I was just able to purchase this Bear Polar recently from another board member (thanks Robert!) and the handle was covered with tennis racket grip tape. This is what I found when it was removed. The leather was still there, but had deteriorated badly. When it was removed it was chunks and dust.
Here is what was underneath the old 1955 or so leather.
The 10350 is the serial number. Any ideas about the 95B and the faint pencil 19? I found it interesting and curious more than anything else.
As soon as I find the right color piece of leather, I'll try my hand at replacing it with something that will look correct. The bow is in pretty good shape, but wouldn't look her age with a brand new piece of leather around the middle. Any tips or tricks? Thanks.
[ January 07, 2010, 08:06 AM: Message edited by: Rob DiStefano ]
Posts: 980 | From: Eugene, Oregon | Registered: May 2007
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Cut out some 5-6 oz leather, and skived the edges to make it lay flat. Measured a 4" wide piece and then snipped it here and there until it was what it needed to look like-used a Bear Cub with a good grip as a model.
Got the the leather wet, then molded it to the bow. Then I put some Tru-Oil on the bow and three coats on the handle where there really wasn't much if any of the original finish left. Let them both dry well. I then used some leather dressing with a a bit of brown dye to darken the handle a bit so it didn't look so new.
I used Barge Cement to attach the leather. a light coat on both the bow and the leather. Let it dry some and used it as a "contact cement". Put light pencil marks on the bow after test-fitting the leather to keep the cement off everything not covered. After applying the leather, I used some more Barge's to glue down the "flap" to finish it up.
And here is what it looked like when it was done. Added a thin pigskin leather shelf and strike plate.
So, there you go. If you have any questions or my descriptions are clear as mud, you can pm me and I'll try to explain further.
95B may have been the employee number of the person who built the bow, not sure about the 19 in pencil; maybe 19th one built that month, or the 19th day of that particular month it was built. Just guesses. Tim
Oh, and great job on the leather work. Looks great and great how-to pictures as well. Thanks. Tim
-------------------- USMC 1992-2000 PBS Associate Member Comptons Traditional Bowhunters Member Bowhunters of South Carolina-County Rep (Dorchester) Posts: 1641 | From: South Carolina | Registered: Feb 2005
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Here's another little trick I learned for turning that vegetable tanned leather into a more desirable color if you don't have any leather dye.
You can sunburn it by sticking it on the dash of your vehicle in the bright sunlight. This process will turn it from the pinkish color it is to a nice honey golden color in about a week. Then add a little neetsfoot oil or olive oil with a cloth and you're ready to regrip.
-------------------- "May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, Carry On" Fun Posts: 3234 | From: MO | Registered: Jun 2007
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