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Recover Your Saddle

Old 03-02-11, 09:59 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by THEJAPINO
I would do vinyl if I wanted it to be water resistant (marine vinyl) or didn't want animal products on my saddle.
I wonder if ultrasuede (polyester) would make a serviceable vegan covering? This is a true public service thread; thanks for it.

I also wonder if this sort of technique might be used to refurbish Brooks or Idéale saddles with road rash or small cracking, but otherwise structurally sound: drill out rivets, recover the heavy leather cover with thin leather; reinstall cover with new rivets from Wallingford.
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Old 03-02-11, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Charles Wahl
I wonder if ultrasuede (polyester) would make a serviceable vegan covering? This is a true public service thread; thanks for it.
Those Turbomatic and Specialized saddles were done with ultrasuede.
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Old 03-02-11, 10:52 PM
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Please don't everyone rush out and cut up the leather jackets. Some of us love a patina'd leather jacket. You have to wear them quite a long time to get that nice broken in feel. Sweet thread otherwise.
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Old 03-03-11, 05:51 AM
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Hm Time to find me an old Rolls and some ostrich leather. You know, to roll in class. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jF9ZFDLvm8
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Old 03-03-11, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rat fink
Please don't everyone rush out and cut up the leather jackets. Some of us love a patina'd leather jacket. You have to wear them quite a long time to get that nice broken in feel. Sweet thread otherwise.
I was wondering when the people from the leather jacket forum would start the Drew accusations...
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Old 03-03-11, 09:19 AM
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Absolutely a perfect post for C&V - Thanks for your time in posting this...
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Old 03-03-11, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zandoval
Absolutely a perfect post for C&V - Thanks for your time in posting this...
No problem. I've gotten alot from BF so I'll give back something ive picked up.
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Old 03-07-11, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rat fink
Please don't everyone rush out and cut up the leather jackets. Some of us love a patina'd leather jacket. You have to wear them quite a long time to get that nice broken in feel. Sweet thread otherwise.
So I stopped in the thrift the other day, picked up a nice black leather jacket, enough for probably 5 saddles. Got home, tried it on, now I'm totally rocking the Lou Reed look. Still need leather for the saddles. OK, plan B - I went to an upholstery shop and told them what I have in mind. She goes in the back room, comes back with a nice piece of black scrap, probably enough for 3 saddles and some yet to be contrived saddle bag, and gives it to me for free. So that's my recommendation. Of course, ymmv.
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Old 03-07-11, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rat fink
Please don't everyone rush out and cut up the leather jackets. Some of us love a patina'd leather jacket. You have to wear them quite a long time to get that nice broken in feel. Sweet thread otherwise.
shoot. Now you tell me. i just sliced up my uncle's old goatskin A2 from WW II. DOH!
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Old 03-08-11, 01:22 PM
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A couple people mentioned Concors so I'm going to keep the thread going with pics of my first attempt, and a couple notes. These saddles have some interesting curves. I was able to use the old cover for guidance, although it was pretty deformed from years of being stretched. The old cover was 1mm leather whereas the stuff I used was 1.3mm. That made the nose in particular a challenge and I don't think I could have used anything thicker. As it is I'm not 100% satisfied, but it certainly looks better than the old one and functionally it should be fine. I used Weldwood contact cement for the whole thing with no problems at all.
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Old 03-08-11, 01:34 PM
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Very nice job due route, the leather you used has a great texture! How does the nose look from the front?
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Old 03-08-11, 01:36 PM
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^^^
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Old 03-08-11, 01:45 PM
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That did turn out nice! Getting around the rail ends can't have been pleasant but it looks really smooth in there.
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Old 03-08-11, 02:00 PM
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This is a great thread, and with some real impressive results. I have a few saddles to that I will rehab using this thread for reference. Thanks for the great detailed instructions and pictures.

Has anyone tried to reshape a saddle by changing the foam shape and/or reshaping the seat pan?
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Old 03-08-11, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
That did turn out nice! Getting around the rail ends can't have been pleasant but it looks really smooth in there.
Thanks. It really wasn't that bad. I glued the top side first per OP. Then, with the saddle upside down and no glue, I pulled/stretched/snipped until it looked like it would fit, then glued it up and carefully stuck the leather down as the OP described, with a bit more snipping here and there as I went along, using scissors and/or xacto.

I looked at another Concor I have an noticed that the leather doesn't wrap the rail ends on that one, so I guess it would have been legit. to do it that way. I much prefer this look though, and think it's worth a bit of extra time.
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Old 03-08-11, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote
^^^
Impressive, that's always the tricky part for me!
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Old 03-08-11, 02:51 PM
  #67  
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Here's a Bianchi saddle that KHatful recovered for me.















