Pattern making

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Pattern making

#1 Post by admin » Mon May 06, 2002 6:08 pm

Almost 150 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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shoestring

Re: Pattern making

#2 Post by shoestring » Fri May 16, 2003 7:13 pm

I asked this before but there were no takers so here go again.I have been reading Koleff's book learning to make standards.My question is how do one arrive at a "heel higth" the books example is always at 25mm if one is smaller or higher how is that derived
using his mathamatical system.Or another method that produce the same results,or am I creating problems that do not exist.Iam shooting for mens dress shoes.
Thanks,Ed

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Re: Pattern making

#3 Post by dw » Sat May 17, 2003 6:05 am

Edward,

[I moved your post over here...The Art and the Mysterie..." is really a Full Wellington discussion]

There are very few books out there that provide a rock solid basis for learning in this Trade. They all fall short in some respect (my own included) and they all expect the student to do further study and refinement on his own. Of course some books are more comprehensive than others...one way to tell (as with any field of study), is to review photos or examples of work done by the author/teacher and decide for yourself if they represent a standard of quality that is worth aspiring to.

I have Koleff's book but I don't really know the material, if you know what I mean. I don't use it. But since no one else (preferably someone who actually uses the techniques) has stepped forward, I'll take a shot at your question.

From Golding to Swaysland to Patrick, the preferred method seems to be to obtain the heel height from the mean forme. Since the patterns are either drafted directly on the mean forme or derived from it...and the mean form is a direct representation of the last itself...whatever the heel height on the last is, the patterns will reflect that.

Using a geometric patterning system, such as my own, the heel height is plugged in at the beginning of the pattern drafting process. Other parameters such as the angle of the short heel and the joint are then altered accordingly--more or less, depending on heel height. If Koleff (I thought that was a geometric patterning system) doesn't utilize some similar formula, it certainly leaves something to be desired, doesn't it? But the worst thing you can do, unless you are an experience shoemaker or have a keenly insightful, engineering type of intellect, is to try to "mix and match" patterning systems. You end up with something that is neither the one nor the other and, almost universally, miss the benefits of either. Having said that, it is possible, with just a little intuition, to work a mean forme into any geometric patterning system. To use the mean forme as a starting point and design your patterns off it. Of course that almost certainly requires a familiarity if not an understanding of the mean forme method itself.

Frankly, I have looked through Koleff's book on a number of occasions and although I readily admit that I am being a bit dismissive, from the photos of his work on the cover alone, I think that his approach is bound to be a bit "basic." Better to at least supplement your knowledge with Patrick's Modern Patternmaking (I think that's the title).

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Re: Pattern making

#4 Post by walrus » Sat May 17, 2003 9:28 am

ED
As I see it you can enter any heel height you want and then proceed with your pattern making this heel height must be put in from the beginning.in order for the pattern to come out right. Your heel height should be taken from your last. Hope that helps.
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Re: Pattern making

#5 Post by cmw » Sat May 17, 2003 12:47 pm

Edward

I remember when you wrote your question before. I hope the experience of an apprentice can help. I’d like to hear from those of you that know better if I am off base.

The last you ordered has a heal size that goes with it (as I understand). If it is one you have from a shelf in the shop, then you can see from the outside (lateral side). There are three things that you need to look at. 1)Toe spring, governed in usual cases by the thickness/stiffness of the sole that you are going to use. Orthopaedic cases are another story. 2) Keeping the line drawn by the lat. side- feather line ( under the heal region ) parallel with the table top ( or a right angel drawn on paper). You don’t want the heal to be under parallel. With that said, when the heal gets to be high enough it will not be parallel, but instead above parallel depending on the how high the heal is. Look at a high women's shoe. 3) The ball of the foot or metatarsal line as some call it. You don’t want the weight of the foot in front (towards the toes) of this line (standing still!). At the same time you don’t want the weight behind it.

