Looking for...

Got any great sources for leather? Tools? Machinery? Looking for sources?
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mlharris
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Looking for pre made woman's heels

#1201 Post by mlharris » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:54 am

I know this is a tall order, but looking for potential domestic sources of women's heel components (1.5 to 3")….to add insult also looking for small quantities. Ideally, trying to source a specialty shop that would provide made to order. Any clues?

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Re: Looking for pre made woman's heels

#1202 Post by dw » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:16 am

mlharris wrote:I know this is a tall order, but looking for potential domestic sources of women's heel components (1.5 to 3")….to add insult also looking for small quantities. Ideally, trying to source a specialty shop that would provide made to order. Any clues?
Almost any finder (people who sell to shoe repair shops)in the US (?) will have women's heels. I think Georgene (member) also has some sources she would share.
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Re: Looking for...

#1203 Post by murphy » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:19 am

I've been hunting around for a specific type of leather/split for a while now and thought I'd try here, as there seems to be an excellent knowledge base amongst members.

I'm looking for a supplier of very soft calfskin or split, around 3mm in thickness, chrome tanned would probably be best. It's to be used as a padding material so I'd like to find something that compresses slightly and isn't too firm.

I've tried a number of suppliers here in the UK, none of which have been able to suggest anything suitable.

I'd be most grateful for any suggestions.

Cheers, Edd

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Re: Looking for...

#1204 Post by Ricard » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:23 am

A friend of mine gave me this old Gritzner sole stitcher.. I don't know if it's complete, or how to thread it properly.. Does anyone have a copy of old pictures, manuals or anything that might give me a clue? :)
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Re: Looking for...

#1205 Post by lisahelen » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:43 am

I am looking for opinions on a source for a reliable inexpensive tool ( press or crank?) for eyelet and grommet setting and hole cutting for same. The last thing I want to to mess up my boot uppers with poorly set eyelets! Thanks, Lisa

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Re: Looking for...

#1206 Post by sharon_raymond » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:08 pm

greetings, i am posting the following for a fellow who sent me this inquiry. if anyone can help him find golf outsoles that would be appreciated. thank you, sharon

I am looking for Golf Outsoles or something close.I have two kids that came back after 2nd Tour of Duty and both almost lost their Right Leg but they are like Mush.I talked with the Dr. and he told me if I make a certaing kind of Shoe maybe theyr will be able to play and that would be a Dream come through.It’s not much compared what they did for us but what a Surprize.I have found many golf soles in China but their min.Order is 200 or 400.Where I only need 4 soles just for the right leg at size 12.If you can point me in the right direction would be Great for those Boyz.I will give you my e-mail that anyone can help.Plus I will Pay for all the Cost.I am not looking for a free Sole. If you know of a source, please email
georgespilly@yahoo.ca

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Looking for unfinished Rendenbach soles/heels

#1207 Post by random512 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:13 pm

Hello, I'm looking for unfinished Rendenbach soles/heels. I'm having a pair of shoes custom made and I want them to be made with Rendenbach soles/heels. I'm looking for a place to buy them in USA. I have only found 1 shoe repair shop that uses Rendenbach soles and he is not willing to sell me an unfinished pair. Is there a supplier in USA with a website where I can buy unfinished JR soles/heels online?

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Re: Looking for...

#1208 Post by dw » Fri Dec 12, 2014 6:52 pm

Try
O. Baltor and Sons
263 E Harris Ave,
South San Francisco, CA 94080
(650) 589-8759
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Re: Looking for...

#1209 Post by Habitab » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:24 pm

I'm working on my first shoes currently, and I'm thinking ahead to where I want to take my craft. I want to focus on sustainable and responsibly sourced materials.
I know this can be a pretty tricky subject, since a lot of materials that are "better" in some respect are a lot worse in others. Faux suede, for example, is better because it isn't made of animal, but it's worse because it's a petroleum product.

I'm going to focus on cotton for my uppers since cotton is pretty drought tolerant, but I'm having trouble with what to do for the sole material. Leather is right out, I think, and rubber seems like the logical next step, but I'm not sure it is sustainable at all.

