One "Last" Question

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One "Last" Question

#1 Post by gcunning » Sat Apr 13, 2002 5:44 pm

I have a last question.
My wife has a long heel 13”,
an 8-1/2” waist to low instep,
a 7-7/8 waist,
a 8 “ ball.
She is very flat footed.
Yes, I realize her feet are like ski’s but I have to get these builtImage
The problem: Will I be able to last the waist area and low instep to waist area enough that it will not pucker when she walks?

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Re: One "Last" Question

#2 Post by admin » Mon May 06, 2002 6:44 am

All messages posted prior to 25 February 2002 have been moved to the first Crispin Colloquy CD Archive. Those interested in obtaining a copy of this CD need to contact admin@thehcc.org

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Re: One "Last" Question

#3 Post by dw » Fri Oct 11, 2002 6:30 pm

I was thinking about the discussion we had over in Sources regarding building up lasts.

I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I ought to backtrack a little...I was putting a set of build-ups back on a last for a customer, today, and as I was doing so it struck me that perhaps this was not really a technique suitable for beginners.

Ii was stated, as I recall...and certainly implied...that building up a last and then saving the build-ups, was for those unable to afford to dedicate a pair of lasts to each and every customer--someone just starting in the game, in other words.

But it occurred to me that in order to put build-ups back on a last you need to have a very "educated" eye. You need to see and anticipate the "lines" of the last, you need to see how the build-ups blend into the lines of the last--how they originally blended into the last. Of course, that assumes that you have an educated eye and have respected the lines of the last, in the first place--when the build-ups were first created. That you took care in feathering the build-ups into the contours of the last. That you studied the last before it was modded and from every angle after it was modded.

But that "eye" is something that takes time and dedication to develop. So it's not the beginner for whom this technique is best suited, but the more experienced hand who knows lasts and has an almost intuitive appreciation of the form.

Of course, if you don't build-up and reuse the build-ups, you may never acquire that eye...nor appreciate all the ways in which an educated eye transforms the rest of the bootmaking process...but never mind that. The point is that for beginners--especially those who might tend to mangle a last in the modification of it, or destroy its lines grinding it down, or, as was suggested, create "taters" of the build-ups--it probably *is* wiser to avoid re-using lasts.

That said, I have never regretted the approach I took, nor all the mistakes I made, and I've certainly never regretted the experience and education (of my eye) that I acquired. I can literally transform nearly any size last into nearly any other size and any toe style into nearly any other toe style. I've modeled/re-modeled narrow round toed cowboy lasts into lasts that were, in silhouette, virtually indistinguishable from lasts of the late 19th century...and back again. It's a skill I'm glad I have.

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Re: One "Last" Question

#4 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Sat Oct 12, 2002 8:40 am

DW,

My apologies for a delayed response to the issue of lasts, but after thinking and re-reading the discussion I got the impression we were polarizing into two camps, or two schools of thought on this, and in reality I don't find it to be so in practice. It's not "either/or"--either bespoke lasts customized and reserved as sacred only for "Mr. Jones" [in future], or a generic run of pristine stock lasts customized [slightly] temporarily for "Mr. Jones", then stripped down and customized for "Mr. Smith", etc. It's both.

What I do is this: I have several small runs of different lasts, grouped according to type-shape, i.e., inflare, outflare, neutral, and footwear type, e.g., low shoe, dress boot, laced boot, riding boot, work boot, etc. [I don't do western boots]. So, when "Mr. Jones" comes by for a fitting, I try to match him with an existing stock last in a run first. If I feel the last won't do as-is [often they are fine], and needs severe modifications, I check through some old clunkers, odd pairs, and "orphans" next, to see if one of those might be sacrificed instead. If that still doesn't get it, then I consider having a custom pair turned for him off a stock last model, and chop that. With the current last situation the way it is, I guard my basic runs of lasts carefully, and don't grind on them, only build them up.

