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Old 01-16-13, 12:57 PM   #1
Italuminium
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Snow! so, let's restore a leather saddle.

8 inch snow fell last night, and since we're not in Canada, Minnesota or somewhere else cold en windy, chaos broke out. Totally. Trains stopped and all the roads froze over. Not a good idea to go out biking on skinny tires, especially not in the neighborhood where I live now, since most people come from places that are a little bit closer to the equator. Not used to ice and snow. It's dangerous out there. So, what to do? Apart from dorking on the interwebs planning future builds or gloating over ride pics from guys in hotter climates, it's the time for a little polishing and shining of stuff for my current builds.

I amused myself with a cup of hot chocolate and a some leather. French leather.

Here it is as found: a nice Ideale 90 saddle. Thankfully, no cracks or signs of drought or worse, moisture and mildew. Just not in such a great shape cosmetically.


Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr

Stage one: polishing the rivets with brasso.

Before:

Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr

During:


Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr

Glamour shot of the nose rivet:


Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr

After that, I removed the rust from the saddle nosepiece, rails and base with some alu foil and water. I was surprised how well that old trick works, I never tried it before.

To get the white salt residue out of the engraving, I just traced the engraving with a pen knife.

To finish it all, I rubbed the entire saddle down with some horse grease I got with a pair of boots. It's colourless, so no fear for my bike shorts (even though they're black anyway). It gives the saddle a really nice rejuvenation therapy. It is a bit ironic, however, rubbing a saddle down with horse grease. But it works. It looks much better now. Then I got bored again and decided to make this post
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Old 01-16-13, 01:56 PM   #2
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Nice, but not enough info about the hot chocolate.
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Old 01-16-13, 02:00 PM   #3
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Oops! sorry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucpEWAEtcHU
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Old 01-16-13, 02:21 PM   #4
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Oh rats. Now that you have that piece-O-crap French leather saddle cleaned up, you're going to want to keep it. Looks great, C, but I have to ask,
what in the heck is "horse grease"? I mean, I can imagine, but don't want to let my imagination run away with me. Do they have particularly greasy horses in Holland?
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Old 01-16-13, 02:32 PM   #5
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Oh rats. Now that you have that piece-O-crap French leather saddle cleaned up, you're going to want to keep it. Looks great, C, but I have to ask,
what in the heck is "horse grease"? I mean, I can imagine, but don't want to let my imagination run away with me. Do they have particularly greasy horses in Holland?
Well, actually, the tin says "grase de caballo" - I got it with a pair of Panama Jack boots a long time ago. It works a treat to get the leather looking shiny and fresh. I just translated in "horse grease", not really sure if that's the right term . Anyway, we dutchies don't do that much with horse grease or meat or whatever, but you should see the Belgians! The more traditional establishments there fry them french fries in horse fat! It tastes rather, uhm, special.
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Old 01-16-13, 02:44 PM   #6
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Horse fat French fries? Ooo, yum.

Yeah, translates to horse grease allright. Well, I guess if horses have fat, they have grease.
Must be for riding tack, etc.

So, how's that Moto coming?
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Old 01-16-13, 02:52 PM   #7
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So, how's that Moto coming?
It's back to square one. From the catalogue I gleaned that this Moto was an all shimano 600 bike so I ASSUMED that it was ISO all the way. Wrong. Dead wrong. The BB is Swiss with a JIS spindle and the headset is a French sized shimano unit! Have you ever seen such a thing? So, my idea of slapping a Daytona 3x9 Campagnolo group on it is pretty much out, because it would require a slew of special parts which I don't want to buy. Don't feel that a beat up three tubed frame is worth it.

I'm probably going to slap on a set of space Atom/Rigida wheels I have lying around on it, with some Sugino cranks and a 600 Arabesque derailleur, and french town bars with MAFAC brakes. so instead of a fast rando bike, I'll end up with a speedy 1x5 towny!
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Old 01-16-13, 03:03 PM   #8
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Horse fat French fries? Ooo, yum.

Yeah, translates to horse grease allright. Well, I guess if horses have fat, they have grease.
Must be for riding tack, etc.
I resent the term grease when used to refer to fat. I find it demeaning to the bacon, suet, etc. Grease is for bikes, fat is for food.