These three things tell us how high a heal has to be 20 to 50 times a day at work. Stiff soles that don’t bend need more toe-spring. There is a little room to teeter both ways on the ball of the foot depending on the rest of the shoe. (in usual cases). I almost forgot. Are you measuring the heal under the lat. malleol

I hope this helps. I’ll go back to my computer projects. I'll try to post a pic that I'm using for my design class.
CW

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Re: Pattern making

#6 Post by gaid » Sat May 17, 2003 2:08 pm

D.W.
You are right! It is possible to work a mean forme into any geometric patterning system. I would even say that it is a good and "simple" method for a "newbe" to start with. It makes more sence then just the geometric method only. Actually, that is the way I learned it and that is also something Koleff is talking about in his book. He suggest it for those who are using the last copying method when it is about to make high boots. Of course, with the last copying method you might have a problem with footwear which is higher then the last because it stops at the hight of the last. Therfore a system for making the top is needed and here is the mix, the geometric method and the last copying ditto. However, it is not only a good mix regarding high boots, it is used for all kinds of footwear with a good result in many shops in Europe.
I wouldn't say that Koleff is to "basic". As I understand it he is just teaching the orthodox way of the geometric system which his book is a good example of.

Ed,
If you try the mixed version there will be no problem regarding the heel hight. If you don't know how to do a last copy (mean forme) the book D.W. mentioned is a good one. If you can't find it Frank Jones know of a another good book. I'm afraid I don't remember the title of it right now.

JEM

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Re: Pattern making

#7 Post by dw » Sat May 17, 2003 8:31 pm

Janne,

Too right! I learned the geometric system way before I ever knew anything about making a mean forme. I learned through a friend of a friend who learned from an old Rumanian shoemaker named Bayla (if my memory serves) in Minneapolis. I used the geometric pattern to make shoes and high top lace up boots long before I learned to make western boots. They weren't very good although most of the techniques were correct...or at least workable.

Later on, after I apprenticed with the fellow who taught me how to make pull-ons, I came back to making lace-ups and the geometric patterning.

Then I ran across a text book of sorts that had been published by BATA. As far as I know, the book never got widespread distribution. But the important thing is that it detailed how to use the mean forme with a geometric patterning system that was very similar to what I was using. Just having access to that book, set my mind a-whiring and I started pursuing packers and the geometric system of patterning. I made a number of adjustments and refinements to my system and have used it for everything from low quarters to balmorals to congress boots.

I seldom use the mean forme, anymore...but once in a while, just to touch bases with an odd foot, or last, or someone I really want to be sure of---especially with a new style--I get out the tacks and the pattern paper and the scissors and make up a set of formes. It's really instructive. And always seems to reaffirm the basic validity of my geometric patterning system--in fact, I've never had it come up short.

Chris,

I am of a different school, at least in one regard: I know that many makers will use a last set for a specific heel height to make several *different* heel heights. My own teacher always said that you can fudge the last a quarter of an inch in either direction. However, I had a relatively good relationship with old E.J. McDaniel (if you can call only having ever talked to him on the phone, a relationship) before he died, and he used to tell me that a last is set for one heel height and one heel height only. That there is only one place the last will sit correctly and that is at the treadline--note that it is a "line" and not an "area"--and nowhere else. Since then I have talked to a number of lastmakers and I've never heard any one of them contradict that axiom, although boot and shoemakers will sometimes tell a different story. I have to regard the lastmaker...and the modelmaker...as the ultimate authority in this regard. Boot and shoemakers have too much to gain by convincing themselves that buying another last, at a slightly different heel height, is simply unnecessary.

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Re: Pattern making

#8 Post by cmw » Sun May 18, 2003 12:45 am

DW

I guess i didn't explain myself well enough. What you wrote is what I tried to express. I hoped that it was explained in a way that would allow Ed to put the last on a table top and see how high the heel should be for that last. That proves that I'm still new at this when it is hard to get a point across.

CW

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Re: Pattern making

#9 Post by Frank Jones of Lancashire, » Thu May 22, 2003 4:20 pm

Edward

Apologies for not replying sooner to your original query 16th May.

