Insoles and inseaming

Share secrets, compare techniques, discuss the merits of materials--eg. veg vs. chrome--and above all, seek knowledge.
Message
Author
User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#326 Post by dw » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:21 am

Just another Image....

I have used three ounce tacks all my career. Into wood and into plastic. I drive the heads solid to the leather. I can pop tacks nearly as fast as I can drive them...but most of my students have as much trouble doing that as any technique in the process. I can understand the frustration.

Personally, I think mould is is more damaging than the black marks left by the tacks. The black marks are nothing more than an iron stain--the chemistry of which is the foundation for "iron black"--a primitive but highly effective black dye made by soaking iron tacks (or steel wool) in vinegar. I have used iron black on a number of occasions and while I cannot guarantee that it is not damaging the leather, I have not witnessed it on articles I have made for my own use.

That said, when iron rusts...a little further on from the initial reaction of the iron with the tannins in the leather...heat is generated. Quite a lot actually. And heat will damage the leather.

Wrapping an insole in rubber or cloth risks encouraging mould. Especially in wet climates. A fan or gentle heat might ameliorate that problem but barring that I'd take the tacks or brads any day...just by way of being cautious.

Having said all that, I watched Al Saguto tack up an insole some years ago and he used brads (not blued), IIRC. But he cut the insole with a somewhat liberal margin and drove the brads into the sides of the last. This had the salutary effect of forcing the insole over the edge and over the featherline...modeling the bottom of the last as effectively as any method I've seen...as well as allowing the black spots and holes to be trimmed off as the insole was cut to shape.

Ultimately we are all gonna have three or four black spots on the insole no matter what we do--the tacks/brads that hold the insole in place while we draft the uppers.

I might add that many years ago I walked into a very old hardware store and saw a whole quarter cask oak barrel of what was labeled "lasting pins." I bought ten pounds, as I recall, and by the time I ran out I had moved and the hardware store had closed. The closest thing I have ever been able to come up with is 18 gauge wire brads in inch or inch and a quarter lengths. They will bend prematurely on occasion but are otherwise an admirable substitute for those old "lasting pins." As the years go by I use them more and more in lieu of the three ounce lasting tacks.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

User avatar
romango
8
8
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:40 pm
Full Name: Rick Roman
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#327 Post by romango » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:39 am

DW,

I am aware of your concern about mold and I have kept a close eye on the issue. I have to say that the difference in drying rate under the vet wrap has been nearly undetectable in my shop.

Granted, I keep my shop pretty warm and toasty. Image

- Rick

User avatar
jon_g
5
5
Posts: 207
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:46 am
Full Name: Jon Gray
Location: Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada
Been Liked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#328 Post by jon_g » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:01 pm

I'm like DW, I don't worry about the black spots from the iron, my insoles get rasped after lasting and then a full insole liner on top of that. But if you are concerned about it why not use wooden pegs?

artzend
7
7
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:00 am
Full Name: Tim Skyrme
Location: Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#329 Post by artzend » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:56 pm

Jan-Erik

I always used a sole press too. They make the job much easier and faster.

Tim
www.shoemakingbook.com

janne_melkersson
5
5
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:00 am
Full Name: Jan-Erik Melkersson
Location: Östersund, Jämtland, Sweden
Been Liked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#330 Post by janne_melkersson » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:47 pm

Tim,
glad to know I'm not alone using the sole press. I must admit that I, to some extent, like things that makes the job easier and faster :-)

das
Seanachaidh
Posts: 1293
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2000 9:00 am
Full Name: D.A. Saguto--HCC
Has Liked: 1 time
Been Liked: 7 times

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#331 Post by das » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:09 am

As much as I'm lusting for a decent sole press for doing cemented and Vibram soles, I'm not sure I'd like it for blocking insoles to the last. Why? Because the way I was taught the insoles need to be "drafted", that is mildly pulled and stretched in length and across their width (whilst wet/mellow) in a few places so they do not stretch or lose their shape in wear. Remember, I'm using Bakers rather loose and mellow shoulders--not bend leather--for my insoles.

Any thoughts on this from those of you who block insoles in a sole press?

johnl
3
3
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:10 am
Full Name: John Lewis
Location: Memphis, TN, USA

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#332 Post by johnl » Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:54 am

D.A.
If you are lusting for a sole press, let me dig around in the garage a bit. I believe that I have an extra one I picked up a few years ago. It could use some cleaning etc. I can shoot you a picture when I come across it. If you want it then, its yours for the shipping cost
John Lewis

artzend
7
7
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:00 am
Full Name: Tim Skyrme
Location: Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#333 Post by artzend » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:06 pm

DA

I always soaked the insoles first, so they were mellow when put in the press, I didn't have problems with them losing shape later.

Tim
www.shoemakingbook.com

das
Seanachaidh
Posts: 1293
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2000 9:00 am
Full Name: D.A. Saguto--HCC
Has Liked: 1 time
Been Liked: 7 times

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#334 Post by das » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:33 pm

John,

Well, well, well.... Thanks! One thing I've learned about presses, I need to kind that takes a complete last, with the squishy oil-filled(?) cushions. Some of the shoe repair models don't hold a full shoe-on-a-last. Will yours?

