A2 Restoration for Vet

Discussion in 'How To Info' started by a2jacketpatches, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Here's an original jacket I'm restoring for the Vet and his family. The paint has chipped quite a bit, the decal was 99% gone, and they want it freshened up a bit overall. The leather is in good condition with very nice patina and wear. It's got that been there done that look and I don't want to over do the colors, just bring back what is gone. I will take a series of photos for each section and post as this restoration progresses.
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  2. Skip

    Skip Member

    Messages:
    777
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    That's a beauty, lookin forward to the progress reports...
     
  3. better duck

    better duck Active Member

    Messages:
    1,195
    Location:
    Groningen, Holland
    Responsible job! Do you know what they will do with the jacket, once you're finished with it?
     
  4. dujardin

    dujardin Active Member

    Messages:
    5,178
    Location:
    Belgium
    splendid jacket

    exciting post

    will follow the progress
     
  5. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Keeping it in the family, otherwise I would have recommended against restoring it.
     
  6. TankBuster

    TankBuster Active Member

    Messages:
    2,866
    Location:
    Midwest
    What a great jacket! I think it looks fantastic the way it is right now.

    I'm glad they commissioned you to do the work as you are great at what you do, but to be honest, I think they should just leave it as is. I think a jacket loses its originality when anything is done to "enhance" it. I understand however that it is theirs to do as they please. Good luck with the project.
     
  7. Vcruiser

    Vcruiser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,067
    Location:
    EastCentral Indiana
    I can't help but think..such a shame.
     
  8. unclegrumpy

    unclegrumpy Active Member

    Messages:
    1,354
    I totally agree!

    Too bad they did not commission you to put together a new jacket that replicates the old one.
     
  9. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Yeah, personally I would keep the way it is and I expected this kind of reaction from most of you guys. But the family is keeping it forever and they were gonna have someone do it anyway so I figured to do it right, just enough to bring back closer to the original painting. It's definitely not going to end up in your collection or mine, so I look at it as a guy restoring an old car or something for his personal satisfaction.
     
  10. Tim P

    Tim P Active Member

    Messages:
    2,002
    Location:
    Birmingham UK
    Yup, tough call. you have to tailor make your rationale with each circumstance I think.
     
  11. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,178
    I would put a coat of Pecards on the jacket lightly using your finger(s). Including putting it over the painted areas. It will significantly improve the leather and make the existing artwork pop with no damage to it. I would then take a few pics and send it to the customer (or show them in person). I'll bet they will be happy with just doing this!!!!

    I have done this sort of thing with some original A-2's with artwork for a local museum and the result have been very good. Significant improvement to not warrant any sort of additional painting.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  12. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Again, I hear ya, all of ya. Bottom line is no matter what you rub on it the decal isn't coming back, and the silver paint on the wings is chipped. It just doesn't look right to these non collecting family members or the vet that earned it. They just don't see this the way we do. Everybody's 2 cents could add up to a million bucks and it won't change the decision.
     
  13. Andrew

    Andrew Active Member

    Messages:
    3,527
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast, Australia
    That may be so for the moment, but in a year or two when the main caretaker decides to sell it to pay for something they will probably be looking for the most they can get for it. CBI's suggestion is the best.
     
  14. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    Yeah, at this point I'm sorry I even put it up here. The actual WW2 Pilot, owner, has made his decision to restore his jacket. I'm not gonna waste my time repeating myself over and over, or offer anything else concerning this piece. Over and out.....
     
  15. CBI

    CBI Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,178
    No worries Sean - I am sure you will do a great job on it.
     
  16. dmar836

    dmar836 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,634
    Location:
    Kansas, USA
    It's the beauty of not having to make a living doing this work. I've had no problem telling family(on the few occasions it's arisen) that it is best to "just leave it alone" and if they might go elsewhere for advice and work, I don't personally care as I have not turned away an opportunity. My sentiment to keep things original remains intact.
    I'm sure it will be nicely done.
    Just my lot,
    Dave
     
  17. a2jacketpatches

    a2jacketpatches Active Member

    Messages:
    3,137
    Location:
    Northern California
    This type of work is a very minute fraction of my living. My living is 99.9% reproduction patches and artwork. Have to say that this is the first restoration (of an original) in my entire career, and I'm glad to save it from a possible butcher considering someone was going to do it anyway. I just saw some knucklehead slapping acrylic paint all over this jacket if I passed on it.

    Another fraction of the .001% would be selling original items. In this case I do my best to keep a vets history intact as opposed to the distributors that would separate every item to get the most out of a grouping. Believe it or not, Me along with most other guys that collect, are indirectly guilty of creating that market buying single items at flea markets, yard sales, Ebay, Craigslist, etc.

    I think in the very limited capacity that I'm interfering with originality, I'm actually saving it from total destruction no matter what I do.
     

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