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#95440 08/12/2007 03:21 PM
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steveh Offline OP
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has anybody here attempted to replace the leather on a 1st luft scabbard?.
i ask because i have the chance to get my hands on one, relatively cheaply, the dagger itself is very good, but at some time in the past the leather has been soaked with water, and rotted away.

how hard/difficult a job is it, anyone know?. i`m a very `handy` person, using tools and a high degree of skill in my job, so wouldn`t be `fazed` by it, but if anyone has any hints/tips etc, i would be grateful.
thanks in advance, hopefully.
steve.

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I can't give you any tips about the repair and restoration. However, I am sure one of the leading and maybe the best military leather restorer can, PM lugerholsterrepair@earthlink.net


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I myself have never attempted it but a local collector friend has. He said the most difficult part is getting the seam just right to where there is no overlap and the seam barely visible. If you would rather not tackle the job Thomas Wittman can do it for you.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help, good luck.

Skipper, check your email.


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Don Swanson in Columbia, MO. does excellent restoration work. His number is (573) 474-8003. I would be hesitant to tackle the job myself since leather can be tricky (stretching, shrinking, etc.). Also, you want to be sure to get the right color and grain in the leather.

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thanks for the replies guys.i don`t think getting hold of the right leather would be too much of a problem, but as you say, getting the seam correct could be the make or break part of the whole procedure.

i`ll mull it over a little while, it could be a good `winter project`!!.

thanks again.

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The leather is dark blue/black Moroccan Goatskin leather and I would say from experience that it all but unavailable in the very thin thickness and size that you will need!
I wonder if Don would share his source...

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steveh Offline OP
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well , i`ve taken the plunge and bought the dagger!. i`m attempting to source leather now. i`ve had a couple of promising leads , one can do 0.6mm leather , with a fine grain but only in lightish blue, so that may well be a possibility with a little bit of leather dyeing needed. anyway, i`m looking forward to the challenge!.

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Tom Wittmann does or has done recovering of scabbards.I,ve seen a couple and they are superbly done.Just a tip!
Cheers
Seiler (Yank in UK) Smile

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Skip, Thanks for the plug! Where were you all Summer?

Steve, Working with Luger-German holsters is my Forte but something like this would be a job for a proffesional IMO. The proper adhesive would be very important.
Dying leather is not simple either. Especially the chromiun tanned upholstery leather you would have to use.
I would make it one of my options to at least price out what Whittmann charges. Could be it would be reasonable and a Pro job...If the dagger is nice it might be worth the expense. Jerry Burney


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I would check the color of the original leather.I think it's more of a medium blue than dark.Most scabbards are dark due to polishing.Now were is Manfred V. Cool


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thanks for all the tips and support. a lot of good points raised. there was recently a pic posted of an un-issued luft, but i can`t remember where. that would have had a true indication of the original leather colour.

anyway i`m quite confident of my ability to make a good job of this,as i stated earlier, my background is in hand fitting and i have a craft apprenticeship behind me. i`m looking forward to it!!.

all the best,

steve.

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steveh Offline OP
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well , just as an update for anyone else who has ever considered a similar project.
i anticipated a real struggle in attempting to source the leather. but was amazed when after fifteen minutes on google i located three tanneries within the uk who produce morrocan goatskin. i`ve since been in touch, and having been sent a sample of the dark blue, i have a piece 15 x 20 inches on it`s way to me for 9 inc p+p!.

in conclusion, google is a wonderful thing!! Big Grin

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Wow,that was quick (and cheap?)
Good luck.
Seiler (yank in UK)

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Great News! Tell us who?
Thanks
John

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steveh Offline OP
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the people i was i touch with are `j. hewit and son` based in edinburgh. i`ve got the full address , but have mislaid it, Roll Eyes if you want it i`ll attempt to find the scrap of paper i scrawled it on!.

i found the tanneries by googling `bookbinding supplies` and looking in anyone that provided the leather for such.

i limited my search to u.k. only , so i don`t know of any in the u.s.

and edited to add, the leather in question is 0.6 to 0.9 mm thick. i know that the thickness is important.

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Bookbinding supplies YES very good thanks! I was just doing Moroccan Goatskin ???
Thanks
John

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steveh Offline OP
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another update!, i only spoke to the man at the factory yesterday, and the leather arrived today!!. Eek

well done royal mail!!.

anyhoo it`s fantastic, a very good match for the original, both in grain and colour.

when i started this i thought the whole project would take weeks/months due mainly to an inability to find the leather, i`ve had to revise that timetable somewhat!!.

my next phase is to sit down and seriously think about the best way to produce an `invisible` seam. luckily, i`ve enough leather to have a few dry runs on spare bits. i`ve a couple of ideas, so we`ll see how it goes.

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Start at about inch (draw a line, get a nice long razor) from both apposing ( inside/outside)edges of the leather and shave from thickness to paper thin on apposing sides of the leather, but this has to occur on a pattern that allows for a wrap of the scabbard shape. Make your shape by trial and error with paper first, if I recall it is a long shield type shape, but better to find out with paper than leather. Use leather and glue only after many dry runs, start off over size and clamp then pull to see if your seams meet, the shaved edges should overlap/match along the under edge of the scabbard edge forming a thin seam . If this matches then apply glue and pull, smooth, and pray with lots of clamps rubberbands and wraps!
A fun project any way you look at it. Luck!!!! John

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i had one attempt at that method yesterday, very difficult not to `break through` to the `good ` side of the leather. that effort had to go in the bin. Frown

later today i`ll be trying again, i`ve some old scrap leather left from a previous `project`, i`ll be making a template from that first this time.

luckily the amount of leather i received is enough for at least 8/10 attempts!!. here`s hoping i don`t need it!!.