Where are you located? PM me with further details.

johnl
3
3
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:10 am
Full Name: John Lewis
Location: Memphis, TN, USA

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#335 Post by johnl » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:11 pm

DA
Your profile is set so that you do not accept private messages. I am in Memphis TN
\image {C:\Users\John\Pictures\2010-11-10 11-11-2010}
Here is what I have. Can you use it?
You can pm me at jlewis16 at earthlink.net
John

johnl
3
3
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:10 am
Full Name: John Lewis
Location: Memphis, TN, USA

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#336 Post by johnl » Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:14 pm

11893.jpg

walrus
3
3
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:00 pm
Full Name: Larry Waller
Location: Delavan, Wisconsin, USA
Been Liked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#337 Post by walrus » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:52 pm

Al and All
Tim Skyrme has got a very detailed set of plans on his web site,
http://shoemakingbook.com/sole%20press.htm for a full bed sole press that is real sweet, complete with blueprints and directions on how to make your own. its a great press with a small footprint.These are available only through Tim, check it out.

Larry Waller
www.walrusshoe.com

janne_melkersson
5
5
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:00 am
Full Name: Jan-Erik Melkersson
Location: Östersund, Jämtland, Sweden
Been Liked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#338 Post by janne_melkersson » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:32 am

Al,
my experience with the press is the same as Tim, no problem with losing shape. Not only is it a fast method but the best with it is that you don't have to use any nails which means no marks on the insole and last. When I finally nail the insole to the last it is dry so it will not be any dark spots on the inside.

das
Seanachaidh
Posts: 1293
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2000 9:00 am
Full Name: D.A. Saguto--HCC
Has Liked: 1 time
Been Liked: 7 times

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#339 Post by das » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:26 am

Janne,

Thanks for your suggestions. Where iron stains on the insole have been a cosmetic issue, I've just used long brass wire nails instead of steel ones.

John,

I'll check the pix at work on high-speed (I'm still on dial-up at home). Sorry about the PM. I'll e-mail you from the office today.

Larry,

Thanks for the tip. And BTW, the official "L.A.B.O.T.A." tee-shirts are in-the-works Image

DW,

Beware iron stain. Yes it can be an effective black dye, but it also embrittles the leather's grain on thinner stuff, and leads to grain cracking. In insoles, ever seen how with factory iron-nailed heel seats the insoles turn black and crumble away? Or good leather heels with rows of iron cut-nails in the top-piece, the heel leather has crumbled? If I leave any tacks in (heels, seats, etc.), I use brass only. BTW Bakers pit-tanned is especially suseptible.

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#340 Post by dw » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:47 am

Al,

I'll take your word for it. You've probably had far more experience with iron black than I have.

Having said that, you're right, I've seen lots of insoles and heels that have gotten brittle from prolonged exposure to rusting iron. I have railed all my career against the use of iron tacks and nails to secure the uppers to the insole, not to mention outsoles and heel stacks to the shoe. I have gotten into verbal disputes with people who were so committed to the expediency of tacks and staples that they dismissed any and all claims of cracking heelseats out of hand. Simply because I observed that nails rot leather.

But experience trumps all...I have seen heelseats (only heelseats) that were literally charred and disintegrating--looking almost identical to leather boots that had been dried too near a campfire

That said...and where I am hesitant to commit...I am not entirely sure that the stain itself is the culprit. As I said, rusting iron is a "slow fire." It generates heat albeit almost unnoticeable amounts. Heat will destroy leather, esp. vegetable tanned leather.

The stain, on the other hand, is a chemical reaction to the tannins in the leather. The stain itself can be neutralized with oxalic acid. This suggests to me...and I'm not a chemist or an expert in this regard...that the two processes are not the same.

Iron black can even be used to dye wood that is high in tannic acid.

I used iron black on that dress sporran I made because I knew that it would dye the leather cantle but not the wool that the cantle might come into contact with. And I soaked it good. I've seen no sign of brittleness over the last several years since making it.

Admittedly, two years may be too short a time frame in which to expect such changes, I'll have to keep an eye on it, I suppose. Nevertheless, I would frankly be surprised, after this long, to discover brittleness. I certainly haven't noticed it in use, so far.

In the end, I'm open-minded about whether iron black stains are deleterious to the leather but I'm open-minded simply because I do know for a fact that prolonged exposure to iron will destroy leather.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

User avatar
dearbone
8
8
Posts: 1032
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:23 pm
Full Name: Nasser Vies
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#341 Post by dearbone » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:07 am

Pardon me jumping in like this, The best way to avoid using tacks on heels seats is to learn the simple operation of whip stitching the seat,I have been doing just that for the last two years and happy to say no metal is used in my shoes, my shanks are also wood,pegs are used for stacking heel leather,At first i was a little nervous and slow with it,but now 5 to 10 minutes is all it takes to stitch a heel seat. No rust no fuss.

