Pattern making

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homeboy
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Re: Pattern making

#1301 Post by homeboy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:13 pm

I really enjoyed this project. One advantage is a longer counter. Another of course, is No side-seam. They sure are comfortable! I actually wore them a couple of hours before I got to a camera.....just couldn't wait!
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Re: Pattern making

#1302 Post by dw » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:18 pm

homeboy wrote:Except I was inspired and guided by my good friend Janne Melkersson to try making a pair of "seamless" boots (for a lack of a better term) like European makers. I wanted a smooth European inside and a traditional 4-piece Wellington outside.

Jake,

So...is that second photo the lining? If so, then the lining is hung (attached only at the topline)?

Lot of similarities between what you're doing there and the three piece (or what I call a "Tejas").

I admire you for stepping outside your comfort zone.
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Re: Pattern making

#1303 Post by homeboy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:23 pm

Had to fit up a new last for this project. I was really pleased the way it turned out. Fit was perfect!
Heel was built with paste and nails (shhhhhhh! Don't tell Dee-Dubb, he'll kill me! Blame it on James @ Carreducker Bespoke)
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Re: Pattern making

#1304 Post by homeboy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:25 pm

And then the outsole was stitched with a square awl @ "almost" 8 spi
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Re: Pattern making

#1305 Post by homeboy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:29 pm

And then if you set up your vamp/counter cover junction like my mentor taught me, you can achieve this each and every time you do it (even for a feller who doesn't do it every day).
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Re: Pattern making

#1306 Post by homeboy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:34 pm

Whew! Sorry Dee-Dubb, I didn't see the post until I got through.

You are correct! The top line is sewn and then the lining and outside are cemented with all-purpose. Very important not to make your tops with much of a scallop. You could probably sew it on a patcher, but I used a post machine.

I was definitely OUTSIDE my comfort zone for sure! So many new variables, but it turned out pretty darn good for a "first-time".

Thanks! Jake
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Re: Pattern making

#1307 Post by dw » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:38 pm

Jake,

Your outsole/welt stitching looks great!

And as far as the heel is concerned I could use some lessons. But why couldn't you have done it with pegs and paste?
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Re: Pattern making

#1308 Post by homeboy » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:29 pm

Dee-Dubb,

Thank You!

Concerning the pegs......."repairability". I believe, as James believes, you can repair the heel better if nails are placed.

As we all sometimes do, we make a pair and think we will never see them again (boots). Well, I'm always thinking of longevity. If I wanted to replace the soles on a boot, what would be the best way? Please! Not a "half-sole"! You need to go under the heel to replace the new sole! Nails allow you to "save" the lifts of the heel. I've tried with pegs.....it's pretty darn hard with pegs!

I'm eager to hear your response. I always respect what you have to say!

Adios, Jake
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Re: Pattern making

#1309 Post by dw » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:27 pm

homeboy wrote:Dee-Dubb,

Thank You!

Concerning the pegs......."repairability". I believe, as James believes, you can repair the heel better if nails are placed.

As we all sometimes do, we make a pair and think we will never see them again (boots). Well, I'm always thinking of longevity. If I wanted to replace the soles on a boot, what would be the best way? Please! Not a "half-sole"! You need to go under the heel to replace the new sole! Nails allow you to "save" the lifts of the heel. I've tried with pegs.....it's pretty darn hard with pegs!

I'm eager to hear your response. I always respect what you have to say!


Adios, Jake
Jake,

Thank you and thanks for taking the time. I was asking a serious question and thought perhaps you/James would say something like "there isn't enough compression of the leather when pegs were used." I've yet to successfully build a heel with paste (haven't really tried though)--your heels inspired me to think about giving it another try.

My own experiences don't bear out the idea that it is prohibitively difficult to save the lifts. I have boots, made for customers, that I have put over half a dozen full soles on over a ten to fifteen year period and the original lifts are still in service. But that's neither here nor there. You have a rationale that speaks to quality and a certain result that you are looking for. You've thought it through. That's more than many have.

