Equipment Question

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dagon

Equipment Question

#1 Post by dagon » Sun Aug 04, 2002 10:27 am

Howdy all!
I went to the First Monday sale in Canton yesterday. There was a fellow there who had a Singer 29-4 for sale. It had been sitting for quite a while, and has a few problems, but seems to run fairly smoothly (without thread). He was asking $350, but would probably be willing to take less.

My questions are: Is this a worthwhile machine for a beginner shoemaker? Does anyone have experience with it? Would anyone else be interested in this machine if I don't get it (He is located in Arkansas, and probably still has it)?

Thanks!
Mitch

D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: Equipment Question

#2 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Mon Aug 05, 2002 4:21 am

Mitch,

Of all the 29 class Singer "patching" machines, the 29-4 is the oldest and probably the least desirable in my opinion. I believe the 29-4 went out of production c.1920, making any surviving ones very senior and heavily worn machines. The 29K patchers were in by the 1930s at least, and superseded it. The rack-and-pinion system that controls the shuttle is the weakest part of the 29-4--no adjustment for timing, and the solid cast iron arm and shuttle compartment once worn, are hard or impossible to replace. The later 29K class have separate, replaceable, rack boxes and timing adjustments. The feeder-foot presser system is pretty antiquated too. That big leaf spring across the back, and the block that rides the lift lever, wear fast and badly. If the fancy paint and decals on the one you're looking at are 100%, it might be neat as a "collectible" show-piece, but if it's gone black all over like most of them through aggressive cleaning, or worse, been repainted, I'd pass it by at that price.

If you just want a reliable patcher to use--and they're great to have--I'd look around for a 29K- long-arm [18"], with the larger capacity shuttle [or smaller shuttle if you use it primarily for repairs down inside of shoes/boots]. You should be able to find a good tight one with treadle stand for $300-$500, or less if you don't mind tinkering to fix it up. Parts for the 29Ks are also easier to find than the older 29-4 parts.

dagon

Re: Equipment Question

#3 Post by dagon » Mon Aug 05, 2002 8:43 am

Excellent! Thanks! I was just about to take the plunge and get it, and spend as much on it as I would on a better machine.

Anyone know where I could find a 29k with an 18 inch arm?

-Mitch

bct

Re: Equipment Question

#4 Post by bct » Fri Apr 25, 2003 4:36 pm

Curve Needle Stitcher Awl Questions:

My friend Gaylon, has new/old stock Landis Curve Needle Awls #24-43 for Sale. Gaylon also has Goodyear Awls #43. These are all in original dozen packages. The Landis and the Goodyear Awls appear to be the same size. I'm told that these two brands of Awls will fit any curve needle.

The Landis package says they will fit any Landis 12 or American Stitcher. The Landis Awls have the word "Landis 24" on the shank of the awls.

What size bulldog poly thread and needle combination would one use on a Landis G with the Landis #24 awl?

According to Alan Bell Bootmaker in Abilene Texas, Alan uses one size smaller Awl then the needle. Alan uses a # 23 Awl with a #22 needle and poly size 6 in his Landis K. Alan seems to think that one would have to use poly #7 with the Landis #24 awls?

It has been many years since I have seen a package of Landis awls, all I have seen is Gotz brand, any thought?

"Riding For the Brand"
Brian C. Thomas

erickgeer

Re: Equipment Question

#5 Post by erickgeer » Thu Feb 05, 2004 9:45 am

Does anyone know about the old Champion hand cranked sole groover and edge splitters?

Erick Geer Wilcox

Tmattimore

Re: Equipment Question

#6 Post by Tmattimore » Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:39 am

I have one and love it. I was going to bid on it myself but if you want it I will bow out. If you get it I will give you some tips on its use.
Tom Mattimore

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Re: Equipment Question

#7 Post by das » Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:44 am

Erick,

Don't know if I "know" about them, but I've got one that works about 90% of the time. What can I do to help?

erickgeer

Re: Equipment Question

#8 Post by erickgeer » Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:13 pm

I take it Tom found the one on E-bay.
Tom,
I have no idea of their value, so you might have found yourself a groover. It looks like one that was up for auction several months ago. I was hoping one would show up again - are they rare?
Thanks
Al,
what goes wrong with it? I would prefer a hand cranked machine over an electric - 90% doesn't sound bad to me.
Erick

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Re: Equipment Question

#9 Post by das » Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:05 pm

Erick,

The only one I've ever played with is my own. There are two blades, plus sockets to hold a pair of spares, (be sure they're both with it and not broken off/chipped, etc--try finding spares these days), plus a bunch of adjustment points for depth, angle, etc.

The slitter blade that cuts into the edge of the sole to make the "flap" to cover the thread must be set for depth, length of flap, angle, etc. Once that one's set where you want it, the "groover" blade is then adjusted to follow exactly at the end of the "flap", and deep enough (just) to recess the MacKay threads. Then there's the "pinch" tension--how hard the feed-wheel bears down on the work to move it through the blades.

