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  1. #1
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    Where can I find Leather Washers?

    I installed a Velo Orange fender on my front wheel and used cork from a wine bottle as a washer between the fender and frame. The VO site recommends leather washers but I didn't have any. I'm wondering if I can buy leather washers without ordering online but I can't think of any stores that might carry them. Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    I made my leather washers from inexpensive thick rawhide scraps I purchased at a local Tandy Leather Store. I laminated several layers together with waterproof glue to obtain a washer with the proper thickness.

    - Stan

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    Thanks. I never heard of Tandy but was amazed to learn that one of the two locations in all of Illinois is only a few minutes away from me.

  4. #4
    Refrigerator Raider Hater fordmanvt's Avatar
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    I'd call that a spacer, not a washer.

  5. #5
    Fred-ish rogerstg's Avatar
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    As an effective substitute, you can get flat rubber washers from a hardware store. If you want something thicker with more cushion you an use a rubber grommet. I use a combination of those for all my fender installations.

  6. #6
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fordmanvt View Post
    I'd call that a spacer, not a washer.
    Yeah; in order to get the fender line concentric with the wheel, the space between the chainstay bridge and the fender was pretty large. I call it a thick washer.

    - Stan

  7. #7
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    Can you get the wheel off now?

  8. #8
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    I made my leather washers from inexpensive thick rawhide scraps I purchased at a local Tandy Leather Store. I laminated several layers together with waterproof glue to obtain a washer with the proper thickness.

    Does leather have any advantage over e.g. cork in this application? I'm thinking leather will deteriorate if it keeps getting wet; cork might handle this better.

    What's your experience?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Leather is more durable than cork. The leather may discolor or lose some of its softness if it gets wet. Boo hoo.

  10. #10
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    Just a hint for cutting leather washers. I often use old ammunition casings for punches. Something like a 12 ga brass for the outside and a 22 shell or .30-06 for the center hole. A block of wood and a hammer and you get nice clean cuts, plus they're disposable and readily available.

  11. #11
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtdrop View Post
    Can you get the wheel off now?
    Yes; barely.
    - Stan

  12. #12
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    Leather is the perfect material for the application. Cork does not rebound as well when compressed and therefore does does not have the same "anti bolt loosening" properties as leather. Cork also dries, rots, and crumbles many times more quickly than leather. Cork shares this property with rubber, BTW, which is why you can find 50 year old bikes with original leather washers, but not cork or rubber ones.

    In addition to dedhed's idea, steel punches are available in a variety of diameters and will last essentially forever. I am lazy, myself, and simply buy washers from Velo Orange. I did make the large washer for between the fork crown and front fender myself, using an old leather mudflap and a pair of scissors.

    HTH!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    I used a piece of carbon fiber tubing on one of my bikes. I have a bunch of it on hand to repair broken kites.

    The problem with leather is that it retains water and can cause rusting of the frame and components.

  14. #14
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I just installed fenders and used white nylon washers and spacers that I bought at the local Ace Hardware. The nylon dampens vibrations but won't absorb water and eventually rot like leather. The spacers are perfect for fitting between the rear fender and the chain stay bridge. I bought a whole pile of nylon washers and spacers for $2-3. Take some fender bolts with you when you shop so you can make sure to get the right sizes.

  15. #15
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    Leather Washers are easily available from Excelsior

    hi...Excelsior Inc., www.excelsiorinc.com, is a 100 year old manufacturer of gaskets and washers and also leather washers...in most cases they have tooling to make your washers and or have them in stock...go to their website for contact info...

  16. #16
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    I love those chrome frames.

  17. #17
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    Hardware store (not home center). Plumbing section.

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