miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

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dw
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1076 Post by dw » Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:59 pm

Joat,

That's a great tip! Thank you for that.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1077 Post by dw » Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:24 pm

I read the Carreducker blog quite religiously and was gratified to recently be asked to do a Guest blog for them.

But re-reading the article about metal shanks (just below my guest entry) I came across this comment:
"Being modern shoemakers, we are always keen to examine our practice and explore new ways of working. My feeling is that most of what we are taught as apprentices is the accumulation of generations of shoemaking knowledge and that most things have been tried. This means that what we are taught by our masters is probably the best way of doing something and we change it at our peril with what seems (at the time) a great new way to do something but which, over time, you come to realise that maybe they were right all along."
Spot on, Carreduckers! :tiphat:
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1078 Post by dw » Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:25 am

Riffing on Carreduckers' remarks above...

Trouble is when we get fixated on "modern" and "efficient," it is all too easy to lose our way.

I tell my students "Sure, you can use an Exacto knife (drill press, staple gun, etc.), but what you lose in the process is so much more than you gain. For instance, just learning to sharpen a knife properly creates skills and control that you can't get by using disposable blades. Skills that affect and enhance other techniques. Such as clicking, inseaming, channeling...the list is endless."

And, in my opinion, that's true across the board. Mastering traditional techniques makes us better makers all around...each skill amplifying other skills...and results in something that is unique and exceptional. Looking for quick or easy alternatives most often leaves us with the commonplace, despite our best efforts.

No one is going to applaud, or by extension, be attracted to work that doesn't differ substantially from what is readily available on the market...at a fifth of the cost. There are almost an unlimited number of shoes or boots being made today with paperboard or synthetic insoles; virtually all RTW is GY welted; few or none that don't use celastic (or something similar) for the toe and heel stiffeners. All this is commonplace.

How many times and how many "makers" and how many variables...that, at bottom, amount to nothing...do you have to see before all the RTW and factory shoes begin to "run together?"

What recommends a well-made and/or bespoke shoe...what makes it attractive in the eye of the customer and gives it a cachet that distinguishes it in an International marketplace...is the quality of the materials used and the skill of the maker in applying techniques that can't be duplicated by machines.

As bespoke makers the worst thing we can do is to adopt or emulate factory work. Simply...yes, simply...because it is so commonplace and so easily done(relatively). We cannot compete on that level--it's a fool's game. Nor should we even try...in my opinion.

What we learned from our masters is far too valuable and unique.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1079 Post by dw » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:28 am

macvest » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:20 am wrote: My 4th attempt at putting a shoe together and the 1st that I might wear in public. Unfortunately I have no idea how to get it of the last without destroying it..
PS
Loving thehcc, you guys have helped me get started, thank you for all the wisdom

Tony
What have you tried?

May be a dumb question but have you untied the laces and opened the facings real wide?

Do you have a "last puller?" A hook somewhat like a stout ice hook...
ice hook.jpg
ice hook.jpg (5.19 KiB) Viewed 1540 times
...but without the sharp point?

How are you trying to do this?
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Re: mac vest removing the shoe from the last

#1080 Post by Raving_raven » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:07 pm

The first time I bought a used wooden last and tried to use it, I had no idea how much force it took to "break the last".

What kind of last are you using? If it is a spring loaded last that is hinged, you must put it upside down with about a 5/8 inch post in the hole at the rear of the shoe. I bought a foot length piece of round steel stock that fit and clamped it in a big, heavy steel vise then put the last onto the post and whacked on the toe part of the sole with a mallet until it popped open, that is the hinge bent open. Then I was able to wiggle the shoe and pull the shoe up and over the heel of the last. Putting talc powder on the last before lasting helps the shoe come off of the last. If you didn't use talcum powder first, try getting some dust down inside the shoe to help it slide. Hopefully you don't have some glue adhering to the last somewhere.

If you have a different style last, you will need to unscrew the screw holding the parts together and remove the removable part. then you might need what looks like a big hog nose ring to put into the two holes in the sides of the heel to put a hook handle into to pull the last out with.

Best of luck with that. I am still learning too, and each time there is a different challenge.

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1081 Post by dw » Sat Apr 04, 2015 5:32 am

Spring hinge lasts are nearly ubiquitous...used for every kind of footwear. But there are better solutions, esp. for shoes. Spring hinge last risk blowing out the top seam particularly at the rear of the shoe simply because of the mechanics of the way the last opens.