If "Mr. Jones" can be fitted well in a stock last with just a fitting glued on here or there, when I'm done those fittings sit in place on the last until I need that last again, for "Jones", or anybody else. If "Jones" got a highly customized "orphan" last, they will stay fitted-up to his foot until he returns most likely. If we had to have a custom pair turned, those probably stay "Mr. Jones' " lasts forever.

In other words, experience tells you first if "Mr. Jones" is seriously a candidate for repeat business anyway, or for the exact same type footwear [if next time he wants something radically different, it's a different last anyway 9 times out of 10]. If his foot is an extreme case, you know that right away. The lasts need not be bespoke/custom/set aside for everybody, every time. I think I have maybe 10 pairs out of 100 that are so uniquely fitted, they remain reserved for that customer only, simply because they'll never fit anybody else. The rest get used over and over for anybody.

Most of my customers get fitted in: 1) one of my own un-modified stock lasts [these have been radically altered from factory lasts to begin with--radiused featherlines, anatomical architecture, etc.; 2) or a slightly built-up stock last; 3) or a severely modified "orphan" or odd pair saved for this purpose, or 4) a very customized pair turned expressly just for them. My guess is that 90% of the feet through my door get either #1 or #2, not #3 or #4 automatically in every case.

It's not either/or, its both and neither, or "yes" to either...whatever works.

During the fitting I discuss all of this with the customer, and we look at my stock lasts together, and decide what they want to pay for. I use my best judgment on whether to recommend they won't get a satisfactory fit without the "full Monty" #4 customized last. But I don't sell them more customization than they need--that's just more money they can spend on better leather, or more of a shoe.

Another solution here to consider, if the most common US men's size/width encountered in 9 or 9 1/2D, and I find that's the case, when you gather or buy a run of matched lasts, get C widths, or even Bs if they tend to run wide in the heel-seat. This way you're always doing more fitting up, than being tempted to grind down. My two work-horse last runs are C width, and I haven't been tempted to grind anything off in two years.

If we still had easy access to fast, and readily available custom lasts, or last duplication service, like Janne does from Kopitarna, we could follow a different plan. But, having worked with European red beechwood lasts from the Continent, I fear we'll need to brace ourselves--they are another experience if you're accustomed to using Canadian rock maple lasts, or even plastic. The beech lasts I've seen are not very consistent, nor consistently bark-bottomed in their orientation. They tend to twist, warp, develop splits, cracks, and will "tack-out" [no longer hold tacks after repeated use] faster than maple. French "charme" or hornbeam lasts are nicer I think, but this wood is softer than beech, and much softer than maple.

Janne,

Does Kopitarna offer hornbeam, or "charme" wood?

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Re: One "Last" Question

#5 Post by dw » Sat Oct 12, 2002 9:39 am

Al,

I do think that for some folks it is a matter of "either/or." At least, that's what I took away from the previous conversation. But like you, for me it has never been one or the other. Some lasts I do set aside for "Mr. Jones" exclusively. Some lasts I do grind down...more so in latter years...but I grind my teeth, as well, every time I have to grind a last.

Your remarks about focusing your runs on widths with somewhat narrow heel seats is good advice. That is also where I find most of my fitting problems being resolved. I would say that 80% of the customers that come into a bespoke bootmaker's shop, for anything other than extravagance's sake, come in because of problems related to fit...and especially in relation to the heel in some regard.

In many cases, even the grinding that I do includes some work around the heel--primarily narrowing it.

I don't offer as many styles of disparate footwear as you do nor do I feel any need to keep inflare or outflare lasts (although I would, at some level, defer to your expertise when it comes to lasts) for the simple reason that I think I can accommodate an inflare or outflare foot with build-ups...or a combination of build-ups and grinding. But like you, when I've substantially (and sometimes that can mean only a little bit) altered the lines of the last, I'll label that last for "Mr. Jones" and set it aside in perpetuity.

