"The Art and Mysterie..."

Share secrets, compare techniques, discuss the merits of materials--eg. veg vs. chrome--and above all, seek knowledge.
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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#351 Post by paul » Wed Jun 10, 2009 7:57 am

I don't think that wrinkles are wanted, even forward lean doesn't need to be wanted in this discussion.

A straight up boot without wrinkles across the break is obviously the desired effect, judging by the show work example above.

I just think that since forward lean is a consequence of wear, then for a completed boot to lean forward a bit is better than backward any.

Similarly, unless one is crimping with as much percision as your methods employ, then the consolation of wrinkles is that at least they help hold the boot on the foot.

I have a feeling this is the shoe repairman in me speaking, dealing with realities as I saw them in the shop for years, rather than the ideal, which really is my new standard.

We're just thinkin' out loud here after all,
Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#352 Post by paul » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:08 am

I'm thinking Tom M. said he'd used a pig for his linings. Though I think at last word he couldn't get it anymore.

If it was anything like what I've had before it was about 5 ounce, with a nice grain. But I never tried what I had on long boards.

I'll agree most of what we can now get easily would not be good for full cut liners.

I'm interested to try the natural Tara from Ecopell you mention above.

Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#353 Post by dw » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:58 am

Paul,

I used to get a lining, called Tuff Pig...about 3-3.5 ounce...from Coey Tanning on Bugscuffle Lane in Wartrace Tenn. Great lining--and the "word on the street" was that pig is one of the most sweat resistant leathers known to man. But it never crimped worth a hoot for full cuts. It may be that I was just too inexperienced and ignorant in those years when I was trying to use it...it crimped successfully about 60% of the time, the rest were blowouts. I had a pair I made for myself and probably within the first year the lining in the foot just sort of wore away in places.

When I first started using veg calf I was relieved at how easy it crimped by comparison.


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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#354 Post by paul » Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:32 am

So these are done.
9754.jpg


I'm still rubbin' on 'em some. And I need to make heel pads, but the process is complete.
I feel like I can die and go to heaven now.
Professional photos later this week. Delivery next monday.

I'm going to have to find a new muse.

Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#355 Post by dw » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:10 am

Paul,

One word: Suh-weet!!!

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#356 Post by jesselee » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:40 am

Paul

Sweet throat lines, awesome work.

JesseLee

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#357 Post by big_larry » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:28 pm

Yes!!!

Congratulations on a fine product. I am tearing lots of buffalo but I thinlk I will stay with the challange for a while longer.

I am looking forward to traveling this same jpurney you have been on. You can take a lot of pride in what you have accomplished. Beautiful boots!

Larry Petyerson

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#358 Post by paul » Wed Jul 14, 2010 3:22 pm

This has been a quiet topic.
I'll get 'er goin' again.
You know me. I don't hold back.

DW,

Is this a $40 lesson, learned the hard way?
11454.jpg

Should I just cut another and be careful not pull it over the toe too far? I'm sure that's what it was. Operator error. The leather is GH French Calf color #88 (really pretty color).

The last is a pointed toe 11B-ish. I'm afraid there's not enough leather to reach over the toe of the last. WHat do you think?

Is there any chance I could patch it once it's dry, turn it and crimp it finally on the cruel board?

TIA,
Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#359 Post by big_larry » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:31 pm

Paul,

I want to thank you for posting this picture. I have a collection of failures and have torn out toes. I am of the opinion that there are a few leathers that work really well for full wellingtons and a whole bunch that don't. The reinforcing strip can also cause problems. If it won't stretch at about the same rate as the boot leather the clamps can be pulled over to the point that the stub bends in the socket.

I have also forced the leather to comply to the point that the grain side has surface tares and are thus relegated to be thrown into the "box of shame." Making the full wellington is really an art.

I am still muddeling along and would really appreciate any tips you may be able to share.

Best wishes!

Larry Peterson

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#360 Post by dw » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:00 pm

Paul, Larry,

I'm almost afraid to address this because I'm gonna sound like I know better.

But...

Well, first, I've been there...although never on French calf. That thin 3 ounce veg lining though...I've torn it out at the toe several times. Then I stopped tacking the toe.

You've got three tacks--one dead center, one on either side to keep the blocker centered. 1 and 2&3. Skip the center one. Tack 2 & 3 just about where you would ordinarily tack them. And don't pull the toe of the blocker over the board so very hard. Snug, but just.

When the rest of the blocker is crimped, not tacking the toe will allow it to pull back, if it needs to, without ripping. And, it usually will pull back some...half an inch or so. No problem.

