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Putting shoe trees in old and dry shell can definitely cause cracks — speaking from experience.Sure, it's scientific! Recording your observations will only help you refine your process. I found it interesting that you are avoiding the shoe tree at this time. I had no idea that could be enough force to cause a crack. So, thanks for writing out your process. Best of luck!
I wonder if the soaking method @davidVC illustrates on his blog could be improved with the addition of glycerin to the soaking water when dealing with extremely dry shell.Horween takes six months to prepare shells for use making shoes, and as I recall it involves soaking in vats of oils for much of that time how they do it. If a shoe has dried out it's going to be tough to penetrate deep into the membrane from just the outside since it's not porous. I've had the best success keeping the shoes warm with a heating pad set to low and rubbing in NF oil and the like over a week, all wrapped up in a towel and a plastic bag to keep the moisture in. Don't let pigmented plastic bags touch the shell with moisture present or there could be color transfer, so I've heard.
Somehow, I am always wary when hear "In coming camels" in a crowded forum. These camels are gorgeous, however.In coming camels; oddly from the west not the east. A bit of Bicks and some black edge dressing and these shoes will pop. The plastic Dack's trees will be my first in this style. Laugh if you will, but plastic and metal trees are great for travelling to keep the weight down.
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This is a wonderful thread. Coincidentally, I recently acquired a NOS Nettleton shell. I shell be following your footstepsAfter the fourth application of neatsfoot oil, and brushing.
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I decided to use some Bick 4 on them. I think "slather" is the proper verb. Here's an interesting observation. I figured that all of the NF would've saturated the shell and that the Bick would just sit on the surface, slowly soaking in. But it didn't. The shell sucked it right in; the outside was almost totally dry by the time I finished the interior. Here it is after a second slathering.
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And the control shoe is on the right. Notice the dab of Bick on the vamp?
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I put that there when I put the first coat on the experimental shoe. It didn't soak in much.
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Hypothesis: dried out shell doesn't readily accept leather creams. The shell must first be rehydrated with NF for Bick to be effective. Thoughts?
As much as I dig the shoe porn on this thread,my favorite part of this group is when someone puts on the lab coat and details their experiments for the rest of us. Thanks @Nealjpage -I’m looking forward to how this turns out! Knowledge is power,figuring out the most solid approach to revitalizing and protecting vintage shell will be as thrilling as when I first successfully restored my white bucks after a destructive 4th of July cookout!
I'm unsure about saddle soap. I use Saphir's milder soap and feel even that can be too much. I've read a number of things about using glycerin on leather and like everything else, some love it while others hate it. My understanding is that it helps moisture penetrate into the leather, which can be helpful to soften dry leather, but it also potentially weakens the leather fibers over the long term.Here we are after brushing after the third application of neatsfoot.
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I did a fourth application, which didn't absorb as quickly.
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I think that I'll hit it with Bick 4 now, then wet with glycerin saddle soap, and tree while still wet. Hopefully I can reshape it a bit that way.
Saddle soap seems to be a wedge issue. Russell Moccasin recommends it for their footwear, for what it's worth.I'm unsure about saddle soap. I use Saphir's milder soap and feel even that can be too much. I've read a number of things about using glycerin on leather and like everything else, some love it while others hate it. My understanding is that it helps moisture penetrate into the leather, which can be helpful to soften dry leather, but it also potentially weakens the leather fibers over the long term.
Yes sir It’s this pair, and it should arrive on Tuesday. I cannot wait to share my own pics https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nettleton-Penny-Loafers-Slip-On-New-Old-Stock-Shell-Cordovan-Vintage-Mens-9-5-D-/133544830472?_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l49292post pics!