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Posted: 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..?
Posted: 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.
Posted: 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.
Posted: 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.
Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:31 am
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.
Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:46 am
Have you tried contacting a US firm who makes ANSI footwear and ask them where they get them?
Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:49 pm
To dw: What is a last turning machine?
Also, to anyone: I'm modifying a pair of lasts using veg tanned leather. I've had advice to coat them with either Varathane varnish, or some Barge cement. Varathane varnish is available locally, but there are a lot of different kinds in the store I went to. There's water based and oil based and indoor and outdoor, and some other variations. Does anyone know what particular kind of Varathane varnish works best for coating veg tanned leather on a shoe last?
Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:42 am
Your build-ups should be slick enough to allow the leather to move over them when lasting. You can coat the build-ups with Barge and then dust with French chalk (talcum powder) when the cement is mostly dry but it doesn't really provide the near-as-possible frictionless surface you want. My advice is to forget the Barge cement.
I used to use celluloid cement. Works a treat and dries fast. But I got tired of the fumes...it's solved with acetone...and I wanted something less toxic and perhaps a bit more "traditional " for toes stiffs (I also used to use celluloid cement to reinforce toe stiffeners, as well as coat build-ups...now I use Hirschkleber for the toe stiffs.)
I don't know about Varithane but I use 2-3 coats of Enduro water based (WB) sanding sealer followed by 1-2 coats of Enduro WB high gloss varnish, sanding in-between coats. It is slow--might take a couple of days to finish sealing the build-ups what with all the drying time and sanding. But once dried, it is hard and impervious to water. They use this stuff on pool cues.
Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:15 am
cement for toes stiffs?
Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:49 am
Much the same as using Hirschkleber.
And better, IMO, than using celastic...which does the same thing except on a foundation/matrix of fiberglass.
Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:00 am
I'm with DW on that, except I'm still nursing a gallon can of Barge Press Cement. Hirschkleber will re-soften in a wet shoe/boot, press cement won't.
Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:56 am
Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:42 am
Never heard of it. Tell us more.