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Surface crack in shell?

Nicesuit

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Just got a pair of Tricker's shell chukkas and one has a 1/2 inch crack in the surface of the leather. It's not a cosmetic concern as it's not in a place that people will readily see it, however, I'm wondering if this will be something that will worsen over time due to an underlying fault in the leather? I don't know if this is a somewhat common thing with shell. Should I do anything about it or just chalk it up to character?
 

stickonatree

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like a physical crack? maybe a picture would help, i'm having a hard time visualizing it.
 

Nicesuit

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Originally Posted by stickonatree
like a physical crack? maybe a picture would help, i'm having a hard time visualizing it.
Yeah, it's actually a physical crack or surface tear, it's not very deep at all. It feels like it's just the glossy upper layer of the leather and that's as deep as it goes. After examining it a little more it looks like it "split" through a scar when they pulled it forward to sew. Will this normally cause problems later on? I really don't want to return it if possible. Attachment 14778 It's not a very good pic with my crappy camera but you can see where it's at on the boot and its size. The flash makes it more visible than it really is as there is no discoloration in it. Ever seen one do that?
 

JayJay

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I've had a few scratches but not a tear in the shell. If they are new shoes, then I'd consider returning them.
 

yachtie

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Shell can split when its being pulled over the last. Return 'em.
 

bengal-stripe

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In shell cordovan you can repair those surface scratches quite easily:

Put a dollop of shoe cream (the moist stuff in glass jars) onto the fault. Take a metal teaspoon, hold by the handle, plunge your thumb into the bowl of the spoon and slide the back of the spoon in circular motions over the fault (reminds me of playing with mud as a child).

There must be a well-fitting pair of trees (or some other object) inside the shoe for that "˜rock and a hard place' feeling. You are repeating what the tannery does, create the surface of the cordovan with waxes and metal rollers under great pressure.

Do that for a few minutes, then take the cream (the lubricant) off with a tissue. I bet the fault will have gone, or at least, be much improved. Then polish.

The traditional way is using a deer bone, but I found a teaspoon works equally well and is much easier to get hold off then a dead deer.
 

TCN

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Bengal,

What are the properties of a deer bone that make it suitable for this, or is it simply tradition?
 

Douglas

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There is supposed to be a crack between the shells, but not on them.
 

Nicesuit

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Arrrrggghhh, I didn't want to send them back but that's probably the wise thing to do. They're awesome chukkas and other than the tear they are brand new. I actually paid a decent price for them so I expected a "scratch or dent" or maybe some discoloration, but an actual split in the upper was a total surprise. It's getting where it's hard to trust even the sellers with a good reputation.

Thanks for the tips Bengal but this is definitely a far cry from being a scratch, do you think it would help for an actual crack? As a last ditch question and for my own edification, do you think a cobbler could stabilize the problem to keep it from getting worse?

Thanks for the replies guys, much appreciated!
 

bengal-stripe

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Shell cordovan is a very unusual leather as it is actually a membrane that is seated within the hide. The surface of the shell cordovan is artificially created. To get the surface, it needs to be compressed. That is the same thing that you re-create with the spoon. You put on pressure and the leather shifts and closes. Shell is the only leather that has these characteristics.

You can heal quite deep cuts this way. It is very similar to those self-healing cutting mats(although the shell needs a bit of help and physical manipulation):

http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/S...ting_Mats.html

Originally Posted by Nicesuit
Thanks for the tips Bengal but this is definitely a far cry from being a scratch, do you think it would help for an actual crack?

It works, believe me. Don't be so defeatist, give it a try, you must have a teaspoon and some shoe cream in your house. If it does not work, return the shoes. I will heal you a cut up to half the thickness of the leather.

Originally Posted by Douglas
There is supposed to be a crack between the shells, but not on them.


There cannot be a crack between the shells, as it is only one shell, one membrane.

Originally Posted by TCN
What are the properties of a deer bone that make it suitable for this, or is it simply tradition?

I believe deer bone (which is supposed to come from the hind legs) has natural lubrication in form of oils. It also has different round curves and long straight edges. You couldn't use a teaspoon for a boot shaft.

http://horacebatten.com/products/deer_bone_for_wax_calf
 

grimslade

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Bengal, you are as always a wealth of information. Thanks!
 

Nicesuit

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That, my friend, is awesome news, I will be trying the spoon trick! You sir, are my new hero. Thanks for the lesson on shell, I had no idea you could work with it like that. The fault is nowhere near half the thickness of the leather so I'm interested in giving this a shot. Do you have any preference on which cream to use or is it merely acting as a safe way to lubricate the process?

Thanks so much for the info and help, you're a life saver.
 

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