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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 736

post #11026 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


If it's simply cemented to the forepart, you run the risk of the oil migrating into the leather under the rubber and weakening the bond of the cement.

Better to rub down with pure beeswax or paraffin.

How about a light coat of Obenauf? Just a light coat, not too much on it.

post #11027 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by traverscao View Post

How about a light coat of Obenauf? Just a light coat, not too much on it.

Understand all I'm doing is trying to point out the mechanics and the possibilities. If you or the OQ want to use Obenaufs that's your choice. It may work out for you, it may cause trouble.

But oil and AP (solvent based cements) are antagonists.
post #11028 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

The original Russia calf was reindeer tanned with willow bark and curried with birch bark oil. What's available today has spent several centuries immersed in black mud and salt water. What it smells like now is open to question...in other words does it smell like it smelled when it was first produced? If not, what does it small like? But if you want to reclaim the sweet birch oil fragrance, you can buy birch oil on the internet. I'd try putting a thin layer on, rubbing it in with your hands so that the warmth from your hands makes it soak into the leather.

I've been told that no one really knows what the original, non-shipwrecked Russia calf looked like. No examples (or very few) exist. I can't vouch for that statement...as I have also been told that bound books from the 18th century do exist.

I don't know of any commercially available genuine Russia calf that is from new production although there is a tannery in Sweden that is doing Reindeer and currying with birch tar. Aside from the historic stuff from the Metta Catharina, most everything on the market is chrome or chrome/veg tanned. Not the same process, not the same feel, not the same smell.

PS...the cross-hatching on the original would have been applied as well...by hand. The hides coming off the animal don't have that character and in fact even shoes made with the original MC Russia calf exhibit flattening when drafted over the toe or heel--a sure sign that the texture is not natural.

--

Well, for what I do, I usually rub Western Red Cedar oil on the lining of my shoes. Definitely prevent foot odor and lining rots. 

 

Their is that dressing mentioned by jerrybrowne that I've been looking for forever, and I just couldn't find it anymore. I'd go with that one instead of birch oil only. However, all attempt should be taken with precaution, for what I know is, they used to stuff and curry the leather on the flesh side, not the grain side. The grease can go on the grain side alright, and if done properly, should even give a nice glow, but the oil would be dangerous.

 

So far I've heard of Horween's attempt to replicate the leather, but I have not heard much more than Horween's attempts and Cleverley's stuff. It is kinda interesting to know of the firm you mentioned there. Vegetable tan would be way more expensive, therefore I bet cost is the reason why they won't fully replicate the tanning process of Russia Leather.

 

Cross hatching pattern was applied by hand, for sure. They stretched the hide on a metallic frame with the cross hatch on it, and from somewhere I heard they even pound the hide with a mallet.

post #11029 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Understand all I'm doing is trying to point out the mechanics and the possibilities. If you or the OQ want to use Obenaufs that's your choice. It may work out for you, it may cause trouble.

But oil and AP (solvent based cements) are antagonists.

Oh I see... 

 

This is why I'd prefer shoes with little cement as possible.

post #11030 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TweedyProf View Post

I have a pair of shoe where there is a commando sole at the fore part of the sole and at the heel. The sole before the heel is leather. Since I intend to wear the shoes in inclement weather what do you think about Obenaufs on the leather part to help shield from the moisture and salt?

If it's simply cemented to the forepart, you run the risk of the oil migrating into the leather under the rubber and weakening the bond of the cement.

Better to rub down with pure beeswax or paraffin.

 

Mine are stitched but that is good to know about the oil and cement as I do have one pair of non boot old AE beaters that have a cemented toppy on them that I wear in the rain.

post #11031 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by traverscao View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Well, for what I do, I usually rub Western Red Cedar oil on the lining of my shoes. Definitely prevent foot odor and lining rots. 

Their is that dressing mentioned by jerrybrowne that I've been looking for forever, and I just couldn't find it anymore. I'd go with that one instead of birch oil only. However, all attempt should be taken with precaution, for what I know is, they used to stuff and curry the leather on the flesh side, not the grain side. The grease can go on the grain side alright, and if done properly, should even give a nice glow, but the oil would be dangerous.

So far I've heard of Horween's attempt to replicate the leather, but I have not heard much more than Horween's attempts and Cleverley's stuff. It is kinda interesting to know of the firm you mentioned there. Vegetable tan would be way more expensive, therefore I bet cost is the reason why they won't fully replicate the tanning process of Russia Leather.

Cross hatching pattern was applied by hand, for sure. They stretched the hide on a metallic frame with the cross hatch on it, and from somewhere I heard they even pound the hide with a mallet.

I don't think so.

Why would the birch oil be dangerous? AFAIK, cedar oil is far more toxic/dangerous than birch oil.