What are your opinions on sole materials and their sustainability?

Does anybody have suggestions for sources?

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Re: Looking for...

#1210 Post by grenik » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:20 pm

Habitab » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:24 pm wrote:I'm working on my first shoes currently, and I'm thinking ahead to where I want to take my craft. I want to focus on sustainable and responsibly sourced materials.
I know this can be a pretty tricky subject, since a lot of materials that are "better" in some respect are a lot worse in others. Faux suede, for example, is better because it isn't made of animal, but it's worse because it's a petroleum product.

I'm going to focus on cotton for my uppers since cotton is pretty drought tolerant, but I'm having trouble with what to do for the sole material. Leather is right out, I think, and rubber seems like the logical next step, but I'm not sure it is sustainable at all.

What are your opinions on sole materials and their sustainability?

Does anybody have suggestions for sources?
About the only thing that comes to mind if you do not want to use leather (which is quite sustainable) would perhaps be a bamboo derived product. It would have the flexibility to be formed and may be able to be treated in some way to hold up in footwear. It may not be comfortable.

I would not want to discourage your desire to be more environmentally friendly, but you may want to relook at leather, particularly vegetable tanned leather. As you say, it is a tricky subject since most materials have some positives and some negatives. For example, traditional cotton growing uses about 1/3 of a pound of pesticides to grow enough cotton for a traditional T-shirt, and then most dyes used are chemical based.

Either way, good luck on your first pair of shoes and making sustainable footwear in the future.

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Re: Looking for...

#1211 Post by tmattimore » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:57 pm

Not to start a flame out but I must ask the question. Which is more sustainable, a well made leather shoe that with care will last years or a more "sustainable" shoe that might last weeks or months? Having had two operations on my hands and many cortisone injections since I also must ask how about the "sustainability" of the laborer?
I have seen many people over the years who's feet have been weakened by the wearing of soft soled foam stuffed shoes that break down in 10 to 12 weeks. I am constantly bombarded with the sustainability point of view as to cement, materials dyes etc. Is this being thought thru in a complete manner. Has the sustainability of a product taken into account the people who have died in building collapses in Bangladesh?, or who work in substandard factories in other parts of the world.
Again this isn't about starting an argument but I have never read or heard a rational or logical thesis on sustainable footwear that follow the complete chain of the end product.
Tom

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Re: Looking for...

#1212 Post by dw » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:24 pm

tmattimore » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:57 pm wrote: Again this isn't about starting an argument but I have never read or heard a rational or logical thesis on sustainable footwear that follow the complete chain of the end product.
+1

I didn't want to be the first to answer this...simply because I have some fairly strong opinions in this regard.

But first to respond to Habitab...you might look into felt. There are some very stiff and thick felts out there (no sources) esp. "needled" felt (although a lot of felt is synthetic fiber). No guarantee on longevity but both leather and felt are fiber mats. Or, if you could find some way to coil hemp rope and attach it to the bottom of your shoes, esp. if you tarred it in the process, you might get some good wear out of it.

That said, I will observe that life and death are natural processes. Every creature dies. There is a balance and a harmony...serenity, even...in understanding that and understanding the nature of our relationship to the web of life on this planet. Leather itself is an aspect of that harmony because it embodies a respect for life...in all its phases and manifestations. Such a deep respect that, for people who care, no life is mindlessly forfeit, no aspect of life casually or thoughtlessly discarded.

Leather is a unique product in the way it wears and because it is so sustainable. Nothing in the natural world can take its place. Nothing can duplicate it. Not felt, not cotton, not hemp.

But of course, every piece of leather is a life. A fact and a realization that every thoughtful and mindful shoemaker has had to come to grips with.

The real problem is that so few people in today's world are close enough to the web of life to understand or to find their place, their relationship, to the natural world. They are alienated from their own natures and from life itself.

So, of course, many look almost desperately for any alternative...anything to avoid seeing themselves as mortal or as part of something so occasionally brutal or transient as life.

