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Leather Hard Case repair

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228D045F-0458-4DC6-907F-CBF9C4C92EBF.thumb.jpeg.f54040156eb26e24d86d56f3e6208113.jpeg5A0808E9-0DFE-46D8-B692-10B2AD96EF74.thumb.jpeg.2fd02750fd612d8a303d94ecdc0881d1.jpegThoughts, suggestions please!


I have what I think is an original case for my mid 1950’s Wheatstone Aola. The case is broken in two ways:

a) the hinge was made from leather on the outside and fabric on the inside. The leather is cracked.

b) the handle is worn to the point of imminent failure.


I’d like to restore the case.  I’ve cleaned it inside and out.  Now I need to figure out the best way to make the repairs. 

your thoughts are greatly appreciated. 

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Here's a photo of how I repaired my wife's similar case:



I cut out a strip around the hinge down to the wood with a scalpel and removed the leather. I cut a new piece from an old leather satchel that had a similar colour and thickness and glued it in place using hot hide glue. It's been in use for about 4 years now and looks better in real life than on this photo...


However, I see from your post that your case is made from only leather and fabric? Our one (also Wheatstone, but from 1939) has a wooden box covered with +/- 1mm thick leather, so you may have to be more inventive.  Perhaps you could glue a new piece of leather on the inside, if you can get the lining off without damaging it?


Good luck and I hope this helps,




Edited by adrian brown
tried to repair the photo link
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Tom


If that were my case and in regular use, then I'd do the following.


- The handle looks beyond repair and needs to be replaced.

- Reinforce the hinge by glueing and then sewing a strip of thin leather over the existing hinge.


I suspect the box probably has a mid-layer of 'card' to give it shape and rigidity, in the same way that Adrian's earlier one had a wooden mid-layer. So it might be slightly more complicated.


If you don't have the skills yourself,  I suggest you reach out to your local leatherworker community where I'm sure someone would be happy to revitalise that case. Leatherworker.net is a good place online to start or visit your local Tandy Leather store,  I'm guessing you are in the US.


Best of luck.

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replacement handles are easy to find, e.g., at Elderly Inastruments -- https://www.elderly.com/products/case-handle?variant=26854274170944


or this one which includes new hardware for attaching handle to case




and this place has them in various colours -- https://valuebeltsplus.com/collections/leather-handles-luggage-briefcase-replacement


Amazon will sell you one for slightly more money -- https://www.elderly.com/products/case-handle?variant=26854274170944


As for the hinge, I suggest contacting a leather-worker. In the menatime, if you need to continue using the case, AndyNT 's  suggestion (above) to reinforce the hinge is good IMHO




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