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Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:47 am
by SteveBarrus
After spend a few hours reading through a portion of this I have to say that I am humbled to have access to all of this treasure. I know that I will be spend many more enjoyable hours working my way through this.

I wanted to post some of my work. Each piece comes with a story.
armadillo1.jpg
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A young Mexican laborer came into my shop and browsed around. I greeted and welcomed him in and spent some time with him as he looked around then he left with a warm thank you. I thought nothing of the visit as he was JUST a laborer wanting to look around. Much to my surprise he came back two days later with two large tanned armadillo that he had brought with him from Mexico.

Will you make me a pair of boots? I gave him the price, the needed deposit and the time it would take to complete and he accepted. Each Friday for eight weeks he returned with a payment and was paid in full before the boots were complete. This is before the invent of the cell phone so a weekly visit was the way it went. I finally finished and the boots were ready. The excitement was thick when he returned for the last time. He tried on the boots and walked around the shop, took them off and gave me a hug and left. I did not see him again but learned that no one is JUST anything, everyone is a customer.
lizard.jpg
First packer a gift for my wife.
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A young man came into the shop. His grandfather had just passed and left him an old beat up pair of elephant boots. The vamps and counters were in elephant shape but everything else was worn out, sweat rotted, insoles cracked, holes in the soled and insoles and warn down heals. They were a stitch down custom made boot that were many many years old. His heart was broken and he wanted to wear his grandfathers boots what ever the price.

Because I am a softy was very inexperienced I said I could make him a pair of boots from what grandpa had left. I measured him and built up a last, tore the old boots apart salvaging only the vamp and counter and built up a new pair of boots. I got to the point of lasting and could not finish the boots. They sat for weeks as I would try and give up, try and give up. Finally one night I decided I would not go home until the boots were lasted. I had prayed all day for help and that night angels came down from heaven and guided the pliers and my fingers and I was able to get them lasted, they got leather toe boxes and I was able to complete the pair.

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:54 am
by SteveBarrus
A few more pair.
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for my father
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Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:01 am
by SteveBarrus
Photos are not to good but a previous pair completed with mule ears
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Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:12 am
by dmcharg
Wow Steve, Some really nice work there, and great stories to go with them.
Cheers
Duncan

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:20 am
by martin
Nice work, Steve!

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:42 am
by paul
Excellent Steve!
It's stories like that that keep me going.
I'm sure you will find such motivational customers and requests once again, as you are making room for it.
Blessing to you back on the path,
Paul

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:42 am
by paul
Excellent Steve!
It's stories like that that keep me going.
I'm sure you will find such motivational customers and requests once again, as you are making room for it.
Blessing to you back on the path,
Paul

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:33 am
by dw
Steve,

I saw your posts over in The Registry and all I could do was shake my head. You've been through a lot.

It's interesting to see your work. It's good...and getting better (which is all anyone of us can wish for). I think I see some of my influence, here and there, in your work--a stitch pattern, a line. And it's gratifying to know those "echos" played a small in helping you along and maybe even sustaining you through your travails.

To quote a very minor poet:
Every trail a man rides down is changed forever by his passing;
The twig is bent, the stone is turned--each adding, in a fashion,
To the markers that define the path and guide those who come after...
Who share the skill, the lore and even common laughter.
:beers:

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:05 pm
by SteveBarrus
Thank you all. I am excited to get started. DW so far most of all i have learned bootmaking came from your books.

I purchase a set of edge trimmers and edge irons along with heal shaves and many different wheels. I also got a set of wooden slickers. Attached is a photo. Can you share what they are for.
IMG_0158.JPG

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:43 pm
by dw
SteveBarrus » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:05 pm wrote:Thank you all. I am excited to get started. DW so far most of all i have learned bootmaking came from your books.

I purchase a set of edge trimmers and edge irons along with heal shaves and many different wheels. I also got a set of wooden slickers. Attached is a photo. Can you share what they are for.
IMG_0158.JPG
Edge work, bottom work...finishing naturally. Al Saguto would be able to tell you more I think these are either original or modeled after 18th century tools. I have one...a boxwood reproduction from Al that is associated with Colonial Williamsburg.

