Historic techniques and materials

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#76 Post by jesselee » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:50 pm

Al,

I suppose the evidence would have come from my teacher and his as well as some first hand papers I have and will photograph or scan for y'all. In short the technique comes from a source that lived during the time and I use it and the technique is self evident. I have also, as was done (again my only evidence is first hand source, as I don't care about book 'theories'), pegged on the last and measured my pegs thusly. Peg your holes in the heel area, arch (where the counter of M1851 US Armn shoes) adds thickness, and the common inner sole, upper and sole area. You will have 3 different peg lengths. The shoe was taken off the last (if soles were pasted or glued on) and a measurement of the holes was taken of the depth of the peg and a bit of point.
In any case, nowhere have I come across historical record of a peg of any length being driven home all around the shoe. Quite the opposite actually, as this is warned against.
I have seen some shoes and boots made by shops for reenactment where the pegs were not driven through the inner sole. The soles will always come off if they are not pegged all the way through.

As to lasts. Yes, I mean the wedge type as you call them. Removal gives lots of space between the last and innersole. I also use the English style period last which is rather blocky and squarish and has a single mortise/tenon type wedge for sizing the instep. The grooving/channels cut into the last are a result of the pegging awl as I have found by years of pegging.

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JesseLee

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#77 Post by jesselee » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:59 pm

Geraldine,

Yes, the lasts get grooved simply by the pegging awl. I only ues 19th century techniques which were taught to me first hand by my teacher who was born in 1877 and have first hand writing of the period as my guide.

Using the iron last is an excellent technique, even if used just after pegging on the wooden last, as it really helps tighten up the pegs and flattens the ends.

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#78 Post by jesselee » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:40 pm

Lisa,

In your videos were you pegging on the iron last, or a stand for a wooden last? Seems there is some interest here on both styles of pegging.

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#79 Post by kemosabi » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:41 pm

JesseLee,

Please see if I got this straight:

1. Drive the peg holes full depth while the boot is still on the wood last. (thus eventually causing the side effect of last trenching.)

2. Drive the pegs but not into the last. (leave them shallow but still deep enough to hold the whole works together while the wood last is pulled).

3. Remove the wood last, then finish driving the pegs home on the iron last (fully through the insole and splayed out on the inside).

Is that it?

Thx, -Nat

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#80 Post by sorrell » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:17 pm

Jesse,
Are you asking about my YouTube pegging video?

I always peg with the last in. My pegs extend through the insole and go up into the last just a little, but not much. It would mainly just be the pointed tip of the peg that breaks through the insole. I have to reach down in and sand it off after I remove the last.

Lisa

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#81 Post by jesselee » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:08 pm

Nat,

Thats correct. Just leave a small point of peg. Do NOT go the full point.

Lisa,

That small peg point is all you need for hold. Just watched all your youtube videos again. With two eyes I would dare to do that type stitching.

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#82 Post by das » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:35 am

By Jesse Lee Cantrell on Monday, October 15, 2012 - 12:50 pm: Edit Post
Al,

I suppose the evidence would have come from my teacher and his as well as some first hand papers I have and will photograph or scan for y'all. In short the technique comes from a source that lived during the time and I use it and the technique is self evident. I have also, as was done (again my only evidence is first hand source, as I don't care about book 'theories'), pegged on the last and measured my pegs thusly. Peg your holes in the heel area, arch (where the counter of M1851 US Armn shoes) adds thickness, and the common inner sole, upper and sole area. You will have 3 different peg lengths. The shoe was taken off the last (if soles were pasted or glued on) and a measurement of the holes was taken of the depth of the peg and a bit of point.
In any case, nowhere have I come across historical record of a peg of any length being driven home all around the shoe. Quite the opposite actually, as this is warned against.
I have seen some shoes and boots made by shops for reenactment where the pegs were not driven through the inner sole. The soles will always come off if they are not pegged all the way through.

As to lasts. Yes, I mean the wedge type as you call them. Removal gives lots of space between the last and innersole. I also use the English style period last which is rather blocky and squarish and has a single mortise/tenon type wedge for sizing the instep. The grooving/channels cut into the last are a result of the pegging awl as I have found by years of pegging.

Cheers,

JesseLee

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#83 Post by dw » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:34 am

Peg points proud of the insole is the correct technique, in my opinion.

Again this requires that the maker be mindful of the length of the pegging awl as well as the length of the peg...and ideally, sensitive/alert to the changes in sound and feel when holing and pegging.

And doing it this way avoids the trenching that people seem to be fixated on. Not to mention any problem pulling the last.

