Tackling the heel

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Re: Tackling the heel

#201 Post by homeboy » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:41 am

Dee-Dubb,

OK.....I've got a big tub of Hirschkleber. I'll give'er a try. It's water soluble, right? I'm just curious on this selection of adhesive. Why this over rubber cement? Thanks!

Nasser,

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Re: Tackling the heel

#202 Post by dw » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:05 am

Jake,

Having outlined the theory...I am contemplating doing it this way myownself. I am, naturally, a bit hesitant...more because of the time factor than anything. But I suspect/hope that with a little forethought and anticipatory planning, it won't add any significant time.

One of the things that disturbs me about using contact cement (and I think rubber cement might be included as a contact cement)...aside from the fumes and the toxicity and the environmental implications, of course...is that sometimes when you burnish a heelstack, contact cement at the very edges of the lifts will warm up and be drawn to the surface you're trying to burnish. To no good effect.

The Hirschkleber drys hard and will not do that. My old saddlemaker mentor, Frank Finch, used dextrine to glue layers of seat together. I asked Mike about that once and he said "that'll work."

Let us know how it goes. And when I get around to doing it, we'll share notes.

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Re: Tackling the heel

#203 Post by homeboy » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:39 am

Dee-Dubb,

We'll do! Thanks for the follow-up.

I've got to make me a pair of dress boots. I have some ostrich just begging me to cut. Think I'll experiment on my pair.

Concerning the toxicity, I'm beginning to be more hesitant on using the stuff myself.

My saddlemaker mentor used to use dextrine to put in ground seats and swells. By the time I came along, he started using Barge.

Take care Ol'Buddy!

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Re: Tackling the heel

#204 Post by homeboy » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:12 am

Dee-Dubb,

One more thing, if you don't mind, what's your technique for bonding two pieces of leather together using Hirschkleber? As I remember, it's a pretty solid paste. Do you water it down? Do you wait after bonding, or just peg and proceed to leveling?

Inquiring minds want to know.......Thanks!

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Re: Tackling the heel

#205 Post by dw » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:40 pm

Jake,

I thin HirschKleber (with water) to the consistency of honey...maybe slightly thin honey.

As I mentioned I have never done this whole procedure before but I would spread a layer slap it on, peg and level. I would not wait for bonding. the whole point of working with tempered lifts is that you shouldn't need to worry about the lift conforming reasonably closely to the layer underneath it.

And after you've leveled it, with a knife presumably, you can "hammer-jack" the lift such that it compresses and it will be harder than usual when it dries.

Did I mention I was just speculating about all this?

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Re: Tackling the heel

#206 Post by homeboy » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:47 pm

Dee-Dubb,

Yes Sir you did. I was just making sure how to proceed via your thoughts.

I've always "hammer-jacked" my heel lifts. If someone hasn't performed this technique, I assure you it will make them almost as hard as a board! Making them stick to the contours of the heel seat is quite a chore sometimes, depending on the last. My last heel I placed my lifts as "tempered" lifts. Much easier and the heel turned out almost as solid as a hammer-jacked heel. As Dee Dubb mentioned, after cementing and pegging each lift, it was compressed (hammer-jacked) with a hammer.

We may get this all figured out one of these days, huh? BIG GRIN!

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Re: Tackling the heel

#207 Post by romango » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:34 pm

Speaking of Hirschkleber... I'm almost out. Anyone know of a source (in the US)?

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Re: Tackling the heel

#208 Post by 1947redhed » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:14 pm

I bought some from O Baltor in San Francisco
Georgene

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Re: Tackling the heel

#209 Post by sorrell » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:28 pm

DW and Jake,
When I was at Lobb's this summer my new shoemaker friend there built a shoe heel exactly like you've mentioned. The heel lifts were wet and had been sitting wrapped in brown paper so they were nice and soft. He put them on with Hirschkleber and leveled each one with his knife, and he made it look easy. Then he put what looked more like a metal peg than a nail into each front corner.

