miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1126 Post by dmcharg » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:02 pm

G'day All,
I made this pair a bit over a year ago, and in that time I have worn them for around 5,100 hours, around the house, in the garden, feeding the animals, walking (and sometimes running if I’m late) down the street, moving furniture, welding (though just the once; I thought better of it after that :) ) etc. To put that into a days context, that’s 14 hours per day, 7 days a week for the last 365 days. If they were used as dress shoes for two evenings a week, at 7 hours each night, that’s 7 years worth of wear.
DM ReFurb A.JPG
There is a lot of dirt and rocks in our area and, though I have tried to be aware of where my feet were, there have been the odd miss-haps with them with people stepping on the toes, and I put a steel filing cabinet down too close to myself…
We were due to exhibit at a ‘Lost Trades Fair’ and I wanted to be able to show them ‘as worn’ and ‘re-furbished’. I use Saphir Dark Brown polish on them, and so to remove it I used paper towelling, dampened with Pure Turps (pine turpentine), trying not to make the leather too wet with it.
I use leather to make our toe puffs (boxes) and heel stiffeners. This, combined with the Herschkleber Paste I use to bond and stiffen them, means that it is possible to soak them down and re-shape them. The vamp on this pair isn’t lined (Summer shoes) but the quarters are. In order to originally keep the toe puff in place, I used a thin bead of latex glue along it’s skived leading edge (going across near the root of my toes) sticking it to the inside of the vamp. This isn’t water soluble once dry, and bonds well. The rest was liberally coated in the paste. As the quarters are lined I just pasted inside the quarters and lining, and both sides of the counter (stiffener) and slipped it in place prior to lasting. If heat, or solvent activated, synthetic stiffeners had been used, I don’t think much could be done to re-shape them.
These photos show the bulk of the polish removed and the darkish line going across the tip of the toe is where the filing cabinet caught them.
DM ReFurb 1.JPG
DM ReFurb 2.JPG

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1127 Post by dmcharg » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:06 pm

Part 2.
And a side view. The one on the left is re-furbished, the right is after all the little miss-haps of every day wear.
DM ReFurb 3.jpg
Back when I’d first made them I accidentally stepped on the back of the right shoe in the dark, when I got up in the middle of the night. That was disappointing…
DM ReFurb 4.JPG
It took about 3/4hour of squirting, and rubbing in, water, inside and out, in the toe and heel areas for the leather to become soft enough for me to be confident the paste had liquified and the re-forming would work smoothly. Bodes well for if I get caught in the rain. I talced the insides of the shoes, as the paste does soak through the leather to some extent (not something you notice in wearing), and re-fitted my lasts.
A couple of smooth bones were used to rub out the wrinkles (esp. in the heel areas) and generally smooth the leather and re-profile the toes. After shot of the crushed toe above.
DM ReFurb 5.JPG

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1128 Post by dmcharg » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:12 pm

Part 3.

The arch area had taken a bit of a beating, and the design was no longer easy to see, so I scraped and sanded back the surface...
DM ReFurb 6.JPG
Re-burnished in ‘resist’ lines ( to provide a bit of a barrier to the leather dye) with a bone ‘stitch prick’ tool...
DM ReFurb 7.jpg
Then re-dyed, and used hot tools and brown ‘Parade Gloss’ and Neutral shoe polish to finish.

DM ReFurb 8.JPG
Open to suggestions on improving the shank area :) There were a lot of ‘dings’ and dirt.

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1129 Post by dmcharg » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:18 pm

Part 4.

The edges of the soles and stacked heels were scraped and sanded and old edging irons, dipped in brown Parade Gloss polish, brought into play to improve the edge finish. I was experimenting when I first made these, and was low on soling leather, so the heels, sole and internal shank are just made out of hammered insole leather. As such it’s a bit harder to get a crisp square edge around the sole, but the shank has shown no inclination to ‘drop’ in the arch. New heel rubbers and treads were also put on.

This is the crushed heel I showed above.
DM ReFurb 10.JPG
Based on a comment I remember from one of my 1800’s shoemaking books (though couldn’t find it when I tried to double check), I wiped a coat of thin paste over the outside of the quarters and toes, when they were majority dry, and then wiped the surplice off with a damp cloth. I think this should provide a little extra rigidity and a smother surface. Saphir Mahogany shoe-cream went on first, and buffed off, followed by Saphir Dark Brown polish. I think the level of shine, from my basic, quick polishing, is better than when I first made them.
DM ReFurb 11.JPG
I did not re-dye the uppers, as a result of which there is a slight ‘antiquing’ of the colouration where there were wrinkles and the turps had taken more of my original dye off. See heel photo above.

