Cutting the insole

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sorrell
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Re: Cutting the insole

#51 Post by sorrell » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:46 am

D.W.,
Thanks for that explanation. I didn't want to cut into it without a few guidelines.

Lisa

Lisa Cresson

Re: Cutting the insole

#52 Post by Lisa Cresson » Sat Aug 13, 2005 5:17 am

Here is a tip that I might have alluded to in an earlier posting...

Kaufman's in New York Citiy 212-777-1700
[ask for Mike and call before 11:00AM eastern standard time]

can special order heavier weights of German JRedenbacher a.k.a. known as JR leather. Bends for outsole and insole in 9/10 11/12 as well as precuts are available. Prices are a bit lower than others [maybe the ship lands here in NY Harbor?] $16 per lb instead of $19-20 elsewhere.

Getting close to opening that shop/studio within the next two weeks. And boy is it too HOT here. 105° in the shade.

Lisa Cresson

Re: Cutting the insole

#53 Post by Lisa Cresson » Sat Aug 13, 2005 5:21 am

Dear DW
For that posting on December 3, 2003 showing the vertical stitched welt et al, can you confirm if that is the same tool in both shots?

Thanks!
Lisa

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dw
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Re: Cutting the insole

#54 Post by dw » Sat Aug 13, 2005 5:43 am

Lisa,

It is not the same tool in both shots. The first is a standard "English" style sewing/inseaming awl. The second is a "german" style inseaming awl or "sickle" awl.

I use both depending on where on the holdfast I am at, what comes to hand, and my mood at the moment. I like the German style because it penetrates the leather so easily and leaves a smaller exit hole on the vamp side. I like the English style because the angle of the blade makes going through the holdfast just a little easier.

Lately, I've been sharpening my English style sewing awls to a diamond point and narrowing them up a bit at the tip.

Tight Stitches
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Re: Cutting the insole

#55 Post by lancepryor » Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:10 am

I have a question about the cutting of the insole.

On the lasts I'm using (and almost all lasts that I've seen), the last -- like the foot -- is wider above the insole than at the insole. Therefore, the side of the last is angled in as it approaches the feather edge. So, when one cuts the insole, should the insole be cut 90 degrees/perpendicular to the ground, or should it continue the line/angle of the side of the last? The latter would seem to make a bit more aesthetic sense to me, but I wonder about the shoe walking over or the insole cutting the upper at the insole line if this were done.

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Re: Cutting the insole

#56 Post by dw » Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:25 pm

Lance,

That's a good question...and I bet you get several different answers.

I cut the insole almost 90° to the bottom of the last around the forepart, and I cut at a somewhat lesser but similar angle around the heelseat. Some would follow the contour of the side of the last especially around the heelseat, but I don't--I leave the insole a little proud although I do try to take the top edge right up to the featherline.

But in both cases--the forepart and the heelseat areas--my thought is that if the boot is wet lasted, the moisture from the vamp or the heel stiffener will also moisten the edge of the insole. The wet insole will then be forced, or can be made to conform, to the natural curvature of the leather as it follows the curvature of the last. Does this explanation make sense?

The upshot is that the insole will then be less likely to pull away from the inside of the boot and a tight "fit" between the insole and the vamp lining, or heel stiffener...whatever...will result.

This issue assumes some bit of greater importance as we begin to trim the insole from the forepart featherline to the heel seat...where there is no featherline at all--no edge to tell us how or where to trim it. And if we trimmed the insole to conform with the contours of the last in the shank/arch area, it would be so severely undercut it would not support the foot. So, at some point we have to compromise and trim it somewhat square...and there is absolutely no fault or downside in doing so, in my opinion.

