Insole leather

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: Insole leather

#276 Post by dw » Thu Apr 17, 2008 8:56 am

All,

The Baker order is on its way! It was shipped sea freight so it will still be a while yet. We don't have an estimated time of arrival in the US yet but I talked with Mr. Andrew Parr today who confirmed receipt of our monies and the dispatch of the leather.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

big_larry
4
4
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:00 am
Full Name: Larry A. Peterson
Location: Ephraim, Utah, USA

Re: Insole leather

#277 Post by big_larry » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:54 pm

Oh yes! The Baker is wonderful!!!

My wife mentioned that this leather had a faint aroma similar to smoked ham. We both noted that it brought back long forgotten memories of a Hormal Smoke plant where hams were being cured.

Cutting the channel is like carving bulsa wood.

Friends, We have to get either Mexican tannerys or what ever is left of the US tannerys to make some of this stuff. I have sewed welts on two pair so far and "I like this Baker Leather."

I may prepare the insole a little different than every one else. I cut it about 1/4 inch wide, wet it pretty good, and attach it to the last. I then beat on it with the beater belt taking the direct blow. I then wrap it with elastic and let it dry till' the next day. I then carefully remove it from the last and cut it to the feather line mark. Note: here in the Utah desert I have not experienced any mildew problems. I then re-attach the insole to the last with 3 or 4 tacks and wait for them to thoroughly dry. Sometimes I cut the channel and 45 degree stitch cut before total drying and sometimes I wait for them to dry. Baker is the finest carving leather I have ever cut on.

I want to publicly thank Lance and D.W. for going out of their way to make this happen.

Couldn't be gooder!

Thank you, Larry Peterson

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: Insole leather

#278 Post by dw » Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:32 am

Larry,

Glad you like the Baker. It's expensive and rare...but in our business it's not hard to understand that when something is cheap, it is usually cheap for good reason.

Nothing that is available in any market...that I've seen at any rate...can compare with the Baker. It is pure oak tannage. Nothing else available is. It is left in the pits for up to a year. No other firm will commit to such a process. Makes a difference.

I would wonder why you are beating your wet insole, however. Not criticizing because I haven't ever tried it that way. But from what I know of leather it seems like beating wet leather is like flogging a dead horse. Image

Why? because it doesn't do any good in my experience. If it is wet, the leather just "puffs" back up as the moisture seeps back into the fibers. If it is almost dry, yes, it will compress and get harder...and stay that way. But then you're negating part of what makes the Baker so good--the ability to form a footbed as well as the ease with which it may be channeled and holed.

Just my 2¢...

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

big_larry
4
4
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:00 am
Full Name: Larry A. Peterson
Location: Ephraim, Utah, USA

Re: Insole leather

#279 Post by big_larry » Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:28 am

D.W.,

The flogging is to assist the leather to adhere to the last so when it gets trimmed it retains the exact form, especially the shank or bottom area between the breastline and the last ball break. I also give it a light beating, especially on the edges, after wraping it in the elastic swaddeling.

When I first started making boots, I did not get the insole cut exactly on the feather line. When the trimming is wide, the foot cavity tends to become too roomy and the fit is lost. This also tends to widen the sole area and change the symetry and general appearance of the boot. They tend to look more like a country clod-hopper and fit much too loose. The flogging insures that the insole is impressed into the leather after the shrinkage has pretty well taken place. No more "country clod-hoppers." I am apen to direction and I do appreciate your efforts to keep me on the right track, in spite of my varient and deviant ways.

I will see if I can get a last outline on my next pair without the violence. I will just wet and wrap the insole without the flogging.

Thank you again for the Baker and also for the direction.

Best wishes, Larry Peterson

mac
2
2
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:06 am
Full Name: Sean MacMillan
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Insole leather

#280 Post by mac » Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:07 am

Lance & D.W.,

I just received my Baker order so I haven't used any of it yet. Thanks for all of your efforts to get us such a high quality product!

Larry,
I was so pleased to see your post and that the leather has met up with such high expectations. I had a bitter taste in mouth when I picked it up because the Canadian AND Provincial governments slapped on a bundle of taxes to my shipment increasing the cost considerably. My fault for declaring the value so high though I guess[img]http://www.thehcc.org/forum/images/old_smilies/sad.gif"%20ALT="sad[/img]

I'm excited to get started. I've booked off the weekend to do more renovations on my shop to make room for the stuff I've got on order.

I CAN'T WAIT TO TRY THE BAKER!!!

Sean

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: Insole leather

#281 Post by dw » Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:54 am

Sean,

That is a bitter pill. If the leather had come straight to you from England you probably would not have had those extra expenses as Canada is part of the Commonwealth.

