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Thread Like Summary
BrentD, Prof, damascus, eeb, graybeardtmm3, Gunning Bird, Hoot4570, John Roberts, LetFly, mc, Mills, NCTarheel, Parabola, Stanton Hillis, susjwp, Ted Schefelbein, Tim Cartmell
Total Likes: 62
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#624523 01/02/2023 11:02 PM
by LetFly
LetFly
A friend acquired this old VL&D SxS case at auction and knowing I have a number of J. P. Sauer VL & D 'Knock about' SxS's. Leather and interior rough condition so I need to look into having it redone. Now to the challenge, I do not wish to invest the cost of a new high end SxS into getting it redone. Any suggestions?

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]

This label and the embossed name plate is rather cool
[Linked Image from jpgbox.com]
Liked Replies
by damascus
damascus
Well LeyFly you have a case that requires a large helping of TLC but it is far from needing a Leather recover job on the whole Leather is extremely resilient if you treat it correctly and take time over it. In this photograph many folks would say it is not worth spending time on it .

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

A lot of TLC and some effort the case can again look like it is looked after

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Amazing what a re line can do and a couple of Bridal Leather straps having the correct Military roller buckles.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

It is now the fitting keeper of of this period offering of the gunmakers art, actually it is just case window dressing..


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

I did do a step by step posting here of how to restore a Leather gun case (the one in the photographs) but is has now slipped into the past though it may still be found. My personal complaint is that when Dave Webber started the diy section it was to be a reference point for projects like this leaving me with the feeling I should not have bothered to take the time and trouble to do the number of these how to do it tutorials. A typical case of "Flash in the pan and failure in the barrel".
One day Webber may see some sense and bring them back to date, this is not the first time I have brought this subject up.

As for your case start the restoration with saddle soap and a damp cloth this will put back the moisture that the Leather is screaming for, do this cleaning about three times over a week. Next if you have any flaking leather use a small brush and some waterproof PVA adhesive to stick the flaking areas back down. Feed the leather with your choice of Leather preparation though I do prefer to use a quality hand cream, works well smells nice and a lot less costly. Finally dye the areas that stand out as bring lighter than the rest of the case. I also did a tutorial on how to re line and re fit the case inside you may be able to find that.

Good luck with your case if you do decide to restore it your self.
7 members like this
by damascus
damascus
As my time writing on this forum is now quickly coming to an end though my new word processor has cut down on the misspellings though its punctuation leaves a lot to be desired. I will list other items that will help with the restoration of leather.

For light leather colours use Glycerine soap for the initial cleaning not saddle soap, has less of a darkening effect.
For the case leather hinge line use a 50 50% mix of Cod liver oil and Neatsfoot oil, make sure that you get the real thing undiluted with other oil. This will not cure the cracking but it will prevent further deterioration.
E45 Cream works as a good leather restorer you can also add dye to this, rub it in to the leather a couple of times a week and it will restore that looked after leather glow.
For a real bad case of hard dead leather rub the leather with a mixture of neatsfoot/cod liver oil and water with a drop or two of dish soap added. Shake the bottle well before use.
Just a piece of advice Leather did not get hard and brittle over night it takes many years, so it will take some time and a lot of effort to improve its situation, it may never become perfect but it will become passable for its age. That black case of mine is a hundred and fifty plus years old with its original leather so as I said take your time and feed the leather often.
The final finishing polish I have always used is "Shoe Restoration Polish" it has lots of added colour dye added leaving a good deep shine.
Finally if you have to glue leather purchase the correct leather adhesive for hard ware places though for normal sticking back the odd scuff flake and cuts PVA works well
4 members like this
by FallCreekFan
FallCreekFan
Ernie, I am very sorry to hear this personal news regarding your eyesight. I have valued your knowledge and generosity in sharing as well as your graciousness in answering specific PM questions.
I only hope and pray the best for you.
4 members like this
by damascus
damascus
I would just like to say that the member eed has put a lot of effort in to retrieving from the past my how to post "Refitting of a traditional gun case" this can now be found in the "Diy Gunsmithing section".

Ernie
4 members like this
by Imperdix
Imperdix
I would feed the leather,get some better straps for it and leave the rest alone as it`s in pretty good nick. Original is always better !!!!!
3 members like this
by canvasback
canvasback
Ernie (Damascus).....I can find all the posts made in the DIY forums. It's just a bit tedious if I haven't made them a favorite. One thing I would add is when starting a new thread in that forum, to make the title as clear as possible as to the subject matter. It makes searching so much easier when you aren't guessing what exactly a particular thread is going to be about.