I remember at one point I saw the layers separate as he was working on them and I thought he'd messed the whole thing up because I was distracting him by talking. If you're glueing your soles together with Barge and they separate you've got to reglue, wait and then put them together again. But he just kept going and pounded them together again and ended up with a nice heel.

Marcell told me that Hirschkleber is better for heels because that "line" that shows between each heel layer is actually the Barge cement and Hirschkleber won't show like that. I haven't tried it yet because the thought of my heel layers not being firmly stuck together while I'm working on them worries me and switching to leveling them by hand with a knife intimidates me. Perhaps someday I'll be brave enough to try.

Lisa

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Re: Tackling the heel

#210 Post by homeboy » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:04 pm

Years ago Michael Anthony taught me a technique of building a heel that was pretty slick.

Place your "tempered" lifts on with contact cement of your choice. Level and trim as usual, but don't peg or nail the lifts. Before placing your rubber top lift, hammer 5-6 brass spikes (16/8) into the heel. This requires you to have a metal heel plate or to pull the last and use a metal last to clinch the spikes. You start the spike and tap until you feel the spike hit metal. Take some nippers and clip any length of spike still proud of the heel. Then with a swift tap, you clinch both ends and draw the leather lifts together tighter than anything I've ever seen. The leather heel will actually cup in! With 5-6 of these rascals, you can really compress the lifts. Makes a pretty darn solid heel.

I bought 25 pounds of those spikes from D.B. Gourney and made my heels with that technique for a while, but got tired of pulling my lasts to "spike" the heels. 90 percent of my lasts are "plain" bottom.

Anyway, I'm gonna try the Hirschkleber and see what happens.

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Re: Tackling the heel

#211 Post by homeboy » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:19 pm

Lisa,

Don't know if you know or have tried this before, but if you get some separation of the cemented lifts, you can wet them (if they are not wet) and then "peen" them with the peen of your shoemaker's hammer. This mushrooms the layers and closes the gap. I also rasp and use glass now (sometimes scrapers). Rasping tends to fill any voids. Finishers tend to heat up the cement and cause problems.

Take care!

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Re: Tackling the heel

#212 Post by jon_g » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:32 pm

This method of attaching heels is what I use most of the time and it works well. Lisa is right, the lines of the layers of heel leather virtually disappear.

I don't thin my Hirchkleber, but apply the paste, lay the heel layer on, put in a lasting nail (and bend it over, it just hold things temporarily) right in the center of the heel. Then trim with a knife before pegging. I put my pegs close together. After that I remove the nail and level with a knife and glass and then on to the next. This is a great way to attach heel layers not having a finisher.

Rick, if you need to branch out to Canada for Hirchkleber, Capital Findings in Toronto will bring it in.

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Re: Tackling the heel

#213 Post by tjburr » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:15 pm

Rick,

The last time I purchased Hirschkleber several years ago, I purchased it from Atlas international at atlasortho.com.

I noticed that their website does not have it shown, but you might give them a call since they are at least on the same coast as you (California).

I used to buy a number of foot bed and soling products from them and found them to be helpful, friendly and willing to fill large or small orders.

Terry

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Re: Tackling the heel

#214 Post by romango » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:35 am

Thanks Terry. I found it at O. Baltor

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Re: Tackling the heel

#215 Post by dw » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:10 pm

Atlas also has it...but only in the larger tubs (6kg)

Which I think is the size I'll buy the next time I need it.


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Re: Tackling the heel

#216 Post by tjburr » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:30 pm

I was not sure if I should post this here or in the Glue section.

I know that some of you were testing the Titan DX. How has that been going?

In specific, I was wondering if that could be used for heel stacks similar to the Hirschkleber to minimize the lines that show up between layers in the heel.

Terry

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Re: Tackling the heel

#217 Post by dw » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:44 pm

Terry,

To the extent that the "lines" are caused by the "neoprene" in all purpose cement showing at the edges, I doubt the Titan DX will be much of an improvement. It is still rubber based...maybe latex but I am doubtful about that.