I've never found it hard to put a build up back on a last even after some time has passed. Admittedly, it is easier on plastic lasts than on wood for the simple reason that the buildups will come off the plastic easier and more completely. You still need to be *very* careful taking the buildups off. Often times, I get a goodly portion of the press cement which is overlapping the feathered edges of my build-ups, coming off with the build-up itself.

Sometimes when you put a build-up back on a last you are not quite certain of its exact position right down to the nth degree, so to speak. Sometimes the build-up will have lost a chunk out near the perimeter. But in both cases, if you retain the original data that you used to fit up the last, and/or you have any kind of "eye" at all, these become trivial problems.

Like you, and for the same reasons, as well as simple economy, I am neither sanguine about the future ability to easily obtain new lasts nor willing to defer using such a valuable resource to it's full capacity. I've used my 9D's for many, many pairs of boots. And since I am also of the firm belief that the last is one of your most important tools, I am also very particular when it comes to models.

All of which just underscores the scary situation we are in with regard to materials and tools of all kinds. I've just narrowed my choices down to two leathers that I know I can count on for dress boots---everything else has gone to hell or has been discontinued.... but that's another story.

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Re: One "Last" Question

#6 Post by gaid » Sat Oct 12, 2002 9:55 am

Al,

I don't know if Kopitarna offer hornbeam. The ones I buy are made of white beech. I have used their lasts for about ten years and I have had, so far, no problem with them. But you are right, beech wood is not as good as hornbeam. However, I have made 16 pair for one client on their lasts and I'm pretty sure that pair will hold for another 16 pair. If you don't like beech wood, they make them in plastic too.

To me, the last is just a piece of wood until I put the clients name on it. My clients expect that their shoes/boots are made on a last with their name on. Is not that what this trade (made to measure/bespoke)is all about?

It is sad to hear that you guys have problem finding "easy access to fast, and readily available custom lasts, or last duplication service". If anybody of you want to give Kopitarna a try it would my pleasure to help.

tmattimore

Re: One "Last" Question

#7 Post by tmattimore » Sat Oct 12, 2002 11:01 am

D.A. makes a good point. since I occasinaly suffer bouts of old timers disease I forgot to mention that when I first started I purchased a lot of used wood lasts for three dollars a pair, to my chagrin most of them were in widths from AAA to C since it was an auction I had no recourse but learn how to do build ups. It was one of the best purchases I ever made and although I aquired numerous lasts since then I still find myself in that pile whenever I do a buildup. I also find that without the original tracings and measure it can be difficult to put the build up back on but if you have devolped a system in your own mind how you do it it will work.
Tmattimore

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Re: One "Last" Question

#8 Post by dw » Sat Oct 12, 2002 12:48 pm

Tom,

I don't have all the answers...I'm not sure anyone does. Nor is there likely to be one right way or wrong way. But I'm a bit surprised at the idea...which stubbornly keeps surfacing...that it is hard to reposition build-ups back on a last.

Frankly, I don't think it is really any harder than a lot of the work that we do...given that a person makes a study of the last and its topography.

Take any build-up a maker might put on the last....if it is a heel pin or a toe pin...theres's not much doubt where it's going to go. The featherline of the last will define one set of parameters/boundaries, the curvature of the last will define another, and the top of the comb (in the case of a heel pin) the final set.

Or take a "runner"--the build-up a person might do on the medial or lateral side of the forepart to make the forepart wider. Again, the featherline defines where the runner went originally and where it will go when re-used. With the complex curve of the bottom of the last, how can you put a runner anywhere but where it was originally? Too far forward and you'll know it immediately. Similarly, too far back and some part of the runner will be out of sync with the featherline. It simply can't go anywhere but where it came from... unless you force it.

