Closing techniques

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Re: Closing techniques

#426 Post by dw » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:08 pm

Delormea » Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:57 pm wrote:Ive tried with cement, and bull clips, but then wrinkles form. I'm going to try decreasing presser foot pressure and see if that will keep the layers from being misaligned. Thanks
Well, I'd still prefer the post machine even though I salute those who can do it with a flatbed.

That said...and just a thought...I think you already know about the "orange peel" effect even if only instinctively. I suspect that's what you're dealing with.

I always do a hung lining and I always have the uppers assembled and closed before I mount that lining.

I always use an inside counter piece. I can all but mount my lining (which has been cut to allow for the inside counter) and then slip the inside counter into place. At which point I will mark where it overlaps the front part of the lining and recut the lining. Dismount everything, and recut and skive and then...and only then...start assembling / closing the lining. Once I put it back in the shoe, a lot of those issues have been resolved.

Hard to describe and harder to know if it is of any help. Maybe....

edited for punctuation and clarity
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Re: Closing techniques

#427 Post by Delormea » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:40 pm

Truth be told, I'd still prefer the post bed too. My hand stitching is always to chunky looking for my liking. You put it well DW.... "coarse" looking.Though Duncan's work seems to prove that it can be done by hand and be beautiful.
Until I can make a post machine happen...and believe me I look forward to that day, I will keep experimenting I guess. I do know of the orange peel effect, and was going to refer to it in that term here but wasn't even sure that it was a real term! I think I understand what you mean by recutting your lining after its assembled to ensure a perfect fit of the inside counter. Perhaps I can adopt a technique similar for my lining. I'll do some work and see what I come up with.

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Re: Closing techniques

#428 Post by dw » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:39 am

Delormea » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:40 pm wrote:I think I understand what you mean by recutting your lining after its assembled to ensure a perfect fit of the inside counter. Perhaps I can adopt a technique similar for my lining. I'll do some work and see what I come up with.
Well, perhaps it's clearer to add that when I fit the lining...everything but the inside counter...I just tack it in place. I use double sided tape, just so it won't slip...just a little dab of Hirschkleber here and there (if you can wait) or a spot or two of rubber cement.

I also don't spend too much time worrying about how long the quarter linings are, as long as they fit inside the upper shell.

Then I position the inside counter and mark its position relative to the rest of the lining--where it will overlap the quarter lining. This is where I make sure that I am not trying to cram more lining inside the upper than will actually fit.

Again, dismount the lining and trim it so to the remove the excess from the quarter lining and then mount and sew the inside counter on the lining.

Now every thing should fit...almost like it does on paper...making cementing or pasting the whole lining inside the upper shell a breeze. And when you sew the topline, any 'rucking up' should should be minimal.

Hope that helps...like I said, it's a little hard to describe--might be why none of the literature goes into making and mounting linings in any great detail.
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Re: Closing techniques

#429 Post by Delormea » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:49 pm

That makes plenty of sense. And I now definitely see how I can apply that to my closing. A little more "dry fitting" if you will, and some double sided tape. I will adopt those techniques and see where I can get.
Much appreciation!
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Re: Closing techniques

#430 Post by lancepryor » Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:20 pm

I haven't used anything to hold my hung lining to the uppers -- I just fit the lining to the upper and sew away. I cut the lining oversized at the top, so I have some spare leather.

That being said, I have found that the lining sometimes is off center after I've sewed the first half; I start sewing a bit before the heel seam, sew around to the VP on the right side of the upper, then sew the left side back past where I started and past the heel seam. I think I may have been cutting the lining a bit too small, so in sewing it shifted the front of the lining to the right, since it required more material than was available along the top line. Guess I'll have to try actually mounting it to the upper with some sort of adhesive.

Aaron, you could also try closing the quarter lining to the upper quarters, before finishing closing the uppers (vamp/quarter seam), then closing the lining vamp/quarter line. This would perhaps require the tongue lining being part of the vamp lining.

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Re: Closing techniques

#431 Post by Herr_Leeb » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:00 am

What materials do you guys use for backing the vamp?

Vass writes in HSFM about "cloth roughly the same thickness as a bed sheet" glued on the vamp for reinforcement and it looks like some of you guys use backing on occasion.
However, I could not find any information about what kind of cloth would be best.

Cotton? Linen? Wool?
In the shoes I have taken apart so far I could only find synthetic materials and I rather use the good stuff.

The project I am pondering is a very elegant looking plain toe oxford made of thin calf, so I'd like to do whatever I can to minimise creasing.
A.

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Re: Closing techniques

#432 Post by dw » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:10 am

I'm sure others will have different opinions but one of my "things" is occlusion. Cementing a cloth (or leather) backing to a vamp makes it less breathable. It seals and "occludes" the leather.