Nasser

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#342 Post by dw » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:18 am

Nasser,

You're absolutely correct...although many see that as too onerous and time consuming. And factories...or those strongly influenced by factory techniques...wouldn't even consider it.

As for myself, I have been stitching the shank and heelseat for near on to 40 years--my whole career, in other words. And although it is only whip-stitching, even that eliminates the need for any kind of nails in the boot.

I've also been using the Hasluck technique--I call it "compound whip-stitch"--in the heelseat area of all my shoes.



Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

User avatar
romango
8
8
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:40 pm
Full Name: Rick Roman
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#343 Post by romango » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:49 am

Tim,

With a sole press, your design or others, doesn't the rubber bladder prevent the insole from drying?

How does this work?

- Rick

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#344 Post by lancepryor » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:28 am

Nasser:

Everyone I have seen who used nails used them for the rand, rather than for the seat; the seat has been whipstitched or sewn with a shoemaker's stitch (just continued from the welt stitching on around the heel). I assume you use pegs for the rand?

DW:

Is the description of that stitch clear in Hasluck? I have whipstitched and also shoemaker stitched the heel seat, as well as trying a 'Hasluck' style stitch that I sort of figured out on my own, but I think the latter probably wasn't correct.

Lance

artzend
7
7
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:00 am
Full Name: Tim Skyrme
Location: Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#345 Post by artzend » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:14 pm

Rick

I cover the rubber layer with ballroom dancing sole material (apron split) and to protect that I have a piece of veg tanned 3mm leather laid on top, just so sharp edges and heels didn't damage the softer split.

This soaks up the water that isn't squeezed out. The soles are still wet when removed from the press, you only leave them in for a little while, and they dry off away from the press, but still retain their shape.

Tim
www.shoemakingbook.com

User avatar
dw
Seanachaidh
Posts: 5373
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 1997 10:00 am
Full Name: DWFII
Location: Redmond, OR
Has Liked: 39 times
Been Liked: 3 times
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#346 Post by dw » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:24 pm

Lance,

Many cowboy boot makers...including bespoke makers...tack (or staple--"Titans of Industry" ) the heel seat and even the shank area. And I have seen many commercially made shoes that were tacked in the heel seat.

The stitch is well illustrated in Hasluck and even detailed step by step on page 109. That said it took me some effort to get past an apparent mental block so that I could figure it out. And I still haven't come up with a graceful way to tie it off with both taws on the inside of the seam.

I have to give Nasser credit for nudging me in the right direction...somewhere here on the forum he has posted a scan of page 109 and photos of heels seats done this way.

Tight Stitches
DWFII--HCC Member

lancepryor
7
7
Posts: 662
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 6:42 am
Full Name: lance pryor
Been Liked: 2 times

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#347 Post by lancepryor » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:10 pm

DW:

Thanks, I recall Nasser's post, but even with that I don't think I clearly understood how to do it. I'll have to get back at it...

re: tying of the taws. One thing I've seen done is to make a tunnel hole in the insole toward the heel, say 3/4 inches long, more or less in line with where the thread is coming from. Put the thread(s) through that, pull the thread(s) taut, hammer the hole shut, and trim the far end of the thread(s). If the thread is well waxed and the hole is hammered shut, the thread(s) ain't goin' anywhere.

By the way, I do use the holder for my punches, but I did remove that spring-loaded spacer attachment. I just do my brogueing by eye; it looks fine to me, and I think the spacing is pretty darned accurate.

Lance

1947redhed
2
2
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:59 pm
Full Name: Georgene Mckim

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#348 Post by 1947redhed » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:41 pm

One of my customers posted this do it yourself
sole press on youtube using an auto jack to create pressure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v11Jcr4swsg

Regards,
Georgene

User avatar
dearbone
8
8
Posts: 1032
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:23 pm
Full Name: Nasser Vies
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#349 Post by dearbone » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:18 pm

Lance,

The whip stitch seat might be more popular with the French shoemakers,I don't know how west end London shoe makers sew their heel seats,I have been doing it as Hasluck explained it rather than with the welt continuum,It works well and i know you like stitching by hands,The tip is to make the holes on a slant so that the awl will come out 10mm inside the feather,A lift/rand is added and pegged.

Nasser

(Message edited by dearbone on November 11, 2010)

User avatar
jon_g
5
5
Posts: 207
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:46 am
Full Name: Jon Gray
Location: Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada
Been Liked: 1 time
Contact:

Re: Insoles and inseaming

#350 Post by jon_g » Thu Nov 11, 2010 3:45 pm

Lance,

Check out the lasting archives 526-550. There is a heel seat stitching technique tutorial that I think works best. The thread that jumps from stitch to stitch helps to flatten the heel, whereas with the hasluck or whip stitch the threads pull in such a way as to create a little bump between stitches. This is a very quick technique to use after very little practice.

Jon

Post Reply