For example, because i know you have created a number of those DIY threads, if I'm looking for one, I click on your profile, then click on the statistic by your name of your total posts (which gives me 50 pages of posts to look at), then click on the button that indicates threads started by you......an easily checked 24 threads.
3 members like this
by Stanton Hillis
Stanton Hillis
Kevin McCormack refurbished some old LOM leather cases for me. When they got back from him and I saw the change in the leather I was amazed. I contacted him and asked what he used to do it, he told me he first used a product which I cannot remember the name of, as a cleaner. Then he conditioned it with Blackrock Leather-N-Rich. I bought the Leather-N-Rich and use it regularly to rejuvenate leather and keep it healthy. Wish I could remember the name of the product he recommended for the initial cleaning step.

I realize this product has already been mentioned but thought I'd add my endorsement of it, FWIW.

https://www.blackrock-leather.com
3 members like this
by Mills
Mills
Ordered Leather n' Rich yesterday and got the below email this morning. Talk about customer service.


Hi Mills,

I'm the owner of Blackrock Leather N Rich and I wanted to say thank you for your first purchase yesterday.

My grandfather started Blackrock in 1976 and I'm grateful to carry on this family legacy. It's only possible through your support.

If you have any questions about Blackrock, it may be answered here. If not, reply to this email and I'd be happy to answer your questions.

I love seeing what people are using Blackrock on so please share any before and after photos you may take.

Thanks again for your purchase!

Thomas
3 members like this
by canvasback
canvasback
There is an excellent tutorial in gunsmithing forum on how to redo a case. Done by member Damascus. It’s from a few years ago
2 members like this
by Joe Wood
Joe Wood
I’ve dealt with cases like this and my best suggestion is you accept the fact the leather is totally mummified. I’ll bet there are many places on it where a slight scratch with your fingernail will flake pieces off. When it reaches that point just accept reality and have the case restored. It looks as though the frame is inrestorable condition.
2 members like this
by PALUNC
PALUNC
George Pitelko has done a couple for me. He is a true gentleman and great all around guy. He does excellent work.
2 members like this
by eightbore
eightbore
Kevin McCormack can do straps as well as moving dividers and refitting. He is in VA, not MD. Phone 703-402-5712 Cell
2 members like this
by LetFly
LetFly
An appreciative thank you to all responding to my post. I am encouraged that this case can and will be put back to use with my VL&D Sauer Knockabout SxS's. I will check with Jeff on straps, great suggestion. I have started to work on the saddle soap remoisturizing process, thanks. Top is definitely worst than the bottom and sides of the case as far as leather condition. The hinges, frame and interior dividers are solid save for one piece that can be easily glued and reset. I will leave the St. John decal intact as there is significant history here. I suspect someone in ownership or management of this historic Charlston, SC hotel to be the original owner, T. E. M. Jr., of this case. I appreciate the contact information for professional trade contacts. And I will search for the tutorial. As always this forum is my go to space for assistance. Thanks.
2 members like this
by Mills
Mills
Just finished putting some on my snake boots and they look great already. Leather n’ Rich has a loyal new customer in me
2 members like this
by SXS 40
SXS 40
Gary Nicholson at Caseit in Grants Pass Oregon does beautiful work at a reasonable price. A good gun deserves a nice case. Before and after photos below. Enlarge before photo.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
1 member likes this
by skeettx
skeettx
For sxs 40

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
1 member likes this
by susjwp
susjwp
A gun certainly does deserve a nice case. There are many leather conditioners, Black Rock et al., that will spruce up the exterior. There are many on this site who do various levels of refurb on cases. Kevin McCormack in VA can make new strap, FEI in Wisconsin can refit, so does Kade Gile in KS, as well as George Pitelko In Rock Hill, South Carolina. Depends more on where you are located. A good
project for a new year. Have fun.
1 member likes this
by KY Jon
KY Jon
That leather looks to be as dry as parchment paper. Clean and feed it a good conditioner first. Repair any straps can be done by a good leather/shoe repairman. Before you have the inside relined I would use it to see if the present setup works for you or if you need the dividers moved. You might decide to keep it as it is and just clean up the lining material a bit. Relining a case can be done later.
1 member likes this
by Dan S. W.
Dan S. W.
If you need sturdy leather straps because the originals are shot and don't want to spend a fortune, I bought these off of eBay when I did a light tune up on a canvas case and was happy with them:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262310320345

They come in a few different lengths, I believe.

PS I like the case pretty much as is.
1 member likes this
by old colonel
old colonel
Contact Jeff from Jeff’s Outfitters, as he is closing he may have straps in his warehouse as he cleans it out.

Also consider checking with https://www.peterdyson.co.uk/ for parts and supplies to reset a case.

Lastly I have had work done by Kade Gile, who learned under Marvin Huey, and have been extremely happy with his work.

kadegile@hotmail.com
1 member likes this
by PALUNC
PALUNC
"Fine Shooting Accessories" in the UK can make you a set of straps and ship them here
1 member likes this
by damascus
damascus
Canvasback. Thankyou for putting in all that effort to guide folks how to find my post's, though it would have been much easier it they where put in the frequently asked questions and not just for me there are other people that have written and posted how to do tutorials, though they like me do not have the right recommendations for that such as a letter of introduction from both Great Grand Parents, an Affidavit from Parents stating that you are a fine upstanding citizen countersigned by the local Witch Finder General.