As I have gotten old in my Craft, I have looked more and more for ways to not use cement. Glues and pastes, are OK but cements tend to be rubber/neoprene based and are not only bad for the environment...as well as the maker's health...but not so good for the shoe either.

It's not easy but once upon a time very, very good shoes were made without cements or any reliance on the petro-chemical industry..
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Re: Closing techniques

#433 Post by Herr_Leeb » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:38 am

DW,

Well, I am not an apostle of Laszlo Vass either, but he was my only resource on that topic.
Are you suggesting to use a mixture of carpenter's glue and wallpaper paste (like Tim Skyrme uses for the toe puffs) to glue on the fabric? Or what else would be appropriate in your experience?

And the question remains: What materials would be best to minimize creasing while not adding too much bulk?

Thanks,
A.

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Re: Closing techniques

#434 Post by Herr_Leeb » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:49 am

That gives me an idea...
I could glue in some fabric backing at the time when I put in the toe puff using the same paste instead of glueing it onto the upper before lasting. That way the glue will dry in the final shape of the shoe.

Would there be anything wrong with that approach?

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Re: Closing techniques

#435 Post by dw » Mon Sep 07, 2015 9:22 am

Herr_Leeb » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:38 am wrote:DW,

Well, I am not an apostle of Laszlo Vass either, but he was my only resource on that topic.
Are you suggesting to use a mixture of carpenter's glue and wallpaper paste (like Tim Skyrme uses for the toe puffs) to glue on the fabric? Or what else would be appropriate in your experience?

And the question remains: What materials would be best to minimize creasing while not adding too much bulk?

Thanks,
A.
I don't know what to tell you...I seldom if ever use a backing on the vamp. so maybe I'm not the best one to address your concerns.

That said, I suspect that if the vamp is too thin (compared to what?) then my first thought would be that it's probably not suitable for making shoes.

On the other hand, I have made shoes from kangaroo (2 ounce) and thin veg calf. Aside from perhaps using a heavier lining and definitely (on all shoes) a mid-liner (side stiffener), I don't worry about it...if the customer chooses lightweight leather, it's usually because that's what he wants. Making it feel or appear thicker or heavier defeats the customer's wishes.

As for it creasing more...yes and no. Creasing is natural and perhaps more creasing with thinner leather is to be expected--that's the nature of the beast, as who should say.

But creasing is also an aspect of fit. A looser fit will crease more...and be more apparent on thinner leathers. Just as the contours of the foot will be more apparent. It's the nature of the beast, as who should say.
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Re: Closing techniques

#436 Post by Herr_Leeb » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:56 am

DW,

I hear you loud and clear...and I am kind of sorry I ask you at all.
You are probably the wrong people for my amateurish requests.
But I did warn you in my registration that I will have inane questions.

You did mention that you use backing seldom, that means you did at least once.
So which material did you use then ?

The leather I HAVE to work with for several reasons - if I want to make shoes at all - is of low to medium quality.
Just asking for veg tanned leather gets me laughed out the store.
A master shoe or boot maker would not even consider making a diaper out of this stuff.

I know that a certain amount of creasing is normal and I have no problem with it with thicker leather.
My last fits perfectly.

But with thinner leather, specially on a plain toe shoes I had some bad experiences.
I had made some seamless wholecuts out of Kangaroo I got from ebay and the creases where so bad that I had to throw the shoe away, which looked perfect on the last.

So I thought there must be a reason why factory made shoes have backing - to keep mediocre leather in shape.

Since the project I am pondering is supposed to look elegant, I want to use thinner leather.
I thought that using backing could save them from the trash.

I do understand that the question alone might send shivers up the spine of a master shoemaker who takes pride in the quality of his work and I apologize for that.
It's like asking Thomas Keller how to make Boeuf Bourguignon out of roadkill :)

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Re: Closing techniques

#437 Post by dw » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:44 am

There are no dumb or inane nor even amateurish questions on this forum. There are...present company excluded...only amateurish and dumb responses to answers.

I don't know how old that post you reference was, but as I said, as I have gotten older I've gotten more aware, and wary, of the possibilities for occlusion.

The only reason I can see for backing a vamp, for instance, is if the leather is so thin and fragile that it might rip during lasting. At which point, I'd probably consider another leather. Or worst case scenario, I suppose I'd use Hirschkleber in preference to AP.

But thin or fragile leather is more prone to tearing at the margins (where the pincers are gripping) than anywhere else. So I might use a leather backing, only along the edges of the vamp, and extend it high enough to function as a side liner, as well.