Or how about a real shallow buildup over the instep? That's tougher, admittedly. But if you measure the foot with some underlying logic--using joints and bones and anatomy to determine where the measurements are taken--and you apply that logic...logically...to the last, you *will* know, even years later, where a build up that was placed to increase the girth of the low instep, for instance, is gonna go...has *got* to go--over the low instep on the last, just naturally. And still, when all is said and done, the complex three dimensional curves of the last are going to dictate where and how that build-up is going to best lie when it is re-applied to the last.

Of course, you can help yourself by making notes on each build-up that you remove and by keeping the original measurements and tracings and pedographs...as well as the notes you made to yourself during the fitting up. I keep all that information, I never throw it away.

Having said all that, it is a skill and it takes time to get the hang of it. But anyone with the skill to *not* make a "tater" when building up or grinding down, has the skill to re-use lasts and re-position build-ups...even if they don't know it.

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fjones

Re: One "Last" Question

#9 Post by fjones » Sat Oct 12, 2002 5:37 pm

All

First, a thank you to DW, for taking the initiative to continue this thread here rather than in Sources. The very useful comments about last modification never felt right to me in Sources.

I would like to support the suggestion from Janne regarding getting lasts from Kopitarna. I was doing some consutancy work in for the footwear industry in Slovenia about two years ago and this included spending nearly a whole day at the Kopitarna factory in Sevnica.

Placing an order for anything with a supplier thousands of miles away is always daunting. With something as “personal” as lasts, even more so. For this reason, perhaps a little background might be helpful. I was impressed with the factory partly because of the significant amount of timber being stored under cover on the site so that it would condition nicely before being made into lasts, shoe trees or clog soles.

They were in the process of installing several new CNC (computer driven) last turning machines from Italy. On asking the obvious question, I was assured there was no intention of getting rid of many of their conventional copying last lathes for “many years to come”.

I spent most of the day with Marjan Kurnik, a Director of the company who really knew his last making. He also has very good English. I was not really there to ask this particular question but he did assure me that he would be very interested to receive enquiries about supplying lasts from small shoemakers any where in the world.

The quality of the product was good and the prices, although not the cheapest in the world, were certainly very competitive. They produce plastic as well as wooden lasts.

Slovenia is a small but interesting country. It was the first part of the old Yugoslavia to break away and become independent. Slovenia is one of the group of eastern European countries which are expected to join the European Union in the next two or three years. To the north is Austria, east is Hungary, south is Croatia and west in Italy.

As Janne mentioned, contact details are on their web site - www.kopitarna-sevnica.si

Frank Jones
frank.jones@shoemaking.com

Tex Robin

Re: One "Last" Question

#10 Post by Tex Robin » Sun Oct 13, 2002 9:00 pm

DW,all,

On the subject of last buildups and leaving build-ups on versus taking them off: I don't see any reason to remove the build-ups from a last after it's use. My chances for having to use that same last again right away is very slim. I have lasts that have buildups on them that have been there for 20 yrs or more. And I don't have that many lasts, maybe a thousand pair total. I don't agree that the buildups can be readily re-attached to the last and put back in the same place. I consider the buildups on my last to be scrap when they are removed and I usually chunk them in the trash. They are useless and must be done all over again usually. But this is simply normal that DW and I do things exactly the opposite.

I always keep lasts with oversize buildups for the customer and if they don't reorder and I need the last for some other customer, I consider tearing it down but only after looking all over the shop for another last to use. Sorry DW, but I don't agree..TR

Mike Strong

Re: One "Last" Question

#11 Post by Mike Strong » Sun Oct 13, 2002 9:25 pm

DW and All

Just got home from a trip to Seattle and read your post. Before leaving for the trip and reading the post about removing buildups from a last and saving them, I did just that. But I added one more step to it I got out my digital camera and took some pictures. Now I can retreive my build-up and pictures to recreate the last. Like you say DW you need to have the eye for the lines and how it all went together and looking at pictures can do just that. Or at lest come very close.

