Author Topic: Adding patina to leather  (Read 1376 times)

Offline BrushyCreekDouglas

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Adding patina to leather
« on: November 07, 2023, 07:12:29 PM »
In general I don’t like “aging” or distressing anything. Guns leather, etc. I prefer natural wear from actually using your kit. However, after buying some awesome leather from Cowboy Bob Giles, I’ve changed my thoughts. Under the right circumstances giving gun-leather a well-worn, but not ancient finish actually does look really appealing. Have any of you experimented with different aging methods for aging leather?

Offline Major 2

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2023, 09:02:42 PM »
I have indeed, the master IMHO was Chuck Burrows of Wild Rose Trading Company.
He shared with me some of his procedures, which I have used.
We lost Chuck and his museum quality and exquisite work in 2016.

   
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline BrushyCreekDouglas

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2023, 09:36:47 PM »
I have indeed, the master IMHO was Chuck Burrows of Wild Rose Trading Company.
He shared with me some of his procedures, which I have used.
We lost Chuck and his museum quality and exquisite work in 2016.

 


I’ve seen his work, he was one of the greats for sure!

Care to share any of what you learned?

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #3 on: Today at 09:19:36 AM »

Offline Major 2

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2023, 05:04:20 AM »
Sure
Here are a couple of holsters from www.ima-usa.com. or maybe it was What Price Glory :-\

Both are paired with original guns, though in remarkable condition the guns do have honest patina.
 So, to display with holsters at the museum, the newly made holsters needed some attention to detail.

Chuck instructed me to use acetone and 0000 steel wool and judicially rub the surfaces to the look you like.

  I also use rubbing alcohol and burlap or mildest scotch guard.
 Currently, I have some prefinished pebble grain and I use the alcohol and paper shop towels to
to achieve a patina before I will sew into a Replica WW1 holster for German side arm.
when planets align...do the deal !

Offline Skeeter Lewis

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2023, 11:46:13 AM »
Brushy, that holster you show is aged very well - which is unusual. Most attempts to age look like , . . attempts to age.

Offline BrushyCreekDouglas

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2023, 11:49:38 AM »
Brushy, that holster you show is aged very well - which is unusual. Most attempts to age look like , . . attempts to age.

Wish I could take credit for it. Bob Giles is a true master!

Offline Graveyard Jack

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2023, 11:50:56 AM »
Chuck Burrows was the master and I wish he'd been able to share more with us before he passed. I like my leatherwork, some cartridge guns and all blackpowder guns to be aged. I've been obsessed with guns for 40yrs and have never been able to age anything to this point naturally. It's just not realistic. Don't know why some folks have such an aversion to it. Modern finishes don't age like this anyway.

I started aging nearly everything about 3yrs ago. The first one's the hardest, because you have to do all sorts of things you normally really shouldn't do to a holster. First, it has to be dry. Save the oil until after all the aging is done. Out of the alcohol dye, the leather will be dry. I will often dry it further with acetone. Then I started folding it to induce cracks and wrinkles. Then I start roughing up the high spots with steel wool, sandpaper or both. For my walnut color, I'll also antique it with the Fiebing's black paste. I usually buff it afterwards, so it has a burnished appearance.















This was the first one I ever aged. Learned a lot from it and should've never sold it.





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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2023, 12:22:37 PM »

Your methods of aging yield good results. I really like the way the leather came out on the back of this one. A plain holster with your technique done to it would be outstanding.

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Offline BrushyCreekDouglas

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2023, 06:32:57 PM »
Chuck Burrows was the master and I wish he'd been able to share more with us before he passed. I like my leatherwork, some cartridge guns and all blackpowder guns to be aged. I've been obsessed with guns for 40yrs and have never been able to age anything to this point naturally. It's just not realistic. Don't know why some folks have such an aversion to it. Modern finishes don't age like this anyway.