Unfortunately, the only alternatives that come close are those that are the furthest removed from life--plastics and rubber. Products that are derived from the petro-chemical industries. Products that are devoid of blood but which are also devoid of understanding and direct association with (responsibility for) the cost of their use.

To manufacture a rubber outsole is to damage the environment. To create toxins that are inimical to life, yet indiscriminate...without thought or notice for the miseries left in their wake. The same can be said for any one of a dozen products that simulate leather. Or the cements that are typically used to create shoes whether they be leather or some other material. And FWIW, even the dyes that we use to brightly colour our cotton and hemp and felt are petro-chemical based.

Yes, you can use faux suede, or artificial fur, or rubber outsoles. You can save a fox ...and destroy a forest. Forever. You can spare a cow...and blight a coastline for generations to come.

No one's hands are clean...and never will be as long as we deny and struggle against who and what we are and how we fit into that web of life.
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Re: Looking for...

#1213 Post by dw » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:48 am

Habitab,

Also natural, Plantation Crepe--needs rubber cement or All-purpose but it comes directly from rubber trees, IIRC. It's out there, just don't know where you'd find it.
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Re: Looking for...

#1214 Post by Habitab » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:52 pm

First, thank you for your thoughtful replies, I appreciate them.
Second, I'm going to refrain from quoting each reply as I attempt to address some of the points that were brought up. I'm doing this first for the ease of writing the post, and second because I find often times the tone of a post can be degraded by over-quoting.

I am still at the start of my journey into this craft -- so much so that you might say I'm still on the front porch, if I'm out the front door at all. As such, I'm doing a lot of research not only into style and technique, but also into materials. Aesthetics, cost, ease of use, and sustainability are some of the things I'm considering when picking materials. My current project is using cotton duck for the uppers because I like the way it looks, it isn't very expensive, and I don't need leather working tools to manipulate it.

The idea for a 'sustainable' shoe came into my head as something I'd like to investigate, not something that I've decided I'm either going to do or I'm going to put shoes down forever. In my mind, 'sustainable' does extend to the product and it does extend to the craftsman. If I make a shoe out of 100% crunchy hippie material, but it falls to bits in a week, I'll feel real good about myself for that week, but real bad about myself the next.
If a shoe isn't practical, it isn't sustainable.
If making the shoe makes me very sick (absorbing dyes, inhaling fumes), the shoe isn't sustainable.

If the shoes I make take (lets say) a whole cow to create, and the lowest figure I can find in a quick Google search is that a cow takes 6 gallons of water a day, is that sustainable?
If the shoes I make take (lets say) a barrel of oil and a second barrel's worth of pollution, is that sustainable?
If the shoes I make take (lets say) the lives of every worker on the first floor of a textiles plant, is that sustainable?

The best we can do is be aware of where our materials come from.
If I use only cotton duck for my uppers, I want to be sure that the cotton comes from responsibly grown cotton fields. This means limiting the pesticides (which, if I'm recalling the NPR interview I heard a few weeks ago, is the growing trend in the industry). I want to be sure the textile plant is safe, and pays a fair wage to its workers.
If I use leather products, I want to make sure the cows aren't from a factory farm. I want to make sure the factories involved in going from cow to leather are not polluting the environment, are safe, and pay their workers a fair wage.

Alton Brown (of the food network) has a podcast where he just goes around and talks to people he thinks are interesting and relevant. On one episode, he interviewed Bob Taylor (of Taylor guitars). Bob talked about sustainability in his line of work. Everyone immediately says "How many trees do you replant to compensate for your guitars?" and his answer is "zero." Guitars don't grow on trees, he says. As long as you don't cut the whole forest down, and are smart about the trees you cut, the forest will maintain itself. Shoes are the same way. Shoes don't grow on cows. Or in cotton fields.

Bob Taylor is in the position to control his whole supply chain. He owns the forest. He owns the mill that cuts the trees to size. I, however, am only able to control which version of the end product I buy. I would love to be able to own a heard of cattle or a field of cotton, and a tannery or a textile factory, but that simply isn't practical. Instead, I must research materials and make the best guess at which the 'right' choice is.

