Tools of the Trade

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dw
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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1701 Post by dw » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:43 pm

Shane,

I am not sure what you're referring to.

I don't do anything different with the ostrich for western boots than I did here.

I have always used Klein Karoo Ostrich and it has never had what you would call a "high" shine. But neither is what it does have particularly fragile, either.

Soaking and crimping and lasting don't seem to affect the finish on KK ostrich.

All that said, some leathers will lose some finish and especially shine when wet and stretched. Avoid such leathers if you can, and if you cannot be prepared to replace the wax responsible for the shine.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1702 Post by rosesj » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:08 am

I suspect it is just the degree of reflection from the flash. It resembled a skin I saw in Wichita Falls which I really liked, but Eric Larson said that the finish would come off if soaked and worked.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1703 Post by dw » Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:26 am

Shane,

Could be that "domestic" ostrich has an acrylic wax finish on it. And that will come off with wetting.

I'm not fond of the domestically tanned stuff. It doesn't have the unique character or temper that Klein Karoo skins have.

[For as long as I have been in the business, Klein Karoo skins were regarded as the "gold standard". Even when the US slapped a trade embargo on South Africa...lo, these many years ago...and the ranchers in SA moved their operations across the border to Zimbabwe, the skins were never the same. Different water, different food, who knows? But the quality was markedly diminished]

I suspect all but the most observant would not be able to tell the difference between the domestically tanned ostrich (all that I've seen) and cowhide with an ostrich print. And like the cowhide print, the domestic ostrich is boardy. Perhaps because domestic tanners are trying to use the same techniques on ostrich as on cowhide.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1704 Post by lancepryor » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:14 am

DW:

How much does the Klein Karoo stuff cost, and how big is a hide?

Do you order direct from them?

Thanks,
Lance

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1705 Post by dw » Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:54 am

Lance,

I don't have any easy answers. I used to get Klein Karoo from Durland Larson. I think it was running about $30.00 a sq. ft for 13-16 square foot skins.

But it has been a while and Durland Larson is apparently out of business now. (things change fast in an unstable economic environment)

I think if I were looking for some I'd call Hardtke first and maybe GH Leather as well.

And ask...always ask specifically for Kelin Karoo.

Maybe Lisa or Paul or someone down in the SW would have a current source.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1706 Post by sorrell » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:03 am

I get Klein Karoo from Eric Larson at Kelly Larson Sales.
915-592-0404

Lisa

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1707 Post by dw » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:13 pm

Lisa,

Thanks for that! I've updated my Rolodex.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1708 Post by lancepryor » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:44 am

Here is a picture of a pre-made shoe cover from the UK -- this is supplied by the firms to the makers who work for them.

You can see that it is actually folded down the front -- the only sealed seams are at the front and the rear (where the plastic is transparent), not along the top. The portion above the comb is open -- i.e. the unsealed shape is like a whole cut pattern. For anyone trying the shrink wrap, this might be a shape to try.
14204.jpg


Lance

(Message edited by lancepryor on December 17, 2011)

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1709 Post by dw » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:24 am

Lance, all,

Hmmm...I wonder if you could take a mean forme, add a little for shrinkage and a lasting allowance and then using some sort of invisible tape (Scotch brand?), seal up the toe, the heel, and over the forepart, to create something more "tailored" for the shoe?

I use invisible tape to close some seams...most notably at the back of the shoe. I sometimes worry that the tape won't retain its adhesion under the heat. But if the heat were not concentrated over the tape, it might do fine.

It's an interesting idea. If I get time to try this anytime soon, I'll post photos.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1710 Post by lancepryor » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:39 am

DW:

That would certainly get you near the final shape and thus require alot less shrinking. I guess the question is whether you could get the tape to hold/stick to the shrink wrap. FWIW, I don't know why one would need transparent tape. Any tape that would hold would seem satisfactory, since the seam would only be down the middle of the forefront and the center of the heel. I've got some shrink wrap coming from Rick, so experimentation should be interesting.

Lance

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1711 Post by dw » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:34 am

Lance,

Well, the reason I use the transparent tape is two-fold: First it is thin...nearly as thin as the SW. And second, because it is a plastic, it cuts/melts at a very similar heat level as the SW.

I suspect some brands of transparent tape have better adhesives on them than others.

All the masking tapes, on the other hand, don't seem to adhere well to the SW. And of course, they're impervious to your woodburning tool.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1712 Post by romango » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:23 pm

Here is a link to a relativity cheap shrink wrap sealer: http://www.grizzly.com/products/16-Plastic-Sealer/H6154

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1713 Post by amuckart » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:49 pm

Hi all,

Here's my new favourite awl, the haft came from a haul of old tools, mostly junk, I bought from the estate of a leatherworker that was being sold off on a local auction site. The blade is tiny and seems to have been ground down from a bigger one.