I would like to reinforce many of the ideas already offered. For me the way to establish the heel height for a particular last is to put the bottom of the last on a flat surface with the tread line (a line drawn across the bottom of the last in the forepart that runs from the feather at the inside joint to the feather edge at the outside joint) touching the flat surface. In that position, measure at right angles from the flat surface to the feather edge at the backcurve. This gives the heel height for that last. One small qualification, this measurement includes the thickness of the toplift/toppiece.

In my opinion heel height is not related to patterns. But I am assuming that your patterns come directly from your last, rather than being constructed geometrically without reference to the last. If you use standard patterns for a particular style regardless of the last used to make that shoe/boot, then you might need to make other arrangements. You will gather that I feel very strongly that pattern cutting should start from the actual last you are going to make the shoes on. If you do that, heel height is by definition built into your last and is automatically carried through into patterns derived from that last.

Janne Melkersson mentioned the “Pattern Cutter’s Handbook” and two people have already raised queries direct to me, so perhaps I should deal with that here. The Pattern Cutter’s Handbook was produced as a step-by-step guide to pattern cutting. It adopts the forme and standard approach to producing patterns, based on directly on the last. There are individual chapters for nine basic types of footwear including two classic men’s styles, Oxford (also known as Bal or Balmoral) and Gibson (also known as Blutcher). A special effort was made to ensure the book is easy to follow, for example there are 139 pages with 304 diagrams. Please contact me direct if you need more information including price etc.

Frank Jones of Lancashire,

Re: Pattern making

#10 Post by Frank Jones of Lancashire, » Thu May 22, 2003 4:23 pm

Edward

Apologies for not replying sooner to your original query 16th May.

I would like to reinforce many of the ideas already offered. For me the way to establish the heel height for a particular last is to put the bottom of the last on a flat surface with the tread line (a line drawn across the bottom of the last in the forepart that runs from the feather at the inside joint to the feather edge at the outside joint) touching the flat surface. In that position, measure at right angles from the flat surface to the feather edge at the backcurve. This gives the heel height for that last. One small qualification, this measurement includes the thickness of the toplift/toppiece.

In my opinion heel height is not related to patterns. But I am assuming that your patterns come directly from your last, rather than being constructed geometrically without reference to the last. If you use standard patterns for a particular style regardless of the last used to make that shoe/boot, then you might need to make other arrangements. You will gather that I feel very strongly that pattern cutting should start from the actual last you are going to make the shoes on. If you do that, heel height is by definition built into your last and is automatically carried through into patterns derived from that last.

Janne Melkersson mentioned the “Pattern Cutter’s Handbook” and two people have already raised queries direct to me, so perhaps I should deal with that here. The Pattern Cutter’s Handbook was produced as a step-by-step guide to pattern cutting. It adopts the forme and standard approach to producing patterns, based on directly on the last. There are individual chapters for nine basic types of footwear including two classic men’s styles, Oxford (also known as Bal or Balmoral) and Gibson (also known as Blutcher). A special effort was made to ensure the book is easy to follow, for example there are 139 pages with 304 diagrams. Please contact me direct if you need more information including price etc.

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Re: Pattern making

#11 Post by das » Fri May 23, 2003 4:27 am

Frank,

While we've got you on here, let me ask you this relative to drafting [draughting] patterns on lasts and heel height:

If one makes a forme off the last as usual, then lays the form out and makes a standard from it, if the forme's not elevated up to heel height at the back, isn't there the risk that the designer will have trouble getting curves and lines parallel to the ground?

In free-hand drawing curved side-seams for instance, where you want them to be in a certain relation to the ground or base line, doesn't it make sense to position the forme up?

How about in regard to putting the legs of long work in the correct position for rearward/forward inclination?

Frank Jones of Lancashire,

Re: Pattern making

#12 Post by Frank Jones of Lancashire, » Fri May 23, 2003 5:48 am

Al

Can you please bear with me if I answer your queries to “all”. Private emails tell me this subject is not just in question by you.

