Tools

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Tools

#1 Post by admin » Mon May 06, 2002 8:06 pm

All messages posted in this topic prior to 25 February 2002 have been moved to the first Crispin Colloquy CD Archive.

Admin--06 May 2002

donald

Re: Tools

#2 Post by donald » Tue Jun 11, 2002 4:25 am

don macdougall
i have been of line for some time
i am looking for a book that was discussed in the past.i think it is called encyclopedia of boot and saddle making tools
yours don

meldon@hunterlink.net.au

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Re: Tools

#3 Post by dw » Tue Jun 11, 2002 4:55 am

Don,

Forgive me if this is a stupid question...are you sure that's the name of the book?

Could it possibly be Dictionarty of Leather-Working Tools c.1700-1950 by R.A. Salaman, published by George Allen and Unwin Australia Pty Ltd, 8 Napier Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060 (McMillian in the States)?

This book contains whole sections devoted to saddlemaking tools and boot/shoemaking tools.

In my estimation it is a "must-have" books.

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Re: Tools

#4 Post by dw » Tue Jun 11, 2002 5:10 am

Don,

PS. If Dictionarty of Leather-Working Tools c.1700-1950 is indeed the book you're looking for, it can be bought as a paperback, on Amazon.com, for US $37.50. And it can be found used in hardback forme through Amazon, too...but be prepared to pay more.

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donald

Re: Tools

#5 Post by donald » Wed Jun 12, 2002 4:25 am

DWFII
think you for your help
I think it is what I am looking for
yours don

carlcorbeau

Re: Tools

#6 Post by carlcorbeau » Tue Jul 09, 2002 10:47 am

I have some leather working tools I bought used, 40 years ago. They were probably 60 years old then.

They have the name GOMPH on them.

Any information about the company that made them or their value would be appreciated.

Thank you

Anonymous

Re: Tools

#7 Post by Anonymous » Tue Jul 09, 2002 6:35 pm

Peter Monahan, Alliston, Ontario, Canada

Hello again from the frozen northImage

I have just heard from an acquaintance who has bought out a cobbler`s shop in a nearby city and acquired a number of `machines`(his words)which he cannot use. One is an `11 foot long finishing machine`` and another sounds from his description as if it must be a McKay stitcher. He says it ``is missing one part that the cobbler swears can be replaced`` and he will give me it because he can`t use it!
(I will never be able to buy one, so this isn`t a gloat, but a public thanks to Crispin, Crispian and the Deity for good fortune.)

So what I need to know is: how easy is it really likely to be to find the `one part``. Also wouldn`t mind some advice on the likely usefullness and a fair market value for an old (a Landis, maybe) finishing unit. Any and all suggestions gratefully received.

I know, two question marks needed in that paragraph but my keyboard is pooched! Arrgh!)

Good health and tight stitches to all,
Peter Monahan

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Re: Tools

#8 Post by dw » Wed Jul 10, 2002 5:07 am

Peter,

Pilgrim Shoe machines usually has parts for old machines:

Pilgrim Shoe
Neil Firestein
Pilgrim Shoe
21 Nightingale Ave
Quicy, MA 02169
main voice (800) 343-2202
fax (617) 773-9012


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carlcorbeau

Re: Tools

#9 Post by carlcorbeau » Wed Jul 10, 2002 7:37 am

To Peter Monahan,

I live in Honey Harbour Ontario,50 miles north of you.
It's good to know there is someone so close

Yours,

Carl Corbeau

ccorbeau@attcanada.ca
705 756 2677

Anonymous

Re: Tools

#10 Post by Anonymous » Mon Jul 15, 2002 7:59 am

Pegging Awls - Square or Round???
(Peter Monahan, Alliston)

Hello again to all! Another (beginner's)question here:

I've been admiring (again) DW's wonderful pegging on the Gallery and understand - I think - that it was done with a square awl and the pegs set "diamond-wise" in said square holes. Did I get that right?

