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

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    I would also be interested in the reasoning process that led you to prefer Bick 4 over other products (Reading DFWs posts I'm certain there is one)
     
  2. JSO1

    JSO1 Senior member

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    DW, how does Bick 4 compare to VSC in your experience?

    I use both regularly, like both (for different reasons), but tend to find that Bick 4 is a lot less harsh (on my fingers, with which I apply it and VSC). That said, Bick 4 doesn't buff into much of a shine, whereas VSC buffs into a lovely shine, without any wax or anything else.
     
  3. benhour

    benhour Senior member

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    VSC contains petroleum distillates if i am not mistaken!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  4. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Oxidation and hardening is the primary reason why you need little of them when you apply, this is when the "fat on lean" folk rule applies. But, you forgot an important point in what you were saying. Waxes are occlusive, and this will inhibits oxidation. It also means that it will inhibits breathability, which, in practicality sense, is bad.

    I think when it comes to lubrication of the fibers, one must understand what kind of leather need it best. Honestly, something like chrome leather will hardly ever need lubrication at all - a chromed rifle barrel will never take any oil, as oppose to carbon steel. Vegetable tanned hides have stiff fibers, therefore, water content and lubrication make more sense. However, the breaking point of the fibers largely depends on usage (flexing), dryness (lack of care), or the degree of saturation by any liquids (oils, water, or chemicals).

    Smells like fish oil would be one of the components.
     
  5. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You're right. And some waxes.
     
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Never smelt a smelt in B4. Frankly, I doubt it...although IIRC, that's what Baker uses on its leather.
     
  7. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    I don't know, DW. I love the stuff beyond imagination, but at first, I get a dizzy smell coming. As the creamy liquid dries, the smell gets better, and the last stage actually resembles the smell of cod oil.

    I've been slowly switching from Neatsfoot oil to cod oil. I gotta admit, it does a better job than Neatsfoot.
     
  8. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Fish oil and neatsfoot oil goes rancid quickly. You're back in that boat.
     
  9. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Well, I don't know, Pat, in proper amount, they don't seems to rancid. They need to be completely absorbed. Even so, reversed waxed calf, with its oil content left to heavy oxidation, does not seems to go rancid.

    If anything, I always have Western Red Cedar oil and even some of those birch tar oil I can use for the mixture, but I don't, though, and the result tells me that even in rainy condition, it still does not go rancid.

    I think the problem is people use too much oil, to a point where the product oozes and deposit on the surface of the leather. This is perfect opportunity for mold growth and bacteria settlement, hence rapid rancidity.
     
  10. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't believe you that these oils and such aren't going rancid. It could lead to undesirable effects other than rotting. Stickiness comes to mind.
     
  11. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    He lives in the west coast where it's dry year round.
     
  12. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Doesn't matter, exposure to air will oxidize fat, oil, and grease. You can slow it down, but you cannot stop it. Just because it was used 100's of years ago doesn't mean it is the best solution. It seems as if nobody really knows if it is worth introducing to leather anywho. My experience tells me cracking leather is more or less a crapshoot. With technology, experience, and logic on my side I stand by my assertion that I made in post #15215.
     
  13. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Again, Pat, I will have to press on this - they WILL go rancid, and it's hell when they do. However, it's a thing between balancing the water content, using just enough oil, and giving a proper sealant (wax sealant - no acylic). The stickiness is an ill effect no thanks to many idiots "liberally" oiling the leather, not by means of light coats and waits for proper absorption. In US Army's manual in the 1914, they even regulate oiling of leather equipment as to oil only on the flesh side, not on the smooth side, for proper penetration and distribution of oil.

    Here is where the water content comes to play - it keeps the oil from saturating the fibers, limited the oil's function to little moisture influence, and sufficient lubrication influence, not so much to drown the leather.

    Try Pacific North West Washington state, buddy, where Mother Nature piss atop our head for over seven months a year, and gives little snow, which could lead to drought this year. I live close to the coastal region (just north of Seattle), where it will rain, constantly or occasionally, even in summer months like June and July.
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    So what is your preference for hot stuffed leathers rooted in? By what you're saying it seems like the conclusion would be to lean towards fatliquors, emulsified oils that evaporate, or synthetics. It sounds like you understand the downfalls of greasing leathers with natural oils, yet don't want to break the tradition.
     
  15. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    So, it comes to this point where I really have to push this explanation below:

    Leather tanned nowadays are not by the quality matched that of approx. 80 years ago. It is worse when leathers nowadays are chrome tanned by the majority. Caring is not anywhere valid for chromed leather. Take an oak baseball bat and a chromed knife, for example. If you oil the chrome knife, it doesn't really make sense, because the oil will take away the shiny surface, but does not do anything to the material's integrity. The oak bat, however, if oiled properly, will last an eternity. However, drown the bat in oil, and it will rot faster than rawhide in a moist basement.

    Hot stuffed leather rooted back in the "Good old days" when all leather was vegetable tanned, and made to last and age beautifully, much like that of a fine piece of wooden furniture getting soaked in warm baths of oil. The additional currying will give it the beautiful darkening that happens on natural colored hides - the color saturation that happens over time, the natural ability to get burnished and shine on its own, and many characteristics that make them worth roughly $50 more per yard.

    Fatliquors did not really shine until chromed leathers were popularized. The water does not do a damn, it's just a mere solvent for the introduction of the oils. Even for fatliquors and emulsified oils, if overuse on chrome leather, can cause catastrophe.

    Hope this does part of the explanations.
     
  16. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Hi, its still dry climate despite the rain. Ever been to South Asia/SE Asia or even just East Coast summer or Florida...
     
  17. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    So you are trying to role-play/cosplay leather care methods used 100 years ago for leathers of their period on contemporary leathers. Makes perfect sense.
     
  18. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Tried Saigon and Central Highland of 'Nam.

    Still, it rains so bad up here, it's the prime reason I want to leave for CA.
     
  19. traverscao

    traverscao Senior member

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    Nope. No role or cosplay here. Just find certain methods being VERY effective on some leathers. I apply the water content and oil theory on my shell Dundee and it makes perfect sense.
     
  20. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    But you're not really answering the question. There's a difference between tannage and stuffing/fatliquoring. Stuffing and fatliquoring serve the same purpose, the fats are just introduced differently. Also, a tannery is a controlled environment, whereas a consumer buying a product to use on a piece of leather, well, isn't. I think some sort of emulsified oils in water is better for a consumer product because of the difficulty in overusing such a product, whereas an unrefined oil is very easy to screw up. This doesn't even touch the fact of rancidification of said oils and fats.
     

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