Trenching only occurs when, for instance, a 1" long awl is driven into a stack of leather that is only 5/8" thick. This creates a deep hole in the last. When a peg that is 7/8" long is driven into this hole the peg will go in as far as it can (or you allow it to). If a double row of pegs, at ten to the inch, are embedded 1/4" deep in the bottom of a last (especially a wooden last) it will be difficult to remove the last. And, inevitably, some damage to a wooden last will occur which over a longer timespan will result in trenching.

But again, simply being engaged in what you are doing can go a long way to avoid this situation.

For what it's worth, over the years I have come to seriously doubt that "peening" over or snubbing the points of pegs...by any means...has much, if any effect on the holding power of pegs.

Wooden pegs, esp.maple or lemonwood, will not mushroom no matter how hard we wish they would. In most cases, in fact, the peg actually breaks subsurface to the leather when it strikes a metal plate or is hammered. Sometimes the fracture...while unseen...can actually be deep within the insole/outsole stack.

I suspect, rather than some sort of mushrooming, it is the combination of a large peg in a small hole and the compression of a fibrous mat (in the form of tempered leather when it is hammered) around the shaft of the peg that holds it in place.

There are many incidental aspects, which close observation will reveal, that support this theory...among them the fact that a swift blow with a smooth follow-up will drive a peg better than a series of small taps (depending on the temper of the leather). In fact, often when a peg is driven halfway through, it will...like a hung waxed end...be extremely difficult if not impossible to get moving again.

Another is that driving a peg into the center of a previously driven peg is almost more for appearance than functionality. Those are the pegs that come out first no matter how we try to peen off the pointed end.

As for the pointed end itself...peg floats, invented expressly to snuff and level pegs, effectively shear the points off level with the insole--a better form of sandpaper and more convenient and efficient.

There are many ways of doing things. A majority actually work...sort of.

But I am here to testify that I have been pegging shanks of boots...every pair...at ten to the inch for 40 some years. I have been full pegging boots for almost as long. Except when I was learning the techniques and mastering the skills, I have never had a problem getting the last out of the boot nor with the peg job holding. I do not use nails (except to hold the top lift onto the heel stack) ...ever.

Nor have I ever had any problem with trenching even on my wood lasts.

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#84 Post by das » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:04 am

Jesse,

This is the second or third time over the years you've alluded here on the Forum to these "papers", and a wonderful 19thc shoemaker's manuscript notebook you've worked from, and offered to share scans/copies. I'm really anxious to see this stuff myself, as it may be game-changing on how we understand 19thc shoemaking historically. If you don't want to blast it onto the Internet, piecemeal, consider doing it up into a book under you own name or something. Maybe the HCC might consider helping you get it printed/published on-line or on paper, but we'd need to see it first. PM on this if you'd rather.

I'm really not meaning to sound contrary here, or argumentative. Just your suggestion that 19thc pegged work was "driven home" on a cobbler's iron foot, mushrooming the peg points, rather than on the shoe last, is radical news to me. I'm not from Missouri, but "show me". The books I'm thinking of are not theory, but straight forward how-too technical manuals and essays from the period, and none mention this trick. Additionally, the low 19thc upright "H" shaped wooden "pegging jacks", held between your legs, and the swiveling iron "Bailey jacks" (stand-up bench-mounted) for hand-pegging only accommodate a wood last. And like DW, given the adhesive choices available back then (paste), I'd be leery to slip the last, and remove the boot or shoe to an iron foot for fear the outsole would come loose, even moreso if the sole had been pre-holed, as the holes wouldn't line-up if the sole shifted even slightly. Also, I'm from the one-hole, one-peg school, because if you pierce all the holes ahead of time, they start closing back up unless you knock the peg in immediately. Pierce a hole, then one adjacent to it, and the second hole pinches the first (yet empty) hole smaller, making pegging later a nightmare.

Formerly, 19thc wooden pegs came in a huge variety of lengths, from tiny stubs to huge long things, and everything in between. Precise length mattered IOW, to get a good bond without pegging the work to the last. For hand-pegging a small leather spacer-washer on the awl blade easily adjusts its effective length, controlling how deep into the work it would go to avoid gouging the last, or worse pegging fast to it. Excess peg length on the outside can be dealt with with a rasp--excess length inside pegs the work to the last. Additionally, machine-pegging was going hot and heavy by the 1850s, too, both loose pegs of "X" length, hopper-fed, as well as "belt-fed" (my term) strips of wood, splitting-off and driving pegs one at a time. Come to think of it, I don't recall any unworn 19thc pegged shoes/boots (and there are a number of these new old stock) with smashed mushroomed peg points inside, but plenty with peg points protruding from the insole that had not been cleared yet (w/ peg float, peg rasp, Yankee cutter, crooked knives--all expressly made to cut-off points inside, unnecessary if points were smashed).

