The Gentle Craft

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tomo

Re: The Gentle Craft

#76 Post by tomo » Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:22 pm

Jesse,
Thanks for the pics.
Do you stitch the do the decorative stitching from the flesh side of the upper, ie so that what you see on the finished boot is the bobbin thread? The leather on those finished boots looks very supple, almost like calf or kid.

Also, the other day when you mentioned making pegs, do you use the hand clamp and knife Al Saguto discribed in Salaman's book on Leather working tools, or do you do it some other way?Image

More power to y'awl
Tom (O'Sullivan)

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#77 Post by jesselee » Thu Feb 08, 2007 4:32 pm

Tom,

Those boots are copied from the original plans 1872 and is a Mexican style. They were made for a girl as a wedding present in New Mexico. I have the whole story in my book and it reads like an old bootmaking allegory or folk tale, except it happened. It's a kid leather, lined in same, 2oz. The pattern on the rough side was done that way intentionally. That rough will be what people call 'French waxed' (erroneous because that term applies to a hide, to wax a boot after it's done is called 'Virginia waxed'. In the 1856 section of the book I use.

What I find interesting is that the heels are decorated with brass pins and designs as Kaspar's Russian boots have the same feature. On examining closely I see a lot of similarity in Mexican and Northern European design???? Russians going to Spain and then Mexico carrying the Trade?

When I make pegs I use a traditional peg cutter, brace and blade. I'll dig this stuff out of storage and take pics and show y'all how it's made. Never seen how Al makes pegs. Would like to as I have admired his work many years.

Other than the cutter, the setup is simple and anyone can be taught to make passable pegs in a few days.

I'm not making pegs at the moment, but when I do I would like to send some out to anyone who wants them for a critique.

Jesse

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#78 Post by das » Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:38 am

Harking back to my 18thc. roots, the only folks who'd make a shoe, and blacken/wax the un-colored uppers afterwards (on the flesh), were the French (Garsault 1767), and then only for rough common work. I've never heard the term "Virginia Wax" before, and all the waxed-calf I've seen sold/mentioned in Virginia is just called "wax(ed)" leather, IOW bought/sold finished black on the flesh and curried.

Please tell us more about this 1856 book you've alluded to--sounds like a treasure.

BTW, I merely demonstrated the peg-cutter I sketched for Salaman to show how it must have worked. I only hand-make pegs for shoes I repro that had whittled pegs rather than split. Otherwise I use bought ones Image

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#79 Post by dw » Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:29 am

Al, anyone...

...ever see zinc sheet used for patterns? I've known about it for forever, it seems, but never seen any.

Just got done cutting some new patterns out of formica...what a stink if you sand it--formaldahyde! And not too good for you if you breath it, from what I understand.

So I'm thinking maybe zinc sheeting but what thickness? Can it be cut with a real sharp knife?

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chuck_deats

Re: The Gentle Craft

#80 Post by chuck_deats » Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:06 pm

DW,

Don't know about zinc, but for what it is worth, try Lexan. It is tough, flat and clear. You can scribe lines on it (fill with ink and wipe off). Thickness is about 3/32", sold as replacement for window glass that won't break. It cuts easily, but you have to saw and sand it.

Chuck

tomo

Re: The Gentle Craft

#81 Post by tomo » Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm

DW,
Image Zinc sheet had its own gauge all though I think this is now obsolete, but get about no.10 Z this is equilivent to no.25 SWG (Standard Wire Gauge). Yes it can be cut with a knife ie you just score it and bend it a couple of times if it's a streight cut.
Zinc use to be used for meat safes and the pressed ceilings in the centre of lounges etc in a lot of early colonial homes.

Formica is bonded brown paper and the bonding's done under high pressure and I think with formaldahyde, so it's not nice.

Chuck Lexan is a Polycarbonate, it's the same stuff that they use for police riot shields and is fairly bullet proof... The down side is that unless you have access to a supply of off cuts it's a bit more expensive than Formica - with the Formica you can get it from joiners and cabernetmakers etc.

More Power to y'awl.
Tom.

