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Recover Your Saddle

Old 03-01-11, 09:02 AM
  #26  
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Very nice, well done! I've thought about doing something like this myself, and you've shown how well it can come out. Excellent.
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Old 03-01-11, 09:20 AM
  #27  
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Very nice work THEJAPINO! I'm impressed with how well the noses of your saddles came out, that's always the most difficult part and it doesn't always work as well for me.

I agree with khatfull about the spray adhesive and I use Weldwood laminate cement also. On the other hand, I like the way your spray approach allows you a rest between the top and the final edge work, I think that may be the key to getting your super-neat finish.

Originally Posted by khatfull
I'm gonna have to do leather myself one day....would never have thought of a donor jacket...yet something else to troll the thrift stores for!
Just imagine how self conscious you'll feel when you're scouring the thrift shop for leather skirts in plus sizes, but they come in so many great colors!

Originally Posted by randyjawa
Well done and, by demonstrating your procedure and results, you cannot help but come up with ways to improve your finished product. Kudos to you.

But one question, if you don't mind.

Why did you not use staples to complete and reinforce the edges? Time, and Mother Nature will attack the adhesive, starting at points most prone to oxidize - the edges. Once the edge starts to curl, or lift, the problems will increase, from there. My guess is the staples would be easy to use and greatly increase the durability of your repair. But that is just me.

At any rate, I, too, am going to give this a try, and see if I can find staples. Thanks for the tips and good luck with your future efforts.
I haven't seen a lot of saddles with staples, but they seem to be more common on saddles covered with vinyl for some reason. It might be because of vinyl's low stretch factor.
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Old 03-01-11, 09:25 AM
  #28  
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Add me to the list that appreciates this thread and admires the work shown.

Another source for leather material besides jackets is used couches. Every so often you can find one with yards of usable material on CL for very cheap, and sometimes free.
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Old 03-01-11, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by old_dreams
Great write-up. Like many others I have a saddle just waiting to try this on.

Just wondering has anybody gone to the trouble of trying to emboss a logo or name into the leather. I may give this a try on a scrap piece if I can locate some. Maybe you could trace out some lettering with a soldering iron and then paint fill.
I tried to reproduce a Vetta logo once using the very low-tech method of linocut print. It didn't work very well, but I think it would be easy to get a good effect with silk screen printing.
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Old 03-01-11, 09:43 AM
  #30  
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Pictures in daylight:



I really like this leather. It reminds me of Mahogany or a dogs brindle coat
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Old 03-01-11, 09:53 AM
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Beautiful!

I did one of these that didn't turn out nearly as well as yours. I may have to try again soon.

Another place to look for leather at goodwill is with bags. There were no good jackets, but lots of leather purses and bags. I ended up using an attache case.

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Old 03-01-11, 10:01 AM
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Awsome. I always wanted to try this. You made it look easy! I have a cinelli uni that needs leather, but I cant decide if it needs padding too.
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Old 03-01-11, 10:05 AM
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There are tons on leather jackets over near me. This was the cheapest b/c it had a small hole in an unimportant area. Discount! I'm gonna chop a turbo and cover it with some shiny eBay leather.
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Old 03-01-11, 10:56 AM
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good job! thanks for the tutorial, i'm have a couple of saddles i've been meaning to recover.

and +1 on the couches, seems like there would be yards of leather that could be used from hauling one of those home...
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Old 03-01-11, 11:22 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by gaucho777
Okay! Be right back...

Now where is that pink bike thread? Gotta suggest someone try that pearlised metallic fuchsia saddle restoration.
With 3 sq ft, if your careful, you might be able to get enough to wrap a set of bars too, from the same piece, just need to make sure that if there are seams that they are at the bottom of the bar... When I redo the wife's bike slap a piece of that on it, and Mssrs. Raleigh will not recognize it....
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Old 03-01-11, 11:29 AM
  #36  
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Great job! I also like the texture of that brown leather, looks great!
I have a ruined titanium railed Selle Italia Flite that was given to me. I was thinking of recovering it in burgundy leather for my Lemond Ti. But the saddle has a central cut out. I wonder how difficult that will make smoothing out the top. Hmmm. Ever do an anatomic saddle?
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Old 03-01-11, 11:33 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca
With 3 sq ft, if your careful, you might be able to get enough to wrap a set of bars too, from the same piece, just need to make sure that if there are seams that they are at the bottom of the bar... When I redo the wife's bike slap a piece of that on it, and Mssrs. Raleigh will not recognize it....
Yeah, I'd like some measurements of those sew on leather wraps like VO sells. I thinks a donor jacket's sleeves will be long enough depending on the cut
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Old 03-01-11, 11:52 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by THEJAPINO
Pictures in daylight:



I really like this leather. It reminds me of Mahogany or a dogs brindle coat
Now that you mention it....