Yesterday I spoke to a shoemaker at Upper Canada Village, an 1860's pioneer recreation near Ottawa, our nation's capital. She is doing booties for the staff there using a round awl, which she suggests makes a stronger bond when combined with square pegs. Is she right? Was/is that the normal practice or is it a matter of taste?

I have been trying to learn/teach myself pegging and I got square awls. Did I do a bad thing? She's also doing ALL pegged, no stitching at all on the bottoms. Correct for 1860?

(I'm sorry if these have all been beaten to death earlier, but I haven't got the CD yet. Again, humble thanks in advance for any advice. And thanks to DW and Carl for your answers to my earlier post)

Humbly,
Peter Monahan

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Re: Tools

#11 Post by dw » Mon Jul 15, 2002 12:36 pm

Peter,

When it comes to leather, I'm not fully convinced that a square peg in a round hole is any more effective than a square peg in a square hole. I think it's more important that the hole itself be considerably smaller than the peg. We aren't driving the peg into a rigid medium such as wood, after all, and as a consequence the "wedging" that might be crucial to the whole "square peg in a round hole" theory doesn't seem to make quite as much sense.

Barnsley used to sell tapered pegging awls with a square cross-section..."Scotch points" I think they were called. And they also had an "American Square" point which were probably identical to the Scotch points. Barnsley's 1890's catalogues lists a number of these---this at a time when pegging was much more commonplace, especially in the States, than it is even now.

That said, I do not use a square pegging awl--although I have fooled with them--instead I use a square *shouldered* awl. There *is* a difference. The body of the awl is round or oval in cross-section but the shoulder is square...so that when I drive the awl the shoulder only goes into the leather an eighth of an inch or so...just enough to get the square peg started and aligned. The rest is up to you! You could always round out two thirds of the length of your awls and you might have something similar to what I use.

As for all pegging being correct for the 1860's...I'm not an historian, but, as I understand it, most of that was done with a pegging machine on an almost strictly commercial basis. And most bespoke bootmaking of the time would have at least regarded it as inferior to stitching. Don't think that there weren't a lot of men's shoes, and boots, being made with welts and stitched outsoles throughout the 19th century.

I'm sure one of our *real* historians will jump in here (I'm always glad to play the straight man) and correct me if I'm wrong.


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tmattimore

Re: Tools

#12 Post by tmattimore » Mon Jul 15, 2002 3:57 pm

There were two main centers of footwear production in the U.S. in the 1860's. Boston and Philidelphia. The boston area had turned to a manufatory type system where pegged shoes and boots for men and turn shoes for women predominated. The philly area produced predominatly sewn welt shoes and boots and maintained more of a bespoke nature to the whole industry. Sothern plantation owners bought shoes for slaves in boston but for themselves in Philly and england. See blanche evans hazard book "orginazation of the boot and shoe trade in Mass. prior to 1875"
for a more detailed explanation.
As to pegging awls if you are doing large numbers of double row pegs closely spaced a full round awl is easiest to pull out and easier on the hands but it should still be smaller then the peg as DW said to provide better grasp. My pegging machine (built to the Davey and Sturtevent patents) uses a square awl hand forged to a spade point as did most of the originals. the pegs were kept in orientation by a combination of the awl and feeding the peg strip in at an angle as was the knife that cut the individual pegs from the strip.

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Re: Tools

#13 Post by dw » Mon Jul 15, 2002 5:04 pm

Tom,

I enjoyed your answer--very informative. Several questions for you...Did you have the pegging machine built recently (you say it is built to a patent design)? Or is it an old machine? Either way could you post a photo or two? I've never seen one of these machines, I'd be interested.

Also what do you use for pegs? I have some 19th century pegs and they are way more uniform than anything we can buy today...as well as being made of hard maple, rather than alder or, in a best case scenario for today--lemonwood. Do the have to be uniform in shape and size?

Finally, just to make myself sick....how long does it take you to peg up a full boot with this here contraption?