That said, you did ask... :devil:

Now, you know my thoughts and have heard me tell all of my experiences with iron nails and the damage they do to veg tan leather. Some dismiss it, some have seen it. [shrug] I won't repeat all that. But I will observe that unless you are willing to use the same holes every time you rebuild a heel, I suspect you are doing near as much damage nailing as pegging.

Perhaps it depends on the definition of damage.

But I'm going to paraphrase/reprise a scene from Band of Brothers and ask you a question--like Lieutenant Winters did when Buck Compton first joined Easy company. Buck had been gambling with the enlisted men and Winters asked him "What if you'd won?"

So I'm asking...if pegs are that destructive, why not go to nails in the waist as well?

Surely, the damage done by pegging directly into the insole...repeatedly...is as bad or worse than the damage done to heel lifts, esp. if we are aiming for longevity and/or repairability.

Honestly Jake, if you're thinking that I disapprove, I don't. I don't understand either, (and it's not for me) but we each find our own comfort zone. You've done pegging. It's not like you don't know how or have never put forth the effort to master the technique.

I respect your decision.
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Re: Pattern making

#1310 Post by homeboy » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:07 am

Dee-Dubb,

OK.....here we go!

Personally, I do not think pegs are destructive. No nails in the shank for me.....too much movement....there's not much in the heel.

I agree with the compression remark. Nails will compress more with the bradding effect on both ends.

I should have known you could retrieve the lifts from all-purpose and pegs. Most of the time, I destroy the lifts. I actually have a big box of left-over heels in the shop, thinking I would use them again someday. Maybe a tutorial from you is in order (hint, hint).

Repeated pegging through the shank DOES do its toll on the insole. On my work boots (worn every other day), I usually get a little over a year on an outsole. I have to replace the outsole about 6-7 years. Some will ask, "why" do this? I don't know, I just like to see how much use I can get out of a bespoken pair of boots.

I have used brass nails over the years in different parts of a boot. I agree with you, there is some type of chemical "reaction" with bark tanned leather. It becomes brittle and hard around all types of metal, even brass.

If you have a highly domed shank and hammered-jacked heel lifts, it's quite a chore to keep the lifts down with paste and pegs. I tried it and it didn't turn out very well, so I ripped it out. Maybe I need to try again......Marcell has/does it and has a tutorial for it, but he uses tempered lifts.

As I've said many times over the years, there are lots of ways to make a boot. In my opinion, I'm not able to say "this" is the divine approach in any part of the process. :bowdown:

And it goes without saying, but I always have a bent ear when you start talking. Thanks for the response!
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Re: Pattern making

#1311 Post by homeboy » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:55 am

:uhoh: I should have said.....I replace the "insole" about every 6-7 years.

Sorry for the confusion.
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Re: Pattern making

#1312 Post by dw » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:08 am

Jake,

Tempered is the way to go alright. Mike used to build heels with tempered lifts...the only difference was that he was using all-purpose rather than paste, built on a tempered outsole, and used carpenter's finishing nails instead of pegs. He claimed that the finishing nails would rust so hard in that wet/tempered leather that they would lock the nails into the heel stack.

I built my first couple of pairs like that and if you want to talk about destroying the heel lifts when you broke the stack down all you needed to do was try...try...to get a pair of Mike's heels apart.

:greatnotion:
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Re: Pattern making

#1313 Post by dw » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:26 am

This is for the mens shoemakers in particular...

I use some variation of the standard English method of creating a standard for my shoes. But I have always kind of wondered about it.

The formes are taken from the bare lasts and the standards are created from the mean forme.

But the last will have an insole added to it.

Doesn't that make a difference? Shouldn't the insole be factored in when establishing the counter point, for instance? Or the height of topline at the side of the foot?

Right now I'm not factoring in the thickness of the insole and that's working fine. But I see shoes that seem to sit lower on the last at the heel and at the sides than I would expect. And yet, by all accounts they fit well enough.

Thoughts?
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Re: Pattern making

#1314 Post by lancepryor » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:31 am

I've never considered this. I guess, at the end of the day, these decisions end up being a combination of aesthetics and fit. If one looks at the range of pattern making books, there are various ways to decide on the vamp point, the counter point, the back height, etc., i.e. there is no one absolute 'right' approach to defining these locations. Therefore, whether or not one factors in the insole wouldn't really seem to me to matter, as long as one develops a consistent approach to pattern making.

