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Re: Lasts

Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:09 am
by RodMomtazi
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..?

Re: Lasts

Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:30 pm
by dw

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.

Re: Lasts

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:13 am
by hidesmith
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.



Re: Lasts

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:24 pm
by das

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.

Re: Lasts

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:31 am
by hidesmith
I've done some of the research; the standard is ANSI 75, which is the highest rated toe protection. I also understand the need to 'waste' a pair of shoes in each style in order to get them tested. When I looked into making steel toes years ago, I was ill-equipped financially to allow the wasting of a pair of shoes, let alone the fees. I'm in a better situation now, but can't even find composite toes.

Re: Lasts

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:46 am
by das
Have you tried contacting a US firm who makes ANSI footwear and ask them where they get them?