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tmattimore

Re: Tools

#14 Post by tmattimore » Mon Jul 15, 2002 6:26 pm

the machine is italian. made for a cowboy boot factory which moved over seas. I had done years of reasearch and hunting for one and found this. I belive there are only two in north america. I have no means of posting pictures but will try to send you one. The machine as made would only do the shank area. I had to build a horn to do the full shoe. The top half of the machine is a beautiful and simple set up with one shaft for the whole thing. the awl and driver run on the same cam as did sturdevents. the same cam also has a knife edge on the rear of the cam that has a bend in it. as the cam rotates it passes thru a series of metal pegs on a plate which is attached to a gear that advances the peg strip towards the knife. I have not found the patent on this but belive it is davey's or united shoes. the knife activates on a single lever riding on the same cam. Unfortunatley the italians screwed the whole thing up by not putting a clutch motor on it. They put a 1.5 hp 3 phase motor that revolves three revolutions and is stopped with a brake. it took almost a year to figure out how to get it to run more then two cycles. a friend who retired from the air force as a cruise missle repairman finnaly got it running. The pegs came with it in rolls just per sturdevents patent of 1857. I can generally do 40 to 50 pair per roll. now for the best part (drum roll if you please) 1 peg per second 1 second to move to the next space. that is right in line with uniteds advetising of 400 pair per day. I dont do enough shoes to meet the capacity of the machine however I have to open the back and run a fan on the innards to keep the silly electronics cool enough to work. when they die I will put a clutch on it.
Tom

tmattimore

Re: Tools

#15 Post by tmattimore » Fri Jul 19, 2002 5:20 pm

I have been giving some thought to your question of why pegs were so much better quality then they are today. I have looked to see if there is any literature on this but have found none so I will offer my opinion. There are two reasons. 1 the quality of the wood. until 1900 reseeding was not praticed to a great extent so much more old growth timber was available for the low end factory pegs and for the hardwood pegs the same holds true. 2 I belive the most important reason was demand. The foot wear industry in this country was a big player until 1955. In the days when pegged shoes reigned a peg maker with the junk we have all seen of late would have been laughed out the door. As it now stands I belive there may be only two makers of pegs left. By far the best around today are Blue Ring. Since the demand for them is so low and they are an expensive by product of the wood veneer industry I see little chance of improvment.
Tom Mattimore

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Re: Tools

#16 Post by dw » Fri Jul 19, 2002 7:26 pm

Tom,

I agree, Blau Ring are the best currently. They're German and they're lemonwood. That's not anywhere near as good as Eastern or hard rock maple but it's at least adequate. Still, in a handful, probably 15% of them will be "mutants." Of course that's not as bad as domestically produced pegs which tend to be birch or alder and are almost all mutants. Someone on the forum once said that part of the problem was that all the pegs being produced in the US today are still being made with the original machines...not the original *models*, the original, first edition machines that cut and trimmed pegs back in the 19th century. Naturally they've worn out over the last 150 years and can't cut straight or true.

I've stocks of pegs from several different eras and they do seem to get progressively more distorted. My 19th century hard maple pegs tend to be a bit brownish and square almost to a fault. Nothing on the market or marketed in the last 50-75 years can come close.

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D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: Tools

#17 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Sat Jul 20, 2002 5:00 am

Tom & DW,

That was me, posting in re the original machinery. The good folks at Kesarge-PEGCO, in Bartlett, NH told me that over the phone. They are the last firm in the USA making *any* wood shoe pegs--mostly used as an abrasive media in tumbling-polishing these days. They told me that making pegs for the shoe industry fell off in the '60s and '70s, so they had to find a new market for their product, which BTW they insist are birch. Their machines are old, and getting loosey-goosey on some sizes of pegs, which doesn't matter for tumbling-polishing media I guess, but it means "mutants" galore for us, sad to say. The guys down the road at the Philip Morris cigarette plant are in a similar bind--the machinery that rolls the smokes is like 50 years old, and nobody makes new ones of course, or replacement parts, so some machinist is going to retire on a small fortune making spare parts in-house. I know this is an unpopular industry these days, but it's another example.