From the perspective of fit, issues like counter point height and back height determine how high up the shoe reaches on the back of ones foot -- and that won't change even if insole thickness varies from shoe to shoe, since your foot sits on top of the insole, which is always at the same point (assuming you cut your insoles to the same feather line every time). Likewise quarter height. I think the keys to quarter height selection are: high enough to look good, but not too high so as to affect or irritate the ankle bone.

I guess the look of the shoe will perhaps change a tiny bit with different insole thicknesses, since a thicker insole will show a bit more upper leather from the rand to the top of the quarter, but I can't imagine one would notice any such variation. Also, of course, for any given shoe there will be further variance in the thickness of the upper leather, the thickness of the counter as it wraps around the insole, etc., all of which will have a small effect on the shoe's appearance.

I will say that I am often surprised how low the upper's quarters look on the rear of the last when there is no insole, welt, outsole, heel, etc. I think on some of my earlier shoes I didn't trust the measurements and lasted the shoe with the quarters too high -- on the finished shoes the quarters look a bit goofy, almost like some sort of bootie. Now, I trust the measurements and like the look of the finished shoes.

Lance

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Re: Pattern making

#1315 Post by dw » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:32 pm

Thanks, Lance.

I guess the biggest problem with not factoring in the insole is creating a large enough lasting margin. If one adds 10mm for lasting margin and then puts on an 4mm insole, your lasting margin comes down to 6mm.

I also would ask what patterning books are you referring to that offer other recipes for finding counterpoint and side height? Every book from Patrick to Sharpe, that I've read, has said pretty consistently 1/5 SLL for CP and the same for side height.

I sometime don't know whether that is too high or my lasts just too low in the rearpart. The shoes seem to fit fine and no one complains but I have very little last showing above the shoe at the top of the heel.

It makes my perspective wobble. :wink_smile:
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Re: Pattern making

#1316 Post by russell_c_cook » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:16 pm

Hi all,

I'm an absolute novice and have just completed my first attempt at a mean forme. I've attached a picture, the mean forme together with the masking tape casts I used to make it. Would anyone be able to take a quick look and point out any obvious problems, or general comments?

I also attached a picture of the wooden last I'm using, lent to me by a shoemaker here in Shanghai.

Any help would be great :)
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Re: Pattern making

#1317 Post by dw » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:29 pm

Looks about right. The proof is in the pudding--you need to make a trial shoe, IOW.
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Re: Pattern making

#1318 Post by russell_c_cook » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:40 pm

Thanks, DW.

I'm using Tim Skyrme's book and have started on drawing up the last standard, then onto marking out the pattern for a simple Derby shoe.

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Re: Pattern making

#1319 Post by Feliks » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:05 am

Good morning All,

I'm a new user, so pardon me if this isn't the right place to ask--although I looked, and I hope that it is.

I'm an ex-Canadian infanteer (7 years in, 1 tour in Afghanistan) who now lives in Eastern Europe, and I've got a pair of worn out corcoran's that I'd like copied. My cobbler says he can probably do it by eye, but was wondering if I could look for the pattern.

As many companies seem to be producing the classic, brown, jump boot, surely the pattern exists somewhere in the wild? I'd happily buy it, if I only knew where--but if it's freely available, please let me know where!

I suspect dw might know, but I'm too junior a member to send private messages.

Cheers!

-Feliks

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Re: Pattern making

#1320 Post by das » Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:43 pm

Feliks,

The current Corcoran brown and black jump boots (sage green and desert tan too) are made by, and the label/brand name belongs exclusively to Cove Shoe Company, Martinsburg(?) Pennsylvania. Cove acquired Corcoran (formerly of Stoughton, Massachusetts) and all their 1940s patterns. The Cove supervisor of jump boot production in the 1990s was a WWII paratrooper vet, and he was fanatical to keep quality up to standards he remembered, their 'How Quality Shoes Are Made' video claimed. His son was also a paratrooper currently serving then ('90s), and dad felt very strongly about this iconic boot. Cove has changed hands in the 2000s, and I'm sure the WWII vet is now retired or passed away.

