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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:26 pm 
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My leather has arrived so going to make a start on mine over the weekend. Definitely a bargain way of doing it, I've seen kits for the same style at £25 each :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:42 pm 
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I wish you good luck! Good luck and patience!
Most important things are to make holes very regular way and cut the leather straight and evenly with right angle. Beginning can be little frustrating when everything slips, needles, bars, leather... but once you start it should be ok. And don't rush, slowly and firmly string every single one thread. Don't forget to "shape" the leather with hands, pull and squeeze it strongly where needed.
I've found another tip - to make a kind of brace (of off-cut leather) for small finger on right hand which pulls the thread, this way help you evade cuts from thread during pulling. I had one cut that I notice after finish, deep, but not bleeding.
And post the results, of course!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:11 pm 
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Very impressive indeed. I've only just done my first bar tape!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:49 am 
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I've finally got my bars done :) Not sure I'll be in a big rush to do it again!

You've listed some brilliant tips that do make it much easier, soaking the leather is probably the most important. The leather I bought became as pliable as plasticine once it was wet, so you can bend it, tighten it and it dries even tighter. Starting off is the worst bit, I've used Cinelli bars so needed to get it square to the step in the aluminium. Not easy, as you try and stitch and pull tight at the same time. I had one big cock up on the second side. When I cut the leather it must have moved as I cut it so the two long sides weren't parallel. I didn't realise until I was half way along the stitching and couldn't pull the two sides together :cry: I had to strip it all off and start again with a new piece of leather. Also my thread was a bit thin, I'd say you need 1mm diameter at least.

Anyway, I'm quite pleased with the result, its takes forever to do but its cheaper than cheap bar tape :) Its cost me about £3.50. There's a massive range of lamb, pig, cow and calf leather on Ebay in lots of colours. Even saw some snakeskin and stingray skins....................now that would be interesting :D

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Last edited by Robbied196 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:32 am 
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Astonishingly good work both of you! It is odd you know, I can tie a size 18 fishing fly so that if you saw it on your arm you would brush it off. I just seem to have a blind spot when it comes to handlebar wrapping. Are you now going to treat it with something to keep the dirt and elements off?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:50 am 
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Iwasgoodonce wrote:
Astonishingly good work both of you! It is odd you know, I can tie a size 18 fishing fly so that if you saw it on your arm you would brush it off. I just seem to have a blind spot when it comes to handlebar wrapping. Are you now going to treat it with something to keep the dirt and elements off?


Thanks :)

Ahhh fly fishing, I've only tried it a couple of times and never got close to getting the hang of it. Its like one of those art forms that would be an interesting challenge to master :) I guess wrapping bars is another challenge. I've done so many now I don't think about normal wrapping, but by far the most difficult wrap is a harlequin!

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That could put you in a mental home :lol:

I'm going to experiment with protection on a left over piece, naturally white isn't the most practical colour, but I wear cycling gloves most of the time. Might give Brooks proof hide a go :)


Last edited by Robbied196 on Thu May 16, 2013 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:08 am 
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Quote:
I've finally got my bars done :) Not sure I'll be in a big rush to do it again!

Yeah... that's nice, lovely :)
Thicker thread having larger diameter won't cut leather so much so you can pull and tighten it stronger. I used 1.2mm nylon and I think it was good and I think it looks better if it's thicker. I had cut mine leather not perfectly parallel as well, but it was a very small difference. One side was much harder to cover as the leather was not wide enough, but I managed to finish it. Maybe another bath in hot water would help with leather stretching?
For starting I think it's it's the best to make a few stitches and after fit the cover in the proper place and tighten the threads one by one with the needle, make one or two stitches more and again tighten them one by one from beginning and again...
What leather did you use exactly? I'm going to cover my Geoffrey Butler handlebar with white leather as well.
What plugs did you fit in the bar's ends to close the holes?

Quote:
Astonishingly good work both of you! It is odd you know, I can tie a size 18 fishing fly so that if you saw it on your arm you would brush it off. I just seem to have a blind spot when it comes to handlebar wrapping. Are you now going to treat it with something to keep the dirt and elements off?

I'm preparing waterproofing cream (DIY as well) made of beeswax, turpentine and linseed oil so it will be treated. This bike probably won't see a lot of rain anyway. I'm going to do the same for my commuter (GB) so it will be tested in harder conditions. This method is not very hard but needs a lot of patience and overcoming frustration, especially in the beginning. It can make you nervous, when everything slips down..

Another tip I've found is to put some shellac on handlebar before covering to reduce leather movement on bars.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:47 am 
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predki wrote:
What leather did you use exactly? I'm going to cover my Geoffrey Butler handlebar with white leather as well.
What plugs did you fit in the bar's ends to close the holes?


The leather I bought was this one: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 1057196534

Nice quality but be careful about the size, 40cm was only just long enough for my Cinelli bars. It may be worth dropping them a message, the piece I had was marked in pencil on the back as though they had cut it from a larger piece, so maybe you can specify a size. Two pieces would be enough to cover 3 Cinelli bars.

The bar ends are just the plastic originals which have some world tour logo on them.

Should look good on your Geoffrey Butler are you going to use red thread?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Should look good on your Geoffrey Butler are you going to use red thread?

Yes, exactly. But this won't happen very soon. I need to polish brake levers, stem and handlebar (I don't like the scratches it has) fit another headset, new paintwork, etc... so it's going to have proper rebuild. Handlebar cover will go as one of the last things. Thanks for the link, the price is really good, I'll ask them to cut longer piece, considering amount of work you're sacrificing it's not good to see in the end that it's 0.5 cm not long enough... that could be really annoying...

After this experience I can understand why hand made leatherwork is so expensive...

Btw where did you get the transparent cable outers for your Crowther?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:08 pm 
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predki wrote:
Yes, exactly. But this won't happen very soon. I need to polish brake levers, stem and handlebar (I don't like the scratches it has) fit another headset, new paintwork, etc... so it's going to have proper rebuild. Handlebar cover will go as one of the last things. Thanks for the link, the price is really good, I'll ask them to cut longer piece, considering amount of work you're sacrificing it's not good to see in the end that it's 0.5 cm not long enough... that could be really annoying...

After this experience I can understand why hand made leatherwork is so expensive...

Btw where did you get the transparent cable outers for your Crowther?


Its nice to do a rebuild properly :) I've got plans for a 1953 Claud Butler Jubilee rebuild but seem to be short on time at the moment.

The cables were already fitted when I bought my Crowther but I've seen similar cables on Ebay. It not always easy to tell from the photo's but It looks like Campagnolo do a transparent red cable set, if you're feeling flush :D

I'm looking for a pair of 700c x 23 amber wall tyres, they seem to be hard to find these days!


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