"The Art and Mysterie..."

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goatman
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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#401 Post by goatman » Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:57 pm

quoting Jesse Lee -Many unworn machine pegged examples I have examined had very long pegs which were just broken off inside and left for the wearer to deal with. - end quote

Err. massaging the feet with slivers doesn't sound like a heckuva lot of fun to me!


quoting Jesse Lee - Pegs can stick up through the inner sole to the point and a bit beyond with no bother to the foot. The boot is hammered at the sole on the iron last to flatten the point area of the pegs. - end quote

Thanks for that info Jesse Lee, I knew there was some good reason why I bought an iron last!

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#402 Post by dw » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:03 pm

Last year at AGM, Lisa Sorrell--the only person I've ever known to crimp alligator for a full wellington--offered a tip to the effect she designed and cut a number of small scallops into the blocker patter, on either side of the corner.

Last week, feeling bold, I re-designed and cut scallops in my blocker pattern and then cut some English kip for full wellington liners.

English kip is a firm veg-tanned leather in about three-plus ounce (or at least the stuff I wanted to work with was). I've never been able to crimp it successfully despite backing and reinforcing the bottom and side edges. Usually it tears out along the edge somewhere.

This time I took the chance of not adding the reinforcing strips on the suspicion that they would negate any advantage that the scallops might provide.

I am not yet sure that the scallops were the whole story...it could have been the leather. But I am near-as-nevermind sure that I would have had problems without them.

'Nuff said...voila!
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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#403 Post by sorrell » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:32 pm

Looks great! Those are the first crimp boards and you'll move them to the "cruel" boards next, right? Using two sets of boards is basically the same thing as using a crimp break and then crimp boards, I think.

Lisa

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#404 Post by paul » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:17 pm

DW,
I'll agree the scallops worked for me, and I wasn't even there for the presentation. Just you all talking about it made sense to me.
I used reinforcing tape this last time, but I'm willing to try it without, and use the scallops.
It makes the same sense to me on the edges as it does on the corner. Why not?
Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#405 Post by jesselee » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:00 am

Jim,

Thanks for the kind words. Yup, them old iron lasts were for more than clinching nails. BTW, broken pegs (machine pegged) could be taken down tith a peg float easier than pegs that stick up in the inner sole. Remember not to peg on the last or you can't get it out. It's a real skill that comes after 20 years or so to know how far to peg into a wooden last without it and the boot becoming one.

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#406 Post by dw » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:36 am

Lisa,

Yes, I'll move them to a different, more severely angled board as the next step.

I had a crimp break years ago. The fellow I got it from used it exclusively...he never put the vamps on a separate board. Nor did he ever make full wellingtons either.

I did not like the results when I followed his method and always thought that breaking and crimping were more or less redundant--the breaking didn't do anything that the crimping couldn't do. So it was just an extra step.

I watched Dave Viers block full cuts with crimp breaks--he never moved the blockers to a board, either. And while he never used anything but a heavy waxed calf that he commissioned exclusively, his results went from pretty dern good to uneven and sometimes disaster.

The reason I tell you this is simply to say that everything I've seen and experienced has led me to believe that one or the other--board or break--is unnecessary. But that is not to say that crimp breaks or using them are unnecessary or wrong. It's simply a different approach.

But for me, I always felt that blocking entirely on the boards afforded more control and better results.

So, in any case, it never occurred to me to break a blocker first and then crimp it on a board. But it seems obvious. The name itself might suggest something of the sort.

That said, to some extent the way in which I crimp--the sequence of drafts and chases--does much the same thing. Chasing pipes and surplus army goods with a bone or a flounder nearly duplicates the action of the wiper plates on the crimp break. In fact, I'd have to say that it couldn't be done without that action. Not on firm (read high quality) leather.

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(Message edited by dw on June 14, 2011)

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#407 Post by dw » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:49 am

Lisa,

Re-reading my last post I suspect that it could be interpreted as challenging the whole concept of using a crimp break. I didn't mean it that way (and I have subsequently edited the post) but rather simply to relate why, having owned a crimp break early in my career, I sold it and no longer use one. Just saying how I got here, is all.

Reading your post, I take it that you do use a crimp break, in conjunction with a set of boards, and that intrigues me.

As I mentioned, you're the only bootmaker I have ever run across who could crimp alligator for full blockers so any insights into how that could possibly be done interests me.

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#408 Post by sorrell » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:04 am

DW,
Image I understand.

I was observing that we appear to be using the first set of boards and the crimp break in the same way. I use the crimp break to just sort of introduce the leather to the concept that yes, I do want it to stretch in a way that it's not going to want to do at first. Then once I've "broken" it I move on to the real board so I can shape it the way I want it to be shaped.

