On a recent trip to the FNBG(friendly neighborhood bicycle graveyard), I came across a horribly weathered Brooks B15 saddle. By horribly weathered, I mean that the years of neglect in rain, and heat had turned the leather into a torn, dried out, shrunk, crumbling, decrepit piece of jerky on a rusted steel frame.
So Sad. Wait... What? That isn't sad. That's an opportunity for some leather crafting! Here is a quick breakdown of the process I used to add some new leather to the saddle.
First I used duct-tape to hold the old leather in what I figured was it's original shape. I then traced the shape onto some leather that was graciously supplied by my buddies father, who happens to be quite a leather crafter. In case you were wondering, it is 13-15# vegetable tanned butt leather.
The leather was soaked in room temperature water for about an hour and then wrapped in a plastic grocery bag and the whole thing was placed in the fridge overnight. The next day, the leather was quite malleable and easily molded over the old leather. Duct-tape held the molded leather in place while it dried.
Here is the molded leather and the frame with the old leather removed. 220 grit garnet paper cleaned the frame up to some of it's former glory.
A leather punch and a pop-riveter attached the leather to frame quite well. Cuir Bouilli
, a process of using hot water to harden leather was used on my new saddle to really firm things up. A few coats of red stain later, I was ready to rock and roll. Shazaam!!