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Re: One "Last" Question

#12 Post by dw » Mon Oct 14, 2002 5:10 am

Mike,

That's a good idea. It's a real good idea if taken just step further...take pictures of the customer's foot when measuring, as well.

Tex,

Think about it...we do disagree...but when set against the larger picture, what we disagree about is trivial compared to what we agree about. Understand one thing....when I make boots, I make them for me and I'm not tolerant of "different" techniques. But when it comes to the Forum...as I have said several times, you and I are not in competition (or if we are it has no bearing on my vision of what the Forum is, or can be, or where I want it to go) So, the "disagreeing" is one reason why I'm glad you post to this Forum. My way is one way--it's a good way; Al's way is another--given the time and the inclination (the intense interest he has for it) it may even be a better way; Tex's way is yet another *valid* approach. For the sake of the Trade, we need to hear and understand (the "understanding" is the important part) *more* different approaches, not less.

So disagree all you want, explain yourself when you do, and be tolerant.

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Re: One "Last" Question

#13 Post by cmw » Thu Oct 17, 2002 1:42 pm

DW

with regards to the cork question.

I talked with an othopedic shoemaker today while I was at the school. He told me that they (his family bus.) only use cork build-ups on/around the ankle area and a behind the ball point on the last. Otherwise they use leather. He had the same opinion about strength as you/ya*ll did.

He talked about using natural cork

CW

JB Jackson

Re: One "Last" Question

#14 Post by JB Jackson » Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:03 pm

how about answering the gentelman's ???? about the puckerImage

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Re: One "Last" Question

#15 Post by dw » Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:33 pm

JB,

Which one is that?

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Re: One "Last" Question

#16 Post by cmw » Fri Feb 28, 2003 3:46 am

I have a question.

We have a pile of last with metal plates on the bottom from heal to toe. I know that alot of you use plates on the heal. Does nybody use the last with plates that cover the bottom?

The reason I ask is that I don't think that I could have used that type with my military boots. There was to much stress on the nails when I was stretching the uppers over the insole and last. Do you take that much tention out of the uppers when you pre-stretch?

A little side not the pre-stretchig is call "volka" here. I'm not sure where the word originated. Does any one know? My boss and I were talking about this and he doesn't remember where it comes from.

CW

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Re: One "Last" Question

#17 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Fri Feb 28, 2003 6:02 am

Chris,

As far as I know full metal bottom plates are for lasts specialized for nailed construction, to clinch the sole nails [UK: "rivets"]; and sometimes MacKay machine sewing, to clinch the lasting-tack points against [the tacks stay in this type of boot]. It's usually not hard to pry these plates off, do a little careful sanding, then use the last for hand-sewn welted shoemaking.

The older English term--the only one I've ever heard--for pre-stretching the vamp and quarters [before cutting them exactly to the pattern, closing, etc.] is "reaching". The phrase was: "reach well the vamps and quarters that they don't reach in the lasting". In other words, stretch-out the pieces so they don't stretch way out of shape when lasted. I do this regularly with lighter leathers, or notoriously stretchy stuff. Rough-cut each piece a little big, and tug it in all directions between two pairs of lasting pincers to get all distortion out. Let them set a while, then put the patterns on and cut the exact pieces to shape/size. It helps sometimes to dampen the pieces with water. You never want to pull *all* the elasticity or "draught" [US: "draft"] out of the leather--or "zug" in German I think--you just don't want the finished upper to distort or "grow" when you pull them on the last, and find that one quarter has stretched-out 1/2" longer or something awful like that. Nine times out of ten, if you're having trouble keeping your back-seam perfectly in the middle of the heel of the last, or getting your lace-tabs to line-up, it's because one quarter or the other has stretched-out. A little judicious "reaching" before final cutting can certainly help.

One of the nice things about good leather it that it is somewhat elastic--it'll stretch out, then snap back. Think of it in wear, and how uncomfortable the vamps would be if they didn't give a little. You don't want to pull them so tight that once the last is out the uppers shrink way back, smaller than the last, however some reduction can be expected. In "reaching", and even in lasting, you merely want to set up proper tension in the upper so they conform to the last, "tight to the wood", not remove *all* of the elasticity.