Let’s first clear up your final point about long work. My comments were originally aimed at Ed who was talking about shoes not boots. Boot makers do not make boots on lasts which have a full leg, so the information about inclination is not in the forme taken from the last. It follows there has to be some other input to decide on inclination. I am not a “boot man” but this usually involves some kind of geometric-based calculation.

You talk about “position(ing) the forme up”. This seems to imply that you want to twist the rear section of the forme up, as you flatten it. Just to make this clear, by a forme I mean the “skin” of the last being peeled off the last and flattened. There are several ways of producing this removable “skin”. The one I find best is to use several layers of masking tape put on at right angles to each other covering the entire upper area of the last. This is trimmed at the feather edge, then slit into two halves down the front and back, before peeling off the last. These two halves are then flattened onto a suitable surface such as a cutting mat before being stuck onto card.

Whenever you flatten the skin of a last you always insert some distortion, because you are taking a three-dimensional shape and forcing it to become two dimensional. With masking tape this shows itself by the wrinkling of the tape. This wrinkling is valuable to the pattern cutter because it gives a good feel about the degree of distortion.

During this flattening process, the pattern cutter might see wrinkles along the top of the forme or along the feather edge, usually a little of both. In my experience, a sensible balance between the two works best. If you adopt this approach, the forme transfers the information about any elevation of the back section of last directly to the flattened result and from there to the standard, which is based on it. Why do you need to make any further adjustments?

If you are concerned about keeping lines parallel to the ground on high heeled shoes, just make sure they are parallel to the feather edge in the forepart when you draw them on the standard, with a small allowance for toe spring.

Gosh, that is much harder to explain than it was to show the group in Delavan last October.

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Re: Pattern making

#13 Post by dw » Fri May 23, 2003 6:05 am

ank,

Please bear with *me*...I have your fine book but since I do not make many shoes, and since I have always been devoted to the geometric method of pattern drafting, I have not thoroughly digested it. Nevertheless, I am broadly familiar with the mean forme method.

Anyway, my question to you is hypothetical...imagine just for a moment that you could not make a forme from the last...for whatever reason--maybe you ran out of masking tape and/or patterning paper. Image Imagine that you had the impulse, or were forced, to try the geometric patterning system....would you *then* try to incorporate the heel height of the last into the patterns?

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Re: Pattern making

#14 Post by das » Fri May 23, 2003 8:06 am

Frank,

Duly noted, you stress the difference between shoes and the leg inclination for long-work. Okay. But why have one method for under-the-ankle footwear, and yet another for ankle-high or higher? What does it hurt to elevate a shoe forme to heel-height when drafting?

Let me run up to this another way. We take the forme from the last with our masking tape--right. We lay the forme flat onto some piece of paper to do some drawing/designing, make a standard, etc., but there's some distortion in the tape to watch out for--right. I suppose I have to ask, what practical advantage is there to laying the formes down onto the paper, and drafting the standard *not* up to heel-height? It's no trouble to draw a base-line on the standard sheet, and to indicate a point, say 5/8" up, at the end to represent the heel-height of the last, then position the heel of the forme on that 5/8" up point, the tread-line of the forme on the base-line, and just go on from there like Golding shows. It seems at least this will give the student the advantage of seeing the forme more closely to its natural final position--the one it will assume in the finished shoe.

Admittedly there are dodges and tricks to correct the illusion if the forme's not elevated to heel-height for drafting the standard, say for designing lines we want parallel to the ground in the finished shoe; but moreover why not just lay it down at heel-height to begin with as in Golding, so it's visually in a more natural position on the standard?

I'm not trying to nit-pick your patterning system, I'm just curious...you know me, still "wet-lasting" and all back here in the Stone Age.

Frank Jones of Lancashire,

Re: Pattern making

#15 Post by Frank Jones of Lancashire, » Fri May 23, 2003 12:08 pm

DW

I should make it clear that I am not trying to push one approach to pattern cutting against another. I am fully prepared to accept that many bootmakers prefer the Geometric approach. I happen to think that is quite logical. As you know I spend a lot of time in mass-produced footwear environments. The only examples I have seen of pattern cutters (meaning in this context people who do nothing else for a living) using the Geometric approach were where they were working on boots not shoes. Interestingly in the Pattern Cutter’s Handbook both of the “boot” chapters have a base-line and use it to construct the Standard, because you need it as a reference point for the leg section.

