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Finish on a holster?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Holsters and Accessories' started by ivankerley, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. ivankerley

    ivankerley Well-Known Member

    Making a holster for a friend, itll be my first leather project not using an all in one Dye/Gloss coat (works fine looks plastic)…
    So what do i use? ive read about a thin coat of neats foot then a top coat of something? Little confused here… and im sure too much oil is bad
    Also the guy at tandy was talking up fiebings aussie conditioner… i like that its a little more matte, but is it okay for tooled and dyed holster or sheaths?
    Any advice would be appreciated
  2. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    I use gum trag, then buff it out while still damp and then finish with either Fiebing's bag kote or Tandy's professional clear gloss finish. Don't really care for how the acrylic finishes look.
  3. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    Neat's foot oil is said to rot the thread used in making holsters. I would use Lexol or something similar.
  4. ivankerley

    ivankerley Well-Known Member

    thanks guys, ive read so many pro/con neatsfoot oil posts im not entirely sure what to believe, probably avoid it for now, maybe experiment in the future with it
  5. AJumbo

    AJumbo Well-Known Member

    I like Sno-Seal, Farnham Leather-New spray-on saddle soap, Lexol, or this really nifty Australian beeswax preparation I got at a horse show, the name of which utterly escapes me at this time. If the holster is fitted, I've been known to use Fiebing's Oil Dye for the color, then work Bee Natural casing into the leather after boning, while the leather is still damp. Whichever treatment you use, stick with it; sometimes mixing treatments can inhibit their effectiveness. Bottom line, there are so many quality products out there that you don't need to be tied down to just one.

    Neatsfoot, if it must be used, should be pure, and not the compound, which can have petroleum distillates included in it. I stay away from it altogether, as I associate it with "red rot" on my horse tack, and seems to "ooze" and leave a sticky feel on leather, at least here in the Abominably Hot Desert Southwest.
  6. Double_J

    Double_J Well-Known Member

    I would use fittings alcohol based dies, followed up with tank's super sheen/satin sheen. And buff each one after applying it. I made a wallet and a knife sheath that way and neither look plastic nor have they faded from sweat nor use.
  7. Red Cent

    Red Cent Well-Known Member

  8. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    That's a myth. The only issue with neatsfoot oil is in its overuse.
  9. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    Go very easy with neatsfoot oil, and if you use it, make sure you get 100% real neatsfoot oil.
    Most of it these days is fish oil with just enough neatsfoot oil to allow them to call it neatsfoot "compound".

    For a final finish I never found a better one than Fiebing's Resolene.
    This is a milky looking liquid acrylic that dries to a clear finish.
    It's water resistant and VERY tough wearing.
    It gives a more mellow shine than a hard gloss.

    I applied it by spraying it on with an airbrush then force drying it with a hair dryer.
    I'd then let it age over night and apply a heavy coat of Johnson's Paste Wax.

    By spraying it on, you avoid streaks and thick/thin areas.
    Unlike most all other top finishes, Resolene won't chip, crack, or peel off and stays good looking for many years.
  10. Red Cent

    Red Cent Well-Known Member

    Or Fiebling's Leather Sheen or Angelus Acrylic Finish or Saddle Lac or Mop & Glo. All are an acrylic finish. And M&G is less than $10.00 for 32 ounces. I have a bottle of Leather Sheen and it does the same thing as M&G. It seems that as I communicate with other leather makers, they generally use M&G. I don't think it will replace Resolene or any other top acrylic finish but, hey, it works.

    And....all the above (including Resolene) is diluted with water (50/50) for regular use.

    I always give my products a nice massage with NF oil unless the customer says no. Veg tanned leather is very dry and sould have some kind of conditioner applied.

    "That's a myth. The only issue with neatsfoot oil is in its overuse."

    Very true.
  11. ivankerley

    ivankerley Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, i had no idea M&G could be used for a top coat
    Thats why i love the forum, learned so much
  12. judgedelta

    judgedelta Well-Known Member

  13. ivankerley

    ivankerley Well-Known Member

  14. Red Cent

    Red Cent Well-Known Member

    "The leather cleaner that will clean, soften, and preserve all your leather goods. One jar will do it all. Unique formulation that is colorless to enhance all leather tones. Easy to use and economical. Genuine Carnauba Wax buffs easily to a shine.
    Uses: Cleans, nourishes, softens, preserves, shines, and water proofs without changing leathers' color.
    Excellent for scratches and scuffs on boots.

    Leather 'N' Rich cleans, softens and preserves the finest finished or exotic leathers. It is not intended for use on suede, naked or unfinished leather or glazed lambskin.

    A proven alternative to soaps, oils, water repellents, conditioner and other preservatives.


    Would not work for me. Some of my leather goods are unfinished (vegetable tanned) leather. I would not think I could apply it to natural leather after I applied an acrylic coat.
  15. judgedelta

    judgedelta Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't think that you could put anything on leather after an acrylic coat. I had a guy build me a saddle and put Saddlelac on it. Nothing ever got in after that...

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