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Old 03-01-11, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by WNG
Great job! I also like the texture of that brown leather, looks great!
I have a ruined titanium railed Selle Italia Flite that was given to me. I was thinking of recovering it in burgundy leather for my Lemond Ti. But the saddle has a central cut out. I wonder how difficult that will make smoothing out the top. Hmmm. Ever do an anatomic saddle?
This is the closest thing I've done to anatomic is this specialized. The cover hasn't lifted from the foam in the indent area. If it's anatomic like there is a hole in the saddle, the cover would have to be multi-piece to conform into the hole. I don't sew so iunno how that would go.
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Old 03-01-11, 12:20 PM
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Amazing thread, Japino, and definitely one that will be referenced back to. Your skills in recovering are undeniable, and you also have the knack for good documentary photography. The only thing better than a good writeup is a writeup with clear, relevant photos of the work. So thank you for that.

Since I'm a student of language, however, I humbly request that you indulge me by correcting your original post in one respect --

When you say "course sandpaper", I think you mean to say "coarse sandpaper." I know it's very small thing but I'm a literary technocrat, and harping on misspellings and misused words is something of a frustrating hobby of mine.

But please don't think my request for the edits in any way reduces my appreciation of your writeup. This is seriously great stuff.
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Old 03-01-11, 12:26 PM
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Yeah, I knew I messed up there somewhere. I did it all on the iPhone so proof-reading was killer. My 3G connection is seriously faster than my DSL-wifi connection. My poor laptop rarely gets any use nowadays.

Nice dog! I love brindle-coat dogs of any breed!
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Old 03-01-11, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Maddox
Amazing thread, Japino, and definitely one to which I will refer again. . . . .
I fixed it for you.
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Old 03-01-11, 01:50 PM
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Wow. I think that Specialized looks fantastic. Love that texture. Is that also synthetic suede?
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Old 03-01-11, 01:52 PM
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Any tutorial to rebuild Brooks saddle? I need to find good 5mm thick leather, and tool to secure the rivets to the frame.
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Old 03-01-11, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by old_dreams
Wow. I think that Specialized looks fantastic. Love that texture. Is that also synthetic suede?
Thanks. Yup, same stuff. You can't really feel a texture, it just feels like regular furniture suede.

Originally Posted by furballi
Any tutorial to rebuild Brooks saddle? I need to find good 5mm thick leather, and tool to secure the rivets to the frame.
I swear I saw a write-up on that before. They used water to shape a raw-thick piece of rawhide and found new rivets that looked really similar.
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Old 03-01-11, 03:37 PM
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This is what I love about the C & V forum. This is some great stuff. Love the tutorial and quality pics 'Thejapino'.

Fortunately for me my wife is a 'professional' thrift store shopper who digs thru the racks of clothes with the focus and determination of a skilled archeologist.
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Old 03-02-11, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami
Very nice work THEJAPINO! I'm impressed with how well the noses of your saddles came out, that's always the most difficult part and it doesn't always work as well for me.

I agree with khatfull about the spray adhesive and I use Weldwood laminate cement also. On the other hand, I like the way your spray approach allows you a rest between the top and the final edge work, I think that may be the key to getting your super-neat finish.
You can take a break between top and bottom with brushed-on contact cement. When you're ready to to the bottom, just run a fresh bead along the remaining material and let it tack up a bit before proceeding, I actually used two coats on the entire leather as it seemed to draw up quite a bit of my contact cement, and I wanted some glue on there. I cinched a couple of toestraps around the center part of the saddle while I was taking a break between sides. Seems like it was wanting to come up in that area.

I didn't even bother masking the rails or seatpan on mine. Excess rubbed right off the rails and I didn't care much about the bottom of the seat pan. The leather scrap I used was too thick, but just barely worked - gonna have to try finding some thinner hide for the next go around.

Thanks so much for the walkthrough, THEJAPINO!


Reupholstered SDG Bel-Air saddle. by Lester Of Puppets,

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 03-02-11 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 03-02-11, 03:54 PM
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Has anyone done an Avocet Touring II? I love how that saddle feels, but I've never been crazy about the look of black, vinyl saddles.
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Old 03-02-11, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd
I fixed it for you.
Ha - thanks for the dose of my own medicine.
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Old 03-02-11, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
You can take a break between top and bottom with brushed-on contact cement. When you're ready to to the bottom, just run a fresh bead along the remaining material and let it tack up a bit before proceeding, I actually used two coats on the entire leather as it seemed to draw up quite a bit of my contact cement, and I wanted some glue on there. I cinched a couple of toestraps around the center part of the saddle while I was taking a break between sides. Seems like it was wanting to come up in that area.

I didn't even bother masking the rails or seatpan on mine. Excess rubbed right off the rails and I didn't care much about the bottom of the seat pan. The leather scrap I used was too thick, but just barely worked - gonna have to try finding some thinner hide for the next go around.

Thanks so much for the walkthrough, THEJAPINO!
Sweet! That's gonna look good with lots of use! Let's turn this thread into "show your recovered saddles".

Edit: I think the thickness of the hide is key to a clean recover. I tried to get leather as close to as the original cover as far as thickness/finish goes. I also did some vinyl that was close to the same thickness of leather and felt it didn't conform as well as leather did. I actually tore a piece of vinyl once while stretching. Leather makes so much sense in this application. I would do vinyl if I wanted it to be water resistant (marine vinyl) or didn't want animal products on my saddle.

Last edited by THEJAPINO; 03-02-11 at 05:37 PM.
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