WIP - Swedish Canvas Ruck Restoration

Discussion in 'Packs, Bags & Pouches' started by chrisofwv, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. chrisofwv

    chrisofwv Tracker

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    So, I've always loved canvas packs (I've had several canvas backpacks for school and a canvas messenger bag in the past as well)... I figured if I wanted to start out Bushcrafting the right way it should be with a canvas pack. So, I obtained one at a great price from wildernesswikiup14, and now comes the fun part! I knew the condition it was in when I bought it, and I must admit that I look forward to the restoration process almost as much as I look forward to actually using it!

    So, the plan thus far is to:
    1.) Remove all leather parts from the pack and frame and make new ones out of natural veg-tan.
    2.) Remove leather pieces from canvas sack (suede/soft leather) and replace with new leather pieces.
    3.) Wash and dry canvas and then re-dye dark green, repairing any bad spots with new canvas.
    4.) Polish frame and buckles and remove any rust/deposits.
    5.) Re-assemble with new copper rivets throughout and restitch leather to canvas.
    6.) "Waterproof" with paraffin.

    "Before" Photos:
    [​IMG]
    WIP - Swedish Canvas Ruck Restoration by DavisLeather, on Flickr
    [​IMG]
    WIP - Swedish Canvas Ruck Restoration by DavisLeather, on Flickr

    Wish me luck!
    ~Chris of WV
     
  2. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    Sounds cool. I have this same pack and I like it. The only thing I'm not crazy about are the leather straps. They're fine for short hikes if the pack is light but long treks and heavy loads and it's not comfortable. I'm going to replace the shoulder straps with some Alice straps and see how it does. Other than treating the leather on mine that's all I'm planning to do. The one I received was in a little better condition than yours. But I'm looking forward to the after pics. Sounds like a lot of work so I hope it turns out good for you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  3. chrisofwv

    chrisofwv Tracker

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    I think the work will be worth the results! :) I'm going to modify the straps after I finish the standard pack first. I've got a lot of suede and other softer leathers and I believe I'll end up making some thicker and wider "slide-on" pads as well as a pad to cover where the fram rests on my back... Hopefully that'll ease up some of the discomfort...
     
  4. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    That sounds like a good idea for the shoulder straps. Honestly the lower back leather part never felt uncomfortable to me. It was just the shoulder straps having no padding and not being very long. I'm 6'5 225 and the leather straps just did not adjust much to fit my frame so the Alice straps should be much better. I've got them ordered so we'll see here a couple weeks.
     
  5. Ron

    Ron Guide

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    Good luck!

    But I can't wait to see the end result!
     
  6. chrisofwv

    chrisofwv Tracker

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    Well, I measured out the leather pieces and sketched the design last night and before work this morning, so on my lunch break today I went ahead and ground off all the rivets and removed all the leather from the frame. I then proceeded to remove all the hardware from the leather and I plan on cleaning it later on (or perhaps even replacing some of it). Then, I used a wire wheel on the frame to clean it up some, although thanks to all the odd angles there are some places I couldn't get to... Might have to take a wire brush and elbow grease to it later as well. Still, not bad for a 30 minute lunch break, eh? ;)
    [​IMG]
    WIP - Swedish Canvas Ruck Restoration - Step 1 by DavisLeather, on Flickr
     
  7. chrisofwv

    chrisofwv Tracker

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  8. chrisofwv

    chrisofwv Tracker

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  9. Easy_rider75

    Easy_rider75 Supporter Supporter

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    Man that is going to be one sweet piece of work when done up. Will be watching the outcome
     
  10. chrisofwv

    chrisofwv Tracker

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    Thank you! I hope it'll turn out as good as I think it will... I got all the pieces put together for the frame (I ended up using chicago screws rather than rivets) and I must admit it looks pretty good! The only parts I have to do regarding the frame now is the side straps that act as a secondary support to the belt clips.

    Now comes the hard part... Removing the leather from the canvas pack itself, repairing the canvas (in case there's some rot in the stitching around the leather, which looks to have been wet at some time or other), re-dyeing the canvas, making replacement leather for the bag, and then re-assembling it all. THEN, hopefully waterproofing it...

    I'll post a picture of the assembled frame sometime tomorrow morning... :)

    Thanks for taking an interest in my project, guys (and any gals). Gives me a reason to keep it up!

    G'night all!
    ~Chris
     
  11. urban_coyote

    urban_coyote Scout

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    I bet it's gonna look great. One question though: if the canvas is rotting/wearing out, mightn't it be cool to totally de-engineer it and use new canvas?
     