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#82 Post by dw » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:01 am

Tom,

Bought a small sheet of .020 inch zinc sheeting to try. I'll let you know how it works out but I'm a little afraid that it will be too thin. I didn't know that (about the brown paper)about formica...the formaldehyde I dern sure knew about!

Chuck,

I don't know where I'd find Lexan...off the internet I guess. I have wanted to try some for quite a while but wanted to try zinc first.

Anything's got to be better than this formica...although, I've got to say it's hard to chip or cut into the edge once it's done. That's the thing...who wants a pattern that everytime you cut out leather with it, the pattern gets smaller?!

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#83 Post by jesselee » Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:19 am

DW

I have heard of zink patterns and used 'em. Easy to cut with tin snips and use 600 grit to polish edges. I have also used galvanized steel, same ease. My patterns are of brass plate (CSA) I had the set of 3 ajustable, but they are packed away or lost.
The brass plate come in 4 or 5 sizes as i remember (will get them out of storage in spring and send pics. They were graduated by 1/8" standard if I rememnber correctly and standard tops. They have the front blocker, back, front, counter, and strap configurations. Just trace them with a knife and no chips or gouges.
In the CW period boots ie. M1859 Light Artillery boot (old pattern), the fronts ate more narrow than the backs. My one set of cowboy boot patterns which give a 13" throat and 14" top are symetrical. This is the main difference of the front/back/sideseam placement differential between CW and cowboy boots.
Hope that helps.
JesseLee

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#84 Post by rocketman » Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:50 am

Just a thought on the zinc patterns. Comming from Florida where Stainless steel rusts, we try to use someting like Ultra High Density Polyethylene. It's the cheep replacement for Teflon in machine shops and is mostly seen in the form of cutting boards. Enco is a good source along with just about everything else a good machine shop just might need.
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INLMK32?PARTPG=INSRAR2
It can still be cut well enough with a band saw or jig saw. FWIW, Lyle

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#85 Post by dw » Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:36 am

All,

I much appreciate all the suggestions...after 35 years using formica for my patterns, I've probably not only seriously affected my health but, on the other hand, I've come up with a few basic criteria of what makes good pattern material:

1) It should be thin...no thicker than a sixteenth of an inch and more in the neighborhood of a millimeter would be ideal. Why? Clean and super accurate cuts. Otherwise we could just use a block of wood for our patterns. Also storage but that's almost immaterial.

2) a hard edge that neither dulls a blade nor is subject to being nicked or pared away. I think steel would dull a blade that was accidentally turned too far into the edge. I think polyethylene would tend to shave away under the same circumstances. Certainly paperboard is too fragile to be brought into intimate contact with a knife.

3)The ability to be cut into complex shapes with pinpoint accuracy. Point two and three tend to work against each other. If you can cut it accurately you can also cut it inaccurately or acidentally. I have often cut formica patterns of pretty complex and ornate shape by scribing over my outline repeatedly with a sharp knife. I have also cut out less ornate and less precise patterns with a jewelers say or coping saw. (A jig saw would work too.)

All in all, formica is a good pattern material except if you want to sand it. Then the friction releases the formaldehyde...and it goes right up your nose. Then too, over years...maybe decades...the accuracy of a pattern or the cleanness of an edge that you wish to cut along will deteriorate--be slightly but surely pared away maybe that's inevitable with any pattern material. Formica can also be brittle and break if not handled with some care.

I am thinking zinc because I am hoping that it will meet all the criteria mentioned above without the deleterious effect from sanding. I understand that it can be cut with a knife in much the same way as I've been cutting the formica. My only reservation is that the piece I got is thin...one-sixty-fourth of an inch. But I have metal rulers laying around the shop that are thinner.

Hoo hum...after all these years to start looking for a new pattern substrate...

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#86 Post by cwsaddler » Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:14 pm

DW
Eric Myall in my shop has told me about a machine, when he was in Cordwainers Technical nigh unto 60 years ago, that would put a binding of zinc around the edge of the paper board used as patterns. There was also a zinc top to cut out on. Much like the wooden platting machine for covering whip shafts, I am afraid that these machines are long gone. I always have wished for a time machine.