Block (scoop-block US) lasts (not "wedge"], like I said, survive in great numbers from the 1800s, and spotting the pegging damage is easy. I have one or two that the trench made from years of pegging is almost 1/2" deep! How they ever slipped the lasts on those boots is a mystery.

Anyway, I'll grant that the guy who taught you used this technique, and that you use it with fine results, but please share your historical 19thc reference to mushrooming peg-points on an iron foot while making new boots. Until then allow me to remain... err....uhm.... a wee bit skeptical Image

Are you coming to HCC AGM in VT next weekend? Maybe you could bring this 19thc manuscript notebook, and we'll see what we can do to get it out there for you.

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#85 Post by dw » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:51 am

Jesse,

I apologize if this comes off a bit contrary but I must know....

You said:
In any case, nowhere have I come across historical record of a peg of any length being driven home all around the shoe. Quite the opposite actually, as this is warned against.


Where? Where is this said? What is your source for this assertion?

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#86 Post by dearbone » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:22 am

"One-hole, One-peg" was posted on the wall of our pegging room Image and the reasons for it are well stated above.

Nasser

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#87 Post by dw » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:46 am

One-hole, One-peg


As I get up from the bench where I have been pegging for the last three days (still not done) I feel compelled to say that I am the odd man out in this regard...although I claim no historical or Traditional provenance for my deviation.

But since we are exploring the technique of pegging I feel that some explanation is called for.

First, the whole idea of "one hole, one peg", while sounding good, doesn't really bear up under any functional or mechanical scrutiny in my opinion...in my opinion.

Why? Simply because we are not trying to fit a peg into a hole. Rather we are trying to force a relatively large peg into a small hole. Fundamentally, as long as the hole is large enough that we can seat the point, we should be able to drive the peg...and the tighter the fit the better.

At this point, it is pertinent to mention the state of the leather outsole. Ideally, the leather should have been thoroughly soaked and allowed to temper to the point where the dry colour is almost restored. If the outsole is too wet, pegs will not drive easily regardless the number of pegs you're diving at one time. Too dry and the pegs will not hold.

I generally make four holes and drive three. But sometimes I drive holes for distances of an inch or more...maybe even two inches.

So what if subsequent holes close up a little? It should not affect the way in which you drive the peg nor the way in which the peg goes into the leather. As long as the pegging awl was the proper diameter in the first place (significantly but not ridiculously smaller than the peg), the peg will go...and the tighter the better.

When I finish pegging, I literally peen (with a ball peen hammer) all the leather around and in-between the pegs. This compresses the leather even further.

And if the leather is in proper temper, the leather will stay compressed and dense and hug the peg firmly as drying completes. A similar phenomenon can be observed when we hammerjack tempered heel lifts.

If you get what I call "moisture bruising" around the pegs--wherever the peen of the hammer has struck--you can be sure that this compression is occurring. But it is, on typical outsoling leather, a slight "browning" against an otherwise dry colour...not a return to wet colouration.

Of course there is a caveat to this...if you start with an outsole that is near to perfect temper and peg "one hole, one peg", by the time you get done pegging the shank of a boot (nevermind full pegging it), the leather will have dried out so much that peening the pegs and surrounding leather will be virtually useless. That compression will not occur.

So...one rather anomalous take on the technique...perhaps to be lost in the mists of time and pettifoggery. Take it for what it's worth....

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#88 Post by amuckart » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:42 pm

Al wrote, in a different topic:
No Heels, pre-c.1580
Heels (wood & leather), post c.1580 W. Europe
Cement construction, first patents, US 1850s
Welted, starts c.1450, Germany
Pegged, starts c.1820s US (nailing starts 1800s)
Stitch Down, starts c.1500s? (Bavaria?)

I'd love to see the references for stitch-down construction in the 1500s if you have them to share. I've never heard of it that early and that's squarely in my period of interest.

For what it's worth, also, the remains of what was probably pegging is seen in mid-late late 16th century shoes as a means of holding down the edges of heel and toe lifts (usually a single lift). The artefacts from the Wadden sea SO-1 wreck (sunk c1595 IIRC) show this.

Thanks.