As for rubbing the grain side with oils, that's done with all kinds of leathers, before and after the leather is sold. Anytime you apply a conditioner, it will contain some oils of some kind.

And I seriously doubt that the cross-hatching done on the MC Russia calf was done on a metal frame with a pattern. That, or something similar, might be the way faux crocodile or elephant grain is produced today but none of that was available in 1786.

Of course I wasn't alive in the 18th century but most of the information I have about Russia Calf comes from someone who was...figuratively--he's the head of the shoemaking faculty at Colonial Williamsburg and one of the foremost shoe historians in the world. He has also translated M. Garsault's 1767 Art du Cordonnier from the original French to English. From what I recall him saying the cross-hatching was done by folding and rubbing/pushing the grain.
post #11032 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I don't think so.

Why would the birch oil be dangerous? AFAIK, cedar oil is far more toxic/dangerous than birch oil.

As for rubbing the grain side with oils, that's done with all kinds of leathers, before and after the leather is sold. Anytime you apply a conditioner, it will contain some oils of some kind.

And I seriously doubt that the cross-hatching done on the MC Russia calf was done on a metal frame with a pattern. That, or something similar, might be the way faux crocodile or elephant grain is produced today but none of that was available in 1786.

Of course I wasn't alive in the 18th century but most of the information I have about Russia Calf comes from someone who was...figuratively--he's the head of the shoemaking faculty at Colonial Williamsburg and one of the foremost shoe historians in the world. He has also translated M. Garsault's 1767 Art du Cordonnier from the original French to English. From what I recall him saying the cross-hatching was done by folding and rubbing/pushing the grain.

I'm not talking about the toxicity level of the oils. I'm talking about the possibility of a greasy surface that will prevent a polish. What I know was that the currying process was done on the flesh side so that the grain side could take dyes and polish.

 

Fairly interesting how the source you provide said cross hatching was done with altering the grain. I'll have a look.

post #11033 of 19048
The HCC's digital library has a good article on preparing Russian leather, if you haven't seen it @traverscao:

http://www.thehcc.org/Juchten.pdf
post #11034 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred G. Unn View Post

The HCC's digital library has a good article on preparing Russian leather, if you haven't seen it @traverscao:

http://www.thehcc.org/Juchten.pdf

Interesting source. Thanks.

post #11035 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred G. Unn View Post

The HCC's digital library has a good article on preparing Russian leather, if you haven't seen it @traverscao:

http://www.thehcc.org/Juchten.pdf

I had forgotten all about that even though I am the one responsible for it being there (didn't write it).

And after having re-read it, I withdraw my remarks about the oiling of the grain as well as my recollection of the way the cross-hatching was applied.

My apologies...
post #11036 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I had forgotten all about that even though I am the one responsible for it being there (didn't write it)
LOL! The only reason I knew about it is because you had linked to the HCC Guild Library before.
post #11037 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred G. Unn View Post

LOL! The only reason I knew about it is because you had linked to the HCC Guild Library before.

Knowing that something exists is half the battle...at least for me as I have a notoriously poor memory...and seven decades don't help. There's a lot of "stuff" in there. satisfied.gif

I created and am webmaster of the HCC website/forum but a lot of stuff comes to me to be placed on the site (which I have to hand-code) and although I promise myself to read or re-read such items, I sometimes don't get around to it. I skimmed most of that article when it came in from my friend at Colonial Williamsburg but I don't have his memory--he's eidetic, I think, and can run off dates and places at will. One of the few people I know who is both an historian and a shoemaker.
post #11038 of 19048
I thought Obenaufs was just beeswax! I'll look at the label. What's your wax of choice DFW?
post #11039 of 19048
Quote:
Originally Posted by TweedyProf View Post

I thought Obenaufs was just beeswax! I'll look at the label. What's your wax of choice DFW?

I don't think the label will tell you anything. These outfits are pretty tight-lipped about the ingredients...whether out of embarrassment or guile, who's to say?

But beeswax is a solid.

AFAIK, Obenauf is a grease. That's not to say it doesn't have beeswax in it.

I don't have a favourite but I use a heck of a lot of beeswax. My opinions about conditioners and waxes evolve...just as formulae for all these products evolve. I swore by Lexol and Meltonian and even Kiwi, once upon a time.

FWIW, "DFW" is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. I'm far more down to earth. crackup[1].gif
post #11040 of 19048
Edelman Leather, a supplier mainly to the upholstery trade, have a leather they call Russian Leather. They imply the tannage is willow and birch, but bark rather than oil. They are a little light on details, so who knows how authentic it is.

I've made a pair of shoes from it; I like them, the leather is pretty soft and comfortable. However, it did pull up quite light in some areas when I lasted it. I think it makes them look interesting, but definitely a unique look.

http://www.edelmanleather.com/products/upholstery-leather/russian-antiqued/

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