I recently toured a huge US shoe factory, employing 600 people [two shifts], making 26,000 pairs a week. The mainstay machinery in the fitting department [i.e.. uppers closing] was all ancient Singers--and I mean ancient, maybe 1930s, literally held together with bailing wire and duct tape. From shoe pegs, to cigarettes, and even major shoe mfg., our industrial-base is in very sad shape across the board.

tmattimore

Re: Tools

#18 Post by tmattimore » Sat Jul 20, 2002 5:38 am

Unfortunatly this is true for much of our machinery. I have a usm littleway mckay machine that gave me fits. It turned out the most of the problems with it were poor parts.For example the loop spreaders you can still buy for it require almost 15 to 20 minutes work with a file and abrasive thread to open the loop properly. USM may have been a monopoly but they took care to make sure their parts fit. The main legal citation used by the government against microsoft was U.S. V USM 1955 (U.S. Supreme Court). I hope that people see what happened to the american shoe industry after the break up before jumping on the bandwagon to break up other industry leaders.

D.A. Saguto--HCC

Re: Tools

#19 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Sat Jul 20, 2002 6:01 am

Tom,

Where do you get that abrasive string? I've seen it in old catalogues, and can think of 1001 applications for some around the shop.

You know what's worse, BTW, on USMC? Some people still send them lease payments for their old machines, because apparently the payment books still get sent out. But where's the service? What's up with that?

tmattimore

Re: Tools

#20 Post by tmattimore » Sat Jul 20, 2002 6:21 am

The abrasive cord I have I found in a flea Market. What I used before then was to wax some 6 or 7 cord real well and put it in a sack with some emery grit(shake and bake) I purchased at a jewlers supply. USM still exists but they have not had a roadman for years. There are a couple of retired roadmen who still do work on macines but if you buy or lease USM you are are your own. You can still get the service manuals for most of their machines but like any machine if you dont have someone to walk you thru it once it can be a night mare. Just as the knowledge of shoe making that we all share and stuggle so hard to learn is dissapearing so is the knowledge of the machines going away.

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Re: Tools

#21 Post by dw » Sat Jul 20, 2002 7:20 am

I believe Ward and Kennedy carries abrasive cords, abrasive pastes and all sorts of similar products. As well as silver pens (these have improved a lot since the last time I ordered--years ago) and many other useful items. It's worthwhile establishing a relationship with them...maybe even gettting a catalogue, if only for future reference.

I don't have the address or telephone number handy here at home...maybe some one else can kindly plug it in.

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Dick Anderson

Re: Tools

#22 Post by Dick Anderson » Sat Jul 20, 2002 7:36 am

Al,

You can get Mitchell's abrasive cord from MSC Supply. 800 645-7270 pg. 904 in the 2001-2002 catalog. Aluminum oxide cord .030 dia. 200 grit order# is 05819065. They also have crocus cord

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Re: Tools

#23 Post by jake » Sat Jul 20, 2002 8:22 am

Al,

Ward & Kennedy Company
P.O. Box 23246
8324 W. Calumet Road
Milwaukee, WI 53223
(800)521-8584

Martha

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Re: Tools

#24 Post by D.A. Saguto--HCC » Sun Jul 21, 2002 4:33 am

All,

Thanks for the sources.

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Re: Tools

#25 Post by dw » Sun Jul 21, 2002 5:52 am

At the risk of flogging a dead horse...

The following also have Mitchell's abrasive cord and other similar products:

Universal Sewing Supply
1011 East Park
St. Louis, MO 63130
800.325.3390
www.universalsewing.com
pg 88 in their 2" thick catalogue

Butler Brothers
P.O. Box 1375
Lewiston, Maine 04243-1375
888.784.6875
pg. 684 in their 2" catalogue

Both these outfits are suppliers of sewing machine parts (almost every model made or once made), and needles and lots of other goodies appropriate to the needle trades.

PS...Martha, I've got a hot tip for you--buy commodities, but don't tell anyone I told you!

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