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Wasn't the original color of the Luft leather "Prussian Blue" ? For some reason I remember reading that. JohnJ

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steveh Offline OP
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it probably was john. trouble is one mans `prussian` blue is another`s `navy`blue. the sample i got, i just asked for `dark blue` and purely through luck, it`s a near identical match to the leather i removed from the scabbard originally.

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Try wrapping and glueing the leather around the scabbard.Do not glue the last 3/8" at the start or finish,over lap the leather and with a new sharp razor cut through BOTH over lapped pieces.Remove the cut piece from the underside peel back the unglued edge and glue both edges .When put to gether it should match as both sides were cut together.This is the way fabric and leather wallpaper is cut .You can make a cut that is not straight and the two sides will still match.


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well, i`m done!!. i`m happy with the result. i finally hit upon the best way to do it in my opinion. i made the template as i stated above, which took three attempts to get right, i then moved onto a scrap piece of leather, and finally on to the blue leather itself.i gave up on the `overlap` method as attempting to cut anything like a straight line, down the curved side of the scabbard, in one go, through both layers of leather proved impossible.
the `shaving of the leather edge, again proved nearly impossible to do to a consistant thickness, i think pro leather workers have a machine that removes a set, uniform amount from the leather, which i obviously don`t have. in the end i used the leather , deliberately cut about 1mm too small, and stretched and glued it so the edges met flush, it took a full day of glueing,stretching taping, sweating and swearing, but i`m pleased with the result. Big Grin

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Great! glad you found your way around it. i`m sure it is a lot more difficult than most would envisage. i don`t suppose the method really matter that much as long as the end result is satisfactory.

let`s have a look then!! Wink


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Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
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steveh Offline OP
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i can vouch for the fact, that , like most things, it is more difficult than you`d imagine it to be.however, with a little thought, and time it can be done. i wouldn`t want to make a full time job of doing it though!.
it`s been so many years since i posted pics anywhere, remind me, don`t i have to be a premium member to do so on here?.

maybe later today i`ll take some pics, i need to photograph everything i`ve got ,for insurance purposes anyway, and i`ve put off doing it, this will give me the kick up the backside i need to do it!.

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Just inspectinig mine tells me how difficult a project it must be. No thanks!

I'll stick to repairing army saber grips, wire, etc. I'd love the see the dagger when you get 'er done.

I wonder how long that Moroccan leather will last on our daggers? Mine shows minute signs of cracking, around the ferrul, from the pressure exerted onto it from the tightened pommel as well as shrinkage. I hope that with good preservation, minimal exposure to the elements and some tender care, the leather will last my lifetime. I guess only time will tell. I keep a nice coat of Renwax on both the scabbard and grip in hopes that it will keep that moisture trapped in the leather and ward off the elements.

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It's an early silver-nickel Klaas. She shows her age.

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The scabbard with a patch of leather that is missing. I have used Renwax to "seal" the area to hopefully prevent additional lifting. I really HOPE i'll never be in the position where i need to replace the leather. The seam also has a tendency to want to "lift". The wax helps prevent this as well.

1213.JPG (43.16 KB, 229 downloads)

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On a side note, this early Luft fliegerschwert seems to have withstood the test of time a bit better than the dagger. However, i still applied a few coats of wax to her as "preventative medicine". What does everyone else do to preserve thier 1st Luft/Fliegerschwert?

Sorry to digress fellas. This thread just got me thinking.

SV400272.JPG (41.06 KB, 225 downloads)

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quote:
Originally posted by blueboyukb:
it`s been so many years since i posted pics anywhere, remind me, don`t i have to be a premium member to do so on here?.


Do you? I didn`t think so, I thought that premium membrship just allowed you to post in the for sale & wants sections...as well as the premium members forum of course. Maybe I`m wrong & that has since changed. Confused


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Revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
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steveh Offline OP
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landser, you could well be right. i`m the member of so many forums, it gets hard to remember the rules of `em all after a while, what with advancing old age etc!!.

when i get the time i`ll take pics and attempt to post them up.

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steveh Offline OP
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just as an afterthought, if you look on the site, www.simplydaggers.co.uk and look under daggers sold, you`ll see a 1st luft, which had the leather repaired very well by ian who runs the site, i am the mysterious member of GDC , and that is the leather i got hold of.
Cool

if you`re reading this ian, hope you don`t mind me linking to your site?!!.
any publicity is good publicity!!.

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No problem at all Steve.
It turned out better than I expected and I did it by overlapping on the seam and cutting between the 2 pieces (wallpaper method).

Best wishes.
Ian

www.simplydaggers.co.uk

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Ian ,if you look back on the post you will see this is the way I suggested (overlap wallpaper style) I'm glad it worked for you.I watched pro paper hangers doing leather on walls this way and it also works when doing wallpaper.Very forgiving when we don't cut exact. Cool


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I have a similar project with a Puma 1st Luft.
I found the supplier website:

http://www.hewit.com/

I would be very grateful if you can tell me which leather and colour you ordered?


Rhys
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