Bottoming techniques

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Re: The Gallery

#476 Post by dw » Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:38 pm

valeriy,

It's interesting and it would certainly make inseaming around the toe easier for people who have trouble there.

But it makes me ask a question...isn't just about every piece of leather that we cut and use for shoes stretched and deformed when we last the shoe?

Isn't lasting itself a "strong deformation" of otherwise flat pieces of leather?
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Re: The Gallery

#477 Post by Herr_Leeb » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:45 am

Valeriy,

having experimented with the same idea in the past, I can say that it definitely has it's advantages and no disadvantages, especially on elegant dress shoes with a pointed toe. It enables you to make a much nicer toe since you don't have to force the leather into shape. Attention to small details like this separate outstanding work from the rest.
Thanks for sharing!

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Re: The Gallery

#478 Post by valeriy » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:08 am

After cutting the Welt the rest (inner part) I use as postilki (instead of cork and cork pulp, which quickly turns into dust due to friction). It fits perfectly in shape and in height.But the shoes do not squeak when you walk, I liberally smeared hard wax (Carnauba) from both sides and from the yard too.This prevents the friction between sole and insole, the Shoe becomes much more flexible and durable.

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#479 Post by paul » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:00 pm

First of all, this is what I did. Not how one does it. OK?
The boot was lasted and whip stitched as one might do for a cement construction.
Attachments
sole prep 2.jpg
sole patterning.jpg
The pattern is developed off of the insole or bottom paper, I choose to use Wickett and Craig Saddle skirting from the prime bend area for malleability and firmness. (We'll have to wait to see if that was a good or bad choice.
whip stitched bottom.jpg

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#480 Post by paul » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:03 pm

A small inseaming awl was used and it was stitched with harness needles which I heated and bent.
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hand stitch.jpg
awl and needles.jpg

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#481 Post by dw » Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:19 pm

I kind of figured that's what you were doing (in the second photo)...you never take the last out.

Did you, or would you think it applicable, to grind off the feather edge on the last? making the insole and inside more contoured to the bottom of the foot?
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Re: Bottoming techniques

#482 Post by paul » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:54 pm

Nope. I didn't do that. I wonder about it now that you suggest it though.
Have you ever?
I wanted to keep a sharp edge for the corner of the "moc" sole.

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#483 Post by paul » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:59 pm

Another way I've seen this laid out is keeping the toe free, and with the sides as I've done here, but coming up the sides further in both the medial and lateral sides of the arch.
Great exercise in hand stitching. I'm thinking to try it on the next pair.

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#484 Post by dw » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:42 pm

paul » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:54 pm wrote:Nope. I didn't do that. I wonder about it now that you suggest it though.
Have you ever?
I wanted to keep a sharp edge for the corner of the "moc" sole.
I have ground the feather edge away around the heel on some high end men's shoes esp. when I wanted to bring the insole high in the waist or wanted to make an insert for the shoe.

According to Al, many of the most highly regarded West End lasts had no feather. It's certainly more like the foot is. The hard part is determining where to trim the insole, and as accomplished as you are, that probably wouldn't present much of a problem.

So, for you Opanka is really just a "style" choice? Did I read that right?
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Re: Bottoming techniques

#485 Post by Herr_Leeb » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:32 am

paul » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:00 pm wrote:First of all, this is what I did. Not how one does it. OK?
Your fusion of Balkan and Wild West definitely created a very unique and appealing showpiece.
Great idea! I've seen a similar technique in Italian shoes, where they pull up the leather in the waist. Did not care for it much, but your version is truly inspiring. I suppose employing this technique and pulling up the leather in the heel could make a pretty cool driving shoe...

I have a few questions....
1.) Saddle skirting - is this a somewhat thinner leather? I love the color and appearance of it. It might also age very well. Not sure if I'm able to get my hands on leather like that. I suppose that regular outsole leather might not be the best choice. What about the belly portion of a bend? Could that work in lieu of saddle skirting?

2.) Did you skive it by hand and to what approximate thickness?

3.) Did you premold the sole onto the last and prepoke the holes before you lasted the boot?

4.) When you stitch the upper and sole together, do you also stitch through the lining or are there ways to avoid that?

