WLA scabbard treatment

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WLA scabbard treatment

Post by nitpicker » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:08 am

One more question for you guys: A '41 dated leather scabbard for the WLA. It it very decent condition, but has the same issue all these scabbards have in that it has been stored flat for the most part and has dried out pretty stiff. Still a bit flexible, but you can't get anything in it...

I have researched leather treatments, conditioners, preservatives, etc., and the opinions are all over the place-and VERY strong-on what to use to get it flexible without destroying the leather or the stitching or feeding future mold and mildew.

My goals are: 1)NOT hurt it; 2)get it flexible enough to shape around a Thompson; 3)try not to make it look too oily or 'soggy' in appearance; and 4)I don't want it to mold/mildew. After it's shaped, I don't mind if it stiffens again as I will leave it in the bracket as long as I have it.

Anyone use a method or product that fits my wish list? I'd love to know your opinion...thank you.

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Re: WLA scabbard treatment

Post by donk_316 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:18 am

Hi Neil,
I don't have product names or anything like that handy.I merely took the scabbard i was working on to a leather shop and got their opinion on what to use.
there is no quick fix. i scrubbed, cleaned, and worked in a leather conditioner / moisturizer for weeks and it did an "ok" job, enough that i could stuff the scabbard with crunched up news paper and it would hold its shape until i put the Thompson in there.

The finished look of the scabbard will not be a new like appearance. Once the natural moisture / oils have left the leather, its all but just a show piece at that point.

I ended up finding a NOS scabbard that had been stored correctly and had no issues. Same with my seat and saddle bags. Just held out until i found original NOS stuff that wasnt stored incorrectly.
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Re: WLA scabbard treatment

Post by John Neuenburg » Sat Jul 18, 2020 10:49 am

Letting it get hot in the sun should make it softer. I don't know what the best treatment is after that.

I used isopropyl alcohol to soften a leather holster so I could mold it around the features of a pistol. Inside waistband type. Pressed it into the features of the gun and let it dry. Now the gun slips in and sort-of locks into place. More secure. Fun project but I don't use it. I don't know what this would do to an ancient piece of thicker leather. Might dry it out worse than what you have now but it might be worth trying alcohol on a top edge to see if softens it. Better try heat first to see if the gun will slip in.
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Re: WLA scabbard treatment

Post by Radmonster » Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:26 pm

I used this pecard antique leather care when softening my seat leather it works awesome! I just kept applying itheavey every few days and leaving it in my hot garage and it soaked it right up! Doesn't leave it oily at all!


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Re: WLA scabbard treatment

Post by OLDABEWLA » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:22 pm

I had problems with pecards as it made a kidney belt I apply to it too soft and when bumped the leather peeled off like a scab.
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Re: WLA scabbard treatment

Post by gerrykan » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:51 am

I don't know if this will work to soften dried out leather or not, maybe someone else has some experience.
I have used it to preserve the original look of military rifles with wood stocks.

It’ll help save your hide

Leather Boot Care

Leather that is frequently exposed to moisture or high humidity will become hard and brittle if not treated correctly. Ballistol will keep all smooth leather soft, and will effectively protect leather against the effects of water, insects and mold. Use Ballistol on boots, shoes, gloves, holsters, slings, saddles, baseball gloves and other leather products. However, being an oil after all, BALLISTOL SHOULD NOT BE USED ON SUEDE FOR OBVIOUS REASONS.

Leather holster care
If properly processed, leather will contain acidic residues from tannic acid. Ballistol will form a permanent chemical compound with these residues within the leather which will make the leather virtually impermeable to water. Handguns, in particular police handguns, are mostly carried and even stored in leather holsters. Corrosion may develop in the areas where they have direct contact with the leather. By treating the inside of the holster with Ballistol the acidic residues from tannic acid will be completely neutralized and this source of corrosion will be eliminated.
Link to Ballistol: https://ballistol.com/

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