And US importation policies have really gotten chicken in the last x number of years. Used to be that if you were importing tools or raw materials...tools used in your business, specifically...they'd sail right through customs with no extra fees. Now you need not only the import fees but brokerage fees and sometimes even storage fees while an item waits to clear customs.

I bought a kilt from Scotland last month, paid $40+ for Federal Express shipping, and here...two weeks later...I get a bill from Fed Express wanting another $77.00 for customs and brokerage fees. The customs and brokerage fees added a rough 25% to the cost of the kilt!!

You will, I think, like the Baker, however.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

mac
2
2
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:06 am
Full Name: Sean MacMillan
Location: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Insole leather

#282 Post by mac » Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:43 am

DW,

I figured that there would be some hidden costs along the way. Your Kilt situation makes me feel better about the whole thing... at least I'm not the only one!

It might have been cheaper for me to order direct but the truth is that I wouldn't have known what to purchase. I have been burned quite recently on some of my orthopaedic materials. I've paid more to bring in "better" materials only to find out they have worn out prematurely. I jumped on the Baker order because I new that the extra costs incurred would be worth itImage

Thanks again!

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: Insole leather

#283 Post by dw » Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:30 pm

Larry,

I wouldn't presume to second guess your instructor nor your method of doing things. All I can do is show and tell why I do things the way I do...

Even though I live in the high desert, I have found that if I wrap a wet insole with elastic or muslin or something like that, the chances for mold developing increase. Once the mold gets a foothold in your insole leather it is very hard to eradicate.

I tack my insoles up to form them to the bottom of the last. done with some deliberation, I have never seen it where the bottom of the last wasn't fully imprinted in the insole...right down to tack holes from previous makings.

This last has no featherline around the heel, and I want the arch fully shaped. See what you think:
7791.jpg

7790.jpg


Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

big_larry
4
4
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:00 am
Full Name: Larry A. Peterson
Location: Ephraim, Utah, USA

Re: Insole leather

#284 Post by big_larry » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:09 pm

D.W.,

Thank you for the instruction. I did not have any knowledge of this method. I do appreciate your being willing to share these valuable techniques. I am starting two new pair and I will use your method. I have been using three brass tacks to mount the insole leather wet, and wraping it with the elastic. The flogging forces the leather to form fit the last. I would really prefere to avoid problems like mold.

Your second picture shows that the leather has formed to the last just as well as the wet method. I would ask one further question: about how long does the leather need to remain tacked to the last to get that kind of sculpting?

I do respect your intellect and your vast knowledge. I have created a lot of crimping boards but keep coming back to the pair that I got from Dick Anderson. Dick informed me when I got them that you were the brain power behind that particular design as well as the cruell boards. It is a shame that we most often realize just how truely great someone is, only after they are deceased.

I hope you will accept my "Thank You" and keep up the marvelous work you are doing. I also appreciate you service in the Armed Forces.

"If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a soldier."

Respectfully, Larry Peterson

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: Insole leather

#285 Post by dw » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:32 pm

Larry,

I generally let the insole fully dry while tacked up. Then I trim it.

The perimeter tacks are right on the featherline or even over the featherline and up on the vertical surfaces of the last.

Use a draw down strap or a stirrup to pull the leather over the edges of the last while tacking. If you feel you have not gotten the edges of the insole tight to the featherline, wait about half a day so that the leather dries a little and then gently tap the edges over.

I thank you for your kind words but even though I have designed and implemented a few things in my career, I stand on the shoulders of giants. Without the wisdom that has been passed on to me via my teachers, friends, and the books that the "old guys" took the time to write, nothing I have done would have happened.

For that matter without the likes of Dick Anderson and his willingness to try some of my ideas--like the crimping irons and the sit down lasting jack and the gimping tool, as well as the crimping boards--it all would have been just so many pipe dreams. That said, let it be noted that it is all derivative. Nothing I have come up with is entirely new.

But anyone who thinks they have learned anything from me has a debt to pay...just one...and that is to be as generous to the next guy as people have been with you.


Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

eck
1
1
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:56 am
Full Name: Eckart Berger

Re: Insole leather

#286 Post by eck » Thu Jan 01, 2009 9:54 am

Hey,
Am I right in assuming that the best insole leather comes from Bakers and the best outsole leather comes from Rendenbach? How about puffs and counters? Welt (Bakers sells welts..)?
Cheers
(and happy new year!)
Eck

relferink

Re: Insole leather

#287 Post by relferink » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:19 am

Eckart,

Wow, do you know how to put a lot of potential controversy in a short question. I'm not the correct person to answer your question directly but may have a little insight to offer.
Working with leather you have to realize that it's a natural material that will only come to it's full potential in the hands of someone who knows it and "feels it". Not sure how else to put it. If you know what I mean you probably have it.
A wonderful piece of leather can be ruined by a novice, a marginal piece of leather can be made to do exactly what it needs to do in the hand of a master.