If you get it set up perfectly for one leather, it's a pain to readjust everything for any other soling. Harder leather, softer leather, thicker, thinner, all require adjustments. If you were mass-producing MacKay-sewed shoes, same leather all the time, it would be fine I imagine, but if you're doing one-offs, in different leathers, it's almost easier and less wasteful to just use the hand-held MacKay slitter/groover tool, or even use a knife and a separate groover.

It's cool to have, and you should buy it, just don't expect it to be a "versatile" do-all machine. And if the blades are broken, chipped, or missing, I'd pass on it. If there's enough of an original blade left to copy (the slitter blade has weird compound "Z" angles), find a really good tool-maker, and save up to pay him to make you some blades--probably as much as you spent on the machine Image

erickgeer

Re: Equipment Question

#10 Post by erickgeer » Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:57 pm

Is it really only for McKay stitching?
I figured it would be useful for other types of stitching also.
Any opinions?

Erick

tmattimore

Re: Equipment Question

#11 Post by tmattimore » Thu Feb 05, 2004 4:18 pm

Eric I use mine to conceal the thread on a regular outsole stitch. It works great for that if the blade is sharp. I find that on some shoes (with a wide forepart and narrow shank) it can get real tight and the feed roller may catch and ruin the upper more so on a right shoe then a left it helps to do it with the last in. The grover most defenitly is for a mackay as it does not seem to get close enough for outsole. I paid $175 for mine and would not sell it for twice the price. As for the edge slitter it works much better if the leather is wet. Adjusting for thickness is not to bad but changing the depth of cut takes time. If you use more then 8oz welt and 12 iron soleing the machine may not handle it. It also needs to be bolted down to a heavy table or stand. Knives are impossible to find. I am trying a machinist in denver but even he said it is a complicated little piece of steel.
Tom

erickgeer

Re: Equipment Question

#12 Post by erickgeer » Thu Feb 05, 2004 4:32 pm

Well, I've already bid the reserve, I wanted it, hope I can use it.
Thanks for the input.

Erick

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Re: Equipment Question

#13 Post by das » Fri Feb 06, 2004 5:19 am

Erick,

Don't get fidgety over that Champion. Like I said it's a very cool tool, pretty rare, and if you can't get it to make coffee and peel apples too, you can always turn it around to some Forumite Image

Like I said, (and Tom reiterated) the blades are the big bugger here. If they're both there (maybe with spares clamped into the little sockets?) you're in high cotton. Ask the seller. If you have to have blades made, you'll pay. My groover blade was a-okay, but the slitter blade was broken-off. My local tool-genius and I sweated over the correct "Z" shape, and compound angles, and several tries later I now have one that works, and a spare that sorta works.

The machine was designed to be a one-trick-pony, for prepping MacKay soles. But like machines can, I guess you could push it beyond it's purpose. BTW Tom, I've never tried feeding the sole through there while it's on the boot/shoe. I've always fed the damp soles through *before* they're applied to the shoe. I believe that's how it was intended to be used, and it might solve your problem of getting in tight in a narrow waisted sole--do the channeling first, then stick the sole onto the boot.

Interesting "historical" note here, that I'm going to try one day, but haven't yet. In your collection of old dusty boxes of second-hand shoe tacks/nail, you'll often find some little flat-section ones, 3/8 or 4/8 long, usually blued steel, with a head formed by just a "T" of the shape. The boxes are marked "channel nails". For years I wondered what the heck these were used for until I started looking at post 1880s and 1900s literature and boots. If you've got the Champion sole slitter/groover you're set to make "channel nailed" shoes/boots too. Cut the slit and groove as for MacKay, stick it on the boot (iron-plated last inside), then using these "channel nails" nail her on, then cement the channel "flap" down. Pretty neat idea until the iron nails start to gall the leather and the stains come through, which was the only way I detected "channel-nailed" soles when I saw them. I picked the flap up and looked--there they were, channel nails.

Aside from that, the only reason I can think of that channel nails would be found in old nail collections was, that they were used by cobblers to repair MacKay'd work without a MacKay sewer. Does anybody have any information on this, or the use of channel nails in shoe-repair back round 1900?

On those bristles, if they're "old" they may be dry rotted. Test by bending one in two and see if it pops back, or just breaks off. The ones I'd always found at shoe repair suppliers were "blonde", and kinda thin and flimsy. I was taught to prefer the black ones, extra-heavy/stiff, about 8" long. Peter Oakley, the HCC products guy usually stocks these heavier black bristles too, in 6"-7". The 8" ones I have to order through India or Pakistan (search earlier postings for the address). I use nylon bristle too, but they are purpose-made nylon bristles with corrugated ends I bought in the UK years ago (they're reusable). Fishing line will work too of course, and you can "corrugate" the end by pinching it lightly a few times in your lasting pincers to make little bumps to help the wax and thread grip it better.. The other day somebody was writing on here about "Wax Twins", pre-made waxends with wire bristles spun on. Those you used to be able to buy at all the shoe repair suppliers in Britain (grinders, or grindery merchants), but I'm thinking they're probably long-gone out of production. Anybody across the pond know differently?

erickgeer

Re: Equipment Question

#14 Post by erickgeer » Fri Feb 06, 2004 10:33 am

Whether I can use it or not I'm looking forward to the Groover.

