1930's Reach base mitt

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1930's Reach base mitt

Postby mikesglove » May 4th, 2012, 3:21 pm

I don't collect many base mitts, just not my thing. i liked this one for the patented wrist strap, invented by Edwin Till in 1930. I have a catchers mitt with the same design. Not a real popular invention and it only lasted a couple of years. You can find them on Spalding, Reach and Wright & Ditson mitts of that era.

The mitt looked well used and the darkening of the leather seemed to indicate a lot of grime built up over the years. The cloth patch looked iffy. The green gunk around the grommets looked bad even in the picture and it was worse in person. It had spread inside the mitt. I lucked out in one respect and the interior leather was especially nice.
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The front leather was really dirty and the original stamping was mostly worn away except for a faint Reach logo.
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I had to carefully undo all the perimeter lacing to get inside the mitt to clean up the green gunk. I had to use a dental pick and my mini vacuum! It was nasty. I did not break the lacing as I relaced the mitt and got it back together in one piece. I used Go-Jo waterless hand cleaner with pumice on the dark, dirty areas of the front and back and it cut through the top layer of grime really well. I followed that with Kiwi saddle soap, a tooth brush and clean rag over the entire mitt. That softened the mitt and removed a lot of the remaining grime. After the mitt dried out a little I spread Vaseline over small areas and cleaned off more of the grime with a soft rag. It was amazing after the Go-Jo and Kiwi treatment how well the Vaseline worked as a final cleaner. I used my "Hide Bracer" conditioner to give the mitt a little shine at the end.
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The silver grommets look super now. I don't collect glove/mitts with worn off cloth patches. Pretty much ruins it for me. They are really fragile and when they are nice it is like the icing on a cake.
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One added bonus to the mitt was the design of the "trap" style webbing using the four grommets on the thumb. Reach touted this design in the 1930's. I like how the former owner kind of did his thing with the intertwining of the web lacing so I left it that way.
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The last two pictures will blow you away. It doesn't look like it could possibly be the same mitt. The grime was really caked on the patch. I have ruined my share in cleaning cloth patches because they are fragile and this one didn't look like it would clean easily. I used a watered down mixture of saddle soap and about 30 Q-Tips. One trick is to start really lightly and watch for the tell tale darkening of the Q-Tip end. I was super careful and would let the patch dry before I started in again.
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Last edited by mikesglove on May 5th, 2012, 3:42 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 1930's Reach base mitt

Postby deebro041 » May 4th, 2012, 4:06 pm

WOW, that is superb cleaning. It's like night and day! Outstanding job!
Dan
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Re: 1930's Reach base mitt

Postby ScottWNJ » May 4th, 2012, 10:49 pm

How much time did you spend on that glove? Amazing job!

Scott
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Re: 1930's Reach base mitt

Postby mikesglove » May 5th, 2012, 3:13 am

The cloth patch cleaning alone took short periods over three days because I would let it dry thoroughly to make sure I didn't start to disintegrate the threads. The dismantling of the mitt, reassembly and cleaning of the leather was about 6 hours over three days. Before I removed the perimeter lacing to clean the green gunk inside the mitt, I went over the lacing with saddle soap and Vaseline to soften it up. The lacing was a little brittle and seemed vintage so I wanted to try and save it. I really didn't expect much when I bought this mitt. The fact that it turned out so well was a pleasant surprise.
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Re: 1930's Reach base mitt

Postby Studboy » May 5th, 2012, 10:59 am

Worth the effort for sure, GREAT JOB!
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Re: 1930's Reach base mitt

Postby Groucho » May 10th, 2012, 1:25 pm

Very, very nice. Makes my work look like amatuer hour. It's great for someone like me to learn tips and tricks. I've made mistakes!
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Re: 1930's Reach base mitt

Postby briggs86 » May 15th, 2012, 11:35 am

Mike,

That is a beautiful job. I had that one on my watch list and loved the wrist closure as well. Interesting idea for the patches, I've ruined so many in the past. I am trying that on a W&D tonight. Truthfully incredible clean up job. How much you charging these days for your 6 hour cleaning...?! Ill send you a pile!

Jared
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Re: 1930's Reach base mitt

Postby mikesglove » May 15th, 2012, 2:33 pm

I have done restoration work for other collectors in the past. I normally don't like money to change hands. If someone has a project glove/mitt that I would really like to add to my collection, then I would take on their own repair project. As long as the shipping costs are taken care of, then both people may benefit.
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Re: 1930's Reach base mitt

Postby Broomie23 » June 15th, 2012, 12:45 am

Thank you for the great info. It will really help me restore a few beauties. A little newer in the collecting of gloves so please keep the tips coming.
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