I've never had the pleasure of working with Barker leather but would not hesitate using it based on recommendations from other forum members. I have worked frequently with Rendenbach leather and like it a lot for all the elements you mention.
Personal preference will ultimately determine what works best for you and the only way to find out is by trying.
Also a happy New Year to you and all the Colloquy readers!

Just my Image
Rob

(Message edited by relferink on January 02, 2009)

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: Insole leather

#288 Post by dw » Fri Jan 02, 2009 6:41 am

Eck,

If I remember correctly, you're in Europe somewhere...? What that means is that most of us may not be familiar with what you have available to you and vice-versa.

I have used Baker and Rendenbach, however. Compared to what is produced in the States or in Mexico or even in Argentina, both the Baker and the Rendenbach seem superior for their intended purpose.

I think the Baker insole shoulder is the best leather for making insoles that I have ever encountered.

I have just begun with the Baker welt strips and again I like them as well as or better than even the horse that I was getting for welting...when the horse was good.

I have not used the Baker outsoling. But I have heard good things about it. The thing to remember is that tanning produces a chemical and physical change in the structure of the hide. Natural oak tanning is considered the very best because it leaves a physical structure that is unlike any other tanning agent. And the leather is more resistant to wear and abrasion. Baker bends are left in the pits for a year or more. Few if any tanneries (Rendenbach may be the sole exception) still in existance can make such a claim.

I don't have very much bad to say about Rendenbach. It is a little "flinty." And the grainside is a little touchy with regards to staining. But it is good leather.

My biggest problem with the Rendenbach is that the tannery insists upon stamping their logo in the middle of the grainside of the sole. This make obtaining a nice natural finish on a new pair of shoes almost impossible. Putting the Rendenbach logo on a repair job is one thing, putting it on a pair of bespoke shoes is another. I refuse to do it. I no more want their logo on the shoes/boots I make than I would want "Coca-Cola" tattooed on the arm of my new grandson.

And I am not the only one. Rendenbach is aware of these concerns and is indifferent to them.

In lieu of Rendenbach, I use Rocca cut outsoles which are Italian and natural chestnut tanned (the closest thing to natural oak). They are also branded but the branding is in the waist of the sole and is very shallow so it is easily burnished out.

Toe boxes and heel stiffeners can be taken from Baker insole shoulders or the margins of a Baker outsole bend. They're the least of your worries.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

eck
1
1
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:56 am
Full Name: Eckart Berger

Re: Insole leather

#289 Post by eck » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:45 am

Rob,DW,
Thanks a lot for your opinions.
A lot of people are put off by the stamp on Rendenbach soles and that includes me.
I'll give them a call on Monday to see if they are still so persistent. I'll let you know.

Cheers

P.S. I come from Germany but now live in the UK.

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: Insole leather

#290 Post by dw » Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:06 am

Eck,

I thought you were UK based but with a name like Eckart Berger...well it confused me this early in the morning. Image

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Insole leather

#291 Post by lancepryor » Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:25 am

Eckart:

I think the Bakers vs. Rendenbach outsole choice may be dependent on how you sew your outsoles -- I've been told that hand-sewing the Rendenbach is a real chore, whereas the Bakers sews very nicely. However, if you machine-stitch your outsoles, I don't think this really matters. AFAIK, all the UK based bespoke firms use Bakers (no real surprise there), but the high-end RTW firms may use Rendenbach (for example, perhaps Edward Green). However, given that you are in the UK, why not give Bakers a try? FWIW, they sell both outsole bends and precut outsole strips, as well as a full range of other supplies -- insole strips and bends, welting strips, heel lift strips, and stiffener strips.

Lance

double

Re: Insole leather

#292 Post by double » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:19 pm

This is the only thread that I can think of putting this question in.

I am thinking about ordering sole bends and insole shoulders instead of ordering pre-cut ones. Can anyone help me in the area of where to cut the bends and the shoulders to get the best possible use of the material for the soles and insoles. Basically what areas are the best, worst, layouts, etc etc. Anyhelp would be greatly appreciated.

C Double

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: Insole leather

#293 Post by dw » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:24 am

Colin,

You'll probably get five different answers if you ask three different makers but here's what I do...

First, in general the best leather comes from areas that cover the best cuts of meat. That means...especially in the case of sole bends...right along the backbone is the best leather. Over the kidney area is also considered prime. I cut outsoles aligned with the backbone--parallel to the backbone, in other words. This is the standard layout as described by the tanneries from years gone by.