An SAS last is much better for shoes and easier to get the last out as well.
DSCF1749 (1024 x 768).jpg
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1082 Post by grenik » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:55 am

dw » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:32 am wrote: An SAS last is much better for shoes and easier to get the last out as well.
SAS last OK for boots as well, or just shoes?

Cheers

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1083 Post by dw » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:35 am

grenik » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:55 am wrote:
dw » Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:32 am wrote: An SAS last is much better for shoes and easier to get the last out as well.
SAS last OK for boots as well, or just shoes?

Cheers
Just shoes IMO.

You'll play hell releasing the "trigger" in a tall boot...and sometimes the trigger has to be held forward as you begin to open the last. Not enough hands, fingers, or tentacles.

You don't need it for pull-on boots and even ankle high shoes don't generate the tight topline that you get on a well lasted low quarter.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1084 Post by macvest » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:30 am

Thanks for taking the time to help me out.
Yes I removed the laces and opened up the sides. I tried breaking the last but it didn't help, the heel moved down half an inch and then it was too tight to go and further without ruining my top line and ripping off my cemented sole..
I will try the talc trick next time. I have found a local shoemaker who said he would show me some of his ways in a few weeks so hopefully he can show me what i am doing wrong.


Sorry it took so long to reply I have been away in Austria

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1085 Post by dw » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:38 pm

I recently posted a George boots in the gallery that I had just finished. thought I would share a little photo essay of the steps along the way.

Hand antiqued burnishable buffalo, 5/8" heel

Folding the quarters and stays
DSCF2979 (1024 x 768).jpg
Blocking the vamps
DSCF2983 (1024 x 768).jpg
Backseaming the quarters
DSCF2985 (1024 x 768).jpg
Deconstructed George boot
DSCF2980 (1024 x 768).jpg
Seamless quarter liners
DSCF2987 (1024 x 768) (2).jpg
More to come...
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1086 Post by dw » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:24 pm

Facing reinforcement
DSCF2993 (1024 x 768).jpg
George boot before lasting
DSCF2997 (1024 x 768).jpg
Insole channeled and holed
DSCF3000 (1024 x 768).jpg
Lasted, heel seat and toe lining wiped...
DSCF3004 (1024 x 768).jpg
Heel seat after wiping...
DSCF3011 (1024 x 768).jpg
Toe lining after wiping and ready for toe stiffener...
DSCF3009 (1024 x 768).jpg
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1087 Post by dw » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:16 pm

Fully lasted, toe stiffener mounted and forepart redrafted and wiped...
DSCF3019 (1024 x 768).jpg
Shrink wrapped and ready to inseam...
DSCF3023 (1024 x 768).jpg
Inseaming--"easing in the fullness" / compensating for "orange peel" effect around the toe...
DSCF3025 (1024 x 768).jpg
Inseamed...
DSCF3029 (1024 x 768).jpg
Shank mounted...
DSCF3036 (1024 x 768).jpg
Bottom filled...
DSCF3039 (1024 x 768).jpg
Bottomed and ready for final finishing...
DSCF3043 (1024 x 768).jpg
Antiqued and done...
DSCF3045 (1024 x 768).jpg
finis
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1088 Post by homeboy » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:25 am

Great Job Dee-Dubb! I enjoyed it!
What one man has done....another can do.

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1089 Post by dw » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:00 am

Thanks Jake. You and me both. keep watching this spot. :)
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1090 Post by dw » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:37 am

Duncan,

I wanted to ask you a question about the shoes you posted in the Gallery (here).

I sincerely admire your creativity and your workmanship. I like the way you sewed the heel stack onto the shoe, in particular.

That said, I have to wonder about the topline--it doesn't seem to be shaped to take into account the ankle bones (malleoli) of the foot. Or at least not in the standard fashion. Have you had any feedback from the customer on this?

When I first started making shoes that was the biggest problem I faced--ankle bite. I found that I had to be verra careful about the topline height, particularly on the lateral side. All the old patternmaking books give you a formula for the topline height and it works pretty well for the medial side of the foot where the ankle bone is a little higher. But I found, esp. with my own shoes, that I needed to drop the lateral side topline height lower than the medial side to accommodate the lateral malleolus. If I didn't do that customers and my own feet complained.

I later learned that this is pretty much the standard approach.