If the leather is not particularly thin or fragile but you're still worried about creasing, chances are the leather is just too soft to make a good quality shoe. [And BTW, FYI, kangaroo is...generally speaking and all other things being equal...the strongest leather known to man with regard to tensile strength relative to thickness. ]

If it was truly a seamless (no seam in back?) whole cut...well, all bets are off as far as creasing is concerned. A lot depends on how you blocked it and where the excess was "eased" in. But under such circumstances I seriously doubt that any kind of backing would have made it any better.

Beyond that, whole cuts with a backseam are still a little bit problematic for creasing, simply because when you go to last it you don't have an upper that is shaped to the last, as other styles of shoe might be. I always block whole cuts, chelseas, chukkas and jodhpurs. Sometimes even standard derbys, if I want a seamless tongue.

Having said that (and this is something I harp on)--proper materials and proper tools combined with proper techniques will almost always answer.

Rhetorical question...for you and anyone else who shares your concerns (and cares to listen): How many man hours does one want to throw away (learning little or nothing) before one stops cutting corners? How much frustration / disappointment can one endure before one gives up?

The definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again expect a different result each time." :old&wise:
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Re: Closing techniques

#438 Post by dw » Tue Sep 08, 2015 3:37 pm

Alexander,

Re-reading my last post I can see how it could be misconstrued. Please accept my apologies. I meant no offense. I was simply trying to suggest that there are ways to go forward and ways to stay stuck.

Many people struggle to go from beginner/hobbiest to proficiency and mastery--we all do, and we all did. If you limit yourself in terms of what you expect to accomplish or what tools you use or can affords to use, or what materials that you have immediate access to, you...well,you limit yourself. The destination and your time of arrival, if ever, is not important, the journey is.

Robert Browning said "Ah, but a man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

That's my point of view--I share that search for excellence and that aspirational perspective and that optimism. Were I ever to attain mastery is beside the point...I would still have to reach.

Again, I apologize if I gave offense.
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Re: Closing techniques

#439 Post by Herr_Leeb » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:16 pm

DW,
it's all good, no offense taken. :beers:

Honestly, I truly enjoy reading your posts and am always looking forward to a reply from you.
So please keep 'em coming, you seem to be the person who reads and cares the most and I deeply appreciate that.

I also do understand that you stubbornly refuse to answer my question, who wants to parade the skeletons in his closet?

Since Vass talks about the thickness of a bedsheet I will go ahead and use the thinnest but toughest linen I can find unless someone in this forum has mercy on my soul and tells me otherwise.
I figure if backing is good enough for millions of commercially produced shoes, I give it a shot to avoid another disaster.

BTW disaster. It's interesting that you seem to have completely different experiences with kangaroo.
I tried it twice, from different sources, different lasts, different designs. Same problem.

When I did some research later, I did find out that commercially it is mainly used for soccer boots because of it's strenght and light weight. When I googled Kangaroo Leather shoes, there are not many dress shoes coming up. A pair of Berlutis which already look kind of wrinkly to me, and a few others, but mostly sneakers.

Here is an example of what I am talking about: These are (used) John Lobb, I got the picture off ebay where they were for sale a while ago for an arm and a leg. Pretty sure that is premium quality, and it shows pretty much the same disaster as I had on mine...
$_57.JPG
Again, please keep your replies coming, they always make my day even if they can appear a bit abrasive to the untrained eye. I know you always mean well.

Cheers,
A.

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Re: Closing techniques

#440 Post by dw » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:54 pm

Herr_Leeb » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:16 pm wrote:
I also do understand that you stubbornly refuse to answer my question, who wants to parade the skeletons in his closet?

Since Vass talks about the thickness of a bedsheet I will go ahead and use the thinnest but toughest linen I can find unless someone in this forum has mercy on my soul and tells me otherwise.

I figure if backing is good enough for millions of commercially produced shoes, I give it a shot to avoid another disaster.

BTW disaster. It's interesting that you seem to have completely different experiences with kangaroo.
I tried it twice, from different sources, different lasts, different designs. Same problem.

When I did some research later, I did find out that commercially it is mainly used for soccer boots because of it's strenght and light weight. When I googled Kangaroo Leather shoes, there are not many dress shoes coming up. A pair of Berlutis which already look kind of wrinkly to me, and a few others, but mostly sneakers.

Here is an example of what I am talking about: These are (used) John Lobb, I got the picture off ebay where they were for sale a while ago for an arm and a leg. Pretty sure that is premium quality, and it shows pretty much the same disaster as I had on mine...

Again, please keep your replies coming, they always make my day even if they can appear a bit abrasive to the untrained eye. I know you always mean well.

Cheers,
A.
Ask me again...I'm not deliberately avoiding your question.

The Lobbs look like they are not fit as snuggly as they should be.