I've seen crimp boards with differently-shaped blades and have always been somewhat uninterested in the exact way the blade is shaped. I truly do use it just to break the leather--the final shaping comes from my crimp boards.

If I were going to go straight from crimp break to boot I'd look at the tool and the process in a different way. Wouldn't you need to let the vamp dry in the break if you weren't going on to the board? That seems kind of inefficient; you'd either need several crimp breaks or you'd have to work with wet vamps. And I've observed that if I let the wet vamps sit, the ones that I've just taken out of the break, they begin losing the crimp. The boards are crucial to the process in my opinion.

Lisa

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#409 Post by sorrell » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:55 am

Here's an image of my pattern for a whole cut vamp.
13740.jpg


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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#410 Post by jesselee » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:52 am

Lisa,

As to the crimping break, yes, it must be left in the pres. The crimped leather is just broken in the break and later nailed to a crimping board to dry.

As for the scallops, good stuff there. It sure helps with unstreatchy leather. The old timers sometimes had to use 'back leather' ie. that which was for the backs of the boots, for the fronts and would make half moon shapes from the pattern curve, up the throat about 8 inches and all along the foot. They were about 2 inches long and an inch deep.
Back to explaining 'back' and 'front' leather. Back leather had a full stretch from the tannery, front had a half to 3/4 stretch, and therein is the secret for how a man could hand crimp 50 pairs of boot fronts a day. After the Civil War 'front' leather became more scarce and the vamp was popularized.

DW

This method works well on Kip which has the least stretch of any Oak/veg tanned leather.

Cheers,

JesseLee

ps- I'll tell my gators that if they be misbehavin, 'Lisa gonna getcha'Image

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#411 Post by dw » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:12 am

Lisa,

Both Dave and the other fellow (Richard) left their blockers in the break. Dave had about ten of the monsters based on a break he saw at Plimoth Plantation or Old Sturbridge or somewhere like that.

Richard made them and sold them. His blades were 1/4" solid brass. So he had as many as he wanted as well.

But you're right it never seemed as if they would hold the crimp even when dry. More importantly it seemed to me, at the time, that all...and I mean all...the surplus was simply compressed into such fine pipes and wrinkles as to be invisible but all in the throat area. The breaks weren't really imparting any stretch at all, in other words.

It always seemed to me that if all the surplus was hidden/locked into the throat then getting the boot to fit, and hold that fit, in the instep was going to be problematic.

I tried making a pair of boots with a pair of vamps that Richard had crimped in the break and even though I used my own patterns and cut the the tops and vamps the way I ordinarily would, the boot slid down the front of the cone and not only looked like the devil but wouldn't fit. Tops leaned way forward too.

Bleah!

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(Message edited by dw on June 14, 2011)

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#412 Post by sorrell » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:49 am

DW,
You're definitely right about the compression issue. I've started putting my vamps into the break and waiting about an hour. Then I open it up and pull from toe to top, stretching them in that direction. While I'm holding them taut I bring the blade back down and this time I let them sit overnight.

I think no matter how you go about it you have to think about and try to work out that compression as much as possible. All of those wrinkles are still THERE if you don't, they're just all smushed up.

Bottom line, for me the crimp break is just a tool on the way to the boards. If I had to do without one or the other I'd keep the boards.

Lisa

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#413 Post by dw » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:04 pm

Lisa,

I love the ancient lexicon...words like "taw" and "lingel", "coad", "cran" "yerkin" ... "smush". Image

I'm just ribbin' you of course but you're right, "smush" does describe what happens to all that "army surplus" that gathers at the break.

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#414 Post by tommick » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:37 pm

DW, Lisa,

Here's a portion of my post from Dec.8, 2006 11:21 am.

"On the other hand, one trick that has worked for me a couple of times. If the leather around the corner just gets too pig tight, I cut a couple of small scallops into the edge. This seems to act like increasing the edge length of the "half circle" at the corner. One time I knew I had lots of extra leather so my scallop was probably half inch deep into the blocker."

I still think that when the leather splits along the edge that it's the leather telling us something and we should figure out what that is. Some leathers just don't have enough stretch to crimp right. I've had cases when I just couldn't get the pipes out of the break without splitting the edge.

warmest regards, Tom Mickel

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#415 Post by amuckart » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:14 pm

Looking at Lisa's picture above I'm guessing this works along the same theory as punching small holes at either end of a slit to stop it tearing, yes?

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#416 Post by dw » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:39 am

Tom,

I have always had in the back of my mind an impulse to cut scallops in the edge. But like a lot of things in life, when one thing seems to be working, even if only marginally, trying something else becomes problematic.

Having first hand testimony, especially for a leather as firm as alligator (and as expensive to replace if it rips) was a big incentive for me.