Enough pre-amble, back to your question. I have so little experience of the Geometric system that I don’t really know. What I do know about the Geometric approach is that is appears to rely on having a base line and constructing the equivalent of a forme with the tread line touching that base line. If that assumption is right, then I would automatically incorporate heel height into orientating the patterns. But that was my original point. The Forme and Standard approach incorporates the heel height into the patterns with no overt action, such as using a base line.

Al

I have no objection to you putting the Mean Forme or the Standard down on your bench with the treadline touching an imaginary ground line. I just cannot see why you need to, but whatever keeps you happy.

I agree it is no trouble drawing a base line on the card when you place the Mean Forme on it to produce the Standard. If that helps you draw on the design lines, that is OK by me. It is not the way I do it and I cannot ever remember having seen a pattern cutter do it, when producing patterns for SHOES. As I said before, boots are different.

I like your reference to Golding. It is interesting that he learnt his trade in Victorian and Edwardian times, when the vast majority of footwear produced were boots. Q.E.D.

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Re: Pattern making

#16 Post by das » Sat May 24, 2003 5:33 am

Frank,

Good. So there's no technical reason *not* to tip the mean forme up to heel-height at the heel [pitch-point "P" in Golding], even for a shoe, if it helps the person designing? That's all I was wondering. Thanks.

=================
" I like your reference to Golding. It is interesting that he learnt his trade in Victorian and Edwardian times, when the vast majority of footwear produced were boots. Q.E.D."
=================

Good point on boots, but for whatever reason--force of habit?--Golding has one put *shoe* formes of all types up to heel-height, as well as boots, for drafting the standards. Of course there are those who might argue that, "they really new how to cut beautiful patterns back then...", more elegant than nowadays, so one might be tempted to replicate the old process to try and achieve the same elegance.

I know, I know...back to my dark cave, "damp apron", boar bristles, tube radios, and manual can-openers, etc Image

relferink

Re: Pattern making

#17 Post by relferink » Sun Jun 15, 2003 7:04 pm

Does anybody have any experience using the tape method to get to a mean forme on a last with a full leg. I find using the wet copy method on a last with a full leg the leg on the upper tents to be tilted back. More so with a fat leg compared to a skinny leg. Can anybody tell me if using tape would be more accurate and do I need to pay attention to anything in particular? I'm making a pair of full leg lasts with very fat legs and will be experimenting with it as soon as I have it ready. If anybody has any experience I love to hear it.

Rob

tmattimore

Re: Pattern making

#18 Post by tmattimore » Mon Jun 16, 2003 10:22 am

I find that (depending on whose method you use) laying out from the last up tends to set the leg back too far. D.W.s mathematical construction seems to work very well for high leg large calf work. On my wellingtons the set of the leg is more related too laying out from the throat and adjustments are made there but it is an entirley different system. On the wellies I find I must put more on the back then the front to accomodate large calves and keep the side seam straight
Tom Mattimore

Frank Jones of Lancashire,

Re: Pattern making

#19 Post by Frank Jones of Lancashire, » Mon Jun 16, 2003 12:47 pm

I am picking up the comment made by Chris Williamson in “miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions”. It seems more appropriate here.

Robert E

You will already know some of this but please bear with me.

As many will know, I am a passionate supporter of masking tape as an ideal medium to “remove the skin of the last” when producing inside and outside formes, as the first stage of pattern cutting. However, I find it very hard indeed to transfer this approach to legs of boots. There are a number of points :-

1. There is no last to stick the tape on.

2. Even if you try to use the customer’s leg, not only would it be difficult and uncomfortable but there are other questions such as should the calf muscle be tensioned etc.

3. With a pull-on boot (as opposed to one with laces etc.) how do you make the allowance for the pass line which enables the wearer to get the boot on and off the foot.

