Leather finishing

Leather finishing

This is a discussion on Leather finishing within the Defensive Carry Holsters & Carry Options forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm on the verge of getting my first leather holster and curious about finishing it. Some of the posts I found have covered some of ...

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Thread: Leather finishing

  1. #1
    Member Array DonSmith's Avatar
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    Leather finishing

    I'm on the verge of getting my first leather holster and curious about finishing it. Some of the posts I found have covered some of this, but basically I want to know if you can just finish a holster like a pair of boots.

    What I mean is this. Wet the holster, insert plastic-wrapped gun until dry to shape and then rub in neatsfoot or mink oil.


  2. #2
    New Member Array GMAN's Avatar
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    Do not add any oil to your holster. It will soften it to the point where it may no longer have enough tension to hold your gun.

  3. #3
    Member Array M1911A1's Avatar
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    A properly-made leather holster will already be wet-formed to your gun. If it isn't, then check to make sure that the leather used to make it will indeed wet-form. (Some holster makers use chrome-tan leather, which doesn't.)
    To maintain a good-quality holster, you should keep liquids away from it. Use a soft brush to remove all dirt, inside and out, and especially grit which will ruin the finish of your gun. Old toothbrushes are good for this.
    Once in a long while, you may rub a small amount of cake shoe wax into the well-cleaned outside surface (only). Neutral (colorless) works best, as color will come off on your clothes. (Cake furniture wax works too, but shoe wax is better.) Pay attention to the foldover of the belt loop (if there is one), and/or the edges of the belt slots (if there are any).
    Leather holsters have a finite life. Eventually every one of them will crack or tear, and some will become too loose. Part of the reason for this is that you shouldn't use wet, penetrating leather conditioners on a wood-hard, wet-formed holster. Not even saddlesoap.
    Steve
    Retired Leathersmith and Practical Shooter

    "Qui desiderat pacem, pręparet bellum."

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array jarhead79's Avatar
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    When you say on the verge of "getting" your first holster, isn't it already finished??

    Do you mean you've finished making the holster? If you've purchased a holster, it should be finished already.

    Definitely don't use oil on it. Cake wax, as mentioned, is plenty. Even that isn't necessary, unless you're just meticulous about shiny holsters.

    Nate
    www.ubgholsters.com short wait times. Use 'defensivecarry' as a coupon code for a discount to your order.

  5. #5
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    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Where are you getting your holster from?
    You really should not need to do much of anything to it at all.

    If it is already pre-molded to your gun but, is initially a bit too tight then Do Not Wet It.

    Just wrap your firearm in about two thicknesses of Wax Paper and leave your firearm in the holster at least overnight but, 24 hours is better.

    Do not oil your holster with anything. No Mink or Neatsfoot.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  6. #6
    Member Array REDTAIL's Avatar
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    I have posted in the past this but I will re write this now again never ever use any mink oil, neets foot oil, saddle soap,or any base ball glove conditioners on any leather holsters it will make the leather dark and as soft as butter in short it will reuin your holster beyond repair, now listen up, buy yourself a can of KIWI or any other brand of netrual shoe wax polish use a soft piece of lint free cotton tee shirt material and rub the wax on the front & inside of the holster then let it dry a few minutes then with another piece of clean tee shirt rag buff off the wax outside & inside of the holster, you can do this every once in a while to all of your leather holsters & belts etc and they will keep like new the day you bought them for years to come, I was told this over 25 yrs ago by a great leather holster maker( ANDY ARATOONIAN ) of Horse Shoe leather co.of England, & believe me all of my leather holsters,that I own from different mfg are treated this way and they all look as new as the day that I bought them. Remember this tip and you will not be dissapointed, but never use any of the things that I mentioned at the beginning of this post on your fine leather holsters etc. hope this great tip help's everyone out, that own great leather holsters etc.NOTE you can use the shoe wax as soon as you open and start your new holster's right after you break it in with the gun wrapped in a plastic bag to block it so it breaks in the holster to be put in & drawn out of the new holster with ease.

  7. #7
    Member Array REDTAIL's Avatar
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    DON do not use or put any water on or near your holster to break it in get yourself a bottle of gun eez for about $8.00 from galco leather co its a small bottle of stuff that you apply inside the holster then wrapp your gun in a zip lock bag and push it in the holster and let sit like that for a day or so then start to draw the gun in & out of the holster as manny times as you can untill you start to see that it draws out easely then apply more of the gun eez and then put the gun in and out of the holster without the bag on it then leave it in the holster a few days & it should be broken in nicely go on line to galco to order their gun eez this stuff will last a long time even though it's a small bottle, by the way Mitch Rosen's web site has a simular product I think that it's called leather Lightning & it works the same as the galco product. good luck you should do fine with both of my post suggestions. and let me know how it works out for you ok do this step first before you do the above post with the shoe wax only after the holster is broken in ok.

  8. #8
    Member Array M1911A1's Avatar
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    Making many repetitive presentations from your new holster is a better break-in method than using plastic or waxed paper, with or without leather-easing preparations.
    You need to practice with it anyway, and doing repetitive practice draws is the best break-in tool available to you.
    Steve
    Retired Leathersmith and Practical Shooter

    "Qui desiderat pacem, pręparet bellum."

  9. #9
    Member Array muddy's Avatar
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    While I agree that your new holster should be formed to your weapon unless you are making it yourself then you will need to form it, once formed don't do it again. Getting your leather wet however is not the bad thing its made out to be. I avoid it but when SHTF and you go for that swim pistol, belt, wallet, and leather alas all is not lost. Remove pistol from holster and let holster dry completely then condition leather with a small amount of oil, small amount of oil, Yes small amount of oil. How small, start with a quarter sized drop on a rag, work that around and see how the leather takes it. Oil is not a bad thing for you holster, large amounts of oil is a very bad thing. Properly taken care of leather should never crack or rip. Leather is porous, this is what holds the oil, but with bending and flexing the oil gets forced out of said pours where you clothes tend to soak it up. So as leather ages a little oil around the stress points to keep them soft and flexible will prevent cracking and ripping. every once in a while one might need to rub a small amount of oil over the entire holster if it starts to dry out. How much and how often you ask, will that depends on how much you use the leather, the outside environment (high heat can cause leather to dry out fast), and how much you sweet into the leather.

    I no very few people even wear good leather boots anymore, there might be a few of you old cowboys wearing good leather and of course the timber industry tends to wear the top of the line leather. If you have or can get a look at a good leather boot you will see that the leather in them is a lot thinner then most pistol holster but they hold their shape and tend to last for years while being but through abuse that a holster would never see. You will notice that a lot of leather boots tend to get cracks where they flex at the toes and I can already here the question as to why. Well this is a high flex area that gets flexed 1000 of times a day but taken care of how often? A properly taken care of pair of boots will not get these cracks, the trouble is the properly taken care of part.

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