I learned some very interesting things while working on my donation to Show for the Cure. Unfortunately, none of them were pleasant epiphanies. Most of the discoveries were followed by "Oh, crap."
Number one: silver leaf adhesive should probably set really, really well before being sealed. In fact, the sealer sold for silver leaf should probably be used instead of leather sealer. I don't know why, but on the S4TC donation it got tacky and kept sliding around on the pommel after it was sealed. First "Oh, crap" moment. The parade set used a very similar method (I skipped basecoating the pommel in silver paint for the S4TC donation) and is fine. I don't know what happened here, but I'll be keeping an eye on the parade set.
I had two choices: try to fix the bare spots with more adhesive and leaf and reseal (oh yes, great idea), or recover the pommel with leather. That lead to another question...strip the pommel of the fully assembled saddle, try to recover over the silver, or tear the saddle apart and recover it that way? I decided that the chances of glue sticking to tacky adhesive weren't that great and I really did not feel like tearing apart a saddle that used so much Super Glue, so stripping it was. I armed myself with some nail polish remover and pointy Q-tips.
That lead to discovery Number Two: nail polish remover should never be left in plastic bathroom-type cups. Can you guess why?
Yeah. It eats through the plastic. I took a break from picking at the pommel to take the unit test for my intermediate algebra class. I had to get up to keep a cat from playing with something they shouldn't have and when I turned around, I realized that the level of liquid in the cup was considerably lower. I know alcohol tends to evaporate quickly, but nothing evaporates that quickly in a house in February in Kansas. Nothing.
Second "Oh, crap" moment. There was nail polish remover pooled around the base of the cup. The saddle was next to the cup.
The damage was limited to the front part of just one side of the saddle, pretty much what you see here. Nail polish remover also eats through adhesive, though. That's why I was stripping the pommel with it, after all. I'm waiting on the saddle to dry, hoping for no discoloration, and expecting that I'll have to glue the jockey and fender back down at least because the nail polish remover will have compromised the glue. I'm praying that the silver stays intact.
There is a chance that I'll need to tear the saddle apart anyway now. If the leather discolors, I'll have to carve a new jockey, possibly a new fender. The lower skirt, thank goodness, was mostly spared and anything off will be hidden under the jockey/fender.
The irony? In my attempt to avoid tearing down the saddle, I may have created a situation that renders it an absolute necessity.
Hope your day is going better than mine.