Tackling the heel

Share secrets, compare techniques, discuss the merits of materials--eg. veg vs. chrome--and above all, seek knowledge.
Message
Author
User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Tackling the heel

#176 Post by dw » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:45 pm

Rick,

Splitter set for one half the thickness of the leather (setting 6)...Vibram heel lift material is the same thickness as the Belgium chestnut tannage....and a half inch wide straight-edge and a razor sharp knife.

Kind of cool, isn't it?

Meant to show you that yesterday but forgot.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

kevin_l
1
1
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:00 am
Full Name: Kevin W. Leary
Location: BLOOMINGTON, Illinois, United States

Re: Tackling the heel

#177 Post by kevin_l » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:56 pm

I like the lamination of leather glue rubber glue leather. Nice structure for strength. Not really a rabbett at that length more a laminate.

Why the cant from the breast angle?

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Tackling the heel

#178 Post by dw » Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:13 pm

Kevin,

Yes, and the brass nails go through both the leather and the rubber.

I am not sure what you're referring to with
the cant from the breast angle
??

If you mean why is the rubber in the lateral corner rather than straight across...that's where most people wear their heels first and hardest. And I've seen that configuration for so many years it just wouldn't look right or as refined to do it any other way.

Most really high end shoes use some variation of this arrangement even if they are buying them from a third party.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

User avatar
courtney
6
6
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:46 am
Full Name: courtney schamach
Location: petaluma, california, u.s.a.

Re: Tackling the heel

#179 Post by courtney » Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:06 pm

After putting the heels on my new boots they sat fairly level front to back,

but after removing the lasts, the one I put a full length forefoot rocker lift outsole (to correct lld) is alot higher off the ground at the seat than the breast.

Do you think I should build up the seat so its level, even though it would be a different height than the other or try and skive down toward the breast on the outsole or something different?

Thanks,
Courtney

artzend
7
7
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:00 am
Full Name: Tim Skyrme
Location: Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia
Contact:

Re: Tackling the heel

#180 Post by artzend » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:49 am

Courtney

As with the last reply. Post photos. It's really difficult to advise without seeing what you are talking about.

Tim

User avatar
courtney
6
6
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:46 am
Full Name: courtney schamach
Location: petaluma, california, u.s.a.

Re: Tackling the heel

#181 Post by courtney » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:46 am

14117.jpg
14116.jpg


these show both heels, you can see the tapered wedge I made between the midsole and heel.

This seemed to level it O.K. before I put the sole on, both heels could be leveled more but you can see the one with the lift is alot worse.

artzend
7
7
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:00 am
Full Name: Tim Skyrme
Location: Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia
Contact:

Re: Tackling the heel

#182 Post by artzend » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:26 pm

Courtney

The top piece needs to sit parallel to the surface of the bench.

By adding a midsole you have changed the pitch of the heel, that's all.

A bit more grinding and levelling will sort it.

Tim

User avatar
courtney
6
6
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:46 am
Full Name: courtney schamach
Location: petaluma, california, u.s.a.

Re: Tackling the heel

#183 Post by courtney » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:37 pm

Tim, I dont understand, but I really want to!
If I try and grind or build up from where I am now, wont I be changing the heel height, and make the two boots different?

Courtney

artzend
7
7
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:00 am
Full Name: Tim Skyrme
Location: Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia
Contact:

Re: Tackling the heel

#184 Post by artzend » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:55 pm

Courtney

Your heel heights are different anyway. What you need is to get the top pieces flat to the floor.

Tim

User avatar
courtney
6
6
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:46 am
Full Name: courtney schamach
Location: petaluma, california, u.s.a.

Re: Tackling the heel

#185 Post by courtney » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:02 pm

O.K., but how does the midsole change the pitch?

and if I am trying to make one boot 1/2" higher than the other isnt it going to change that by adding to the back of the heel?

Do you think its o.k. to level it from the top piece or should I take it apart and do it from the midsole?

Thanks,
Courtney

artzend
7
7
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:00 am
Full Name: Tim Skyrme
Location: Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia
Contact:

Re: Tackling the heel

#186 Post by artzend » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:14 pm

The thickness of the midsole has raised the heel as well as the forepart of your last so you need to add a bit to fill the space between the top of the top piece and the bottom of the midsole.

If you can remove your top piece easily then do so and re level the heel area with a tapered wedge shaped insert.

If you have to you can grind the front off the top piece. This is not the preferred option though.

Tim

tjburr
5
5
Posts: 246
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:00 am
Full Name: Terry Burress
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Been Liked: 1 time

Re: Tackling the heel

#187 Post by tjburr » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:03 pm

This question is mostly directed to the group, but I also had a question for Coutney.

