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Advice Needed - Leather Boot Care

Discussion in 'Outdoors Gear Discussion' started by Templogin, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. mirage

    mirage Subscribed Member

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    We’re still talking about boots, right?

    mirage
     
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  2. fast but dim

    fast but dim Subscribed Member

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    I have just beeswaxed my leather Scarpa boots I wear for windows cleaning. They were second hand, and get a bit of hammer over the winter, they're on my feet two or three days a week, and get no maintenance whatsoever.

    I melted the wax in a double boiler, and applied it with a sponge... It doesn't go on well, solidifying on contact ( I've only just read about warm boots)

    In all honesty they looked terrible: think channel swimmer / goose fat.

    I ran then over with the heat gun a couple times, and it soaked in well enough to warrant a second coat. They've darkened considerably, but look ok...

    It's a messy process, and quite labourious. Certainly harder than leder grising my blundstones.

    It's pissing down here. I'll stick them on for a dog walk through wet grass ( imo the ultimate boot test) later, and see how they cope.
     
    #22
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  3. Nice65

    Nice65 Subscribed Member

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    Greenland Wax is similar, a solid block. I do what you did, and melt it into the cloth or leather with Madams hairdryer.

    I've found nothing since the original Nikwax in a tin that waterproofs properly. Nikwax went all green and now sell water based stuff. It's horrible, fills lace holes and stitching with white crap and doesn't seem to soak in, it's more like a coating, you can see it on the surface. I've tried Effax, for horse leather, and while it's a joy to apply, it needs to be reapplied often. I've just done my Bates with it and after a sprinkle of rain I did the 'dog walk in fields test'. It passed, but didn't pass the 'jet wash the patio' test that followed.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for something like the original Nikwax? Preferably I'd like it to stink of petrochemicals and soak deep into the leather, then harden off into an actual waterproof layer of leather, not leather with a coating on it, or some horsy shite that does soak in well, but doesn't last long.
     
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  4. Basemetal

    Basemetal Administrator Staff Member

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    Yup - that's what SnoSeal is like... Original Nikwax.
     
    #24
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  5. Nice65

    Nice65 Subscribed Member

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    This I need, thanks.
     
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  6. NOTSHARP

    NOTSHARP Subscribed Member

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    You should seek professional help.:O



    Steve.
     
    #26
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  7. fast but dim

    fast but dim Subscribed Member

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    Lol. I've been too ill with manthrax to do anything apart from fuck around.
     
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  8. fast but dim

    fast but dim Subscribed Member

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    I waxed a few pairs of boots a couple weeks ago with eBay's best natural beeswax: from old boots I wear for window cleaning, to lundhags, to some reversed leather Scarpa mantas.

    After a bit of experimentation insettled on using a small camping pan on the stove for melting, and a sponge and heatgun for application.

    It's not as easy as applying ledergris, obviously, as you're applying a substance that's solid at room temperature... really solid!

    As soon as the liquid beeswax hits the leather it solidifies. I found the best way was to cover the boot in a layer of wax, and then heat until it's absorbed with a heat gun.

    I applied two coats in this way, then a further coat to the seams.

    Post heating, there's no real surplus on the surface, which surprised me, considering how bad they look initially.

    I've worn my window cleaning boots daily out and about, and also for a few long dog walks over wet and muddy fields with no sign of water ingress.

    It's certainly effective and durable, and I'd say worth the extra effort to apply.

    Definitely a success.
     
    #28
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  9. Basemetal

    Basemetal Administrator Staff Member

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    Glad you've got a result :)
     
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  10. Templogin

    Templogin Subscribed Member

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    Chances are he will want it to give off particulates too :nod:
     
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  11. NOTSHARP

    NOTSHARP Subscribed Member

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    VW wax is what he is after.:D


    Steve.
     
    #31
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  12. Nice65

    Nice65 Subscribed Member

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    Indeed, I want diesel effiency and lifespan. :)
     
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  13. MaC

    MaC Moderator Staff Member

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    We put beeswax into our courrans and pop them into a really low oven, or on top of the radiator for a couple of nights. It melts just enough that the wax kind of 'oils' into the leather. It not only waterproofs the leather but it leaves the soles unsticky but somehow grippy on wet grass :)
    Best advice is to melt the beeswax with real turpentine (it needs care, you put the turpentine (and I do mean real turpentine, it's gloriously scented stuff :D ) into a jar and put that jar into hot water to warm through. Meanwhile you melt the beeswax so that it looks like runny honey. If you've done it right ( big shallow pot, and both jars in it) and they're at the same temperature, then the two can be mixed together very well indeed. Stir it as it cools, and it'll set into a softer wax that's the basis for everything from shoe polish to furniture cream.
    I think the stuff they're using on wax jackets and as boot creams now is paraffin wax based. It's not the same, it doesn't last near as long.

    M
     
    #33
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  14. fast but dim

    fast but dim Subscribed Member

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    What ratio Mary?

    When you look into the uses of beeswax it's amazing.

    I'm making some hand/ lip balms next, all with stuff we've got in the kitchen... coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax, plus some lanolin if I can find it.
     
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  15. MaC

    MaC Moderator Staff Member

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    For the turps mixture I generally go for 2 or 3 parts turps to 1 of beeswax, but I don't mind it evaporating off for a bit.

    For lipbalms and the like you only need a teaspoonful of grated beeswax to a couple of tablespoonsful of oil. If you add much more wax it'll not soften enough to spread out with the heat of your lips or hands. You can go to three tablespoonsful of oil on that though, especially in Winter.
    Lanolin's fine in hand cream (or for rough feet) but it tastes awful in lipbalm. A little mint oil is very good though :)

    If you infuse the oils first, with herbs like comfrey or sticky willie (I know, I mean the goosegrass stuff sometimes called cleavers) or calendula petals, it makes a better, healing, kind of hand cream.
     
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