The literature suggests, IIRC, that the heavier the leather the more ease should be in the fit. I can't vouch for that. I fit everything snug.

I have made many many pairs of kangaroo boots from aniline dyed chrome tan to veg. Maybe my standards aren't high enough but I have never had any problem with it. In general, it is one of my favourites.

At the risk, however...there's kangaroo and kangaroo. The best that's available on the market now (and the only 'roo that I would use) comes out of Italy. Loy (can't think of his last name) who used to work at Hardtke carries it.

If you're interested I can post a phone number. Probably gonna be expensive though...it's imported.
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Re: Closing techniques

#441 Post by Herr_Leeb » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:07 am

DW,

judging from the pictures of your work on your website and in the gallery, I think it's fair to say that your standards are beyond reproach.

I believe the issue is more that we are talking about two different things here.

A boot tends to become more beautiful over time.
As an adolescent back in Austria I owned a pair of American made Cowboy boots, my pride and joy.
I could not wait to break them in, wore them every day and they became more and more comfortable.
They looked better with every scar and wrinkle they aquired. They looked best shortly before they fell apart.
You wear them hard, put them away wet - and they keep looking better and better.

A dress shoe is a different animal in my mind.
They need to look flawless or they look like hell in a very short time
You are not supposed to wear them every day, put them on a shoe tree.
People who own bespoke dress shoes also have shoe trees made in the exact shape of the last of the shoe.
And I am not talking about oxfords made on a british style last or a Budapester, they might also age well and look good with some "character".

But for a fancy shoe in the style of Berluti or G&G, with elongated lasts (which creates even more problems) and very sleek design
it becomes very important to keep them in shape and impeccable as long as possible.
IMO creases on this kind of shoes need to be very shallow and barely noticeable or your $3,000 shoe looks like something you got from the Goodwill store.

So my next project will be made from the finest calf I can get my hands on... to avoid insanity :)

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Re: Closing techniques

#442 Post by dw » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:28 am

Herr_Leeb » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:07 am wrote: So my next project will be made from the finest calf I can get my hands on... to avoid insanity :)
I thought that comment might be bothersome (unfortunately I had that thought after the fact...again I apologize). But it was just a line that popped into my head contemplating all the people who have come to me over the years asking for my advice, and who...for whatever reason...couldn't or wouldn't accept it when they heard it.

Reminds me of an experience I had some years ago...

I have flyfished since I was 13 years old. At one point, my flyfishing club asked me to teach a class in casting a fly rod (I was pretty good...hell, I was damn good...at it).

So, I took on a class of about 15 people. And I handed out pamphlets describing the curriculum and preferred equipment at three or four price levels.

Those who took my advice learned to cast pretty well and pretty quickly. Even on the cheapest, purposed-designed flyrods.

Those who showed up with rods that were "combination" Walmart specials--spin/fly (and not adequate to either job) were frustrated almost from day one and never did go on to fish the fly.

Some blamed the instructor...and I can understand why...I couldn't cast those rods with any facility. But when they tried to cast with my rod...they surprised themselves how easy and pleasant it was.

Nevertheless...call it human nature...most just gave up in frustration.

Anyone who cares...at all...regrets those they fail to help / reach. Every one of them.

Bottom line, I think you are on the right track--better leather will give you better results...and teach you amazing things in the process. No one learns much of anything from poor leather or poor tools.

Just an observation, FWIW...
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Re: Closing techniques

#443 Post by RodMomtazi » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:34 pm

I have a question regarding attaching piping to the topline of the upper... (and bear in mind that Im new to the craft))

I am wondering how one (properly) attaches piping to the topline of the upper. I have been using double sided tape to attach piping to upper and lining but am having troubles with the piping shifting on me. Any and all comments would be appreciated from those that know how to do this properly and it is sometimes very hard to get it as perfect as one would like. I especially have problems when it comes to the corners...!

Thank you!

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Re: Closing techniques

#444 Post by dw » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:46 am

Double - sided tape will work but be aware that some of those tapes adhere better than others.

Personally, I don't regard tape as the best solution for mounting piping (topline bead). If I can, I always use rubber cement but there is no guarantee even then. Sanding the bead lightly prior to applying the cement really helps, however.

Going around corners is always a bit problematic and almost always requires cutting "reliefs" into the bead. In some cases, making the bead as if it were the folded topline of the shoe (as opposed to just a long "ribbon") can side-step many of these problems, especially the issues with corners.
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Re: Closing techniques

#445 Post by Anton K » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:33 pm

Hi everyone, could someone please share with me the technique of making that braided reinforcement stitching at the bottom of the facing on the oxford model?

P.S. i'm a newbie here, and english is not my mother language, so sorry if this is the wrong topic for my question, or for any other mistakes i've made, or will make:)

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