Lisa's brilliant...can we say brave?...modification of the pattern opened my eyes and got me off the stick. Image

Alasdair,

At first I was going to say "not quite". But the more I thought about it the more I realized that yes, the scallops are functioning the same way.

But the scallops also actually add more length to the edge. I figured that even before I began to crimp, each convex scallop added 1/4" to the length of the edge--that was the difference between the circumference of each convex scallop and the diameter across the scallop.

The concave scallops may function the same way but I didn't want to assume that because they were encroaching into the default edge and...the way I was looking at it...maybe even removing material from that edge.

Ordinarily when I crimp a blocker the leather on either side of the iron gets drum taut. It's actually a bit scary.

When I finished crimping the English kip, both the "innies" and the "outies" had flattened considerably and the leather on either side of the iron was tight but didn't really exhibit anywhere near the strain that it would have. I would almost venture to say it was "relaxed' by comparison. I am guessing that for each scallop I probably gained 3/8" in elasticity.

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(Message edited by dw on June 15, 2011)

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#417 Post by paul » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:59 am

DW,
I like that way of looking at it, that is, as 1/4" to 3/8" added to the length.

Jesse once mentioned that he likes to stretch the edge, while "bicyleing" the break area before crimping.

This conversation adds to the former and, if I may, to the latter as well. In that "pre-smushing"(Image) or bicyleing the break area, seems to inform the grain in that area, that things are going to change. We did something like that at a shop where we press formed our cigar cases.

Great conversation as always in this thread.
Makes me want to make another pair soon.
I think I'll tell a particular customer that he's going to get a treat.

Back to the(new)bench,
Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#418 Post by sorrell » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:43 am

DW,
Ah yes, "smushing." It's a technical term I picked up from Devlin, or was it Golding?

By the way, I've noticed also that by the time I finish those scalloped edges are just about straight again. That lets me know that the extra edge length I gained was certainly used.

When I crimp a whole cut alligator I do line the edges with kangaroo lining. I cut a piece of kangaroo lining that is about 1 1/2 to 2" wide and just big enough to cover the scalloped area. I contact cement it to the back of the alligator and then I cut the scallops into both the alligator and the kangaroo together. So far it hasn't seemed to inhibit the stretching and it certainly has kept the alligator from tearing. The very first one I tried I didn't line and it tore. Lesson learned!

Lisa

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#419 Post by dw » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:00 pm

Lisa,

Interesting about the reinforcing strip. Great minds think alike.

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#420 Post by tommick » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:20 pm

Ah, ha. Finally I get it after several years. The reinforcing strip spreads out the force of stretching so it doesn't concentrate in just one area and cause a rip. I just didn't get it for a long time when stitching the strip on was talked about. Cementing it on turned on the light for me. I thought this thread was done but there's always more to learn. Thanks to all who contribute - I'm humbled. I'm back to lurking now.

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#421 Post by dw » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:04 pm

Tom,

That's right...sewing was always in addition to cementing.

But the strip also "slows" stretching so that it can spread out a little.

I will say this...I've seen the blocker rip even with the reinforcing strip. the strip doesn't rip just the edge of the blocker.

I think the scallops are at least part of the answer...in addition to...

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#422 Post by dw » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:07 pm

Lisa,

Thanks for posting a photo of your blocker pattern, BTW. Mine looks a lot like that.

Assuming that you started with a pattern that wasn't scalloped, did you design the concave scallops outside the original edge of the blocker pattern or inside it?

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(Message edited by dw on June 15, 2011)

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#423 Post by elfn » Fri May 04, 2012 4:12 pm

I really like clever stuff. Clever design, clever tools, clever workmanship. There's a guy in Wales who makes shoes I like a lot.

Allan James Raddon designer:shoemaker

I especially likes the sandal shoes he makes. I was showing them to someone today and found a new shoe he's made.
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<lol> I want patent lapels and rhinestone buttons!

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#424 Post by paul » Sat May 12, 2012 3:17 pm

Hello DW,

Back to the Art and Mysterie part of the Full Cut Wellington...

I'm makeing a pair of full cuts in a 2 1/4" heel for the first time, and I cut the heel draft at the back panel at 1/3 of the heel height, about 19mm. When I got to the part in your tutorial about trimming the back blockers in preparation to attach them to the back liner, I see your instruction assumes a 1/2" heel draft.

I'm guessing you have tried this 1/3 factor on heel drafts for heels at 2 1/4" and have a reason why this won't work.

Should I recut my back panel liners (the counters are already installed), or do you have some other advice?

TIA,
Paul

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Re: "The Art and Mysterie..."

#425 Post by dw » Sat May 12, 2012 3:53 pm

Paul,

I don't think it makes that much difference. I know what conventional wisdom says, but I cut the back draft for every heel height at 1/2". Never noticed a problem or much of a difference.

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