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:30 am
by dmcharg
Wow Steve, those wooden slickers look great. Where did you come across them?
Al, some professional input on these?
Cheers

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:42 am
by das
The 2 darker ones on the left are "shoulder sticks" for burnishing sole/heel edges before heated "edge irons" came into use ("first" evidence is 1824 France), and later for traditionalists who wanted to avoid accidentally scorching the uppers with hot irons. BTW, 1864 US Quartermaster's Manual forbid contractors from using hot edge irons on military footwear--shoulder sticks and elbow grease only were allowed. Many of the lighter colored ones look like mass-produced harnessmaker's strap burnishing sticks to me, some making the crease lines along edge. There may be a few shoe "shoulder sticks" mixed in there too, for thin turnshoe(?) sole edges, hard to tell from the photo.

There's a good selection of older 18thc-styled wood shoulder and other shoe edge finishing sticks shown on pages 222-223 of my book.

Cheers,
Al

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:03 am
by dw
das » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:42 am wrote:The 2 darker ones on the left are "shoulder sticks" for burnishing sole/heel edges before heated "edge irons" came into use ("first" evidence is 1824 France), and later for traditionalists who wanted to avoid accidentally scorching the uppers with hot irons. BTW, 1864 US Quartermaster's Manual forbid contractors from using hot edge irons on military footwear--shoulder sticks and elbow grease only were allowed. Many of the lighter colored ones look like mass-produced harnessmaker's strap burnishing sticks to me, some making the crease lines along edge. There may be a few shoe "shoulder sticks" mixed in there too, for thin turnshoe(?) sole edges, hard to tell from the photo.

There's a good selection of older 18thc-styled wood shoulder and other shoe edge finishing sticks shown on pages 222-223 of my book.

Cheers,
Al
Is that Art of the Shoemaker you're referring to? Plate I of Cordonnier et Bottier? Figures 4, 5 and 8?

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 am
by dw
FWIW...here are a few of my "bones" including the aforementioned boxwood shoulder stick and some miscellaneous treen:
20170119_084624.jpg

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:58 am
by das
Yup, AotS', but pages 222-223 are photos of a variety of antiques, forms more common in England/US at the time, additional to Garsault/Diderot, et al.

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:04 pm
by SteveBarrus
Here is the batch of tools I was able to purchase which included the finishing sticks. This set looks very old to me.
tools.JPG
and a view of the finishing sticks from other side.
tools3.JPG
Steve B

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:31 pm
by dw
das » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:58 am wrote:Yup, AotS', but pages 222-223 are photos of a variety of antiques, forms more common in England/US at the time, additional to Garsault/Diderot, et al.
Al,

I think you mean pages 232-233. At least that's where they are in my copy.

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:12 am
by das
DW,

Yup 232-233. My mistake.

Steve,

Without looking at any makers' marks/checking their dates of operation, or patent dates that may be on the tools, just from the types and forms in the photo I'd guess c.1875-1900+(?). That's a nice haul, old tools always seem to know how to do their job well already, and can help you better than new ones.

There seems to be a bit of revival of interest in the edge irons, used by lots of modern bespoke folks, so if you chose to stay with old school wood shoulder sticks, you should have no trouble "flipping" the irons. If you chose to use the irons, be sure the working surface is mirror polished and all rust/pitting buffed off.

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:00 am
by dw
das » Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:12 am wrote:DW,

old tools always seem to know how to do their job well already, and can help you better than new ones.
Wow! There's a great sentiment. A nice little bit of wisdom. I love that.

:tiphat:

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:41 am
by dmcharg
^^^ I second that ^^^ :)

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:38 am
by proxy_posting
By Natalya Makarova
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Re: The Gallery

Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:24 am
by paul
:clap:
Knowing how very difficult it can be to get a result like this, all I can say is my hat is off to you Natalya!
Very cleanly done!
:tiphat:
With respectful regards,
Paul

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:50 pm
by homeboy
Very nicely done! Stay with it! :clap:

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:38 am
by dw
Just a couple to indicate I still have my hand in.
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Dk. navy vamps & collar, Burgundy WB tops
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inlaid outsole

Re: The Gallery

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:13 am
by paul
And both are better than mundane!