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Unusual Leather Rolling Machine

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Martin King 216/01/2022 18:48:44
980 forum posts
436 photos

Hi All,

Just got this lovely machine at auction, could not believe that we were the only bidder. Very heavy item at 70cm tall but complete and undamaged.

leather mangle.jpg

Not sure of its exact use but saddlery comes to mind, perhaps rolling the leather wet to set into the correct curvature when dry?

All thoughts welcome.

Regards, Martin

Martin King 217/01/2022 15:27:26
980 forum posts
436 photos


Michael Gilligan17/01/2022 16:32:28
20057 forum posts
1040 photos

Sorry, Martin … I still don’t know

One thought though : If you don’t know its function; what makes you assume that it is a ‘Leather Rolling Machine’



Martin King 217/01/2022 16:47:51
980 forum posts
436 photos

Hi Michael,

the same German company made a machine brand called Rodi which was a leather roller for thin sections, also the auction description was leather machine, though that may not be a good thing to go by!

I am comfortable with it being that but have no idea of how it would be used in anger so to speak. Lots of heavier leather work is done wet and the work takes a ‘set’ wHen it dries out.

will post the name in a moment.

cheers Martin

Martin King 217/01/2022 16:50:18
980 forum posts
436 photos

Auction description

An antique cobblers leather roller mangle by Gustav Rafflenbeul Schwelm, W 53cm x H 70cm x D 48cm.

ega17/01/2022 16:53:54
2487 forum posts
199 photos
Posted by Martin King 2 on 17/01/2022 16:47:51:...Lots of heavier leather work is done wet and the work takes a ‘set’ wHen it dries out.


eg Brooks leather bicycle saddles.

Bizibilder17/01/2022 17:20:03
120 forum posts
7 photos

Googling Shoemakers leather rolling machine threw up quite a few hits.

Martin King 220/01/2022 14:51:21
980 forum posts
436 photos

Hi All,

just stripped this down completely and sent the rollers and some other parts to be polished. Found some remnants of the original green finish so will match that colour for the restoration.

Fortunately all the pins securing the gears etc all came out easily and there are no damaged parts. Will need me to turn up a new handle in greenheart that I have loads of.

Chees, Martin

Bo'sun20/01/2022 17:03:18
602 forum posts
2 photos

Hello Martin,

Hope the restoration goes well. Watch working with Greenheart though, I'm told slinters can easily go septic.

Martin King 225/01/2022 17:16:30
980 forum posts
436 photos

Hi All,

Here are some pics of the restored machine, now ready to go.

Quite enjoyable to do but the parts were very heavy.

rollpress 1.jpg

rollpress 2.jpg

rollpress 10.jpg

rollpress 5.jpgrollpress 7.jpg

Cheers, Martin

Nicholas Farr25/01/2022 18:25:50
3310 forum posts
1524 photos

Hi Martin, well that's scrubbed up very nicely. yes

Regards Nick.

Frances IoM25/01/2022 18:55:22
1247 forum posts
28 photos
it looks very pretty but who buys such things ? as it looks to be a very specialised market.
Andrew Tinsley25/01/2022 19:10:27
1610 forum posts

Well Martin bought it and if I had been at the auction I may well have bid.


P.S. In my neck of the woods, there are quite a few saddlers. They may have been interested too.

Martin King 225/01/2022 20:24:18
980 forum posts
436 photos

We both work on the general basis of “if we like it, perhaps someone else will too”

We really enjoy finding nice odd items and bringing them back to life, the fact that they often make a it of profit helps too!

often things like this just end up at the scrapyard which I think is a great shame.

Now listed so we will wait and see….

Cheers, Martin

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