Insole shoulders...most have fat wrinkles...I cut the insoles so that the fat wrinkles run parallel to the length of the insole. This may be contrary to common practice or best yield but it avoids a further complication of having fat wrinkles running across the insole and thereby pre-setting crease lines....right where you don't want crease lines to be.

Naturally the further from the spine you get the looser, and less dense, the fibers. Additionally, in the case of the outsole bend, the closer to the shoulder and neck, the less prime.

One needs to cut for quality first, quantity second or even third. Other parts of the boot such as toe boxes, heel stiffeners, heel stacks and shank covers can be taken from the margins of a bend and/or what is not used for soles or considered prime.

On insole shoulders almost everything can be used but toe boxes and heel stiffeners (esp. for shoes) can also be taken from areas that are deemed unsuitable for insoles. It might even be possible to get welt although that is generally taken from the belly, if not bought separately.

It might also be mentioned that scraps from insole shoulders and some outsole bends make the best build-ups for modifying a last. Especially when they are split to 5 or 6 iron (or even less), they are shape-able yet relatively firm compared to vamp leather and thus hold dimension and shape extremely well especially when sealed with press cement.

Every bend and/or shoulder is different. Some you'll get more and better components from, some you'll not be happy with anything you take from it.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

fishball
2
2
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:47 pm
Full Name: Alexander A. W. W. Yu
Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Re: Insole leather

#294 Post by fishball » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:56 pm

DW,

I am new in this forum, and also new in shoemaking.
I read the posts about Bakers insole group buy, I know I am late for that, but could you tell me or PM me where I can get one or two pairs of it? I don't need whole bend.
Sorry for my poor english.

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: Insole leather

#295 Post by dw » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:23 pm

Alexander,

First, welcome to the Crispin Colloquy. Your
English is probably as good or even better than mine sometimes. Where are you located, BTW?

As for the Baker outsoles...all I can suggest is to put out a general request for someone who got some of that to cut you a pair or two. I hate to speculate one way or the other but as seldom as we get up enough interest to do a group buy, it may be hard to get anyone to part with any of it. It is like gold and people tend to hoard it...using it only for their best customers and personal stuff.

I do wish we could encourage someone to bring it in on a regular basis but the trouble is that unless you've taken the gamble and tried some through a buyer's consortium such as we run every now and again, you really don't know how good it is. And since it's probably three or more times as expensive as what is available domestically, realistically, there probably isn't a strong enough market for a company to bring it in considering what they would have to charge for it.

You might try the Rocca or the Rendenbach as an alternative...or maybe you already have?

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

fishball
2
2
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:47 pm
Full Name: Alexander A. W. W. Yu
Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Re: Insole leather

#296 Post by fishball » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:51 pm

DW,

I am in Hong Kong, where I can't get anything.
Most if not all shoemaking business were moved to mainland China, so almost all shoe supplies Companys closed in HK.
I ordered leather all around the world, but it was very diffcult since the quantity was so small.
I asked my friend in US to ship me the Rendenbach, since JR in Germany don't answer my request email, I hope it will arrive soon.

BTW, where to get the rasps for smoothing the welt? HK hardware shops just has one type of rasps for woodworking. It is too coase for leather.

Thanks for your advice.

Alexander

fishball
2
2
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:47 pm
Full Name: Alexander A. W. W. Yu
Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Re: Insole leather

#297 Post by fishball » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:54 pm

Dear pals,

Who can sell me one or two pair of baker insole shoulder, please?

Alexander

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: Insole leather

#298 Post by dw » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:13 pm

Pardon me...I mis-read or read too hastily. I thought you wanted outsoles. You might have better luck with getting a pair or two of insoles. There were a lot more folks who bought insole shoulders than outsole bends.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

(Message edited by dw on January 06, 2009)

donrwalker
2
2
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:48 pm
Full Name: Donald Ross Walker
Location: Spring City, UT, USA
Contact:

Re: Insole leather

#299 Post by donrwalker » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:00 am

Alexander

Larry Peterson, another member of this forum, bought some of the Baker insole shoulder. He was kind enough to give me some to try. Since it was given to me it is only reasonable that I should help you out. If you can tell me what size you need, and pay the shipping I will be happy to cut you a couple pair and send them to you.

Don

fishball
2
2
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:47 pm
Full Name: Alexander A. W. W. Yu
Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Re: Insole leather

#300 Post by fishball » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:22 pm

Don,

Thank you very much for your offer.
My size is US8E, so I think 12"x9" will be enough. Do you have the 6 irons and 10 irons insole? May I have both of them so that I can try it out? Of course I will pay for the shipping. I am in Hong Kong, may I pay it by paypal? Otherwise I can ask my friend in States to send you check.
I will send you my address by PM.
Thank you and Larry.

Alexander

Post Reply