2008-08-29
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.
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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.
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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!!


Comments
2008-12-20 Rodney:
Looks nice! Is it comfortable?
2008-12-21 jezra:
It is comfortable now. Initially, I thought that the seat was too firm. However, after conditioning the leather and a few hundred miles of riding, the seat has broken in and the leather has molded itself to my derriere to make a perfect fit.
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