Have you experienced anything similar?
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1091 Post by dmcharg » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:31 am

G'day DW, and thanks for your comments on the Gallery.
When the lady was wearing the double layer canvas mock up shoe, I noticed that it bagged under the lateral ankle bones, so I moulded on that ankle to the lasts, and the final kangaroo hide shoes followed the curves very nicely. So far she's very happy with them so I think it's working :) Here's a couple of pics (not the world's best, sorry).
Test and half finished shoes.jpeg
DSCN1713 copy.JPG
DSCN1817.JPG
DSCN1817.JPG (93.54 KiB) Viewed 1232 times
Cheers
Duncan

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1092 Post by FABRIZIO GIANSOLDATI » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:05 am

Hi all,

as I' ve posted in "The Gallery" I show you some pictures about the construction of my last pair of derby shoes.

:)

Have a nice day.
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disegno e modelli.jpg
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1093 Post by dw » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:28 am

Fabrizio,

Very nice...thank you for posting that.

I could only wish for a closer look at the bottom of the shoe just after you inseamed.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1094 Post by laelaps boots » Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:54 am

Hi,
I am hoping that someone can help me out. Basically I have two questions related to the heel measurement (the measurement from the bottom back of the heel around to the back top of the foot.) First: Can someone tell me if they know of a source or can give me the information that is a chart comparing shoe size to heel measurement. basically I am looking for something that can tell me what the standard heel measurement is for any given size of foot; for instance, what is the heel measurement for a size 10 foot and etc.
Also I am wondering if any one has a formula for the heel measurement and the tongue. For instance the pattern might be 1/2 of the heel measurement and the tongue would be 1/3. Also is this including a sewing allowance.

Thank you

Justin

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1095 Post by kpk » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:03 am

Hi,
I've been researching shoe stitching techniques online and there is still one stitch that eludes me despite spending considerable time on the internet trying to learn more about it. I have been eyeing a pair of hiking style boots from Fracap and they tell me the boots are constructed using the Ideal stitch technique. Does anyone know what the Ideal stitch looks like? Most construction methods are shown in cross section on the web, but there is nothing on this one.

Thank you,
Kris

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1096 Post by dw » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:35 pm

Kris,

Far as I know there are only three basic stitches and two of those are primarily machine stitches--

The shoemakers stitch, which is essentially a serpentine stitch with each of two threads switching sides every stitch.

The lock stitch, which is a machine stitch and is two threads but each stays on the same side of the leather as when it began.

And the chain stitch which is a machine stitch utilizing one one thread for both sides of the material and which can be pulled and the whole dang thing comes unraveled.

Everything else is just variations.

In my mind, any outfit that seeks to rename a technique and capitalizes it as well, is suspect of hype. And cynical hype at that.

But that's just my opinion and I'm a certified "auld crabbit"...so take it for what it's worth.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1097 Post by kpk » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:05 am

Thanks for taking the time to reply dw. I should have been more clear and concise. The context of the "ideal stitch" is the method by which the shoe is constructed like a Blake, Goodyear, Bologna, etc. I asked Fracap if it's Goodyear and they said no, the shoe is constructed using the "Ideal stitching technique". Maybe the Ideal technique is known by another name like some of them are???

-Kris

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1098 Post by dw » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:41 am

Who knows? I've never run across any stitching technique by that name. Thornton lists and presents illustrations of most, if not all, the possible methods of bottoming construction....no "Ideal."

For the time being and in the absence of photos or illustrations or even a detailed description comparing it to other methods, I have to fall back on what I said above--it's probably PR.
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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1099 Post by Bootmaker1 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:14 am

I am making a all stingray boot. I can't even find a picture of a real stingray boot shaft. I am worried about closing and turning the stingray boot. Any comments ?

Thanks
Don

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Re: miscellaneous tips, advice, and cautions

#1100 Post by dw » Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:27 am

Bootmaker1 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:14 am wrote:I am making a all stingray boot. I can't even find a picture of a real stingray boot shaft. I am worried about closing and turning the stingray boot. Any comments ?

Thanks
Don
I don't know that in 45 years of making I've ever seen a full stingray boot.

I was excited when stingray first came on the market. But I tend to be a little OCD about stitching and clean edges, etc.. And my experience with stingray is that neither of those objectives can be realized. Myself, I'd be worried about every aspect of a stingray boot, so don't feel all alone.

As for closing the sideseam and turning, you may have to side seam by hand to get a clean, even, appearance. But other than that, the rest shouldn't be all that difficult. Certainly turning shouldn't be any harder than with any similar weight leather.

:2cents:
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