5.) How did you close the thread? Looks like you stitched from the arch towards the toe, so where is the knot and how did you make it disappear?

I know....lots of questions...Thanks for your patience!

Cheers,
A.

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#486 Post by paul » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:10 am

DW,
I'll have to give some thought to the feather/no feather approach for certain applications.

Defining style and design seems to be tricky. I've never really been schooled on the difference. I have pretty well settled on calling the Dress Wellington, Full Wellington, Tejas, Triad and Packer all styles. So I may have confused even myself referring to the Opanka sole construction as a style.

I just spent a few minutes looking for comments on the difference. This is one such;

Style: Distinctive form; a distinctive and identifiable form in an artistic medium such as music, architecture, or literature

Design: Create detailed plan of something; to make a detailed plan of the form or structure of something, emphasizing features such as its appearance, convenience, and efficient functioning

From this one might conclude that this pair is a Full Wellington style with an Opanka sole construction design.
I have a feeling you may have some strong feelings about the definitions of these two terms. I would be interested in your spin.

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#487 Post by dw » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:51 am

Paul,

Your characterization is fine with me.

What I'm getting at...the reason I asked...is simply to explore the strengths and weaknesses of this kind of construction. What recommends it? What advantages does it have over welted construction?

Style and function:

Is it only ornamental? Or simply novel--a new set of skills and sensibilities? (style)

Does it provide a level of comfort that is different from a welted boot? Does it offer longer wear, more support? Easier repair? (function)

Honestly, I am not trying to put you on the defensive, just...coming back to my original question...wondering what the fascination is.

You are the only maker I know that is doing Opanka. So, you are the de facto expert on the construction method. You're the only one I know who has experience with it and the only one I know to ask.
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Re: Bottoming techniques

#488 Post by paul » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:57 am

Herr_Leeb wrote:
paul » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:00 pm wrote:First of all, this is what I did. Not how one does it. OK?
Your fusion of Balkan and Wild West definitely created a very unique and appealing showpiece.
Great idea! I've seen a similar technique in Italian shoes, where they pull up the leather in the waist. Did not care for it much, but your version is truly inspiring. I suppose employing this technique and pulling up the leather in the heel could make a pretty cool driving shoe...

I have a few questions....
1.) Saddle skirting - is this a somewhat thinner leather? I love the color and appearance of it. It might also age very well. Not sure if I'm able to get my hands on leather like that. I suppose that regular outsole leather might not be the best choice. What about the belly portion of a bend? Could that work in lieu of saddle skirting?

2.) Did you skive it by hand and to what approximate thickness?

3.) Did you premold the sole onto the last and prepoke the holes before you lasted the boot?

4.) When you stitch the upper and sole together, do you also stitch through the lining or are there ways to avoid that?

5.) How did you close the thread? Looks like you stitched from the arch towards the toe, so where is the knot and how did you make it disappear?

I know....lots of questions...Thanks for your patience!

Cheers,
A.
Thank you A.,
I've thought of these boots as a cross cultural concept. Call it a sign of the times and globalization. Ironic since I have strong feelings about the traditional cowboy boot having certain construction techniques that make it unique, and generally object to deviations from that. And yet here I am violating my own opinion. So there you go! I'm just so intrigued by this Opanka construction.

I'll try to address each of your questions the best I can.
1.)This skirting is probably available from several different vendors, and certainly from Wickett and Craig them selves. Their skirting has this rich tone where as their carving sides are more the russet we generally think of. As I mentioned, I like it for the malleability, it takes a shape and holds it well. I chose to cut from the bend area, over the rump, of the side. This is good firm leather here. Belly will get raggy in short order. I may soling leather a try sometime, but it is much firmer.
2.)Yes, I did skive by hand. I used my U gouge to create the outline, then my 1/2" wide #8 French Edger to take it down to about 6-7 ounce. I cleaned it up with my sander, but don't tell anybody.
3.) Not really a pre-mold so much, but I did spritz it with water and shape it some. When I applied the sole, I cemented the length and laid it into position and let it set up. Then applying cement where it wouldn't show, I positioned the walls of the sole up against the vamp as I wanted it. I had already gouged a line for my stitches, so with my flat blade awl, I pre-punched the holes in the sole only at 7spi. (On the mules I showed in the Gallery, those were at 3spi.)
4.) Stitching the upper to the sole was done with the small curved awl, and the hole was through the vamp only. It was not that difficult, concentrating on each puncture, to avoid the liner. I entered from the vamp and exited through the sole, giving me the most control over placement. Practice will make a big difference to the quality of my stitch line.
5.) I did start the stitch line at the arch where the stress of flexion is the greatest. I didn't want a knot to come undone. I didn't know other than to tie off and tuck the stitch between with some cement to stitck. I was just guessing at this point. I'm hoping for correction here sometime.