Jim Kladder
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Re: The Gentle Craft

#87 Post by dw » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:18 am

Jim,

Good to hear from you! Emmett tells me that if you thought it would be useful or used, a seperate topic (or two or three) could be set up for all things harness...??

Thanks for the info about the zinc. It makes me a little more hopeful about it despite the thinness of my purchase. The idea of using to cut on is intriguing.


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Re: The Gentle Craft

#88 Post by kaspar » Thu May 10, 2007 9:13 am

Just got these womens shoes. 18 c.?? Built on identical lasts. As I can recall this was common (only way) in the 18 c.?
First I thought they were factory made. They have burnt number "5" and letter "U" under the sole. Anyone knows what the "U" could stand for? Width perhaps? But after, when I started to clean them and examine closer I saw they were handmade. The gray "collar" around the edge is handstitched.The insole is hand cut. she soleseam in done by hand and so on. Despite the moth damage and one sloppy tassel they are in good and beautiful cond. I think they belonged to somebody wealthy. The middle class did not wear such fancy things especially when they are hand made...or did they?
Cheers
K.

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#89 Post by kaspar » Thu May 10, 2007 9:19 am

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tomo

Re: The Gentle Craft

#90 Post by tomo » Thu May 10, 2007 3:29 pm

Hi Kasper,
are the heel tops original, perhaps they've been reheeled at some point?
More power to y'awl
Tom

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#91 Post by kaspar » Fri May 11, 2007 9:54 am

Tom. The heelpiece is original to it. Not replaced. They have not seen usage much.

Cheers
K.

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#92 Post by das » Mon May 14, 2007 10:16 am

Kaspar,

Those interesting shoes are MacKay-sewn, and best guess at to date is 1900-20s. Be careful assuming that straight lasts were only 18thc--last ref. I have to shoes made straight (USA) is 1920s, because it was cheaper to have one last rather than two. By that date is was only very cheap shoes still made that way (here). In Europe who knows?

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#93 Post by kaspar » Mon May 14, 2007 11:16 am

D.A. Saguto
thanks for the info. But what does MacKay stands for? Is it the name of the inventor of that stitch (particular machinery)?
On the outsole channel there is two rows of stitching (stitches sit next to one another) but from inside view, you only see one.

Cheers
K.

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#94 Post by walrus » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:40 pm

To All
Check out this and think about the discussions over the last 3-4 months .What are we worth again?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/19/AR2007061901776_ pf.html

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#95 Post by jesselee » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:42 pm

Larry

Even if it's fashion, just goes to show how far we can push this Trade! now why ain't he hand stitchin for that cost?
JesseLee

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#96 Post by artzend » Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:01 pm

Hi,

I don't know if any of you have checked out the shoerepairer.info forum but there are a collection of shoemaker and repairer and shop photos at http://www.shoerepairer.info/index.php?ind=gallery . Click the The Wiltshire Cobbler Collection photo at the bottom of the page and a slide show opens. Some interesting photos from a long time back. Some of the workshops are amazing.

Tim

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#97 Post by jesselee » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:44 pm

Tim

Many thanks for that site. Look how simple! many have just hand tools, and the big shops have a sole stitcher, 29K and a finishing line. Sure don't take much, does it. Wonderful pictures, I encourage all to visit.

JesseLee

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#98 Post by kaspar » Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:13 am

Hi
Can somebody give opinion concerning these gaiters?
Did they produced these after the WWII also?
I am thinking of purchasing these if they`re origin is prewar. IMO they should. Sorry about the poor photo. Any thoughts?
Thanks
K.
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Re: The Gentle Craft

#99 Post by kaspar » Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:07 pm

Thought it would be appropriate to post these Russian boots from the 19th c. They also have decorated heel (brass?nails).
5486.jpg


K.

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Re: The Gentle Craft

#100 Post by paul » Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:00 pm

Kaspar,

Those are soo very interewsting. I'd like to handle them and see how they're made.

Thanks for sharing.

PK

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