Got any great sources for leather? Tools? Machinery? Looking for sources?
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Full Name: Rod Momtazi

Re: Lasts

#601 Post by RodMomtazi » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:09 am

I was wondering if anyone knew of individuals making their own custom lasts (from wood) in the US or Canada? Im interested in learning or taking courses on hand-making your own lasts and am curious to see if anyone in North America actually does that..?

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Re: Lasts

#602 Post by dw » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:30 pm


I don't know of a single full time, professional shoe or bootmaker in the US or Canada who is carving their lasts from scratch. Until recent years it has not been a skill that was valued much on this side of the pond. Perhaps because Americans more or less invented the last turning machine.

Maybe Lance Pryor comes the closest.

But the case can also be made that Traditional skills simply don't have the currency or the competitive allure that would be hoped for among people aspiring to be "craftsmen"...gong way back. It isn't a skill that was passed down from my teacher to me, for example...and, personally, I regret it. I think I would be a better maker if I had that knowledge.
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

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Re: Lasts

#603 Post by hidesmith » Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:13 am

This posting has nothing to do with lasts, aside from the fact that I need to match specific toe shapes. If it belongs elsewhere, feel free to relocate it.

I'm looking for steel toes. Years ago, American Steel Toe gave me some samples to try with my lasts, and they matched up perfectly. Recent attempts to contact AST have proved fruitless, giving me the impression that they are no more.
Does anyone know of sources for steel toes? When I do a web search, all I find are new shoes with steel toes, and I don't think it beneficial to buy shoes in order to dissect them and harvest the steel toes for reuse.
I am also not against using a composite, as long as they are capable of withstanding ANSI's 75 lb requirements.



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Re: Lasts

#604 Post by das » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:24 pm


Welcome back. Glad you figured out to get back on-line here. I have no idea where to get steel toes, however, be careful. Just because you make steel-toed footwear, it's not ANSI certified. You, the maker, have to get ANSI certified to make it, or you can't sell it as ANSI. Colonial Williamsburg shoemakers (before my tenure) attempted to make shoes with steel toes for certain employees, and learned the hard way. Look into getting certified first, THEN spend on steel toes if you want, but you have to submit sample footwear for ANSI testing and if it don't pass, it's no-go sadly. Just a word to the wise.

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