Now, comes the hard part for me...I have to say this because it is important and it will help you...and just hope you will understand. The pipes at the break of the board are not good. Even the pipes on the liner. There should be virtually none visible if the blocking has gone well.

Part of the issue for both of you...at a guess...is that you are freezing those pipes in place long before you get the blocker tight on the board. They must be moved off the blade of the board as a first and foremost priority.

One of the things I do is that after is set my iron (do that first), I tack the toe and the top of the blocker. Several tacks in each spot on each side of the board. The very next thing I do is chase pipes. Completely clear the blade of the board from the toe to the top. Then I begin to tighten the iron. And I chase pipes. And I tighten the iron. I chase pipes and tighten the iron. I tighten the iron and chase pipes...until the iron is nearly all the way out of the notch in the board and the leather is tight on the blade of the board...no pipes!

At this point, the pipes will all be on the side of the board (although they may be significant) any other outcome is unacceptable.

This process stretches the edges of the blocker. This is perhaps the most important technique/trick/insight I can offer into crimping the full wellington..

Now, release the iron about 75% back to start. Clear pipes. Take two drafts in the toe--4 & 5--hard drafts. Clear pipes from the blade of the board. Tighten the iron 6-10 half turns. Clear pipes.

Take two more hard drafts--6 & 7. Clear pipes. Tighten iron. Clear pipes.

Und so wieter.

Chase these pipes toward the toe and towards the iron. Do not let them get set anywhere near the blade of the board.

Draft in balanced pairs. Clear pipes, tighten irons and clear pipes until about midway under the foot of the board.

Now set the throat iron. Chase pipes toward throat iron. Tighten throat iron. Chase pipes toward throat iron.

(At this point even if you haven't eliminated all pipes, what remain will be on the side of the board. The blade and the throat area will be smooth and clear. I don't like to see any pipes but what remains will last out.)

Lastly, working between the corner iron and the throat iron and taking drafts, remove any residual pipes.

Finally some tips...Larry is right--some leathers are not suitable for full wellingtons. But GH French calf is probably the best there is. I do very well with Horween's latigo and I can almost always crimp nice full liners out of Waterhouse's milled veg calf. I am hopeful that the new calf that Peter is bringing in will also be suitable for blocking full fronts.

Next...theoretically you may not need reinforcing strips. But first, I cut them from the belly area or the hide I am crimping. I actually want them to be more stretchy than the rest of the leather. Second, I don't think of them as reinforcement as much as continuous tack pads. Tacks hold by virtue of the clamping action of the head of the tack...clamping the leather to the underlying media---wood or sole leather or plastic. But the tack heads as well as the shank of the tack are cut metal. Leather that is straining against those cut metal edges can tear.

Third, crimp your blockers inside out! This will prevent grain tears and finish damage. Use Lexol or R.M Williams as a lubricant (even on the flesh side esp. in the case of Lexol) to facilitate chasing pipes and wrinkles with a bone or even a flounder/closer's hammer.

Without intending to sound smug or self satisfied or superior, with careful selection of leathers, due diligence in clearing pipes, and so forth, you shouldn't be having these kinds of problems. You should be able to block a pair of fronts and their respective liners...even from thin, 3 ounce veg calf...such that the leather looks like it was painted onto the board.

I tell you this in one final spasm of gratuitous advice: to the extent that you cannot remove those pipes you lose control of the cutting and fitting of the boots and even the way that they last up.

Sorry this was so long. I hope it helps.

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(Message edited by dw on July 14, 2010)

(Message edited by dw on July 14, 2010)

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#361 Post by tjburr » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:16 pm

Paul,

Sorry I have not posted in so long. Life has caught up with me a little this year. I did however want to supply a comment that came to mind...

From this side of the road it looks like you received a better lesson already than the $40 cost Image I at least have enjoyed the lesson so far. Thanks for getting the topic stirred up.

I need to re-read that post a few times to let it sink in.

Next time I am out your way I will buy you a drink to pay my part Image. I had a similar problem with a jodhpur I was trying to crimp a month ago and is still in the working phase. I think with DW it would need to be a heavily peated scotch though.

Cheers
Terry

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#362 Post by dw » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:08 pm

Terry,

Patrick's book--Modern Patternmaking(?) Has an illustration of the blocker patter for Jodphurs and IIRC, a similar illustration of the board needed. If it's not in there email me.