I have wondered in the past about the proper way to provide lifts. The only time I have performed this was two times when a pediatrist directly gave me instructions for his own shoes. For both pairs (boots and shoes) these were flat soled, and I was not sure how universal this technique was.

The technique was basically applying a fixed thickness addition, call it an extra thick mid-sole.

Is this the general technique that should be used.

The question to Courtney is if this is the technique she used. Specifically the image below shows the piece I was discussing in the picture and an image of what I am referring to as to the technique.
14122.png


Courtney; if this is what you are doing, the following image shows what may be happening, or at least the type of problem I have encountered when trying to thicken the soles of both shoes. I don't like messing with differences between legs and with the exception of the above mentioned case have avoided it. However, I did have one person that wanted a little extra height; and if anyone is interested it was a female that wanted to look even more like an amazon than the 6'+ that she already was.
14121.png


Terry

gshoes
5
5
Posts: 205
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:41 am
Full Name: Geraldine Rabey
Location: Elgin, IL, United States

Re: Tackling the heel

#188 Post by gshoes » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:45 pm

So what is the solution? Can you just sit the whole shoe on the belt sander and press down until all of the surfaces are flat? LOL. Or is there a better way?

Geri

artzend
7
7
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:00 am
Full Name: Tim Skyrme
Location: Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia
Contact:

Re: Tackling the heel

#189 Post by artzend » Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:51 pm

Geri

You have to add an insert in between the top piece and the midsole and shape that so the top piece sits flat to the surface. Adding a midsole changes the angle of the heel as well as it's heel height, if you want to keep your toe spring.

You don't take anything off the wearing surface of the top piece, the earlier preparation must allow the top piece to sit flat.

Tim

User avatar
courtney
6
6
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:46 am
Full Name: courtney schamach
Location: petaluma, california, u.s.a.

Re: Tackling the heel

#190 Post by courtney » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:37 pm

Terry, I am a male, just for the record.
That is pretty much what I did except I tapered the lift from the ball joint to a little before the toe.

It's wierd though because last pair I made didnt have as much of a pitch and it was the same lasts,

I wonder if construction and materials have anything to do with it? last pair was cement and thin leather these were welted with heavy leather uppers.

I'm also wondering if the last maker measured the 1/2" heel hieght from the seat and not the breast because if I put a 3/8 height at the breast on the last there is alot less pitch.

I dont want my heels to have much of an angle, I kept thinking I wish they could be like Clarks desert boot heels, just a 1/2' chunk at the back,

Well, this weekend I loooked at some Clarks and they had at least 3/8" of the back of the heels just floating off the table!

Courtney
"A boy named Sue"

User avatar
courtney
6
6
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:46 am
Full Name: courtney schamach
Location: petaluma, california, u.s.a.

Re: Tackling the heel

#191 Post by courtney » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:46 pm

Also, I was looking in Thornton on pg.270 and he's talking about if you want a 1 1/8" heel and after subtracting the thickness of the welt, seat lift, the sole and piece sole and top piece, you would require another 5/8" for the heel.

I'm not tottally sure what all that means, but it sounds like he's saying anything added to the bottom of the shoe would be figured in as part of the heel height?

Courtney

tjburr
5
5
Posts: 246
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:00 am
Full Name: Terry Burress
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Been Liked: 1 time

Re: Tackling the heel

#192 Post by tjburr » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:09 pm

Courtney,

Sorry about the mistake.

I must be honest your questions have exceeded the limit of my experience.

I did check my copy of Thornton, since I was curious about the reference, and it must be a slightly different page since page 270 did not seem to have this wording. I will have to read the section again when I get a chance.

Terry

andre

Re: Tackling the heel

#193 Post by andre » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:06 am

Courtney,
you could also try to reduce the length of the lift, may be 5-10mm shorter. If you say, it came out well before, that might could be the reason. My two cents on building up heel: A friend of mine, who is an experienced sole maker, advised me to fit the first lift with full material on waist and skive to about 2/3 material down to the seat, the next heel start with full material from the seat to waist and now skive it to level even. He feels to have more control for the balancing. I have tried it once and I felt quite comfortable this way, it was all together lesser skiving work for me. But I'm certainly in no way an expert in building heels, may be it's a good way for a beginner.

User avatar
courtney
6
6
Posts: 333
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:46 am
Full Name: courtney schamach
Location: petaluma, california, u.s.a.

Re: Tackling the heel

#194 Post by courtney » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:02 am

Terry, I looked in the digital copy and its on pg.242. I would be curious what others make of what he is saying. My hard copy is from 1964, I wonder what else is different.