That was a lot of questions, the reply was more typing than I've doe in a long time. I hope the attempt at answering is of value to you.

With Regards,
Paul

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#489 Post by paul » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:59 am

My apologies Admin, for the double post.

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#490 Post by Herr_Leeb » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:15 am

Dear Paul,

thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions so quickly and comprehensively.
Your kindness is very much appreciated!
A. :beers:

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#491 Post by paul » Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:45 pm

dw » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:51 am wrote:Paul,

Your characterization is fine with me.

What I'm getting at...the reason I asked...is simply to explore the strengths and weaknesses of this kind of construction. What recommends it? What advantages does it have over welted construction?

Style and function:

Is it only ornamental? Or simply novel--a new set of skills and sensibilities? (style)

Does it provide a level of comfort that is different from a welted boot? Does it offer longer wear, more support? Easier repair? (function)

Honestly, I am not trying to put you on the defensive, just...coming back to my original question...wondering what the fascination is.

You are the only maker I know that is doing Opanka. So, you are the de facto expert on the construction method. You're the only one I know who has experience with it and the only one I know to ask.

I understand your questions, and they're good ones and valid. Wish I could do a proper reply. I can't say anything about function yet. I made these for myself, and didn't put my foot in them before I sent them off. I made the mules on one of my wife's lasts, just when her feet were swelling enough to make them impossible to get into. So I'll have to get back to you on that part. I should have mine back by mid week.
Right now it is satisfying my style sensibilities and I'm enjoying the feed back even while my technique is rough. This seems to evoke the Apache/Navaho style moccasins to me, as well as the bota referred to earlier. So it's feeling like part of my journey.

...until someone else comes along - goes without saying.
I'm happy to share my halfa$$ attempts at the style. As long as one always realizes this is just me, not a how to. At least until I reach that certain level of "experience". There's not much info out there. I understand there are Japanese makers who do this style, and apparently it has some connection to the gossier(sp) construction.
This Turkish shoe maker Murat Urbaz has made the ones which have inspired me.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater
With Regards,
Paul

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#492 Post by paul » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:52 pm

I got my boots back. They were at that show in LV, the Art of the Cowboy Makers.
I was very interested in what kind of feedback I would get. I was planning to be there for it, but...well...life.

Anyway I got them back today. I put my feet in them for the first time!
DW you were interested in my report on support etc.
I'll have to see how they are over time of course, but they feel just great! :thumb:
The pictures are terrible with my phone, but I do get good reception on my camera. :crackup:
As you can tell, only one had the flash, but the other two pics are visible.

This is what I like, boots that look painted on. It's interesting how unnoticeable the molded sole sides are to the foot.
Attachments
photo 1 (2).jpg
photo 2 (1).jpg
photo 3 (1).jpg
The vamps give away the trouble I had crimping. Not real happy about that.
photo 3 (1).jpg (103.86 KiB) Viewed 1958 times

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#493 Post by dw » Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:41 am

Paul,

They certainly look like they fit you to a "T" esp. in that first photo.

Did you get any feedback from the show? I guess if you didn't make it you might not have heard.
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Re: Bottoming techniques

#494 Post by paul » Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:27 am

Thank you.
Sadly I did not get any feedback from the show.
I have only heard how disappointed others were, once again, for it's poor management.
I'll just say, I'm glad I didn't spend the money or the time going to it.
The best part is, I got these made.