I am using the Titan DX and like it. I use it for mounting outsoles, especially on oil stuffed leathers.

Try as I might I cannot seem to wean myself off the AP entirely.

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Re: Tackling the heel

#218 Post by tjburr » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:07 pm

Thanks DW.

I have been putting off ordering some since the other water based cements I have tried have been less than useful. It would be nice to find something that would help me get off AP at least a little.

I will have to order some and try it out.

I will just have to try the Hirschkleber route for heels. I have been happy with Hirshcleber for stiffeners, but for some reason I have trouble getting past the idea of using a water soluble glue for the heels. I have an image of the glue washing out when walking through puddles.

Terry

vics42

Re: Tackling the heel

#219 Post by vics42 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:29 am

I'm not sure if this is the best place for this question but Has anyone had good results with any type of heel material that does not wear out quickly, that will last a good long time? I have tried many, rubber and tpu and none have been satisfactory, also I can be emailed at vicshyman@gmail.com

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Re: Tackling the heel

#220 Post by romango » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:53 pm

Vic,

In lieu of other expertise, I suggest you take a look at the Vibram catalog: http://www.vibram.us/pdfs/catalog.pdf

Then call them and ask exactly that question.

They have the full rage from very soft to fire-fighter grade materials.

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Re: Tackling the heel

#221 Post by dinerio » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:47 pm

Fellow boot makers,
I am making a pair of boots for a client who wants the heel breast concaved.( 2" heels) Now here is the catch, I have never done it on a pair of boots before. ( shoes, yes) Do you stack the heel, trim it straight down with your knife, and then use the finisher heel breaster? If I go that route, there is the chance of nicking the outsole plus other problems, or do you stack the heel, then pop it off and finish the curve? (that would eliminate pegging the heel on though) ---or carefully trim with a knife?

If anyone cares to tackle this for me I would appreciate it and maybe get some sleep again. Thanks,

Vincent

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Re: Tackling the heel

#222 Post by dw » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:00 pm

dinerio » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:47 pm wrote:Fellow boot makers,
I am making a pair of boots for a client who wants the heel breast concaved.( 2" heels) Now here is the catch, I have never done it on a pair of boots before. ( shoes, yes) Do you stack the heel, trim it straight down with your knife, and then use the finisher heel breaster? If I go that route, there is the chance of nicking the outsole plus other problems, or do you stack the heel, then pop it off and finish the curve? (that would eliminate pegging the heel on though) ---or carefully trim with a knife?

If anyone cares to tackle this for me I would appreciate it and maybe get some sleep again. Thanks,

Vincent
I generally cut the breast straight leaving just the thinnest margin uncut...maybe one layer all the way across. I leave that as a "cushion" t0 protect the outsole.

Then I carve the concave "French breast" with a super sharp head knife. You know the one...it looks like a question mark. And I use a shoemakers knife the long curved one and a piece of sharp glass to finish the breast. Cut that last layer off before finishing but only after you have the rest of the breast pretty much as you want it.

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DSC01343 (1280 x 1024).jpg
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shoe_knife (1280 x 1024).jpg
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Re: Tackling the heel

#223 Post by dinerio » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:10 pm

DW,
I don't have a head knife like that, so looks like I better look around and get one. Will give it a try.
Thanks,
Vincent

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Re: Tackling the heel

#224 Post by dw » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:38 am

dinerio » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:10 pm wrote:DW,
I don't have a head knife like that, so looks like I better look around and get one. Will give it a try.
Thanks,
Vincent
There is no such knife...not exactly. That one was custom made for me.

But Osborne makes a knife the blade of which is very similar.
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Re: Tackling the heel

#225 Post by homeboy » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:37 pm

Vincent,

Danny Marlin in Blanket, TX can make you a custom head knife. I have two of different designs, plus several other custom tools that Danny has made me over the years. He's a great guy to work with. Won't charge you an arm and a leg either.

Let me know if your interested.

Jake
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