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1130 Post by dmcharg » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:21 pm

Part the last.

I haven’t tried this level of re-furbishment before, but the results are very encouraging :) And, yes, there are moulded ‘ankle bumps’ in the upper :)
DM ReFurb 12.JPG
DM ReFurb 14.JPG
I hope this has been interesting, and not too much of a marathon.
Thank you for your time.
Cheers
Duncan

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1131 Post by das » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:15 am

Duncan,

Brilliant! I've got a few pair to send you for refurbishment :bowdown:

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1132 Post by dw » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:39 am

Duncan,

Beautiful refurb! You wouldn't know they weren't new.

Thanks for posting this.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1133 Post by dw » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:53 am

Duncan,

Very interesting and enlightening. If nothing else I'm going to have to order some more Saphir.

And I love Hasluck's tip about the paste. I have the book but never ran across that tidbit. I've got a pair in the works that seem prime candidates too. Looking forward to trying it.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1134 Post by dmcharg » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:29 pm

Thanks Al and DW,
Means a lot coming from you two. I was very pleased with how they turned out, especially the crushed heel and toes. The heel had been left like that for a year (everyday shoes). I was also pleased with how long it took for me to get them to soften up, wetting inside and out; using a water soluble paste left a nagging doubt in my mind about dewy mornings and getting caught in the rain :). While I was in the process of refurbing them I, either, wore a pair of simple wool felt slippers I'd made, or shop bought runners (which got uncomfortable quite quickly ). Helped me appreciate the fit of my brown shoes all the more once they were finished (mind you, they were made on the first lasts I'd ever made and there are a number of adjustments I need to do).
Cheers

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1135 Post by homeboy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:25 pm

Duncan!! :bowdown:

Nice job!! Thanks for sharing!

By the way, what did you use to bond the topy?
Last edited by homeboy on Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1136 Post by dmcharg » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:36 pm

Thanks Jake, just puddling along and learning.
Hey, um, Guys, maybe a little less of the bowing/worship icon; I'm not comfortable with that :)
Cheers

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1137 Post by dmcharg » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:41 am

Hey Jake, looks like you did the 'edit' at exactly the same time as I did my previous post, so I only just saw it.
I stuck the Vibram tread and the rubber heel top piece (it's the same stuff that R.M. Williams uses) with Renia's Aquilim 315. It's a non-toxic, no fume, water soluble (before it's dry), glue that seems to be based on rubber Latex. It's also good for 'tacking' pieces of the upper together prior to sewing. Just put a thin bead along both pieces, wait till dry (clear) and press together.

For the heel rubber and Vibram tread I sand the mating surfaces until it's an even dull black, go backwards and forwards over the whole surface with a clean paint brush and Methylated Spirits (alcohol) so that the brush flicks out past the end of the rubber taking any rubber specks from the sanding with it. Once fully dry, dampen a brush with a little water and spread an even, thinnish coat of Aquilim on the rubber. Have the leather surfaces sanded and well dusted off, then Aquilim them too. Do it in this order as the latex will take much longer to dry on the rubber than on the leather. Immediately wash brush in plenty of water. When ready to bond, I heat them up with a heat gun, partly to soften the Vibram to help with moulding to the sole. Rough trim the tread, leaving about 1/8" (3mm) all round to allow for shrinkage while cooling, and clamp down in firm sponge for an hour if you don't have a sole press. Trim to shape.
I think that covers it :)
Cheers

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1138 Post by homeboy » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:51 am

Duncan.....as always, well explained! Thank You!

