

      In short form - Go ahead and test your choice of finish on your choice of leather and see whether you like the result. Same as you would test a finish on a scrap of the wood you're working with to see if you like how it turns out ;)


      --- In medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com, Vels inn Viggladi <velsthe1@...> wrote:
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      > Polyurethane on leather is no problem. Thin coats of it are on just about every modern leather item we purchase. It's what gives the "new leather look" to shoes and sofas.
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      > Going a different tack -- you could also try sizing the leather, and the whole of the cabinet, with hide glue. Skim milk will make it waterproof, ground aspirin will fight mold.
      > With hot hide glue: Replace the water in the normal mix with skim milk, add a few finely ground aspirin to the pot, then apply in two or more thin coats to all parts you figure might get wet. If you can get it, use a willow stick to mix you glue pot, that'd save on having to grind up the aspirin.
      > With liquid hide glue: mix 50/50 with warmed skim milk, mix in finely ground aspirin. Or- mix powdered skim milk with water (per whatever directions for your volume) and add ground aspirin. Once that's good and fluid, mix about 50/50 with liquid hide glue, apply as before.
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      > If you do want to go with hot hide glue, I'd recommend rabbit, as it's the least hygroscopic of the lot. You may want to run a freshly cut clove of garlic over the leather, depending on what kind of tanning was used, to remove any oils. Regardless, figure about 24 hours for everything to cure.
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      > BTW- hello to the list, this is my first post and I'm rather new here. My name is Vels, and I have a hide glue problem.
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      > Vels
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      > To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
      > From: isabelle@...
      > Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 16:04:27 -0400
      > Subject: [MedievalSawdust] polyurethane on leather?
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      > I have found a 14th century cabinet that I'd like to reproduce, scaled down for use in the camp kitchen. The cabinet has doors paneled with tooled leather. I want to use the cabinet to conceal a sink and a propane stove, so I expect to have drips & such that would likely be too much for a wax or oil finish to handle.
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      > Has anyone ever tried putting polyurethane on leather? I'm still in the planning & idea-exploring stage.
      > --Isabelle
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