You could email Cove/Corcoran and ask (they do rely to email), but I doubt they'd share the pattern. The firm WWII Impressions, in California sells the genuine Corcoran brown boot, as do many surplus and reenactor/militaria dealers online, but beware, the other "jump boots" of the Corcoran pattern offered by these other firms are often poor quality Asian knock-offs.

If you've worn Corcorans made in the last 15+ years, they came from, Cove in Pennsylvania, and they still do.

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Re: Pattern making

#1321 Post by Feliks » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:22 am

'morning,

Thanks for the informative reply!

In general, I like the style and quality of the Corcoran boot, with the exception of the foam insole. The pair I had I wore every day for a year before the leather split where it meets the sole. Also, while the boots polished relatively well, it seems that the whatever the leather is coated with prevents absorption of the kiwi polish I was using.

I've also bought a pair of Corcoran style brown jump boots from the Vintage Shoe Company. The leather, while too thin for extended field wear, seems of superior quality and polishes nicely. The insole also seems superior to the Corcoran insole, and for practical purposes, I appreciate the Vibram sole. However, Vintage does not seem to have used a Munson last, which detracts from the comfort and aesthetic of the boot.

My cobbler is almost done his copy of the Corcoran boot I gave him as a template. Unfortunately, he also did not use a Munson last (nor had he heard of it)--I will post pictures if anyone's interested once I receive them.

Now to email Cove shoe company and see if we can work something out ;)

Cheers,

-Feliks

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Re: Pattern making

#1322 Post by das » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:15 am

Feliks,

The current crop of Corcorans WWII brown boots is much better than they were 5-10 ago leather-wise, but that Poron foam insole is still in there. It can be removed with a little work and a leather layer cemented in--I did that modification once.

I do not like Kiwi polishes, they are solvent-based and will dry-out and crack even the best uppers leather.

I'm not familiar with the Vintage Shoe Co., but if they did not use the Munson last... Still think you're better off buying Corcorans. I'll be interested to see photos of your shoemaker's repro, and good luck getting the patterns out of Cove.

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Re: Pattern making

#1323 Post by dw » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:23 am

Of course the black ones we wore in the 60's didn't have the foam insole and they shined up a treat. I always had a deep and clear spit-shine.

We all "personalized" them with fancy lacing--Jacob's Ladder and such--used parachute cord. The only thing you didn't want to do was use white--that was for the MP's only.
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Re: Pattern making

#1324 Post by das » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:42 am

Interestingly the 1940s brown jump boots did come with a padded insole, which was part of their charm. I've got two '40s pair pair in my study collection, one's "HH" brand the other a no-name but out of an officier's foot locker with English kit in too, and dated '44 pre-D-Day. Neither however have any padding--weird. Maybe just the Corcorans came with it?

And when first adopted by US paratroopers,the 10" Corcoran boot had long been just a civilian work/outdoor boot. The Army added the beveled "no trip" heel breast and ankle support webbing inside. Though iconic to the airborne, in WWII other branches of service wore Corcorans too (Rangers, ski troops, etc.), and individual soldiers bought them through private purchase. After WWII Corcoran advertised their jump boots widely to the civilian market in men's sporting and outdoor magazines,

By 1956 when we changed from being "The Brown Shoe Army" to black, by then and for the rest of the Cold War era, if I'm not mistaken, it was a no-no in the service for anybody to get caught wearing Corcorans if they were not a paratrooper?

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Re: Pattern making

#1325 Post by dw » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:06 am

das wrote: if I'm not mistaken, it was a no-no in the service for anybody to get caught wearing Corcorans if they were not a paratrooper?
Might be, but I saw other guys wearing Corcorans...what you didn't want to do was wear them bloused. Only paratroopers were allowed to do that and still be "in uniform."

Could be the 1960's era black Corcorans had a padded insole as well...I don't remember it that way, however. But then I don't remember any ankle support webbing either. So it could just be "old-timers" disease. :old&wise: I do remember the spring heel though.
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