If you look closely at any of the photos that I have posted over the years, you will never see the insole edge shadowed on the vamp...nor the toe box either for that matter. Even on kangaroo. It's simply not an issue. Of far greater importance is that the insole be trimmed to the edge of the featherline fairly closely.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--Member HCC

relferink

Re: Cutting the insole

#57 Post by relferink » Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:41 pm

Lance,

A little late but I did want to give you a quick response and a different answer as DW predicted. Good to see you on the forum again, how are things going with you? I do cut the insole with the shape of the last. As you probably know I don't regularly wet last so the conforming of the leather as DW described is less likely to happen. I also feel by going with the shape of the last the upper will be pulled tight to the last without air pockets. As to walking over the side, I would not worry about that as long as the last is the correct width for the foot. The difference is probably 1 to 1.5 millimeters if that much.
Depending on the last you may have a more or less defined feather line in the arch area. You may not totally follow the curvature of the last in that particular area. Specially if you plan to inseam and have to cut a bridge on the insole to sew on, you don't want that to end up to far in the center of the insole. For cemented construction feel free to cut with the curvature of the last, the grain side of the insole (the strongest part) will be in tact to glue to.

Rob

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Re: Cutting the insole

#58 Post by jenny_fleishman » Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:06 pm

Rob,

Are you saying you put the grain side of the insole leather down and the flesh side against the bottom of the last, toward the inside of the shoe? If do, so you scrape the grain off with broken glass or rough it up some other way to prepare the surface for cementing?

Jenny

relferink

Re: Cutting the insole

#59 Post by relferink » Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:32 pm

Jenny,

Sorry for the confusion, no I put the grain side to the last but do scrape off the grain with glass. What I meant to say above is when cutting the insole in the arch area you may get a very thin edge but since this is the strongest part of the skin, the grain side it will still be fine.

Rob

luckyduck

Re: Cutting the insole

#60 Post by luckyduck » Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:44 pm

Hey All,

I have a question about insoles. The background to the question is that I have been making moccasins for the last few years and am starting to try making lasted shoes and boots. The last shape I am looking at is basically a Birkenstock shaped footbed with a pointier toe and a 4/8 heel.

SO, to the question. Is there a better way to make the curved and fitted portion of the insole than soaking veg tan and forming it, then grinding it down? Maybe some of the orthopedic folks can step in. So far my success in how I guessed it would be done has been minimal.


Thanks.

Paul

luckyduck

Re: Cutting the insole

#61 Post by luckyduck » Wed Mar 28, 2007 10:26 am

Oh, I should add that my plan on these is to make the insole, then glue the liner around that like in cemented construction, then stitch down the upper (Veldtshoen method) and finish off the bottom with a Vibram style sole. I have made a pair with this method on a different last and they looked good to me, but a more comfortable fit would be ideal.

The intended use is basically for everyday wear. A couple hours standing at the work bench, a fair bit of walking (2 miles per day minimum, up to 10 depending on where I am going).

Thanks again.

Paul

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Re: Cutting the insole

#62 Post by dw » Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:58 am

Paul,

I'm no expert on moccasins...but I may have to do until a real one comes along Image...that said, I can't think of a better way to shape the insole--whether it be to a standard last or to a cast of the foot--than by wetting the leather and forming it to the bottom of your last. If you are using a plater cast of the foot the forming can be accomplished by positioning the wet insole then wrapping it and the cast, tightly with cheesecloth strips or an open weave gauze.

What exactly is the problem you are encountering with forming the insole wet, anyway?

If I were going to make a shaped (ala Birkenstock) insole I might, after forming the insole and letting it dry, fill in and level the bottom with cork to provide support for the contours and cushioning without hardness--hence cork rather than leather.

Tight Stitches
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luckyduck

Re: Cutting the insole

#63 Post by luckyduck » Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:56 am

Thanks DW,

I am happy with my moccasins, but am branching out to a shoe I can wear all the time and on pavement. It seems hypocritical to have shoe maker on my business card and not be able to wear my shoes all the time. Leveling the bottom with cork may be the answer I was looking for. At least it has to be better than building up that much leather only to grind most of it off for levelling.