Anyhow, yeah, horse fat is used in lots of leather treatments. I use R.M. Williams saddle dressing on my boots and saddles and I believe it contains horse fat or tallow as it's often called.

The Belgians know fries so I'm on board with the horse fat frying!

Looking forward to seeing the saddle spiffed up.

Edit: Damnit! Now I have a serious hankering for mussels, fries and beer. That may be dinner tonight.
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Old 01-16-13, 03:50 PM   #9
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Edit: Damnit! Now I have a serious hankering for mussels, fries and beer. That may be dinner tonight.
Yes, that's great. Don't forget to eat the fries with mayonaise. Boil the mussels with carrots, cellery, and leeks. For NYE I organized a little dinner party and my buddy made a great mussel soup, with saffron and white wine, amazing stuff.
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Old 01-16-13, 03:56 PM   #10
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Mayonnaise is how I roll, my friend! I typically prepare the mussels with butter, leeks, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley, white wine or beer and sometimes finish with a touch of heavy cream. I steam them, though; not much liquid.
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Old 01-16-13, 04:14 PM   #11
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Ummmmm....mussels.

Ummmm.... mussels in horse fat.
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Old 01-16-13, 04:34 PM   #12
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Mayonnaise is how I roll, my friend! I typically prepare the mussels with butter, leeks, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley white wine or beer and sometimes finish with a touch of heavy cream. I steam them, though; not much liquid.
Sounds good Never tried steaming. Must try that next time. I'll skip the horse fat though.
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Old 01-16-13, 04:37 PM   #13
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They should be French mussels with French fries.
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Old 01-16-13, 05:18 PM   #14
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I like em steamed too, Colonel. Steamed in white wine, then with some of the ingredients you mentioned. I haven't done it in years but there's a place in our harbor here where I can kayak out at low tide and pry them off the beds in bucket loads.
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Old 01-16-13, 05:21 PM   #15
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horse fat...

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Old 01-17-13, 06:07 AM   #16
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horse fat...

Ah, must be one of them American breeds
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Old 01-17-13, 07:13 AM   #17
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Glamour shot of the nose rivet:


Untitled by ctjr, on Flickr
Ahhh, Brasso. Elixir of the Gods. Here's an old Italmanubri (ITM in a triangle) stem I shined up yesterday. I wasn't familiar with that name, but after a search, I see Colnago & Bianchi, & probably a lot of other folks used their stems & parts.
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Old 01-17-13, 07:27 AM   #18
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I've got one of those saddles on my Holdsworth. By far the best leather saddle I've used! Nice job!

And fries w/ mayo. THE. BEST. especially Belgian style pommes frieten. Hmm...All of a sudden my yogurt & granola breakfast is unsatisfying.

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Old 01-17-13, 07:34 AM   #19
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Ha, good choice on the Panama Jacks.

They gave me a little box ' Rapide' ledercreme with my Panama Jacks. "vrij van waardeloze en schadelijke bestanddelelen" which is a kind of grease with some sort of light darkening substance in it. And I use it for getting my saddles to look like new. The compound does't seem te stain my shorts altough I was very apprehensive to use it at firsdt.
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Old 01-17-13, 08:39 AM   #20
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Ah, must be one of them American breeds
Undoubtedly been eating too many fries with mayo.

BTW, you guys will think me nuts but, I like fries with yellow mustard.
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Old 01-17-13, 08:41 AM   #21
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Undoubtedly been eating too many fries with mayo.

BTW, you guys will think me nuts but, I like fries with yellow mustard.
no, not at all... but I'm crazy about mustard and eat it with nearly anything. I even have a mustard coloured Motobecane!
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Old 01-17-13, 08:46 AM   #22
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I would sooner eat fries with yellow mustard than store-bought ketchup. Mustard is a highly respectable condiment.
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Old 01-17-13, 08:59 AM   #23
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Obviously, two brothers in arms. I won't touch ketchup. Too sweet for me. Yes, mustard. And much like my taste in beer, I like the pedestrian stuff.
Dijon if I'm cooking, but French's if I'm having a sanny.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:04 AM   #24
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Wow...great work. Love the glamour rivet shot.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:31 AM   #25
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Wow...great work. Love the glamour rivet shot.
Leave it to Aaron to stray back on-topic .
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