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Old 03-09-11, 12:07 AM
  #68  
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I have to add my BIG KUDOS for a great DIY instructable...plus a couple notes:
leather used for garments (like jackets) is usually thinner and STRETCHIER than that used for upholstery or bags. There are exceptions of course: protective motorcycle leathers need to be thick, some purses are thin and stretchy. Just keep it in mind when you're harvesting thrift stores and dumpsters.
Leather has a "grain": it stretches more easily in one direction, less easily in the perpendicular direction to that "grain"...keep it in mind when you lay out your saddle on your scrap, take advantage of the natural stretch.
Lastly, here in California it's getting very hard to find old faithful contact adhesives (like Weldwood) with the nasty toxic solvents. I know it's very bad for humans and the planet, but the water-based Weldwood contact cement (with the "green" label, wouldn't you know?) is USELESS...period.
And don't get me ranting about Super 77, I'm lucky to have any central nervous system left after using that product for years.
So...you folks in the other 49 may have to do all the saddle covering for us, or send us care packages of glue
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Old 03-09-11, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1
I have to add my BIG KUDOS for a great DIY instructable...plus a couple notes:
leather used for garments (like jackets) is usually thinner and STRETCHIER than that used for upholstery or bags. There are exceptions of course: protective motorcycle leathers need to be thick, some purses are thin and stretchy. Just keep it in mind when you're harvesting thrift stores and dumpsters.
Leather has a "grain": it stretches more easily in one direction, less easily in the perpendicular direction to that "grain"...keep it in mind when you lay out your saddle on your scrap, take advantage of the natural stretch.
Lastly, here in California it's getting very hard to find old faithful contact adhesives (like Weldwood) with the nasty toxic solvents. I know it's very bad for humans and the planet, but the water-based Weldwood contact cement (with the "green" label, wouldn't you know?) is USELESS...period.
And don't get me ranting about Super 77, I'm lucky to have any central nervous system left after using that product for years.
So...you folks in the other 49 may have to do all the saddle covering for us, or send us care packages of glue
Dang, I just slapped my hide down on the saddle on my first one, not a care at all for grain direction. Seems to be doing OK so far. I was all set to do another but then I realized I can't have real leather on that many saddles cuz I ride in the rain ALL THE TIME!

+1 on the spray adhesive. If you must spray, do it outdoors, y'all! As a screen printer I endured way too much exposure to that crap. A local supplyhouse rep came by bearing gifts, a can of the nasty was proffered and I had to decline. He looked a little dejected so I highly praised the tub of white ink he also brought.

I have to disagree on the green label Weldwood. It is a tad weak, but with two coats on the leather and one on the foam my hide is adhered really well! Very little squirm. Oh, I also put a fresh bead on when doing the underside, so there was a total of 4 coats between hide and plastic seatpan.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 03-09-11 at 02:27 AM.
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Old 03-09-11, 04:53 AM
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This thread is crazy! I've never seen saddles recovered like this. Beautiful photos and guidance. Now I am jonesing to get into the saddle recovering racket. One more bike restoration craft I don't know how I'll find time for!

EDIT: then again I just spent a lot of time and effort restoring a leather saddle only to find it "rides like a kidney stone" as someone said in another thread ...
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Old 03-09-11, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
I have to disagree on the green label Weldwood. It is a tad weak, but with two coats on the leather and one on the foam my hide is adhered really well! Very little squirm. Oh, I also put a fresh bead on when doing the underside, so there was a total of 4 coats between hide and plastic seatpan.
OK, maybe I'll give the green label Weldwood another chance...but what I last used it for (oh yes, it was to "weld" wood, like the name says) I may as well have used nothing. It was that disappointing, and of course I followed the directions and my usual preparations having done this sort of thing many times before (with "real" contact cement). Could be that the trick is to use many coats, as you did. Meanwhile, I still have a stock of the good stuff (in several brands, including 2 that I like better than Weldwood, anyway), so I won't go through glue withdrawal for some time, yet.
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Old 03-09-11, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by unworthy1
Leather has a "grain": it stretches more easily in one direction, less easily in the perpendicular direction to that "grain"...keep it in mind when you lay out your saddle on your scrap, take advantage of the natural stretch.
And, as one who's covered exclusively with vinyl at this point VINYL has a "grain" too and will stretch more in one direction....same advice applies.
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Old 03-09-11, 10:06 AM
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I am loving this thread also, beautiful work. I have a few questions, first I have never used contact cement before for anything and just wanted to know do you coat both parts and wait for it to skin up for a bit before trying to put the two halves together. Second I have some new motorcycle seat covers that I received by mistake, they are a light marine grade vinyl & also some left over thicker marine vinyl from someones boat rehab have any of you tried to use something like this. I have a air powered stapler that I use for doing motorcycle seat covers would it be overkill to use this along with the contact cement. I just gave a leather jacket to our local thrift store before reading this thread, dammit lol.

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Old 03-09-11, 01:11 PM
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Great thread! Nice work, everyone.
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Old 03-13-11, 07:39 PM
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What happens when a Turbo and a Flite do the business? I took a Turbo and chopped the skirts and shaped the edges to look like the Flite. Actually, it kinda looks like a Concor Lite.

I shall name thee Turbo Lite








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