1930's Rawlings FB 143 mitt

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1930's Rawlings FB 143 mitt

Postby mikesglove » June 8th, 2012, 3:10 pm

I was taken with this Rawlings mitt because of the wide riveted trap web. It was a popular Style for many years starting in the 1920's with the "Jim Bottomley" model. This particular mitt is a 1930's FB 143 "Special Trap" model. The wide padded wrist protector and the greenish leather wrist strap was pretty cool to me. The patch was good, the seams were all tight, the liner was smooth and it was a nice full size model. The only issue was general wear and tear and build up of grime. There were no markings at the top front of the mitt when I got it, only the "Professional Model" and patent stamp were visible at the heel.

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The grime was really tenacious and removing it was incredibly time consuming. I used the coarse and fine pumice Go-Jo hand cleaner, saddle soap and Vaseline treatment. Pretty much exactly like the Reach mitt posted earlier. The cloth patch in this case was way easier to clean than the Reach mitt. It only took a few passes with the Q-tip and water.
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Some of the leather binding was flaking so I had to carefully glue each area flush again.
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The front was by far the most tedious to clean as it naturally had the most grime build-up. Finally the Rawlings logo and model number at the top became evident and were pretty much intact. Rawlings made a pretty sturdy leather glove here and stood up to a fair amount of wear and tear..
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Re: 1930's Rawlings FB 143 mitt

Postby deebro041 » June 8th, 2012, 9:44 pm

Once again, great job Mike! You have to wonder if sellers don't know or don't care about cleaning a glove before they sell it, perhaps driving the value higher.
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Re: 1930's Rawlings FB 143 mitt

Postby deebro041 » June 8th, 2012, 9:47 pm

Mike, what was the inside of the like?
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Re: 1930's Rawlings FB 143 mitt

Postby eleet » June 8th, 2012, 10:03 pm

Great job! I'm especially impressed with the glue job on the piping! I have never considered doing that, but it looks great!
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Re: 1930's Rawlings FB 143 mitt

Postby mikesglove » June 9th, 2012, 3:52 am

The inside of the mitt was in good shape. A little surprising given the wear on the outside. There were no tears, checked or worn leather. it was all smooth and supple. Lucky for me since I have little experience repairing linings. it only needed a light cleaning with saddle soap and Vaseline. The finger stalls were leather divisions up inside the mitt. They were all attached.
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Re: 1930's Rawlings FB 143 mitt

Postby larjoranj » June 18th, 2012, 4:53 am

The most intriguing part to me is the piping. It looks pretty frazzled before, great after. Do you trim off the loose pieces? Glue them down? Did the conditioner alone even out the color? Great job.
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Re: 1930's Rawlings FB 143 mitt

Postby mikesglove » June 18th, 2012, 8:05 pm

I wouldn't trim off any remnant of the piping because it causes an uneven look. I knew there had to be some areas that had flaked off already and I didn't want to add more. The piping at the heel showed the most loss but that's the way it goes. I used Titebond molding glue and a dental pick to work the glue carefully under an area that was peeling or flaking and then pushed it back into place and flushed it up with the surrounding area. I like the molding glue because it sets up in a few seconds. There were a lot of these areas and it took some time. The piping is a dark brown but there was a lot of wear that showed a reddish brown color and made the piping look ragged. That actually was my biggest concern when buying the mitt because I couldn't tell from the original pictures how bad it was. Apart from the glued areas, The scuffing of the piping did not go deep enough to be uneven. The scuffed areas turned dark brown as soon as I put the Vaseline on them.
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