Re: [Classicrendezvous] Reshaping a Leather Saddle

Example: Racing:Wayne Stetina

Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 20:44:54 -0500
Subject: Re: [Classicrendezvous] Reshaping a Leather Saddle

On Mon, 20 Nov 2000 19:08:10 -0500 Steve Freides <> writes:
> I just took delivery of a used Ideale Model 6 I bought on ebay, and the
> shape is a bit funny - at the narrow part of the saddle, near the nose,
> the leather flares out more than it should. It looks like applying some
> gentle pressure and leaving it on there might reshape it.
> In other words, when you look at the saddle from the top, it's looks
> almost triangular instead of being narrow from the top down and then
> widening rather quickly towards the bottom.
> Suggestions on exactly how to do this, please? Do I need to apply goop
> of some sort first, and how should I restrain the leather?

I have had some success reshaping a couple of saddles (acquired from the dump - so I didn't stand to lose much if I ruined them :-). Essentially, get the leather wet so that it's pliable and use whatever collection of straps, Ace bandages, or rope is handy to pull it into shape, then let it dry a couple of days. They seem to hold the shape pretty well. I didn't touch the tension nut before or after, except on one that was really slack and soft. A good coat Proofide afterward wouldn't hurt. The ones I salvaged had evidently been in the rain a bit, and were dry as a cracker; the Proofide really helped.

I saw someone on the web who advocated soaking the saddle in a bucket of water. I just wetted the underside until the leather was damp.

Oh yeah, you could use rags as padding so the straps (or whatever) don't dig in.

My guinea pigs were a Wrights W3ST and a (really, really rough) Ideale 90 (I think it's a 90. The model stamp is really hard to read, and gone on one side - that's how weathered it is. The shape came back pretty well though). Not sure I'd have the guts to try this on a saddle that's really worth something.

Karl Frantz Sterling, Massachusetts --------------------------------------------------