D.W., on pg. 572 it shows a last that says R. Whiton, is that the SES last? It dosent look like you could make a cowboy boot on that, but do you think a lace up boot would be fine?

Andre, thanks for the advice. I dont know if that would help me or not, but its something I could try.

Courtney

User avatar
homeboy
6
6
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:00 am
Full Name: Jake Dobbins
Location: Mountain View, AR
Has Liked: 3 times
Been Liked: 4 times

Re: Tackling the heel

#195 Post by homeboy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:47 pm

Being the big "tight-wad" I am, I have a box of old heels I have pulled off of boots I've repaired throughout the years, with the good intention of finding a way to "re-use" the leather or complete heel. I've tried to pull the individual layers apart after cutting off the protruding pegs, but never with any great success.

I've been reading some shoemaking blogs with great interest. Some build their heels with rubber cement and nails. Purpose being, they can remove the layers carefully and reconstruct the heel after the repair.

Question: has anyone here tried building heels one layer at a time with rubber cement with any great success?

Any comments would be appreciated.

(Message edited by homeboy on January 06, 2012)

User avatar
dearbone
8
8
Posts: 1032
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:23 pm
Full Name: Nasser Vies
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re: Tackling the heel

#196 Post by dearbone » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:27 pm

Greetings to you Jake,

Not being from the south,i think i understand what you mean by a "tight-wad",i am too, my teacher collected every little piece of leather because he has seen world war 1 and 2 when leather became very hard to find,now as for separating glued heel layers some glue thinner will help loosen some of the cement,if they are pegged as well as cemented than good luck to you and your muscles, i have to say i do recycle/reuse the leather i use fro fitters.

Naaser

johnl
3
3
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:10 am
Full Name: John Lewis
Location: Memphis, TN, USA

Re: Tackling the heel

#197 Post by johnl » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:31 pm

I am far from being any kind of an expert, but if I was going to try reusing heels, I would get the 1st 1 or two layers of leather heel on the boot like you usually do. Sand and grind to level. One more layer on the boot. This time with nails driven through the layer heads toward the boot, sharp points facing away from the boot. Peg this piece to boot. Then take the used heel, trim to height with bandsaw or hack saw or whatever, apply glue and pound in place. Would not that work? John L

User avatar
homeboy
6
6
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:00 am
Full Name: Jake Dobbins
Location: Mountain View, AR
Has Liked: 3 times
Been Liked: 4 times

Re: Tackling the heel

#198 Post by homeboy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:13 pm

Hey Nasser,

Hope the New Year is starting off right for you. Is it cold yet? We're getting a warm spell at the moment. It's NICE!

Not too interested in wollering around in thinner. You are right....pulling apart well cemented lifts sure does test your muscles. Anyway, I've got boxes of "scrap" leather throughout the shop. Just hate to throw away a good piece of leather!

John,

Bingo! I've thought about your very suggestion. Just might give it a try! Thanks for the input!

User avatar
dearbone
8
8
Posts: 1032
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:23 pm
Full Name: Nasser Vies
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re: Tackling the heel

#199 Post by dearbone » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:28 am

Jake, send some of that warm weather my way Image,Today is first sunny and mild day for some time,only once i had to shovel snow and only few days of bone chill -15 and under, for days like that i buy what i need and hunker down in the shop.
It is a good starting year,I am training a young helper how to bottom shoes and is going near well on his first inseaming and sole stitching,doing the whole shoe/boot from pattern making to closing to making and finishing is a long process as you know and not good for business.

Nasser

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Tackling the heel

#200 Post by dw » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:49 am

Jake, Nasser, et al,

I offer this as a possible solution...my teacher, Mike Ives, built heels from tempered lifts. This forced him to level them with a sharp knife--a very credible technique in skilled hands and/or in the absence of a finisher.

Such lifts, because they are tempered, will conform to any irregularity in the preceding layer and to whatever curve that the outsole and/or succeeding layers demand. A close fit between layers should not be a problem...at least not due to leather wanting to pull away from previous layers.

So...use Hirschkleber for the adhesive and peg the tempered layers into place.

Hammering the tempered layers will also firm them up. And you should end up with a firm, solid, heel with no gaps in the stack. Obviously this will take some little bit of practice and experience to reach perfection but it can be done.

And when the heel stack is salvaged and needs to be re-built, the layers will come apart easily. Pegs may need to be cut--I have a sharpened heel-pry that I use for cutting both embedded pegs and nails.

I've never done it this way but before the advent of contact cements some variation of this technique must have been in common use.

Just an idea.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

Post Reply