Waterproofing Leather?



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Lyra Huntress
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Re: Waterproofing Leather?

Postby Lyra Huntress » Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:45 pm

Kortoso wrote:Welcome Lyra!


Thank you!
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Manveruon
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Re: Waterproofing Leather?

Postby Manveruon » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:06 am

Fascinating stuff, thank you for sharing! It's always cool to see something so plainly laid out in a period source.


Le-Loup wrote:
Manveruon wrote:I am quickly coming to completion on several essential pieces of my kit, but I need to find a good way to waterproof small leather bags for a couple of them, so I wanted to ask: what are your favorite methods of watherproofing leather? I've heard some people recommend mink oil, but I wanted to hear other opinions. Several people around here have mentioned "greased leather" in one form or another, but I'm not familiar with that process. Would the mink oil alone do the trick, or is there something in this greasing process that works better?

I also found this interesting Instructables page:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Home-ma ... erproofing

It's attractive to me because I have literally all the supplies I would need to do this right in front of me, and I wouldn't have to go buy anything extra. Any thoughts on this method?

I do have some period recipes for waterproofing leather, but mostly I tend to use Neetsfoot Oil (NOT compound!). I have also made a mix of Neetsfoot oil, beeswax & tallow which works quite well. Here is what I have on period recipes:
Waterproofing boots, 1659 style
Leatherworking Reverend | February 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Categories: Big Book of Leather Chapters, Early Modern, Footwear | URL: http://wp.me/pyUAz-fL

I was recently seventeenth century researching fishing and found this instruction for making a waterproof boot polish.
I have a willing mind with Gods help to preserve all those that love this recreation, to goe dry in their boots and shooes, to preserve their healths, which one receit is worth much more than this book will cost.1
First, they must take a pint of Linseed oyle, with half a pound of mutton suet, six or eight ounces of bees wax, and half a pinniworth2 of rosin, boyle all this in a pipkin together, so let it coole untill it be milk warm, then take a little hair brush and lay it on your new boots; but its best that this stuff be laid on before the boot-maker makes the boots, then brush them once over after they come from him; as for old boots you must lay it on when your boots be dry.
It comes from BARKER'S DELIGHT: OR, THE ART OF ANGLING. Wherein are discovered many rare Secrets very necessary to be known by all that delight in that Recreation, both for catching the Fish, and dressing thereof by Thomas Barker, second edition 1659. If anyone gives it a try, let me know how it works.
1 Twelve pence, according to one of the introductory poems at the front of the book.
2 Possibly a pennyweight, a unit of weight equal to 24 grains, or roughly 1.6g. There are 20 to the Troy ounce.
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http://leatherworkingreverend.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/waterproofing-boots-1659-style/

Here is a period quote for using Neetsfoot oil:
At Valley Forge, PA, on 12 January 1778, General Orders read: "...The Brigade Commissaries are to apply forthwith to their Brigadiers or Officers Commanding Brigades and with their approbation fix upon a place for Collecting all the dirty Tallow and saving the Ashes for the purpose of making soft soap for the use of the Army, also for imploying proper persons to boile the Oyle out of the Cattles feet (Neetsfoot oil) and preserve it for the use of the Army. This Oile is to be put in Casks and delivered to the Qr Mr Genl."2
Valley Forge Orderly Book of General George Weedon, New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1902; reprint ed. New York: The New York Times and Arno Press, 1971, p. 190.
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Re: Waterproofing Leather?

Postby leithianore » Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:44 pm

I use a product called hubberds shoe grease, it's a mix of pine pitch and bee's wax and it works great. I have been using to to treat the leather parts of my armor for years some of the leather is over 20 years since the armor was made and still holding strong even it the wet environment of the Pacific Northwest
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MasterStrong
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Re: Waterproofing Leather?

Postby MasterStrong » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:42 am

Really digging the recipes for more historical versions in here. I tend to use mink oil almost exclusively because it is, in my opinion, incomparably waterproofing without sacrificing suppleness which makes it ideal for boots/shoes and gloves. Adding oils to beeswax helps retain the softness but never quite as well it seems. As to olive oils tendency to turn rancid, the natural tendencies of beeswax almost entirely negate that issue.
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Iodo
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Re: Waterproofing Leather?

Postby Iodo » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:55 am

MasterStrong wrote:Really digging the recipes for more historical versions in here. I tend to use mink oil almost exclusively because it is, in my opinion, incomparably waterproofing without sacrificing suppleness which makes it ideal for boots/shoes and gloves. Adding oils to beeswax helps retain the softness but never quite as well it seems. As to olive oils tendency to turn rancid, the natural tendencies of beeswax almost entirely negate that issue.


Same here, I use mink oil, and sometimes dubbin, it wet over here in the UK so its well tested and doesn't need reapplying often

and welcome back :P
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Rysgil
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Re: Waterproofing Leather?

Postby Rysgil » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:49 pm

If you can find it Original Australian Leather Seal is the best stuff I've ever used. It's a beeswax/eucalyptus oil concoction.
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Ringulf
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Re: Waterproofing Leather?

Postby Ringulf » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:21 pm

All great replies, fantastic information running the gammit of methods and preferences. I fall into line with Elleth, Taurinor and the rest who prefer the combination of Bee's wax and Neatsfoot oil, and have used Mink oil for waterproofing with good results in the short term. you can keep it viable longer if you wax it and seal it in. All that being said I had a last-minute project that needed finishing. I was in my local Walmart looking in the camping area and the drifted over to the shoe department to grab some shoe polish and there it was! The boots they sell there are Herman's Survivors and Herman's has a whole range of products that will do the trick. Including Neatsfoot oil (paste and liquid) and a very satisfying Beeswax application (not 100% but I felt it did a great job) So if you are looking for authenticity, which I feel is what makes these kind of projects fun, go with pure natural ingredients used in the old way. However it is always good to know were you can get supplies that will do the job and do it well, even if they are a bit more commercial,
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