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Refurbishing ring clamps

Hi Everyone,I work at 2 not-for-profit schools. Both have ring clamps
where the leather has been thrashed. Even though money is an issue, I
have an aversion to buying new ones from an ecological stand point.
Its only the leather that is in bad shape.Has anyone successfully or
unsuccessfully refurbished ring clamps? I look forward to read ing
all your creative ideas and experiences.

Cheers, Denise

Hi Denise:

I’ve replaced the leather on my clamps once or twice. It’s not hard.
I used to do a lot of horse-tack, so I have leather & etc laying

Step one: Get some scrap leather. You’re looking for 8-10 ounce
tooling leather. (Oak tanned.) In the sizes you need, you can use the
oddball scrap pieces that most leather folks always end up with. If
you’ve a Tandy leather locally, they usually have it by the barrel
load, for a couple of bucks per pound. Failing that, look them up on
line, I think they sell the tooling scrap online too. (Tandy’s
definitely my last choice for leather, but the real suppliers are
harder to find and deal with.) If you’ve got someone in town
(wherever you are) who does saddles/tack, they’ll have scrap. Step
two: Cut the leather up into little squares to match your ring
clamps. Heavy shears work well, but so do knives, and I’ve been
known to use metal-cutting shears. Bench shears even. (My Beverly
goes through it like it’s not there…)

Step 3: Get some contact cement. (Barge cement works too.)

Step 4: remove old leather and glue from ring clamps.

Step 5: coat the back (fuzzy) side of the leather with contact
cement. This is important:–> do two coats, let them dry about 1/2
hour between.

Coat the pad area of the ring clamps as well. Two coats by
preference here too, but it’s not as critical, since the wood isn’t
as porous.

Step 6: Apply leather to clamps, glue-side to glue-side. Jam the
wedge in to close the clamps, and let them sit for a couple of
minutes, then reverse the wedge.

Step 7: Go back to making metalwork…

Brian Meek.

I work at 2 not-for-profit schools. Both have ring clamps where the
leather has been thrashed..Has anyone successfully or
unsuccessfully refurbished ring clamps? 

You can always glue leather back onto the wood, but consider this,
wood ring clamps are a consumable in the trade, at least for me they
are, and it might be worth your while to buy in bulk.

If you are serious about refurbing the leather, grab some good
leather at a leather store and use contact cement. Coat the leather
twice (once for the leather to absorb, let dry, then coat again, let
dry. Coat the wood once, let dry, then stick the two together) Cut
the leather over size and trim after the contact cement has done its
majic. Good Luck.


Its only the leather that is in bad shape.Has anyone successfully
or unsuccessfully refurbished ring clamps? 

Sure, pretty routine, actually. Get some thick leather (a blank belt
from a buckle shop or the like, or you can buy plain heavy leather
strip from leather suppliers). Cut two squares or rectangles
slightly larger than the indentations in the wood (after you’ve
chiseled or otherwise removed the old trashed leather.) Coat both
wood surfaces with a decent amount of good epoxy, place the leather
pieces, and clamp the ring clamp shut with the wedge to hold the
pieces in place while the epoxy hardens. Trim the leather to shape
after it’s hardened. A belt or disc sander does that pretty quickly,
or just a sturdy utility knife to trim the leather can be used. I’ve
got a couple old favorite ring clamps that I’ve refaced this way
several times. Usually they get thrown out when the hinge is too
sloppy and trashed or the wood itself is too damaged somehow. That
takes a lot longer than messing up the leather.



Simple matter remove old leather and then using Berg Rubber cement
glue the new piecs of leathyer on and clamp shut. After setting a few
hours, just for my comfort, I then trim off the excess leather
around the edges.

The clamps are then as good as new…

jack in Chattaroy We fianally had a 60 degree plus day today

John (Jack) Sexton The most precious things in life cannot be built
by hand or bought by man.

Hi Denise;

Seems perfectly logical to just replace the leather when the rest of
the clamp is intact. Get ahold of an old belt, a nice thick one.
Can’t find one, try to find some online leather suppliers. Pry off
the old leathers, clean up the area, and cut and glue new ones made
from the belt (or whatever source). I’ve done it. I prefer contact
cement for the glue. Follow the directions on the can or tube.

David L. Huffman


why not get some leather and glue it in after peeling the old stuff