Thank you again for all your input. Definitely a lot here that I will continue to consider.

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Re: Looking for...

#1215 Post by dw » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:47 am

The only thing I would say to all of that...if I may--as someone who has been doing this a long time and has thought about these issues in depth...

...is that nature has provided you with every answer you need.

Using leather...which is penultimately sustainable...is life affirming.

Using synthetics or petro-chemically derived materials is life repudiating.

Virtually every one of these so-called "alternatives" come about because of our own impatience and greed.

Life...nature...tells us what is good for us--what is good for the planet. If we but slow down and listen.
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Double Crab Laster

#1216 Post by gsharzer » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:23 am

Hello everyone,

I'm a new member and I'm excited to draw from this immense well of knowledge. I'm writing on behalf of my girlfriend, who's a trainee shoemaker about to open her first workshop and is looking for tools.

She's looking for a double crab laster to help stretch the leather. I've read through the forums and understand they sometimes come up on ebay, like this site says: http s://www.antiquers.com/threads/cobbler%E2%80 ... aster.131/

Is that the same thing as a single crab laster? And are there other places besides ebay to find one?

I know nothing about your craft besides very much enjoying wearing the fruits of your labour, so I apologize if this is an obvious question or the wrong place to ask.

Thank you!

Greg

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Re: Looking for...

#1217 Post by dw » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:32 am

Greg,

First, welcome to the Crispin colloquy.

Second the link you provided appears to be either broken or incorrect. With a little sleuthing I found the reference and offer this link instead: crab lasters

Now to the meat...I don't know that I've ever seen a single crab laster. I suspect that's almost an oxymoron--they're all double AFAIK.

But the important thing is that not only are they scarce but I'm not sure how effective they are by comparison to bulldog pincers for instance. I've had several pair in my time and given them away--one pair to das, here on this board, (who may very well use them more than I did).

As mentioned, I use bulldog pincers in lieu of crab lasters in all the same places that crab lasters would be used. Bulldogs may be purchased new or on Ebay occasionally. I believe the leverage and control of the bulldogs is superior to that of the crab lasters. Presumably, that's why the have superseded crab lasters and crab lasters are no longer...time-out-of-mind...being made.
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Re: Looking for...

#1218 Post by das » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:48 am

Greg,

Crab shank lasters are useful gadgets IMO, but hardly must-have essentials. Bulldog shank lasters have their fans. The crab ones were developed for lasting Wellington boots in the 19thc, and are especially useful in the shank area to pull a stiff and resistant upper down tight to the wood at the instep, waist, and joints. That said, you can easily spoil an upper using crab lasters too vigorously, even to tearing chunks out of the upper with them. Proper lasting can be described as setting up a careful series of lines of tension in an upper on a last. The important lines go fore and aft to get the upper to cling to the sides of the last, plus retain the shape of the last after it's been slipped. Pull too hard with the crab lasters, and you spoil these transverse lines of tension. Which ever kind you get, use them judiciously.

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Re: Looking for...

#1219 Post by lancepryor » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:14 am

Greg:

They seem to come up pretty often on the Ebay France site. If you search for "(cordonnier,bottier) (outil,outils)" you will find some every so often. Of course, getting a seller to ship from France may be problematic.

You can view Anthony Delos using a pair to last the waist of the boots he is making in this video (at 5:40): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOR_-S3yYnQ

Lance

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Re: Looking for...

#1220 Post by gsharzer » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:18 am

DW, das and lancepryor, thanks for your incredibly helpful and detailed answers. This is precisely why I registered here: to gain the benefit of your experience. To clarify some, I and my girlfriend are in South Korea, where the knowledge of handmade shoes is non-existent and is only now being re-imported by Koreans who studied in Japan. So there's no one to explain the differences between clamps and bulldog pincers, or to suggest where we can get either. I'll pass this info along. Many thanks!

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Re: Looking for...

#1221 Post by dw » Wed Apr 01, 2015 5:25 pm

Good info all around.