I started aging nearly everything about 3yrs ago. The first one's the hardest, because you have to do all sorts of things you normally really shouldn't do to a holster. First, it has to be dry. Save the oil until after all the aging is done. Out of the alcohol dye, the leather will be dry. I will often dry it further with acetone. Then I started folding it to induce cracks and wrinkles. Then I start roughing up the high spots with steel wool, sandpaper or both. For my walnut color, I'll also antique it with the Fiebing's black paste. I usually buff it afterwards, so it has a burnished appearance.















This was the first one I ever aged. Learned a lot from it and should've never sold it.



BEAUTIFULLY done!! Will have to try that method!

Offline Jubal Starbuck

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2023, 05:30:06 AM »
  Nice work!  I think I got this tip on aging copper rivets from reading Chuck Burrow's writings.  Degrease rivet,  then when dry swab a little cold blue on it.  Makes  the rivet look like it was installed many lustrums ago.

  Regards,

  Jubal Starbuck

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2023, 08:42:05 AM »
That's a good trick, Jubal. Chuck did know how to age things beautifully. Thanks for passing that on.

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2023, 09:01:51 AM »
Outstanding!

Offline Graveyard Jack

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2023, 12:15:14 PM »
Your methods of aging yield good results. I really like the way the leather came out on the back of this one. A plain holster with your technique done to it would be outstanding.
The wrinkles are my favorite part. I wish they were more predictable. Some holsters just wrinkle better than others, even when cut from the same hide.

Try as I might, I just can't bring myself to make a plain holster. The line work and stamping is my favorite part. That said, I'm back in the saddle after a long hiatus. This weekend I'm finishing four holsters and prior to them, I only made one all year. Maybe I'll finally do a plain one and age the snot out of it.
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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2023, 02:23:34 PM »
The wrinkles are my favorite part. I wish they were more predictable. Some holsters just wrinkle better than others, even when cut from the same hide.

Try as I might, I just can't bring myself to make a plain holster. The line work and stamping is my favorite part. That said, I'm back in the saddle after a long hiatus. This weekend I'm finishing four holsters and prior to them, I only made one all year. Maybe I'll finally do a plain one and age the snot out of it.
One aged well sounds like it could be quite nice looking. I also like the stamping and such. Lately, though, I've done more of the simple ones with just a bead on the edges and they look mighty good. I may have to clean one with alcohol and age it like you do.

Something like this one would lend to aging nicely:

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Offline Graveyard Jack

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2023, 11:24:07 PM »
I may try one with just a beaded edge like that.

I need to find something that dries it out more drastically. You know, some of Chuck's were badly cracked and I think that might have been from Easy Off. I tried a test piece but it made it like a potato chip. May try dripping in acetone instead of just wiping it on.
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Offline BrushyCreekDouglas

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2023, 08:25:36 AM »
Here’s my first attempt using my rough prototype of a JS Collins double loop. Mixed various dyes, applied them in layers and splattered darker dye onto the holster. Then I crumpled the holster to wrinkle it then took some sandpaper to high spots. Still have a ways to go in my process for future holsters, but it seems to be coming along.

My goal is to make them look years old, not decades or centuries old. Overall it’s a fun process!

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2023, 01:13:05 PM »
I may try one with just a beaded edge like that.

I need to find something that dries it out more drastically. You know, some of Chuck's were badly cracked and I think that might have been from Easy Off. I tried a test piece but it made it like a potato chip. May try dripping in acetone instead of just wiping it on.
I do like your level of aging. In my opinion, cracks tend to make them look beyond their useful life.

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Offline Marshal Will Wingam

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Re: Adding patina to leather
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2023, 01:15:24 PM »
Here’s my first attempt using my rough prototype of a JS Collins double loop. Mixed various dyes, applied them in layers and splattered darker dye onto the holster. Then I crumpled the holster to wrinkle it then took some sandpaper to high spots. Still have a ways to go in my process for future holsters, but it seems to be coming along.

My goal is to make them look years old, not decades or centuries old. Overall it’s a fun process!
That does look like it has some good years of life. Nice work, there.

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