As I have mentioned before, this is an example of where a hybrid approach to pattern cutting works very well. Use the tape method for the foot section, where you have the last to base things on, and then extend the leg up from there using the geometric approach, at the same time use measurements for things like the calf girth.

One observation, always remember although it looks very scientific, pattern cutting is probably 60 per cent Science and 40 per cent Art. The only real test of a set of patterns for shoes is - do they produce a good upper which when made up fits the last and looks right? On boots I suppose the extension is, does the boot leg also look right and fit the customer’s leg.

Now the disclaimer - I have been known to make up the odd pair of boots but I am no bootmaker. We have a number of contributors to the Colloquy who know a lot more about boot patterns than I ever will. I look forward to their comments.

Frank Jones
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Re: Pattern making

#20 Post by gaid » Mon Jun 16, 2003 1:44 pm

Rob,

As Tom am I using a geometric method for making high boots. If your client "just" have fat legs there is no problem using that method. But if you have a client with a very odd "twisted" shape (orthopeadic) the tape could be used. In such a case I use the plaster cast as a "full leg last". I know that some German last factories have "full leg lasts" in stock but I have never used one so far. The plaster cast works fine and is a much faster and cheaper method.
JEM

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Re: Pattern making

#21 Post by gaid » Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:37 pm

Rob,

I should perhaps have add that the plaster cast must be reinforced with an elastic tube gauze bandage and varnish. Without it, the tape will not stick to it. If this is done right you could make a scoop block last out of it.

Frank,
I have seen the customers leg been used as a kind of model for making orthopeadic footwear. The tape where not used but a sloted paper.
JEM

tmattimore

Re: Pattern making

#22 Post by tmattimore » Mon Jun 16, 2003 3:45 pm

Just to clear up on almost every shoe pattern I have made I have used the taping of the last and the methods in "pattern making" but since I do so in order to make numbers of shoes I go thru a least three assembled shoes to get it right. More are sometimes needed to make a full size range of patterns. I have found that like any thing else the more you do it the better you get, in fifty years or so I might even get it right. Just a suggestion try both the geometric and the mean forme method and see which one works best for that particular project.
Tom

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Re: Pattern making

#23 Post by relferink » Mon Jun 16, 2003 7:25 pm

All,

Thank you so much for your comments but I feel I need to clarify my question. I am making a pair of orthopedic high top shoe. (don't really want to call them boots) the customer is diabetic with severe swelling. He has a hard time bending over so he requires a Velcro closure, probably 3 or 4 straps. One side has needs to be raised, thus the forward pitch in the last.
2444.jpg
2444.jpg (18.01 KiB) Viewed 4275 times

I am making a last with a leg. This is the plaster positive, I'm working on modeling the toe extension. When I have this ready I plan to copy this last in a Poly Urethane hard foam so I can work on it like a wooden last. Plaster is just too brittle to work on and I would have to break the last when the shoe is ready to get the last out.

So my question: when this last is ready I make the orthotic and than I make a forme. I recently got Frank's book and the tape method strikes me as one that makes a lot of sense and has the potential to be more accurate than any of the other methods I know. Has anybody applied this method to a last like the one I'm making? Like I said before, I would normally use a wet copy method but find the leg on the upper pulling back to much. I know found ways to adjust but I prefer to find a way that gives a good forme directly from the last.

This also brings on an other question, has anybody any experience using any of the geometric or mathematical methods on orthopedic (non symmetrical) lasts? If so I love to hear about it. I have not been taught these methods and I don't know it it is because they don't work well with orthopedic lasts or that my teachers didn't know them.

Frank, I like your observation, 60% science 40% art. Your right that the fit of the final product is the mark we are measured by. I would just like to make improvements on the mix of techniques I use. After going through most of your book I'm jumping with excitement to try new things. The tape method makes strikes me as a great way to work and I think it will work very well on orthopedic lasts. I want to try sketching on the design and flattening out the individual parts adjusting for the stretch of the leather of that particular part. Still not having a mean forme is something so unthinkable for me so I may end up doing both the mean forme and the individual parts. I'll keep you posted.

