Leather care for old briefcase

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by feltfan, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. feltfan

    feltfan My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,190
    Location:
    Oakland, CA, USA
    Hey, check this out. Picked it up today for ten bucks! Note the original keys
    and wood/leather/brass construction. And big enough for my large Mac laptop.

    I would like to treat the leather (the outside and hinge leather, not the inside calf)
    with something to preserve it. I am inclined to use Pecards but I have noticed it doesn't
    penetrate as much as some things. Any suggestions? Not Lexol- I don't want to stretch
    the hinge. Apologies for my usual bad photos.

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  2. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Heber Springs, AR
    I was very pleasantly surprised at a newer product by Armor-all, wipes for leather and vinyl. Bought it to use on the car's seats and my leather work coats. I was so impressed I then tried it on an older leather briefcase I picked up and it worked very well. Easy to use and no mess at all.
     
  3. feltfan

    feltfan My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Interesting. I think that might be good after I restore the leather. This English
    briefcase is probably 80-100 years old and needs some deep feeding. I'll check
    out the Armor-All product for maintaining that and some other stuff.
     
  4. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

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    Cobourg
    Connoley hide food?
     
  5. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

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    Location:
    Midwest
    Depending on how badly dryrotted, Obenauf's leather cleaner followed by their leather oil. I'm a recent convert. I wouldn't touch my leather with anything less.
     
  6. Dragon Soldier

    Dragon Soldier One of the Regulars

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    288
    Location:
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Straight neatsfoot oil from me.
     
  7. feltfan

    feltfan My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I see no dry rot on the attache case (really it's an attache case, not a briefcase).
    I guess if it had real dry rot I'd probably give up- hard to save it at that point.

    I am wondering *why* Obenauf's or neetsfoot or Connoley over Pecard's.
    Pecard's has the edge because I have some here already... and it it recommended
    for this purpose on a few web sites.
     
  8. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Midwest
    I wouldn't go near anything with neatsfoot. I used it as a kid and teenager on all my baseball gloves because that is what my father gave me. I still have a couple of those gloves, and I do not like how they've aged.

    I can't find the paste I used to use, so around 18 months ago I picked up some Obenauf's heavy LP because of all the high praise it gets in the outdoor community. I bought some old hiking boots that needed a stripping of old gunk and then a full waterproofing. I've been thoroughly impressed with how it conditioned the leather and how longlasting the waterproofness is. The same people recommending the heavy LP also recommended the cleaner and oil. I almost bought the oil when working on those boots because they were a little on the dry side, but I went with the LP because I knew I could slowly attack it with a hair dryer and many light applications. I haven't used Pecards, but I've used many other brands of leather care. Obenauf's has been the most impressive so far.
     
  9. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,193
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    Can you describe how they've aged?
    A lot of leatherworkers use neatsfoot oil to condition leather during the dyeing process. I don't recall hearing negative comments about the use of neatsfoot.
    It would be useful to know how the oil and leather react over the long term. Have you noticed a breakdown in the leather fibers or stitching?
    Thanks.
     
  10. cookie

    cookie I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,918
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    Definitely Pecards which will also preserve the patina. I had a dry but in good condition 1940s school case I picked up. A few Pecards applications after soap cleaning and odour spray worked a treat. I left it a while to soak in too.

    I have another project underway but this one is hard with a good leather conditioning but that strong vintage funk smell embedded in it. I have washed it with mild bleach water and Pecarded it and eucalyptus spray but it is proving hard to shift.
     
  11. feltfan

    feltfan My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    3,190
    Location:
    Oakland, CA, USA
    This one doesn't have any particular smell. No sign of water/mold damage.
    I guess I'll go straight at it with Pecard's.
     
  12. feltfan

    feltfan My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Oakland, CA, USA
    Applying Pecards.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. feltfan

    feltfan My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,190
    Location:
    Oakland, CA, USA
    After two coats of Pecard's. Look at the marbling in that leather.

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    Hm, I guess I have to take back what I said about no water damage. Looks like some water drips on there,
    now that it's cleaned up. But it's a stain, not damage. Just adds character.

    I guess, from Googling, this is what is called a "Norfolk hide". It is formed into the box shape, not stitched. Cool.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  14. JC225

    JC225 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Michigan
    60269558883__F3C036FC-F6FA-4AB8-A105-20EE958E24E6.JPG
    I tend to use "Apple Brand" Leather Care on my "Korchmar Garfield". It was recommended by the folks at Korchmar and it really conditions the leather well. These cases are an investment, the "Garfield" starts at $490 so I of course wanted to know the best way to care for it.

    Hope this helps.
     

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