Thinking now of the Sheridan, WY. show. The Leather Crafters Magazine people inform me that there is an interest in increasing the participation from bootmakers in the World Leather Debut. They are even going to add a new category pf entries for "footwear". Very encouraging. The show is May 20-22. http://www.leathercraftersjournal.com/events.html

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#495 Post by dmcharg » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:28 am

G'day Paul,
I know this is 6 months down the track, but I just came across the last few pages of this thread.
Just a follow on from your interesting 'wrap sided' Western Boots. The way I finish off a seam (hand sewn of course :) ) is when I have reached the last hole, I use a fine, but blunt tipped, awl (only has to be big enough to get one 'end' through) and go back over, say, two or three stitches, one thread at a time. eg. put the awl in from the right side, in the same locations (going in and coming out) that the thread followed when you were originally doing the seam. When the two or three back stitches are complete, instead of going all the way through, come out between the two layers, trim off flush and smooth down the ends so they're out of sight.

Pictures below:
Pic 1. 'Finished' seam, ready for back stitching. Put fine, blunt awl into previous stitch hole, through the 'base' of the last stitch on the right hand side (dot) and out through the end of the second last stitch on the left hand side (other dot). Take the right hand thread and feed it through and pull home.
Pic.1.JPG
Pic 2. Put the awl (from the right) through the end of the second last stitch (dot) and out through the base of the last stitch on the left hand side (other dot). Take the left hand thread and feed through and pull home. Continue until you have completed the amount of back stitches you want, then finish off as per method in first paragraph.
Pic. 2.JPG
Hope this is clear and useful.
Cheers
Duncan

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#496 Post by paul » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:08 am

Good morning Duncan,
Thank you very much for drawing this out and sharing it here. I appreciate the effort it takes to try to express these things in words. I'm just awakening right now, and I'll have to spend some time reading and following when my head is clearer.
Of course I acknowledge the importance of securing the end of our stitch lines, but on this line of stitching, I felt that since the last 5 or 6 stitches were on material that is tight up against the toe box, there would be no movement or flex to cause the stitches to come loose. I could be wrong, and end up with a "kettle of fish" should stitches start coming loose, but the end is melted and "stuck" to the last stitch. I also was wanting to avoid the look of back stitches.
Thanks again for your input.
With Regards,
Paul

By the way, I'm told this construction is referred to as opanka hand stitched construction. It's origins are in the Baltic region folk dance shoes.
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20160509_ PAUL KRAUSE-9.jpg
This image is of my most recent pair.

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#497 Post by dmcharg » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:24 am

They look really nice too, Paul.
If done carefully, the back stitches I described can be near invisible :) Just chucking my methods out there; take them or leave them, I won't judge :)
And I'll head to bed now....
Cheers

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#498 Post by martin » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:15 pm

paul » Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:08 pm wrote:By the way, I'm told this construction is referred to as opanka hand stitched construction. It's origins are in the Baltic region folk dance shoes.
I think this goes back way further, see the examples of late Roman shoes I built after actual finds from the 4th century AD. They are one or two piece shoes, so not necessarily the same as the later opanke, but share the upturned areas of the sole, gather around the heel and the tip of the foot:

http://sutor.jimdo.com/4th-century-ad/d ... ampagus-i/
http://sutor.jimdo.com/4th-century-ad/l ... ampagus-i/

Cheers,
Martin

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#499 Post by paul » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:13 pm

Hello Duncan, attached is my first try at your back stitch technique. Obviously I would like it to indeed disappear, but it's not too noticible, and would improve with practice. It was not so easy to control where the stitch emerges.

Thank you for your contibution to the topic Martin. I can certainly see the similarity in the upturned sole edge. These are good examples of using aa different approach, aren't they. I appreciate what you have shared here.

it's a process. Back to it. :-)
Paul

looks like I'll have to get to the picture later. :doh:

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Re: Bottoming techniques

#500 Post by paul » Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:29 am

Here is my first attempt at back stitches using Duncan's suggested method. Not too noticeable.
Again, thank you for the suggestion Duncan! "It's takes a village".
Paul
Admin, please excuse. I double posted the image, and don't see how to delete one. If you would please do that for me, I'd thank you.
Regards,
Paul
Attachments
Duncans backstitch.jpg
Duncans backstitch.jpg

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