As for whisky...I just got a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail for Father's Day (haven't cracked it though). I was looking for the 1990 Airigh Nam Beist but I guess that's pretty rare...although I did see it on the Internet. The Ardbeg is the peatiest and smokiest whisky made, from all accounts. So, you may be right.


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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#363 Post by paul » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:13 am

Brothers,

Well I'm glad to provide the stimulation and entertainment for the Brotherhood of the Full Cut.
After all, I have discovered this 'immuntity to death by embarrassment'. And I see as it as an obligation to demonstrate it from time to time.

Terry,
I'll be glad to accept on the occasion of your next visit. My tongue enjoys Scotch with good friends. I remember fondly bending an elbow the DW and Randee. And I know just the place to take you when you come to Prescott again.
And I think your point about the lesson is correct.

Larry,
I hope your "box of shame" contains some usable vamps, at least when looked at from the flesh side. Because I'll have something to share about how I used a previous pair with checks in the grain, in a few weeks.

Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#364 Post by paul » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:27 am

DW,
I noticed first in your reply, that you overlooked the request for; if I could, or how I might "patch" the toe and reuse the vamp.
No problemo tho.
Because by doing so you made me think of that adage that's used in different rule related situations:

Rule #1 Don't lock in pipes at the break.
Rule #2 If pipes do become locked in at the break, refer to rule #1.

So after reading your post last evening, I took the still wet vamp off of the board, and toggled it out flat to a board to dry, and I did a little chasing. There was just a faint hint of creases when wet, I'll save it for something another time. I know it's the shoe repairman in me who believes it's salvageable.

But I also want to acknowledge, that that was the clearest I have yet to receive the crimp instructions from you. Maybe it's because I've done it several times with fair success, and now had this self inflicted tear out, but I get it.

I see that by keeping the blade clear of pipes, as you describe, the screw can only be stretching the edge. And I guess it locks in the crease too, doesn't it?
I think that's the key for me. Thank you.
I guess somethings take longer to soak in.

I will not tack the tip of the toe again.

Thinking to minimize the slack on the blade, I pulled it much further over the end this time. Now when I think about it logically, if you had meant for it to be tacked there, it would have a tack strip in that area also. Or maybe just a little leather washer of sorts, to assist the tack. But I see it's no problem for the leather to draw up here. "All the better to last you with, my dear."

So thanks again. I'll be back with my successes.

Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#365 Post by dw » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:00 am

Paul,

I think you know that it was not my intention to...nor would I ever deliberately..."embarrass" you.

That said, the fact that you posted the photos in the first place and asked about them shows me something that I respect--that only the most self-centered and dismissive could not respect. That you are "immune to embarrassment" is only a sign that you can learn. Some get to point in their journey that they cannot...so count your blessings.

And having said that, you're right I didn't address the issue of patching. Frankly, unless you're looking at a pretty small boot, I think it is a no-go. A hard lesson, perhaps but a valuable one? Even if you could patch the toe, you'd still have all those pipes that are more or less "set in stone". They'll be hard to get rid of even if you take the blocker off the board and re-wet it, and try to re-crimp it.

Finally, after that initial "pre-stretch" of the edge, the body of the blocker does get stretched...although not nearly as much as some people would think...but it is mostly the lasting pincers doing the stretching.

Please forgive me if I'm rubbing salt into the wound but I'm hoping these will be inspirational if not helpful:
11457.jpg
11457.jpg (126.9 KiB) Viewed 558 times

11456.jpg
11456.jpg (127.29 KiB) Viewed 558 times


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(Message edited by dw on July 15, 2010)

(Message edited by dw on July 15, 2010)

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#366 Post by paul » Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:33 am

DW,

Thank you. I didn't think negativly of anything in your reply. I understand your intentions.

Those examples are inspirational.

I hope this will look as fine when I've transferred this to the cruel boards grainside out. What do you think?
11459.jpg

And do you think the creases at the break of the lining will be a problem?

Onward the journey,
Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#367 Post by dw » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:58 pm

Paul,

Let me just remark that there is a class...or a "school"...of full wellingtons that deliberately incorporates these pipes at the throat and above. It's a very Eastern Europe look but it is a valid look. Of course you have to regularize the pipes so that they are all the same size and evenly spaced.

Now...will your pipes on the lining be a problem? I don't know. They certainly won't show. And if the fronts are clear of pipes, then the excess that the linings incorporate in the pipes may not matter. Probably you'll be OK...

BTW, I have a neat tool that a good friend gave me that is very old in design and was purposefully made for clearing pipes on full blockers. I'll post a photo in a day or two.


