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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Stabilising Leather - Bandoliers


Spree Farm

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Hi,

A few months ago I purchased a WWI RFA Tunic which came with a few additions. I my other post "Repair Moth Hole"I shared how to repair unwanted moth holes in woolen tunics, which is still an ongoing project. At the moment I am still waiting for the freshly dyed wool to dry and start the aging process. So my next post on that subject will be in a couple more weeks.

One of the additions that came with the uniform was a 1921 issued bandolier

 

Bandolia 1.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Spree Farm said:

Hi,

A few months ago I purchased a WWI RFA Tunic which came with a few additions. I my other post "Repair Moth Hole"I shared how to repair unwanted moth holes in woolen tunics, which is still an ongoing project. At the moment I am still waiting for the freshly dyed wool to dry and start the aging process. So my next post on that subject will be in a couple more weeks.

One of the additions that came with the uniform was a 1921 issued bandolier

 

Bandolia 1.jpg

As you can see by the photo it has had a bit of a hard life and the leather is showing signs of cracking and splitting due to the drying out process of aging. So to enable the leather to last another 100 years this process has to be slowed. The puritans will cry "don't do it leave, it as it you will destroy the history". If we don't there will be know history to see in a 100 years or so.

To maintain the integrity of the Bandolier I need to use only natural products that will preserve the leather without looking out of place. My choice of product could only be one thing - Bees wax. I the shed I found a 20 year old tin of traditional wood floorwax. This had 98% bees wax 1% emulsifier and 1% 'dark tanning. 

 

Bandolia 4 - Equipment.jpg

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Just now, Spree Farm said:

As you can see by the photo it has had a bit of a hard life and the leather is showing signs of cracking and splitting due to the drying out process of aging. So to enable the leather to last another 100 years this process has to be slowed. The puritans will cry "don't do it leave, it as it you will destroy the history". If we don't there will be know history to see in a 100 years or so.

To maintain the integrity of the Bandolier I need to use only natural products that will preserve the leather without looking out of place. My choice of product could only be one thing - Bees wax. I the shed I found a 20 year old tin of traditional wood floorwax. This had 98% bees wax 1% emulsifier and 1% 'dark tanning. 

 

Bandolia 4 - Equipment.jpg

So with an old toothbrush and cloth I set about turn old in to new old. My intension was to match these two bandoliers.

Bandolia 9 - Before and after.jpg

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First was to apply the wax with the cloth and get into the cracks with the toothbrush. The application of wax was liberal to say the least and the more I added the more the leather wanted. To esnure the wax was absorbed in to every crack in the leather several application was required as well as gently bending the leather to allow the wax to penetrate.

Bandolia 3 - Applying wax.jpg

Bandolia 5 - Toothbrush.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Spree Farm said:

20 minutes later the first pouch had received its first application. Wax was also applied to the inside of the pouches.

 

 

 

 

 

11 minutes ago, Spree Farm said:

 

 

 

 

Edited by Spree Farm
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6 minutes ago, Spree Farm said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bandolia 6 - Completed pouch.jpg

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Just now, Spree Farm said:

 

Bandolia 6 - Completed pouch.jpg

Two hours later and the leather has it first waxing. It still a bit stiky at this stage and you need to leav it for a week or so to soak ing before aplying more coats. One statified the process is compleae brush with a clean shoe brush to remove any excess wax.

Bandolia 7 - Completed Bandolia.jpg

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Just now, Spree Farm said:

Two hours later and the leather has it first waxing. It still a bit stiky at this stage and you need to leav it for a week or so to soak ing before aplying more coats. One statified the process is compleae brush with a clean shoe brush to remove any excess wax.

Bandolia 7 - Completed Bandolia.jpg

So the two belts together, good for another hundred years.  On foot note the waxing should be reapplied evey couple of years

Bandolia 8 - Two Bandolias.jpg

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Good information! Thank you for sharing.

All the best,

Gary

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