old buckle web mitt

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old buckle web mitt

Postby mikesglove » September 28th, 2011, 1:58 pm

This mitt had been sitting in a box with my other projects for a while. I was always on the look out for a similar model in better condition so I wouldn't have to restore this one. It seemed like a daunting task. Finding another hadn't panned out so I decided to see If I could fix this one. The original buckle web strap had broken off long ago and someone along the way jury-rigged it together. It was a mess, but miraculously, the two D-rings and buckle were still intact. There was a small hole in the pocket and the pocket reinforcing stitching was all worn off. The buckle strap in the back had been broken and riveted back together and was very fragile. Someone had jammed square cut modern lacing through the heel grommets and it is a wonder the grommets weren't all ripped loose.
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I cut the heel lacing flush with the grommets and carefully pushed the old lacing through with a nail punch. The padding came out intact in only three sections for which I was grateful. The pocket stitching pattern is visible inside the mitt but the reinforcing material was not attached. I looked through the front of the padding a little more and found the piece of canvas reinforcement so shredded that it had became part of padding. It must have come detached many decades ago.
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This is the back side of the padding which I stuck in a box to keep it together.
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Last edited by mikesglove on September 30th, 2011, 7:22 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: old buckle web mitt

Postby mikesglove » September 28th, 2011, 2:35 pm

I removed the two rivets from the overlapped buckle strap and saw that the original pieces were all there so I sistered them together with a thin leather reinforcing piece underneath. The strap still looks pretty beat up but I thought I had to try to save it.
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I replaced the canvas reinforcement inside and re-stitched the pattern of three rows of holes around the pocket by hand. it took a number of days. I had been buying odd pieces of antique leather from flea markets and had one to use for the buckle web strap. I needed a piece about 10" long. I carved out a section at the end of the new strap to lay in the 1" remnant that was still on the mitt. In woodworking terms it is called a rabbet joint. It came out pretty flush and I was happy with the color match.
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I had some thin flat lacing that I used at the heel and really like the look of it with the tiny grommets.
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The full adult size Reach 5A mitt on the right is for size comparison. The buckle web mitt is 12" high by 11" wide. I was happy how the new pocket stitching and canvas underneath really helped define the pocket better. This was a patent feature by Elroy Rogers at the turn of the century for Victor Sporting Goods as was the buckle web design. I wondered why the buckle web was so elaborate and thought maybe the D-rings were somehow meant to distribute the tension, kind of like a pulley system. The padding went back in pretty easily and the mitt feels great on the hand, which for me is what it is all about
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Re: old buckle web mitt

Postby okdoak » September 29th, 2011, 12:52 pm

That's a very neat restoration job, Mike. Great looking mitt with that unique buckle strap. Nice work!
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Re: old buckle web mitt

Postby Kenny Wel » September 29th, 2011, 6:13 pm

Mike,
I really enjoyed reading this post and looking at the photos.

Thanks for sharing.

Ken
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Re: old buckle web mitt

Postby mikesglove » September 30th, 2011, 7:52 pm

I am not saying my mitt is a Victor. There aren't any markings on it. It just has some similar characteristics. I find the Victor mitts from that period interesting for their experimentation. This image is from a 1897 Victor catalog showing the top two mitts having buckle webs.
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This 1900 victor catalog shows all eight of the catcher's mitts with some sort of buckle web attachment.
1900 victor 1.jpg
The model 15L mitt on the right features what Victor describes as a "Double Front" stitching.
1900 victor 1ab.JPG

Here is a mitt with a simple type buckle web and features the "Double Front" stitching
buckle web1.JPG

This mitt is more like mine with the elaborate buckle web
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Re: old buckle web mitt

Postby MGHProductions » October 2nd, 2011, 12:56 am

The mitt looks great.. awesome job!
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