The pig bristle I got were in blonde bundles and long black ones. they spring back unless I pinch it at the bend.

I got a couple bottles of those nails with an old box of shoe repair tools - I didn't know what they were for -thanks!

On the topic of nails - I know some don't like steel clinching nails because of the rust issue, but I have never heard brass nails discussed - is there an opinion on these out there?

Erick

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Re: Equipment Question

#15 Post by dw » Fri Feb 06, 2004 3:55 pm

Erick,

Just a short story (that I've probably told before)...

Years ago, I got a good deal on a lot of old blond boars bristles (colour probably doesn't matter) that had been sitting around in the basement of one of my finders. I waxed up some linen and twisted a pair of bristles on and set down to do some serious inseaming. I don't suppose I got ten stitches before one of the bristles broke. As I began to strip off the broken pieces in order to re-bristle the taw, I noticed that my finger was itching like crazy. Closer examination revealed that it was swelling up fast. On yet closer examination, I noticed a little spec of something in the center of the redness. When I rubbed it, it felt hard. I got out a tweezers and proceeded to pull about five-eighths of an inch of bristle out of my hand. Had I left it in there I probably would have gotten badly infected.

Don't use old and brittle bristles. Monofilament fishing line bristles are, at least relatively, sterile. And comes in far more lengths and weights. Image

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

erickgeer

Re: Equipment Question

#16 Post by erickgeer » Fri Feb 06, 2004 4:24 pm

I've never used pig or nylon before, and I've never been too happy with the system I use. This is new territory - thanks for the warning.

Erick

shoestring

Re: Equipment Question

#17 Post by shoestring » Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:00 am

My first welt was pure torture and I did not find out about the use of pig or nylon bristles until the end and bleeding.Any ways can someone show a photo of how the ends are placed on correctly using what ever they use.And I read several make their own wax what's the forumla and how's it done.

Ed

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Re: Equipment Question

#18 Post by jake » Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:22 am

Ed,

First of all, I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble.

Second of all, I'll just go ahead and give it to ya plain.....use fishing line! I'll try to take some picture today and give ya a step by step.

As for wax, coade, do a "keyword search" to find information already posted. You'll find recipes and opinions concerning different varieties. If you can't find anything, let me know. If I can teach you how to search the Forum, you'll find absolutely a wealth of information here.

You can also find great pictures of welt jobs performed by D.W. on the Forum too.

Let me know if I can be of further help.

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Re: Equipment Question

#19 Post by jake » Sat Feb 07, 2004 6:40 am

Ed,

Don't know exactly what type of problems you're having, but when I was first learning to inseam, it helped me tremendously to pre-hole my insole. Even though I don't pre-hole now, it set everything up for me at the beginning. Made life so much easier.

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Re: Equipment Question

#20 Post by petemonahan » Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:12 am

I am fascinated by Al's mention of channel nails "...used by cobblers to repair McKay'd work without a McKay sewer." I currently have 5 or 6 pairs of McKay'd Civil war Brogans to half sole and I don't have any machinery at all, never mind a McKay sticher! (I'm not making any money on these jobs either, but that's another story Image)

I don't suppose anyone out there knows where a guy could find channel nails? Right now I'm using gluing and pegging but I'm not totally satisfied that they'll hold up as long as I'd like. Any suggestions on either point?

Yours in snow
Peter Monahan

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Re: Equipment Question

#21 Post by jake » Sat Feb 07, 2004 8:28 am

Peter,

The only thing I could advise, is to contact D.B. Gurney Company. The contact info:

D B Gurney Co
Address: PO Box 430
Whitman, MA 02382-0430
Voice: 781-447-4411
Fax: 781-447-3155
Product: Tacks & nails

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Re: Equipment Question

#22 Post by petemonahan » Sat Feb 07, 2004 10:21 am

Jake

Thanks for the prompt response! I'll check it out.

Peter

tmattimore

Re: Equipment Question

#23 Post by tmattimore » Sat Feb 07, 2004 12:39 pm

There is a type of nail called a machine welt tack that is desgined to be used on a pull over machine. It has a small enough head to fit in a channel. I have also used on repairs a nail called an oval head soling nail in either brass or iron. All should curl under nicely. Every English army ammunition boot I have seen has a midsole nailed on with what looks like D.A. described as a channel nail as close as three to the inch. Both pegs and nails would be period correct for repairs.
Tom Mattimore

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Re: Equipment Question

#24 Post by petemonahan » Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:40 pm

Tom
Thanks for the additional terms - I'll try them when I speak to Gurney's.

Peter

shoestring

Re: Equipment Question

#25 Post by shoestring » Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:04 pm

Thanks for the respond Jake and I would appreciate your help in learning how to get around the fourm a bit better.I need all the help I can get in any area.I was not aware of holing until Paul sent me some information I will try that next time.The first round I had welt and upper to hole togather.First attempt making a shoe,and teaching myself most of the way.
I will stick to pre-holing until I get a little more experience under my belt.I was unaware that inseaming required bristles and I used harness needles #000.After that experience I knew there was a better way.Thanks for everything.
Ed

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