As I said, I don't think there's anything that crab lasters can do that bulldogs can't do better...and I'm making wellingtons, both dress and full cut.

Where I find them particularly useful...although as das says, not absolutely necessary... is lasting through the waist on shoes.

If you pull both lining and upper at the same time you can easily pull the upper leather too much and it makes the topline flare out and pull away from the sides of the last. I actually pull the lining first so it sucks into the last slightly and then grab both the lining and the upper with my pincers and pull both simultaneously. Of course you don't need bulldogs to do that but it might be hard to do with crab lasters.

Some kinds of shoes styles...such as unblocked whole cut oxfords might need a crab or a bulldog in the waist--if unblocked, the patterns are flat and won't just drop on the last the way a pieced oxford would.

PS...not saying one is necessarily better than the other-- probably just what you're used to.

just my :2cents:
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Re: Looking for...

#1222 Post by dub » Wed May 06, 2015 5:58 am

I'm still looking to get a pair of lasting pliers. Having been warned to stay away from the usual antiques being sold on eBay because they are said to be impossible to get back into usable shape, I stumbled upon these Chinese pliers for $30 including shipping:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leather-Combina ... 2a504e01ea

Does anybody have direct experience with these pliers?

The nose looks a bit "pointy" compared to most lasting pliers I've seen, is that good or bad?

I'm sure $100 pliers are much better, but I'm a pauper and they will only see very light hobby usage.

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Re: Looking for...

#1223 Post by dw » Wed May 06, 2015 6:38 am

Who knows? I've ever had a chance to examine, in person, any of this new Chinese stuff that's showing up on Ebay. I'm not sure the manufacturers are really shoemakers or leatherworkers themselves as a lot of those tools seem more for the hobbyist than the professional--being awkward and long forgotten and abandoned shapes. But the real question is can you trust the steel to be good quality and well tempered?

The pattern (shape) of the pincers is old...I've seen 18th century (?) antiques in exactly the same pattern. Seem to have fallen out of favour as shapes and the understanding of leverage evolved. I am sure that they will be serviceable, however.

As for the narrowness of the jaws, I would use pincers like this for lasting around the toe and the heel not for major drafts.

And FWIW, if you're careful and circumspect, you can buy vintage and antique pincers on Ebay that are near-as-nevermind unused and clean...and in very usable condition. With few exceptions, All my pincers are off Ebay and all have sharp, unbroken teeth and tight hinges. Don't expect to pay $30.00 for them, however.

On the other hand...and just to put a bug in your ear...skimping on tools is a recipe for frustration and eventual discouragement. "Poor tools make for poor work."

:2cents:
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Re: Looking for...

#1224 Post by dub » Wed May 06, 2015 8:30 am

Which type is the best lasting pliers then? Is is the wedge-shaped straight ones that I think are referred to as the "German style" ? (116 in this image: http://www.greatplanestrading.com/SEPT1 ... _116TA.jpg)

I never understood the benefit of curved jaws - wouldn't the pliers only grip the leather at the tip anyway? If so, perhaps us poor cobbler hobbyists could get away with using regular flat nose pliers with an insert to protect the leather from the cutting edges in the back. The heavy ones work pretty well for hammering small nails in a pinch.

I mean this type: http://i01.i.aliimg.com/wsphoto/v0/3226 ... utters.jpg (uh oh, it's China again)

(I'm not suggesting anybody go and buy these over of real lasting pliers, but I'm guessing most every tinkerer already have a few of those in his toolbox)

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Re: Looking for...

#1225 Post by dub » Wed May 06, 2015 8:49 am

What about using flat welding welt pliers for the the "major drafts"? (http://i.ebayimg.com/09/!B76!B6g!Wk~$%2 ... ~~0_35.JPG) I have a bunch of those, too. I could cut them to different widths.

Or would I be better of to get a single lasting plier slightly with a slightly wider tip than the Chinese one I linked to, and use it for everything?

Sorry about this ghetto style tool discussion; leather working is non existent in my country, so tools are very expensive because of shipping, import duties, taxes, VAT, etc, etc.

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