  12. FarmerJohn

    FarmerJohn Scout

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    what are the benefits of using neats foot oil over say mink oil or other oils
     
  13. chrisofwv

    chrisofwv Tracker

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    It would, and I do have new canvas, however, I'm hoping it doesn't have any issues... :)

    Well, it's really dependent on what you're using it on... Mink Oil is a basic waterproofing agent for leather. Neatsfoot is more of a finishing/tannign agent. It doesn't waterproof, but replenishes oils lost while you're working with the leather. Also, since I'm leaving the leather au naturel it will help it to darken a little faster and gain character... :) You can also use olive oil for that purpose, but I prefer neatsfoot oil (doesn't smell as good and tempt me to gnaw on my leather, lol). Hope that helps?
     
  14. FarmerJohn

    FarmerJohn Scout

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    so you can use both neats foot and mink in that order? and yes it helps
     
  15. Ron

    Ron Guide

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    Nice work there!
    Your pack was in way worse shape than mine.

    Those hooks on the frame are for hanging an armypulk on, I believe. They serve no other purpose other than hurting you everyonce in a while....
     
  16. chrisofwv

    chrisofwv Tracker

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  17. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    Nice work Chrisofwv, I think you're going to have the nicest swedish m39 rucksack on the planet when you're done. Thanks for the progress pics.

    Edit: It took me a minute to realize it but there's two straps missing to complete the frame. Not trying to sound like a jerk about it or anything just wanted to make sure you knew so it will wear right when it's done.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  18. wildernesswikiup14

    wildernesswikiup14 Guide Bushclass I

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    lookin' good man! glad to see your happy with it! I can't wait to see the canvas parts!
     
  19. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Banned Member Banned

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    very cool!...can't wait...woods
     
  20. Easy_rider75

    Easy_rider75 Supporter Supporter

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    Oh this is turning out nicely
     
  21. mongo1958

    mongo1958 Supporter Supporter

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    Awesome. I have been fixing up old wooden miitary skis. I have a WWII mountain pack with out the frame. I am going to fix that up also. Good Work
     
  22. jackietreehorn

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    Hey, Chris.

    What happened with this project? Do you have an update?
     
  23. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    Great project. I have a couple of those with terrible leather.
    maybe I need to think of doing a restoration... Ad that to the endless project list.
    keep us posted.
     
  24. rlh2

    rlh2 Guide Bushclass I

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    Made what a cool project! I applaud the fact that you are taking it on. I can't wait to see the finished product.
     
  25. MLarson

    MLarson Scout

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    Any updates to this? I really would like to see this completed!
     
  26. geoforge

    geoforge Scout

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    That looks like some very good work so far , Keep it going
     
  27. MLarson

    MLarson Scout

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    Well, I've decided I am also going to take up this same project. I was looking around in a surplus store the other day for an ALICE pack and ran across a stack of these instead. Only 3 of them had frames and 1 of them was bent. Of the 2 that had unbent frames the bags were both in horrible condition. So I ended up finding a good bag and a good frame and bought both of them. My plan is as follows:

    1.) Remove all leather parts from the pack and frame and make new ones out of natural veg-tan
    2.) Remove leather pieces from canvas sack (suede/soft leather) and replace with new leather pieces
    3.) Wash and dry canvas
    4.) Sandblast and powdercoat the frame and polish the buckles and hardware
    5.) Re-assemble with new rivets throughout and restitch leather to canvas
    6.) Wax the canvas
    7.) Take the bag in bad shape and find someone to take it apart and make me a new one out of a new material (Martexin 18oz. waxed canvas)

    Step 7 is going to be a little ways off as I want to play around with the pack before I commit that kind of money to having a new one made.

    I will try to get a good start on this next week and post pics along the way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  28. MLarson

    MLarson Scout

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    So I started with this:
    [​IMG]


    I stripped all of the leather from the bag and removed the bag from the frame.
    [​IMG]


    I found a weak spot on the frame. My plan is to remove the weak pieces that are riveted at the bottom and weld on some thicker steel in the same shape.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    After that I will get it sandblasted and powder-coated.

    As for the leather, I will be headed to Tandy today to pick up some strapping which I will be cutting to shape and finishing as I get time over the next couple of weeks.
     
  29. MLarson

    MLarson Scout

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    Small update. No pics. =( I made the little rectangular pieces to fix the bent ones. I took them and the frame to the local welding shop today. They said it could be up to 2 week before they get to it. After that it goes off to get powder-coated.

    As for the leather, I have almost all of it cut to width/length. Once I get the frame back I'm going to start punching the holes.
     
  30. Lerch

    Lerch Bushmaster Bushclass I

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    This has been a great thread. Keep up the updates.
     
  31. hastings

    hastings Scout

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    Lets bring this one back to the top..... It would be cool to get an update!
     
  32. Exy

    Exy Supporter Supporter

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    Freaking awesome thread!

    Thanks so much guys.
     
  33. MLarson

    MLarson Scout

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    I'm still working on mine. I took the frame to the welding shop and after a month and a half of the run around it turns out that they still haven't done it. I took my frame home and plan to get it welded up some time next month and powdercoated when I get a chance. Trying to make it through finals right now. I have all the leather cut to length so far.
     

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