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#89 Post by das » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:38 am

Hey Al,

Early stitch downs are cited (sketched) in ‘Stammbaum de Schuhfertigungsaten’ (‘Family Tree or Origins of Shoe Constructions’) by Robert Kropf, 1997. Some of his dating is questionable, but the Volkens kindly added margin note corrections for me, as well as cited other examples they had seen of 16thc archaeological examples. Seems S-D originated up in the Bavarian Alps, and followed the Rhine River all the way to the Netherlands. It was regional. In England very rare except for toddlers’ cheap shoes 17thc-18thc and repairs. Ditto in the colonies here, until mid-18thc, in areas where German speaking immigrants settled. We have archaeological examples c.1700 (Massachusetts, toddlers’ Type I), 1760s (Frederick, Maryland, adult male Types 1 & 2); 1850s (Richmond, Virginia, adult Type 3), plus a few “flyers” here and there, mostly kid’s Type I.

Typology

Type 1—Uppers (unlined) lasting margin flanges out and stitched to outsole all around like Desert boots (the earliest version, mostly on kids’).
Type II—Uppers (unlined) lasting margin flanges out, one row stitches it down to the insole, second outer row stitches through everything to added outsole (double rows IOW), heel seat lasted under and made with a rand like a welted shoe.
Type III—Uppers (unlined) sewn to insole like a welted shoe, then lasting margin flanged out and stitched to outsole, heel seat lasted under and made with a rand.
Type IV—The modern 20thc one, where uppers (lined) sewn to insole as for welted, lining lasted under, then outer shell of upper flanged out and stitched down (or with “welt” laid on top), and all that “gossier” [sp?] stitching, c.1900 in UK, later (rare) here. See Halfer shoes 1920s-30s, when wealthy folks started taking ski holidays to the Bavarian Alps, and brought them home as exotic souvenirs. Marlene Dietrich wore them (and men’s suits--scandalous!)—a very highly-charged fashion statement in those days. They never caught on in US because of rising anti-German sentiments, WWII, etc. The “Budapester” is a tamed-down, regional urban hybrid—mountain-shoe-cum-city-wear.

There are wooden, bone, and ivory pegs in soles going back to the Romans, but always for repairs or to fortify a sewn sole. Later for attaching heels—after you have heels that is. O. Goubitz has an interesting theory on “patch heels”: see ‘Stepping Through Time’. First fully pegged construction shoes; however, are US, first quarter19thc. See my two articles on history of pegged construction in the Early American Industries Association ‘Chronicle’. June Swann found an unworn(?) 18thc man’s shoe in a Spanish museum with a stitched and pegged soles, and no doubt it was tried earlier, but 100% pegged construction didn’t really grow legs until those inventive New England Yankees perfected it in the 19thc. Pegging was a cheaper alternative to “riveting” (square-section iron clinch-nails), patented here in 1805 (7?), whence Brunel (engineer for NYC at the time) whisked the idea home to London and tried his (the “first” mechanized) army boot factory that flopped (war ended before he delivered and got paid). Iron was more expensive than wood, wood was more plentiful here than UK; iron also reacts with the tannic acid and chemically burns the leather.

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#90 Post by dw » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:18 am

Al,

The Great Leather Act of 13??

I was under the impression that it codified many of the techniques we use today including how to make hand wax and waxed ends. What were waxed ends used for if not ineaming?

Please clear this us once and for all...

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#91 Post by das » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:53 am

DW,

Great Leather Act of 1604 (1663, 1725, 1800) UK, and Statutes At Large in Virginia (and elsewhere?) mid 1600s+. Mandated the use of hand-leathers for “hard-drawn” (tight) stitching, wax “well rosined” (no skimping on the stickiness ingredient)—omitting either of these saved time, $, and sped-up production. Good thread well twisted. Loose stitches and crappy wax speeds things up, but makes for bad boots and shoes. Sheepskin was also forbidden for shoes—it was cheap and could be faked to pass for calf, but it delaminates and is of little service for uppers. Horsehide prohibited—needed them alive for transport, not dead (prohibition lifted in 1783 I think). See the use of asshide in ‘The Art of the Shoemaker’, then horsehide in Rees:1813. Tanners, butchers, skinners, shoemakers, et al. were prohibited from meddling in the others’ trades—would you want your house-painter to pull your teeth? Or your auto mechanic to try and fix your TV? Standards were much higher then, and this was not, as some suppose, purely about “protectionism” (trade unionism was a century or two in the future), merely avoiding stuff being done by “Jack-legs” to protect the public. The Cordwainers had the right of inspection and seizure (in London)—cheap junk (shoes or leather) could be taken (destroyed, given to the poor, or sold-off to buy some adult beverages) to protect the public. Imagine us walking into a shoe store today, and seizing all the junky shoes, flogging them out of the country and using the proceeds to fund the AGM and one Hell of a party. Ah well, times have changed.

