Busted Block Bilt-A Restoration perspective

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by tmitchell59, Sep 17, 2020.

  1. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    As I write, this jacket is live on ebay for an opening bid $800. I recently purchased a similar era Block Bilt crosszip jacket. It is superb, but also like new. I have a passion for these late Talon Sunrise jackets from the Bay area. The Block Bilt jackets do not show up often so I certainly take notice. In fact there is one currently in Japan for sale for a hair under the asking price of this jacket. In comparison the Japanese jacket is very clean size 42, Steerhide with the original detachable collar.

    Of course for the same money the ebay jacket is way over priced. So what is a jacket like this worth? which ask the question of what would it take to restore it.

    I'll post the auction pics and hopefully get to give some ideas about how she would approach this restoration/repair. (Edit Note by Peacoat: this tag ought to get her attention: @iknowleather)

    (sorry I don't know how to tag her, some one please help)

    This Block is labeled as Horsehide. It is not unusual to see this style in Steerhide. They often used these light material plaid linings.

    s-l1600 (1).jpg s-l1600 (2).jpg s-l1600 (3).jpg s-l1600 (5).jpg s-l1600 (6).jpg s-l1600 (7).jpg s-l1600 (9).jpg s-l1600 (10).jpg s-l1600 (8).jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2020
    Jin431, Mysteryo and Imuricecreamman like this.
  2. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I sent this link in an email to Dena. Hopefully she has some time to do an assessment on this jacket.

    I'm guessing she will suggest a new back yoke. I'm curious to if she has a source of horsehide.
     
    Mysteryo likes this.
  3. ton312

    ton312

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    Man I saw this too. Would be willing to go the resto route myself but the BIN makes it cost prohibitive. if it were $300...I'd take a stab at it.
     
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  4. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Gosh, you must really like these to want to restore it. Looks like it is full of rot and dissolving stitching. Can that even be saved? Or is this one more a case of cosmetic fixes and never to be worn?
     
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  5. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    It has Sun on it's shoulders been burnt. I find the collar damage as concerning. It has value to me as a collector, but not anywhere near the asking price. I believe the repairs needed will be substantial. Re-doing those French seams I understand is challenging. Interested how Dena would approach this jacket. I doubt it is going anywhere soon.

    I got an email from Dena. She will look at it first chance. I did not give her a heads up on this post. I know this is her busy season.
     
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  6. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 Call Me a Cab

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    Terry, it's great that you know your makers and jackets as well as you do. I could only really see the value in this as a jacket to use for a remake. It's a great museum piece as it is, but I agree the possibity of restoration is quite far out there. Dena will know best. I believe it was a similar situation with a jacket the Mysteryo sent to Aero that they wound up using it's pattern (and doing a lovely rebuild of his original as well) that wound up with the Aero Indian Ranger being offered as new regual model in thier collection. Not suggesting this occur in this instance. https://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/product-detail.php?id=63

    I agree - if it was $250 or so, than might be a much easier purchase idea for a restoration/remake. It all depends on how much you love it!
     
    tmitchell59 likes this.
  7. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    My Ralphs-Pugh is unwearable, but I dream of making one just like it one day...might never happen though. $250 is probably the tippy top I’d go in that condition.
     
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  8. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I'm no expert but i don't think this jacket can be repaired. I think it can be rebuilt, but not repaired...
    You would have to completely disassemble it, remove all thread and then restitch it all together in the same holes.
    It would be more work than making a new jacket!
    Unless this jacket has an emotional value to you i don't think it would ever make sens money wise, i would expect to spent new jacket money on that rebuild.
     
  9. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    You could try contacting Dave Sheeley, who makes those Monarch half belt and G-1 repros. He specializes in top to bottom restoration himself. He's pretty knowledgable with rethreading and those types of seams.
     
  10. iknowleather

    iknowleather Vendor

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    Terry, Thanks for understanding. This is indeed the beginning of my busy season! Also, I use to have three ladies to help me. But one retired after 17yr with me, one didn't come back after surgery, and my other lady can only work a few hours without losing her unemployment. Which neither of us wants her to give up just yet.
    That being said, let me give you my two cents on this jacket.
    Good news first. I don't think it needs a new yoke yet. I can reinforce a weak area from behind and could restore this yoke leather on the outside to look good enough for the jacket's age. The collar could be dealt with, and there are several options there. (Check out my "Collars" photo gallery on my website www.greatleather.com.) Of course the jacket does need a new lining, and the seams that have been topstitched open are problematic. Usually these seam allowances are trimmed off so short that if I take the time to open them up and pick out all the little stitching threads, then sew the seam closed, some can be really hard to restitch flat open again in a really nice way. There would have to be an understanding that at the least, some of the seams would have a repaired look. What I have done in some instances where the seams are not fully blown out but need secured (and there is qualifying criteria for this procedure) is to glue a strip of something (a not-stretchy leather or a tight grained tough fabric) to the back and sew in the topstitching lines on each side of the seam securing to the piece behind. But this isn't always a good option.
    I didn't see if it needs a new zipper, new pockets, cuff edges banded, holes repaired, or deep wrinkles reinforced, and with the seams the way they are- I would take it on, but wouldn't offer an estimate without physically seeing it.
    Thanks for thinking of me. Hope this helps!
    Dena
     
  11. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Thanks Dena! I thought you might be working alone and during the busy season.

    I see your name on here more and more for a variety of mends and alterations. This jacket is ending soon and I doubt there will be any bidders. Depending on how it re-list I may make an offer. I 've already got a pile that need mending!

    I want to get down before the snow.

    Thanks again for taking time from your busy day and giving us some insight into the restoration process.
     
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  12. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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  13. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 Call Me a Cab

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  14. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt Practically Family

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  15. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    No, I have not made an offer. It sounds like it may be an situation like you experienced above. Just not worth the effort. I may as time goes on, but there are other Fish to Fry.
     
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  16. iknowleather

    iknowleather Vendor

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    My pleasure!
    Any time:)
     
    tmitchell59 likes this.

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