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Re: One "Last" Question

#18 Post by cmw » Sat Mar 01, 2003 12:02 am

DA Saguto

Thanks for the info

Have a nice wk-end
CW

btippit

Re: One "Last" Question

#19 Post by btippit » Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:09 pm

Dear Forum Members:

Some of you may remember me as a last maker, specifically as the owner of The Last Word. TLW supplied semi-custom lasts to custom boot and shoe makers in the US and elsewhere for about 5 years and I did this for 2 more years after I sold the business. As we all know, it is very difficult to obtain custom lasts these days.

I am now working for a software company that I have been involved with for about 7 years. The last development and grading software we have is quite powerful. We recently did a benchmark for someone who is CONSIDERING getting into the TRUE custom last business. With our software, they could receive your customers' imprints and measurements and adjust lasts in their library (or lasts you have them digitize) to the fit and shape you need (including heel height and toe style adjustments)...much more detail and accuracy than I was able to provide at TLW.

Now before anyone gets up in arms about how you need to do this work yourself and touch it, feel it, smell it, and all that, let me say this. Of course, the detail they put in might not be 100% what you would do. But then, if you made the same adjustments to the same last 5 times, you'd probably get 5 somewhat different results.

I am quite sure that these lasts would greatly reduce your last buildup time and they could be purchased with as general or as detailed customizing instructions as you would want and be priced accordingly.

The question is, would anyone be interested in such a service? Just floating a trial balloon for them. Let me know what you think.

Best Regards,

Bill Tippit

Tex Robin

Re: One "Last" Question

#20 Post by Tex Robin » Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:21 pm

Bill,

I am not sure if I would ever have anyone do my last building, but who knows. Circumstances do change. One thing I am curious about though is: Where are these lasts going to be made?........TR

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Re: One "Last" Question

#21 Post by dw » Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:59 pm

Bill,

What would such a "custom" last cost?

Would it be based on a traditional model number such as (not giving anything away here Image ) the old Krentler 862 or would you have a "master" (or perhaps two) proprietary "virtual" model that you adjusted digitally and made *all* orders from?

If you had the topography of a traditional model stored in the software, would you be able to turn a "stock" size rather than a custom size? Never mind whether that makes sense or not...simply could you do it? I'm wondering it it makes sense..financial as well as practical sense...to order *all* my lasts from you?

And if you have traditional models stored in the software would grading issues and grading models be eliminated?

Finally, how would you deal with measurements? One bootmaker sends you a stick (for the foot) of nine and seven-eighths inch, and wants a narrow round toe...What will the stick on the last be, in that case? The next guy sends in the same stick but wants a wide round toe...what would the stick in the last be, then?

Or another bootmaker sends in a low instep *and* a high instep girth. How will you handle that as opposed to the guy that just uses an 'instep' girth? And what if a maker sends in a joint measurement of 9 inches but wants 3/8th inch taken off of it ? Will you have different profiles for each customer? Each model of last?

Scoop cone? Hinge cone? Bottom plates/plain? Plastic? Wood?

The answers to those questions are pivotal to *my* level of interest....

Tight Stitches
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btippit

Re: One "Last" Question

#22 Post by btippit » Tue Mar 11, 2003 5:22 am

Tex - The lasts would be "designed" on the CAD system here in the US. Depending on the trim needed, they would be produced on milling machines here or sent electronically to last companies in the US or elsewhere to be made on CNC last lathes. I understand wanting to do your own buildups and as I said, it's unlikely anyone would believe a system (or another boot maker for that matter) could do it "exactly" the way you would want. The goal would be to take as much of the build up time off your hands as possible, thus freeing you to the task of boot making which is, after all, where you make your money.