I will take some pictures of my next try and post them.

Thanks again

Paul

relferink

Re: Cutting the insole

#64 Post by relferink » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:58 pm

Paul,

As always I'm a little slow getting to this and DW has used up all the good answers Image
You can form the insole by wetting and using a press to get the insole securely against the last. Next you can use cork to fill in the "negative space" on the insole where the met pad etc. would be. An other option is to take some questionable quality kid skin that you really can't use for much of anything, rubber cement it to the last and build an insert from cork, it will feel more like a Birkenstock. Next grind and shape the insert, than take it off the last and clean the last of any glue residue. (don't forget this step or you will have the hardest time getting the last out. It was a prank that was played on me when I was the new kid in the shop) Put talcum powder in between the last and the insert and lay a thin leather insole on the bottom, nail in place with 2 or 3 tacks and make the shoe as you would normally do. The bottom of the insert can be flat or slightly rounded as a normal production last would be. This way you can remove the insert once the shoe is ready and make adjustments or replace it before the shoes wear out. You could make the shoe directly over the cork but it's probably not strong enough to hold it's shape once you get to resoling number 2 or 3.

Just another way to doing it. This technique will typically add a little bulk to the shoe but the insert does not have to be thick and can even be 3/4 length.

BTW nice job on those tall moccasins you posted the pictures of in the gallery. I'm intrigued by the sole. How durable is this? Do you apply multiple layers of barge and grindings, slowly building it up or all at once with barge that has gotten harder from what it would be out off the can?
Do you happen to have the recipe for the tanning process? How was that leather to work with? Anyway I wanted to compliment you on that but had not gotten to it.

Rob

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Re: Cutting the insole

#65 Post by dw » Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:25 pm

Robert,

Unless I'm actively engaged in a conversation or a topic--such as with the full wellingtons--or my name is "called," I generally try to wait at least 24 hours before answering a question...just to give others a chance to weigh in first. But as one of the moderators (and a pretty lazy one at that) I try not to let folks...newcomers especially...go "begging," so to speak.

That said, I especially appreciate folks like you who jump in with another perspective even if they feel someone else has already covered most of the bases. If nothing else it gives the questioner a sense of continuity and reinforcement.

Tight Stitches
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luckyduck

Re: Cutting the insole

#66 Post by luckyduck » Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:22 am

Hey Rob,

Thanks for the ideas. I have a cupped heel last that I am playing with. Perhaps it will end up that I recommend people buy Birks if they have foot issues.

The mocs. The buffalo used is from the Hide House. As for the tanning, I just ask for extra soft feel. Since I used to live there and know them, it helps. Trim is deer.

The moc soles are fairly durable. My sweeties favorite pair has about 500 walking miles on them and are starting to be a bit bald. Mine have about 300 and show very little wear, but most of that is off pavement mileage. They are made with layers of "goop". The first layer is thinned barge and powdered rubber. It is more of a primer to fill in the stitches and seams. The next 2-3 layers are more rubber, sort of a bit runnier than the frosting from a can, but still all powder rubber. These get the sole all black and uniformly covered. Then the final layer is about 1/3 bigger chunks and 2/3 barge with quite a bit of thinner and enough powder to keep the glue from looking snotty. It is about like chunky peanut butter texture and goes on about 1/2 inch thick. If the base layers are still a bit tacky it is easier to apply. After it sits over night to set up it gets some heat from an old camp stove to burn out the volitiles (carefully!).

I also am trying using NeoWeld instead of Barge. It is slower drying, but not as stinky. Not sure on durability yet.

Paul

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Re: Cutting the insole

#67 Post by headelf » Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:24 pm

How or where do you get the ground up rubber?