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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#368 Post by paul » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:45 pm

I know, and you've told me, that crimping full cut vamps is a crap shoot every time. This is the first I've had these kinds of problems. So far, I've always been lucky, I guess.

I think I remember that tool. It's wood and is "ribbed", or knobby, I don't know how to describe it. I thought of that tool as I was working these pipes.

I've seen images of those creased throat full cuts. Were they Hungarian or some such? I don't remember the back story on them, but I read about them here, of course. I think Georgene shared some pics awhile back.
Right now, certainly, I'd rather master clearing the blade.
It sounds like I should keep working on it. The new mate to this vamp will go onto the board in a few days when this one comes off.
Thanks for the support.

Psul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#369 Post by dw » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:24 pm

Yeah, that's the tool. Guess I don't need to post it then...or not hurry anyway. Less'n someone else is interested.

But when I first got that tool from my friend, I thought it was interesting but for heavier, coarser leather than I was using.

Over the years I have come to use it more and more and I almost find it indispensable now.

As for getting lucky, well sometimes as we get comfortable doing things we tend to either overlook the basics or over-think the process. I had a period when I first started making full wellingtons when nothing seemed to go wrong. Then came my "wandering in the wilderness" days...weeks, months, years...when nothing seemed to go right.

Take for instance pulling the toe over too tight. I thought the same way you did--pull it tight and you'll take a bunch of unwanted slack out right at the beginning. And my results were the same as yours.

But leather, as amazing as it is, isn't rubber. If you're gonna stretch it into a shape it doesn't naturally have, the material to do that has to come from somewhere. That's why a milled calf, even though it's 2+ ounce and veg tanned, can work. The milling introduces "extra." Try crimping real English Lining Kip. Image

That's also why pre-stretching the edges is such an important insight/technique.

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(Message edited by dw on July 15, 2010)

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#370 Post by paul » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:03 am

Yes I remember, I think it was Jesse who suggested stretching the edges. That and the "bicycle action" working the area at the break.

I've done that stretch a few times, but just by hand & shoulder. It feels like I don't get more than just 1/2" stretch though.

What have you been doing to pre-stretch the edges?

Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#371 Post by danfreeman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:08 am

Crimping has always been difficult for this shoemaker--full Wellingtons I've never attempted. However, I've made a few boots, and more shoes that needed crimping to perfect the look of a long vamp. Successful crimping for me started the day I read DW's admonition to never allow pipes to form. Before that cran, much trouble; since then, very little.

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#372 Post by dw » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:44 am

Paul,

I'm not sure what you're referring to with "bicycle action." ?

And I'm not sure where I got the idea of pre-stretching the edges...although I am sure I was using it long before you came to Redmond.

But by "pre-stretching the edges" all I'm talking about is running the iron out, with the blocker tacked only at the top and toe, and then running it back in about 75% before starting to take your drafts. All this is described in the long post above (14 July), if not in my book.

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#373 Post by dw » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:21 am

As promised...
11461.jpg
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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#374 Post by paul » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:35 am

Ok, I understand now what you mean by pre-stretching the edges. I think that was the one clue I needed to get this last one done.

The "bicycle action" suggestion, involves hold the vamp at the corners with both hands and working the break area of the vamp like you would pedal a bicycle. I used to do something similar when I would mold 6oz veg for cigar cases, years ago. It rearranged the fibers some to get the leather to take a new shape. It made sense to me to do the same thing with full cut vamps. But I don't know...

Yep, That's the tool. Seems like there ought to be something similar out there. I'd like one.

Thanks for the confirmation Dan. I respect your input.

Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#375 Post by tommick » Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:28 pm

Paul,
By now I think that you've done a few more FW's than I have but I'll just throw my 2 cents in for what it's worth. I just don't let pipes form. For me it just seems to kind of damage the leather and I never like my result afterwords. I use my fingers more and more to feel where I can get the leather to move where I want it. I sometimes take the whole huge FW blocker off the board and start over after I've got some stretch going the way I want but don't feel that I'm going to get the final result that I want.

That being said, I have recently crimped a pair and one crimped fine and the other just would not cooperate. It was as if some force was twisting the leather as I stretched it. It was some characteristic of that piece of hide. Some kind of cross fiber growth or ??? Those vamps are now mine and are incorporated into boots that are awaiting heels and I'll wear them next winter!

As you know, it's a mixture of art, craftmanship, science and the vagaries of nature. DW will know for sure but I suspect that some blockers just can't be crimped as well as others(at least by me).

Regards, Tom Mickel

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