Tom, Don't have the luxury to make multiple fitting pairs to get it right. Since my upper isn't lasted by machines I have more leadway with my lasting pliers, I can adjust for a lot yet I prefer to have a good fitting upper to begin with.

Janne, Do I get it right that you use a plaster last and cut it to be a scoop block. How do you keep the pieces together, I take it you can't put a screw through it. The elastic tube gauze and varnish sounds like something I should try sometime. Do you use regular hardware store bought varnish or something special. I think if it's for a customer that I expect to make multiple pairs for I prefer the PU last.
When I make high shoes on a low last I use the forme and than measure out the top. Like in Frank's book but if I need to reinforce over the ankle I make a high last.

Again, thank you all for your advice and please keep it coming

Rob

gaid
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Joined: Tue Nov 30, 1999 3:42 pm
Full Name: Janne

Re: Pattern making

#24 Post by gaid » Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:15 pm

Rob,
You read me right, there is "no" problem to make a scoop block last out of plaster positive. However, I have never done it on a "full leg last", only on regular shoe lasts. Instead of regular varnish you could use the plastic stuff from Otto Bock, I'm afraid I don't remember the name of it. If the last will be used many times you could reinforce it with fibreglass instead of the elastic tube gauze. When you saw off the scoop block there will be same materiel you will have to add to be back in the same level again. I use tape with cement on both sides which will both fill out the empty space and keep the scoop block in place.

As you said, it is a foreward pitch in the last. To me it looks like your client is rigid in the knee joint or in the ankle joint. Or you have made the casting with the leg stretched a bit foreward. Generally speaking, I think the best way to achieve a good result with the casting is to have a 90 degree angle between the thigh-bone and the ankle joint. Another thing that helps is to use a wedge in the same heel hight as the shoe will have and another wedge for the toe spring. Put the foot on the wedges with the ball where the wedges meet, and let it stay there while the plaster is "burning". Then the half of the job is done during the time you are washing your hands. Ok, I hope these tips could be of some help and that you don't mind my rambling.

JEM

relferink

Re: Pattern making

#25 Post by relferink » Wed Jun 18, 2003 7:09 pm

Janne,

I will try that with a plaster last and some fiberglass reinforcement. I have done it using a Vacupress, pull a 1 millimeter plastic sheet with the vacuum. On that type of last we would only make a fleece healing shoe for customers with open ulcers that needed to be mobilized in order to restore blood flow and help healing. Those were always rush jobs that had to be in and out in 24 hours so the plaster never had the chance to really dry. By the time we were done the last would be broken inside it’s plastic shell. I have to cast a new customer tomorrow and from what I got over the phone it will be a low shoe so I may be able to use your technique.

Your right, the customer does not have full range of motion in his ankle. In fact due to the leg length difference and many years of wearing shoes where his foot has been pitched forward his ankle is barely functional. This is a situation I inherited and just have to accept. It is functional in his situation. When he’s wearing his shoes with pants on what you see on the front is an even vamp, not one a lot higher than the other. The thing I did not pay enough attention to while molding is that the foot has a tendency to go into inversion. I think I can correct it in the plaster but something I have to pay closer attention to next time.
I do often cast with a wedge for the heel. I don’t use a toe spring wedge for two reasons; first I cast on a pillow. When I press the foot down and hold it in the position I want my cast to set in the toes tend to be pushed up by the foam more than any other part of the foot, This way it ends up creating the same effect as a toe wedge, I also have to add the toe extension and do the modeling. It’s very easy at this point to adjust the toe spring.
Do you still cast with plaster? After quite a long period of going back and forth I now only cast customers with fiberglass. Especially if I go to a hospital to cast it is faster and a lot less messy.
One last thing, I appreciate all the advice. That’s the only way we can learn from each other so please keep it coming. If only you were around the block I’d walk over to your shop and have you show me. Since that’s not possible we have to try to put into words what we do automatically and that isn’t always easy but it sure ain’t rambling.

Thanks again,
Rob

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