Bill

D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: One "Last" Question

#23 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Tue Mar 11, 2003 5:26 am

Bill,

A glimmer of last-hope? Pardon the pun.

As for my input, like the others, I'd probably just want a last duplication/grading service, i.e. send in a patched-up model in one size--get nice pairs back in any graded length/width ordered, like The Last Word. I'd want to do my own custom shaping, fitting-up, etc. in-house [time=$], and keep the cost of the lasts down, rather than paying more and getting somebody else's idea of what fits. As you know I've already got a bunch of digitized models, I just need to order them a pair [or ten] at a time at a reasonable cost. I'll even tolerate plastic Image

btippit

Re: One "Last" Question

#24 Post by btippit » Tue Mar 11, 2003 5:51 am

DW - First, I want to make it clear that this is not something I would be doing (not at this point anyway). I would help train the guys who are considering purchasing the software but alas, I'm in another part of the business now.

As for cost, I purposely didn't mention prices because I thought it was taboo on the Forum. I think it's safe to say that lasts made to basic sizes, like I did at TLW would cost about 25% more than you were paying then and more customized lasts could range from 2-3 times the cost of the TLW lasts, depending on the severity of the customization. All, plus shipping, which might be as little as $10 or as much as $50 if they had to be air freighted in from abroad.

This new company would have a library of lasts to choose from or you could send in a last of your own to have digitized. If you sent in a last to be digitized, I would suggest it be a last that was as "generic" as possible, meaning one you would want sizes graded from in the future. If you sent in a last with a lot of customer specific buildups, you might not want sizes graded from it later on.

Yes, the grading issues and grading models would be eliminated. You could use whatever grading system you wanted or just specify a length and girth measurement (any girth, not just the ball) off your existing last. At TLW, I used to grade lasts for some customers (one Red Wings fan in particular) by using a previous size I'd done as a reference. They would then just specify a distance (plus or minus) in length from the previous order and a specific ball measurement. That way, they always knew exactly what they were getting. They could estimate from the previous orders received what the waist, instep, short heel, etc. would be based on the ball measurement they specified on the new order. That way they would have an idea of what build up/grind off work would need to be done. The beauty of the new system is that you can specify precise girth measurements in all areas (even send a diagram showing where you want the measurements taken) and also have the shape of the last altered to your pedograph.

Of course, the stick would vary on two lasts for the same customer (your customer) depending on toe width, thickness, and heel height. Again, you could send a drawing showing how much toe room you wanted to have.

All the specific measurements you mention can be graded into each new last individually. As a history is developed with each bootmaker, there would be more comfort as to where and how to measure these areas. Again, it would be a good idea to send a side profile drawing of a last showing where "your" low instep, high instep, ball, etc. are.

As for trim, scoop block-plain bottom lasts would probably be done locally on a milling machine. Other types of hinges and any metal on the bottom would require sending the data to a last maker somewhere for turning and trimming. Any type of hinge or bottom trim would be available.

I think that covers everything. I'll be happy to answer any more questions. The level of interest shown on this topic by the Forum will probably determine whether these guys jump into this or if I have any interest in jumping in myself down the road.

Time for breakfast and to start my "real job".

Bill

btippit

Re: One "Last" Question

#25 Post by btippit » Tue Mar 11, 2003 5:57 am

Al - Nice to get your input. Unfortunately, the TLW digitations would not work on this system. Those digitations include toe and heel dogs for holding the lasts in lathes. These new digitations would be the complete last, sans the dogs. Thus the ability to make the specific models in the system. Sorry.

That brings up another point though. Another service these guys could offer would be to supply the flattened shell of the last to help in pattern making. Perhaps this is more useful to shoe makers than boot makers and perhaps it's of no interest at all but it something that could be included with the order, like a last bottom pattern.

I THINK wood is an option and I don't think it would be a radical increase in price. It would not be rock maple but those days have been long gone for awhile.

Bill

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