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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:43 am 
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I've got this big old leather sheath for a Western W49 knife. What's the best method for improving the water resistance of the leather?

On a side note, I've read that earlier W49 knives were not made of stainless steel, does anyone know when they changed over?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:51 am 
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Mink oil perhaps?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:59 am 
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I usually treat my leathers with a combo of neatsfoot and mink oils.

First a liberal application of neatsfoot oil. Let it dry overnight.

The next day, warm the sheath with a hairdryer (warm, not hot), and apply mink oil my hand. Really massage that crap into it.
Let it sit another day, and you're good to go.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:57 am 
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Have you tried beeswax?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:04 am 
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I use Dubbin on mine. Warm it on a cooker til it melts, then paint it on.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:08 pm 
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I'd recommend Sno-Seal. It is a natural wax and the manufacture states "will never weaken, decay, or break down the leather or stitching or seams. It will darken the leather, but the water rolls right off.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:14 pm 
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Sno-Seal or Nikwax or mink oil.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:24 pm 
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HellSpork wrote:
I usually treat my leathers with a combo of neatsfoot and mink oils.



Neatsfoot oil is good to condition and soften leather, but if you buy any make sure it's pure neatsfoot oil. A lot of places sell a neatsfoot compound with other oils mixed in. Some of these will ruin the stitching on leather items like sheaths and boots.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:24 pm 
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I use a 50/50 solution of linseed oil and turpentine. Then if I feel like it I will take a very small amount of bee's wax and rub the shit out of it giving it a worked into the pours kind of thing.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:57 pm 
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I use just plain ol' beeswax.

Use a heat gun to slowly warm the leather, then rub in the wax until the leather is *saturated*.

Works awesome!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:12 pm 
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bonanacrom wrote:
I use a 50/50 solution of linseed oil and turpentine. Then if I feel like it I will take a very small amount of bee's wax and rub the shit out of it giving it a worked into the pours kind of thing.



I bought a gallon of boiled linseed oil, the smallest container I could find locally, and had so much that I figured I'd use it on my leather as well. I did a little research online and read that linseed oil will actually make leather brittle over time if used repeatedly. Don't know if that's true or not, but thought I'd pass it along.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:21 pm 
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Doesn't mink oil cause shaped leather to lose it's rigidity over time? I recommend beeswax and elbow grease if you're using a sheath that's shaped to your blade. Good example is the hedgehog kabar sheath.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:33 pm 
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Molon Labe wrote:
Doesn't mink oil cause shaped leather to lose it's rigidity over time? I recommend beeswax and elbow grease if you're using a sheath that's shaped to your blade. Good example is the hedgehog kabar sheath.

My understanding is that beeswax is used in making form-fitted leather, and that you should use either wax OR oil on the same piece but not both. So if your knife sheath is form-fitted, use wax-based waterproofing like plain beeswax, Sno-Seal (based on beeswax), or Nikwax (based on paraffin).

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:39 pm 
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I only ever use the linseed oil/turpentine once on something. After that I do the bees wax once every 3 years or so. I have a pair of old work boots that I wear in the house that are over 25 years old and the leather is fine, the threads however have finally started to disintegrate. - Thats why there indoor boots. I have never had problmes useing oil first then wax.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:42 pm 
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bonanacrom wrote:
I only ever use the linseed oil/turpentine once on something. After that I do the bees wax once every 3 years or so. I have a pair of old work boots that I wear in the house that are over 25 years old and the leather is fine, the threads however have finally started to disintegrate. - Thats why there indoor boots. I have never had problmes useing oil first then wax.

That makes sense. Well, as long as you're intention isn't to spit shine them later. Or so I've been told.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:54 pm 
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I shine my one pair of boots ( no spiting ) and they where hit with the oil then wax procedure. Once the wax is worked into the boots you can shin them, using boot polish is a bit more tricky.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:36 pm 
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I use Sno-Seal on all of the leather stuff I make.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 8:48 pm 
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Beej wrote:
I'd recommend Sno-Seal. It is a natural wax and the manufacture states "will never weaken, decay, or break down the leather or stitching or seams. It will darken the leather, but the water rolls right off.



Ditto - have used SnoSeal for years and years. After you have worked it in, buff it with an old towel to avoid the wax acting as a dirt magnet.

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