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Gareth

Make a home-made Leather preserver and waterproofer.

I have a Kangaroo leather Aussie ranchers style hat which is now 3 years old and has never been either cleaned, nourished or re-waterproofed.

Now we are in Autumn and moving into Winter I thought it was about time I did something to maintain and weatherproof my hat, along with several other leather items Lois & I own.

Rather than just going into town and buying something suitable from off the shelf, I decided to have a go at making some myself: a decision that I believe to be absolutely the right one now that I have used some of it.

The Ingredients

200 ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

50g Beeswax: I was given about 250g of very old and very hard beeswax by a local beekeeping friend of mine.

20 drops of Lavender essential oil

10 drops of Tea Tree essential oil.

I have chosen to add the Lavender and Tea tree essential oils to make a nice smelling and insect repelling leather preserver....... but these are not necessary.

The Method

Stand the jar in a saucepan of cold water and add the Olive Oil. Break up the Beeswax and add the pieces to the Olive Oil.

Turn on the heat and begin to stir the mixture, continue doing this until the Beeswax has completely melted into the Olive Oil.

Remove from the heat, and carefully lift the (hot) jar and its contents from the pan. Add the essential oils and continue stirring the mixture until it cools and stiffens. This will take about 15 minutes, and it is not the most stimulating of tasks; I sat and did this while I watched the evening news on the TV.

When it has completely cooled and stiffened you may begin to use it. I first tried it out on a long forgotten and very stiff (almost to the point of cracking) Leather belt. I gently rubbed the preserver into my belt, and then left it it for about 30 minutes. The old belt softened up extremely well and has now be given an new lease of life.

I have since used this preserver and weather proofing on Lois' favourite winter boots, my hat, all of my leather belts, a pair of my shoes and my video camera bag..... I wish that I had made and used this last year when I first thought about it.

Everything ready to go:



Measuring out the broken off pieces of Beeswax:



The Beeswax and Olive Oil in the jar placed in a saucepan of cold water.



The Beeswax melting into the hot Olive Oil:



Removed from the heat and ready for adding the essential oils and 15 minutes or so of continuous stirring until it has cooled:



Cooled and set, and ready for use:



In a few weeks time I will be using it to finish some matchstick covered pencil cases I have as current hobby work in progress rather than the clear water-based varnish that I usually use; I am really looking forward to seeing the results.  
WhatCameFirst

That's great Gareth, I shall be making a small quantity of this.  OH has a belt which could definitely do with some reviving. And some leather hinges on an old box we have could do with some too.  
Gareth

Don't make a little...... make a lot

It has become my favourite and most utilised leather treatment, but don't be surprised if your Leather items drink up the first two coats of it.

First coat applied with a cloth and left to soak in for a while: apart from the first belt I did, everything else was left for a day before adding the second coating. This was left for another day before applying a gentle heat from a hairdryer and buffing up with a soft cloth, then a week later I repeated the operation.

Our leather items treated with this look superb, feel really good, are extremely waterproof and smell exceptionally nice.... I am really pleased with the results. I may even make up a larger new batch and treat my old and tatty but beloved wax jacket with this so it is ready for another winter onslaught;  http://overthegate.myfreeforum.org/about21432.htm
sod

Wax jacket Sounds great stuff my grandfather used to use bees wax on his boots and all of ours as we grew up.
Bazzer

http://products.barbourbymail.co....;gclid=CKzKrpC24rICFWLHtAodFS8Axg
sapphire

Great recipe Gareth   thanks

but where would I get beeswax  
Mo

Great, thanks Gareth  
Gareth

Last night I cleaned up and rubbed down the wooden handles on some of my workshop files, and small garden tools. These hardwood handles are currently drinking up this home-made Olive Oil and Beeswax preservative, but they do look extremely good, feel nice to the touch and smell nice.

My initial jar of this preservative and waterproofer is nearly all used up, so I am going to make a larger batch this weekend ...... I am doing a favour-for-favour exchange job for the Norwich Beekeeping association tomorrow afternoon and I hope to come away from there with at least 1kg of beeswax.
lizzie44

Interesting Gareth -  Ive recently dug out some old bits of a bridle that have been lurking in the shed. Do you think it would work on those?
Gareth

I think that it might just do the trick there Lizzie

Although it needs to go down on a cleaned and dust free surface, and it may take 2-3 or even more coats to full feed and replenish the leather to its former glory.

I am unsure about Lavender smelling tack though .... I love the smell of Lavender so this suits me very nicely on my leather items.

If you like, when I make another batch this weekend, I'll put a jar aside for you, and give it to Tim for you next time I see him. (P.S. I have made a really good batch of fruit vinegar with the Damsons & Apples you gave to me)


As for wooden items, one of my earliest childhood memories is of helping mum to polish the dining table with Lavender Beeswax polish from a small lavender pink coloured tin.
12Bore

Gareth wrote:
I think that it might just do the trick there Lizzie

Although it needs to go down on a cleaned and dust free surface, and it may take 2-3 or even more coats to full feed and replenish the leather to its former glory.

I am unsure about Lavender smelling tack though .... I love the smell of Lavender so this suits me very nicely on my leather items.

If you like, when I make another batch this weekend, I'll put a jar aside for you, and give it to Tim for you next time I see him. (P.S. I have made a really good batch of fruit vinegar with the Damsons & Apples you gave to me)


As for wooden items, one of my earliest childhood memories is of helping mum to polish the dining table with Lavender Beeswax polish from a small lavender pink coloured tin.

At my Grammar School (there's posh   ) we had to clean the Chemistry, Biology and PhysicsLab tables and polish them with Mansion Polish at the end of each term. I still like the smell now, but I prefer polishing shoes  
lizzie44

Ooh yes please Gareth!!! I don't think Leyla (the horse) will mind smelling of lavender at all!!!! Love Lizzie

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