Regards,

Georgene

luckyduck

Re: Cutting the insole

#68 Post by luckyduck » Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:34 pm

Hey Georgene,

I get the rubber from a guy down the road who gets it from retread places. If you get direct from a re-tread place it is all different sizes. The "rubber recycler" sifts it and sells it to others for mulch and stuff. Most recycler places will let you scoop some from the truck. To find the guy I looked up re-tread places in the phone book and called them up.

By the way, I still have not used that toe box material I got from you. Maybe when this last thing gets sorted out.

Paul

relferink

Re: Cutting the insole

#69 Post by relferink » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:21 pm

DW,

I didn't mean you using up all the good answers it as a negative comment, in fact if it wasn't for your effort and dedication the forum wouldn't be anything like it is today. You also have a way with words to explain things that are easy to do and show but so hard to put into text, whenever I try it's just rambling.
Your right, it is important for those asking for help to get an answer, if noting else to keep the thinking process going to come up with the next question.

Keep up the good work!

Paul,
Interesting technique with the rubber chips. I'm thinking of how I can apply a process like that, not quite sure how and what but something is brewing in the back of my mind.

Rob

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Re: Cutting the insole

#70 Post by dw » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:09 pm

Robert,

I really didn't think anything of it...just making sure that everybody knows that even if I'm here all the time diligently playing the good host, trying to keep the party lively, there's usually room to get a word in edgewise...if you're fast! Image

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firefly

Re: Cutting the insole

#71 Post by firefly » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:53 am

Marcell,

I do have a couple of questions as I watch the videos. I hope you don't mind me asking. I don't know if it is just editing of the video but it looks like you have wet and cased the insole before mounting it. It then looks like you are trimming, channeling, feathering and holing all while the insole is still wet\cased.

I have been having difficulties working with the insole as it dries out. I am using German soling leather for insoles and that could be my first problem.

Thanks,

Mark

washek

Re: Cutting the insole

#72 Post by washek » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:51 pm

When I made a welted shoe, I did not sew the welt around the heel, but attached it using wood pegs. Is it OK to sew the welt around the heel too? If so, does one prepare the the heel part of the insole the same way as the front part?

As I am only an amateur shoemaker, I would appreciate any advice on this issue. Thank you.

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Re: Cutting the insole

#73 Post by lancepryor » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:12 pm

Washek:

You can do it any number of ways, I think. Instead of pegging, you can 'whip stitch' the upper to the insole (I believe this may be what DW does, though he can confirm), you can sew it without a welt (see pic below, courtesy of Janne Melkersson), or you can sew it with a welt. In the world of Ready to Wear shoes, Allen Edmonds uses a welt all the way around, which they call a 360 degree welt.
6337.jpg

washek

Re: Cutting the insole

#74 Post by washek » Tue Jan 08, 2008 5:34 pm

Mr. Pryor:

Thank you for your prompt answer to my query, and for the picture.

What is "Ready to Wear Shoes" by Allen Edmonds? If this is a book about shoe making, could you tell me where I can buy it?

Thanks again, and best regards.

Washek

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Re: Cutting the insole

#75 Post by lancepryor » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:21 pm

Washek:

Allen Edmonds is an American shoe manufacturer making goodyear welted shoes -- alas, one of the few remaining American manufacturers of welted dress shoes (www.allenedmonds.com).

In terms of books, the one I would recommend is "Handmade Shoes for Men" by Laszlo Vass, which is available on Amazon.com and at Abebooks -- the latter has many sellers offering copies between $10 and $15. This is a very good introduction to shoemaking, though it certainly won't answer all your questions or give the finer details of how to make shoes.

Forum participant Tim Skyrne has a book he has written on shoemaking, and which is actually written as a guide to making shoes. It is available either from him in Australia or from Walrus Shoes here in the USA -- I can't comment on the book, as I've not seen it.

Also, there are some books available for free download from the HCC library (click the "Return to HCC library" link at the bottom left of your screen). These are old but very fine books written about shoemaking in its heyday -- thanks go to DW for scanning them and doing lots of work to fine-tune them.

Lance

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