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#92 Post by dw » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:18 am

Al,

Thanks.

I'm glad that we have a "family" historian on the CC. I don't remember the details like I used to (if I ever did).

For some reason I thought that there was a Great Leather Act in the 13th or 14th century. [sigh]

Trying to remember anything more than the broad outlines (I do remember that heels are third quarter 16th century and not before) is like doing bookkeeping for me--it gives me a headache.
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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#93 Post by farmerfalconer » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:47 pm

Im the shoemaker apprentice at Old Salem and we do the type 2 as described above. 'Course we represent Moravians so they are germanic.

Mr. Saguto,
At OS they havent had me make a pair of shoes yet. Its mainly just busy work just so I can keep a shop open Image So far its Fire Buckets, Map cases (19th century), and a hunting pouch. I asked what I would be doing next time and he(mike fox) said to figure something out.

THing is Im not a great historian. Do you have any suggestions as to a intermediat skill, late 18th century, leather project? Just curious for ideas.

Thanks,
Cody

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#94 Post by amuckart » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:58 pm

Al,

Thank you for that wonderfully informative post. I don't suppose you have the ISBN for Stammbaum de Schuhfertigungsaten? I've googled but can't find it.

I take your point about pegging as a technique used in combination with sewing v.s. fully-pegged construction.

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#95 Post by das » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:32 am

Al,

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If you can find me some 100% peg-made footwear prior to 1820s-30s I’d sure like to know :&#62Image

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#96 Post by das » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:48 am

Cody,

Ah, so your over at OS. Is Jeff Lambert still there? Say “hi” from me if you get the chance. Glad the OS shoe shop is still open, but if you’re the apprentice, who’s training you? I’d think simple un-lined, heel-less turnshoe slippers would be a great project to tackle—historically appropriate, plus a good shoemaking skill-builder. Better than map cases or fire buckets IMO. Shoot me a PM at CWF if I may be of any help. What “Type 2” stitch-down shoe are you guys copying? The Bierly (Elizabeth Bierly’s tannery, Frederic, MD) c.1760s slave shoe is the only one I know of off-hand, but it’s almost complete—all parts survive. Beware, it was repaired, not made new with that extra 3rd sole that ends at the heel breast.

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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#97 Post by farmerfalconer » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:46 am

Ummmm, Im not sure what were copying (Ive only been there a bout 7 months) as far as the stitch down goes. I think they have multiple artifacts in the collections but I havent gotten to see them.
Currently no one is really training me. Mike Fox (the "master" shoemaker and the potter) is always down the hall. the tailor is across the hall (also a shoemaker, though he says he hates it Image ) and the tinsmith is downstairs. So even though there is rarely somone actually in the shop with me I can always ask questions. So I do the interpretations etc. Theres some sort of insurance rule that says I cant be alone with a tradesman till Im 18.
As far as I know a Jeff Lambert isnt there.

How do I PM you at CWF?

I was thinking of making a small shoe and a small slipper and then cutting them down the middle for sort of a cross section for the visitors to see.

Thanks a lot,
Cody

das
Seanachaidh
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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#98 Post by das » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:13 am

Cowdy,

I think if you click on my green link above, you'll get my profile. There you will find my email address at CWF. If the tailor "hates" making shoes, why make him do it? How can you get trained if nobody's with you in the shop? I'd think it would be a bigger insurance liability to leave a 16 y.o. alone around sharp pointy things? Image

Jeff Lambert--Maryland ex-pat like me--was in Old Salem's fund-raising or accounting department when my old boss John Caramia was CEO there. John's moved on, but was wonderng about Jeff.

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farmerfalconer
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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#99 Post by farmerfalconer » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:59 pm

Actually there wasnt an email address there and it says you dont except msgs.

So far I havent cut myself there.

To get trained I just kind of get started on a project and run across the hall when I need help.

They have given the tailor a break and just let him make bags etc. Image

So when you say a heel less turn shoe do you mean no heel under it or no leather around the heel (like a slop)? Hope thats clear.

Thanks a lot,
Cody

das
Seanachaidh
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Re: Historic techniques and materials

#100 Post by das » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:00 pm

Cody,

I just PMed you at your address with my work email. Feel free to contact me.

The slippers I was thinking of were the ones with no heels, and no back "hind-quarters" either. As far as I know 18thc "slops" were cheap sailors' clothing Image

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