Borderbil. The removal of maker labels is usually an easy process if the label was fitted in the case roughly before 1960's. the method is to use steam and for a one off use a non automatic kettle (Yes I do know that Tea kettles are as rare as hens teeth on your side of the pond) with a piece of garden hose put down the spout with the other end of the hose put through a hole in a good quality plastic box with some make shift handle . you put the open end of the box that must be large enough to cover the label, a little time and steam will do the rest.
Up to the 1960's nearly all the Brit case labels where applied using either Rabbit skin or or Pearl glue both are water and steam soluble. At one time I was restoring and refitting a large number of gun cases so I used a household wall paper steamer stripper this works well but not worth the expense for a one off.
Removing Leather I used two methods, if the case was to be relined I would just cut the label out and use water through the baize to soften the glue. If it was a leather label change use a small brush water with a little dish soap added working from the top of the label apply water with the brush, it will slowly soak in to the Baize and gravity will pull the water down behind the label allowing you to peel it off little at a time. This is a labour of love taking a lot of time.

A modern guncase having had its label applied with PVA adhesive try any of the above butt in all honesty "Your on your own pall" .

Adhesive for refitting labels to cases I use two, household wallpaper adhesive, or Children's play PVA adhesive it is water soluble and made to come off clothes easily
1 member likes this
by Borderbill
Borderbill
How are the paper trade labels removed and attached to the refurbished case or if a new paper label is to be put on the felt, how is that done?
1 member likes this
by KY Jon
KY Jon
Condition the leather and a lot of that paint or whatever it is will drop off. Leather that dry looking will come back a lot better than you think but it will take time.
1 member likes this
by graybeardtmm3
graybeardtmm3
another useful product to recondition and preserve leather is Bick 4, which can usually be found at boot shops....it's what my go-to leather guy has recommended.

best regards,

tom
1 member likes this
by Tamid
Tamid
In my experience with the rigours of using the case the filling will fall out over time and look worse than when you started.
1 member likes this
by damascus
damascus
eeb. Without going in to a lot of detail over the last ten years my central vision has detreated so much that I now have approximately 30% working with the other 60% giving no vision at all due to "Macular Degeneration" (up to now there is no treatment other than try to slow its advance down) to add more of a problem I have no depth of field plus the 30% working is in low level shades of grey with a little colour. I have to use a special keyboard plus the having to have all the images expanded on my computer monitor so I only see about 20% at one time so writing text is extremely time consuming and laborious, though my updated word processor helps a lot by spotting the typing errors. It is not all doom and gloom I am not heading for a Guide Dog and a White stick my peripheral vision is unaffected so far though that only starts to become useful after about ten feet. All in all I have lost some things and gained others, also there are more unfortunate people than my self, this is brought home to me every time I visit my specialist at his clinic.

Ernie
1 member likes this
by Mills
Mills
Just ordered some Leather n' Rich to try out myself. I have used Lexol in the past and it does not work well
1 member likes this
by Stanton Hillis
Stanton Hillis
Mills, I got a similar email after ordering the first time. I like supporting a small family business, if the product is as good as this one is.
1 member likes this
by Geo. Newbern
Geo. Newbern
At your local saddle and tack shop...Geo
1 member likes this
by susjwp
susjwp
LF,

These are not difficult to manufacture yourself. Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, and many other hobby-fabric stores sell belt leather that you can scribe and cut, dye, and wet-mold guides to match. You can stitch and glue the leather around the brass. Weaver, Tandy, and Amazon sell all sorts of stitching or pricking-chisels to match the original as well as harness-saddle needles and thread. There is a YT, many years old, that features and English artisan restitching an old leather brief case. Takes some time but good for these Winter days. Patience, for me, is the key.
1 member likes this
by Jtplumb
Jtplumb
Tandy leather ( chain leather outlets) sell bags of scrap that I used to make mine. They will show you how to burnish ( I think that’s what they called it) edge’s very easy. I bought some other tools and leather while I was there and made my own 3/4” sling (very simple) all was like 50.00 a year ago. Watch a you tube video, it’s that easy. I had never done leather work before that. The leather punch with rotating head and different sizes comes in handy and was cheap, but you could just drill holes in leather for your screws to go through.
1 member likes this
by Perry M. Kissam
Perry M. Kissam
Originally Posted by SXS 40
Gary Nicholson at Caseit in Grants Pass Oregon does beautiful work at a reasonable price. A good gun deserves a nice case. Before and after photos below. Enlarge before photo.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I just checked his web site and it says his place is permanently closed??
1 member likes this

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