Take care! Jake
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1139 Post by dmcharg » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:45 pm

DW,
Just realised that the comment 'thin coat of paste over the outside of the heel and toe' probably doesn't explain it quite right :)
I diluted a little Hershkleber with water so that it was the consistency of thin cream and brushed it over the the leather (when pasting heel and toe stiffeners into the lining I use it straight out of the tub with a wet brush). Clean off the surface, almost straight away, with damp paper towelling. I think I then gave another rub over with a polished bone to give a final smoothing (and this will show up any areas where there is still paste residue on the surface), and once completely dry give a good coat of polish. I'm finding, possibly because I didn't re-dye the shoes, that I'm getting water spots on the toes, from dew etc., with the Saphir, but a dab of the polish sorts it out.
Cheers

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1140 Post by dw » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:19 am

For years the shoemaking industry has relied on ballpoint silver pens to cut and position pieces accurately. The problem with silver pens or even silver gel pens, however, is that the ink doesn't always come off the leather without using chemicals or methods that also risk removing the finish or colour. Additionally, if French chalk (or talcum powder) is used for marking or outlining, the tips if these pens get clogged and they no longer work. Once this happens I don't know of any way to rescue them. I must have 2 dozen defunct silver pens that still have over half the original ink still in them. Now garbage.

I have been using watercolour pencils instead for some time. They work reasonably well and come off the leather better than silver pen. Although sometimes not a lot better.

Not long ago I ran across a water-soluble wax(?) pencil that wipes off as completely as anything I have ever used. A slightly moistened paper towel and no trace.

The miracle pencil is the Stabilo Aquarellable 8052. It is white but made in other colours. The lead is a bit soft (as it should be) and the pencil must be sharpened for precision fairly often but the lead is small so it can be sharpened to a fine point. The mark made can be rubbed off by hand but not all that easily, and of course it is completely removed by water.

On Stabilo's website

On Amazon

:thumb:
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1141 Post by dmcharg » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:32 am

An excursion in pegging.
As most of you know, I'm a nut who sews through my stacked leather heels to attach them to the body of the shoe, and until this last week I have found this to be a lovely way to do the job (though it *is* a lot of hard work). My everyday pair of shoes, that I made at the beginning of last year, has had the heel on the right shoe break it's stitches! First time it's happened. My beautiful wife, Sandra, suggested I peg them and, after some agonising over it, decided likewise.
Now, to be clear, I rushed these shoes when I made them, as I needed to keep going with my orders and we had a Lost Trades Fair coming up, so some of the work wasn't up to standard, and I think part of the problem is that I ended up setting the stitches too far under the insole, thus allowing some side to side torsion to happen when walking, taking the shoes off, etc.
Due to them being 14 hours a day 7 days a week for a whole year, and maybe 3 full days a week since March, if these shoes had been an order, and were worn as dress shoes when going out on Saturday nights, then we're looking at around 18 years down the track, so I suppose not bad but I intend on making sure this doesn't recur.

So, back to the pegging repair. My plan was to go via the insole, but hammering in the pegs would be a little tricky. I cut a length of brass tubing, similar to the stuff I make my lacing eyelets with, that the wooden pegs fitted easily in, and a length of music wire that sleeved perfectly inside it. I finished off the end of the wire, that would be hitting the pegs, flat, and left the other end domed so that the hammer's force would be directly downward.
The top of the pegging awl comfortably cleared the top-line of the shoe, and once each hole was made I dabbed in a little Hirschkleber paste...
IMG_8099.JPG
seated a peg on the hole (you can see the waiting peg in the next pic. just above the brass tube I'm holding) ...
IMG_8114.JPG
slipped the brass tube over the top and hit the music wire a couple of times...
IMG_8137.JPG

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1142 Post by dmcharg » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:37 am

neatly driving the peg home.
IMG_8141.JPG
Worked better than I thought it would :)
IMG_8130.JPG
So I now have a secure heel, and the repair took around 20 mins. I may put in extra pegs at a latter date.
IMG_8142.JPG
Cheers
Duncan

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1143 Post by homeboy » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:35 am

How in the world You & Dee-Dubb come up with this stuff.....I'll never know!

Anyway, Great job!
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1144 Post by dmcharg » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:33 pm

:beers:

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1145 Post by ygtyftree » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:39 am

G'day all! I am new here and just started learning to make shoes. I don't know if this has been asked/answered before: should I apply glue between the upper and lining after finishing the toe puff and before final lasting?

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1146 Post by dw » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:32 am

Yes. However just over the puff.

I used to use a contact cement, then went to press cement, and now mostly use Hirschkleber. Point is that the glue is not all that critical--it doesn't contribute much to the structural integrity of the shoe. So a paste (or Hirschkleber) does fine.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1147 Post by ygtyftree » Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:15 am

Thanks a lot DW. I almost got my second shoe finished. Less mistakes were made than the first one.

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