Has anyone seen a haft like this before? It's a new style to me and I'm curious if it's just someone's idea of a good haft, or if it's a recognisable style, and if so how old it might be.

As far as I can tell the wood is box
14230.jpg


At some point a previous owner has filed a flat in to stop it rolling around on the bench.
14229.jpg

tomo

Re: Tools of the Trade

#1714 Post by tomo » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:02 pm

Alasdair I have one similar but when I got it the blade was snaped off at about the 3cm mark. I'ts my most 'handy' awl ie for shanking out old stitches, marking patterns, or whatever.
I think your's has been sharpened a lot and just worn to that shape and size.

I went for the Kindle BTW, the one with the keypad.... she can't put it down LOL So thanks for that.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1715 Post by artzend » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:13 pm

Alasdair

That is a fairly common awl haft. You can wrap the thread around the narrow section to get purchase when pulling threads tight, if that was what you were referring to.

Tim

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1716 Post by dw » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:07 pm

Rick,

Have you tried this? I'm not seeing where it refers to sealing shrink wrap. Maybe it's capable, but was it designed for that purpose? Or is it just a makeshift?

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1717 Post by amuckart » Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:47 pm

Thanks Tom. Glad the kindle went down well.

The blade didn't come with the haft, it's one out of an ebay haul. I put the two together and find it perfect for round closing.

Tim, do you know anything about who made this pattern? I like it a lot more than the mushroom style ends which seem more common.

Thanks.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1718 Post by artzend » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:04 pm

No idea sorry Alasdair, I had some, they were pretty old.

Tim

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1719 Post by luckyduck » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:52 am

I have a boot stretcher tool question.

The goal is to stretch the instep of some vintage boots to fit a plumper foot than they were originally built for. (I think many vintage boots survive because they had fit issues to start with).

The question is- Am I better off to pay the money for the Mallory instep stretcher or keep searching for some less expensive wooden ones.

Thanks and happy new year

Paul

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1720 Post by paul » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:26 am

Paul O,

Go for the Mallory. You're talking about the instep design right?

I am not aware of any wooden stretcher with a universal joint in it for boots, that will stretch an instep of a boot.

For many of my shoe repair years, we stretched a boot instep by turning the width stretchers sideways.
Resulting in crumpled tops that needed to be apologized for, or treed their ownselves.

My vote would be to get a Mallory Stretcher (you can rotate one between the pair of boots if you don't want to buy two stretchers), and be proud of the investment.

Besides it's a great side line revenue source in general.

Paul K

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1721 Post by dw » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:46 am

Paul and Paul,

Heh...I've done the same thing--turned the width stretchers sidewise.

That said, I have several wooden instep stretchers that are double jointed for boots.

The real problem with them is that they have a limited range and so you need multiple sizes both for men and women's. I'm not familiar with the Mallorys but if they address that problem, I'd have to agree go with the Mallory. In the end, it might cost you as much to buy a whole range of sizes in the wooden ones.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1722 Post by tomo » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:04 pm

Hey Paul,
i have the Mellory's. Mine do the les and part of the instep. They work really well and are well made and durable.
i notice Lisa uses them as well....
T

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1723 Post by luckyduck » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:08 pm

Tom,
14232.jpg
14232.jpg (25.23 KiB) Viewed 1052 times


This is the one I am thinking of as it does not change the pass line diameter, just makes some room at the instep line.

Paul K. is this the same one you are thinking of?

Paul

tomo

Re: Tools of the Trade

#1724 Post by tomo » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:31 pm

Paul mine IS the other style. I got them from Peas and Corn here...

http://www.peasandcornco.com/shoeandleathercare/stretchers.asp#bootstretch

They were good to deal with and the Mellory's are well made and substantial.
T.

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Re: Tools of the Trade

#1725 Post by paul » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:52 pm

Paul O,

Yes that's the one I'm referring to.
I even made up a layered crepe spacer to fill in at the heel of larger size boots. I attached a string which enables me to pull it out after the stretch.

So, yes, this lifts the instep when the customer can get into them, but it's tight over that area.
As to the leg models of the Mallory line, so as to aim my stretch at the throat line, I have left the top hinge threads all the way closed, and just opened the lower hinge. This can help when it's just a little too tight to get on.
One ought to always do this wet, cased is better, as it can put alot of stress on the seam at the quarters.

Personally, I unapologeticly charge a pretty healthy minimum for this, and always offer to restretch 2, or even 3 times if needed, as I'd rather not blow out their boots. The expressed concern for caution is worth the trust you gain.

Hey TomO, (are you related to Paul O?)
I don't think my wife would let me order from anyplace named Peas and Corn. She will not eat them!

DW, are those Red Head Brand? I've never seen them in boot models!

Paul K

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