Around the shop

Got any great sources for leather? Tools? Machinery? Looking for sources?
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Re: Around the shop

#76 Post by das » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:08 am

Anybody east of the Mississippi (to save on shipping)have one or two old cobblers' cast iron Lazy-Susan revolving nail trays they'd like to part with? Seems these are now out of production, and the antique and junk dealers think they are worth their weight in gold.

PM me dsaguto@cwf.org

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Re: Around the shop

#77 Post by dw » Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:26 am

Al,

I see these on EBay all the time but they cost more used than they did when they were new.

Still, if you are determined....a man has to do what a man has to do.

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Re: Around the shop

#78 Post by das » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:35 am

Thanks to the several replies PM'd so far. I only need old dirty used ones, not brand new, if anybody has spares to sell.

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Re: Around the shop

#79 Post by djulan » Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:59 pm

Rob,
I do vent to the outside world, and my concience has haunted me since long before I read your question. So maybe it is time to switch to filtering, a significant increase in cost buying those filters, though! My cement table is based on Alan Zerobnick's. The theory being that most cement fumes are heavier than air and fall into a catch basin below the cement surface. Vent the catch basin moving low cubic feet per minute. Cheap and efficient as opposed to a giant fan sucking all your room temp air away from the cement area along with your costly heat and air conditioning. A greater advantage is the low volume of air movement barely alters the evaporation rate of solvent from the surface of the cement. A solvent based cement will actually glaze over with condensation when too much humid air is pulled past it's surface, by quick cooling from evaporation.
You need not wet your fingers to press the finished edges of sanded plantation crepe, but water is the non-contaminating lubricant for genuine crepe and therefore helpful. BTW, if stitching it to a welt wipe a bead of water over the crepe surface before sewing so the presser foot slides across it easily, allowing as long a stitch length as possible. Using water as a lube allows you to bond to that suface later. Oil, wax, or silicone lubes will diminish later bonding to that surface, and may also chemically deteriorate this unstable rubber as well.
David

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Re: Around the shop

#80 Post by relferink » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:37 pm

David,

I was looking into building an activated charcoal filter myself. It can't be all that hard, specifically if you consider that the air flow rate can be rather low. I'm not familiar with Alan Zerobnick's design, but the idea is indeed that the solvents are heavier than air and will fall to the floor if not collected so they have to be vented from below. Sucking air upwards as with an vent hood is counterproductive as it will suck the fumes up to face level.

Some time ago I looked into in-line, ignition protected fans, the most reasonable priced ones I found were for marine use designed to vent engine compartments. They run on 12V but that makes it easier to slow them to the desired speed. The activated charcoal is what puzzles me. I see all types of filters offered on line as well as activated charcoal in pellet form. The latter being very expensive. I don't want to build something that is not effective, nor do I want to spend a fortune if I can help it. Does anyone here have experience with charcoal filters? What type works well and how often does it need to be replaced?

I believe it was Al who mentioned on the Colloquy the ingenious idea of using an old grill for a glue table. The cemented pieces lay on the grill covers and the fumes can fall down into the base and be sucked away. That's the design I currently have in mind. With a filter that would make a great addition to my shop. I'm still working on how to incorporate a last pouring area. The fumes from PU when the two components react are not very nice either. It's a work in progress but with some help the pieces will start to fall in place.

Rob

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Re: Around the shop

#81 Post by das » Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:21 am

Rob,

I can't claim the old BBQ grill as a cement table as my idea--Bill Klingbeil at Klingbeil Shoe Labs, Jamaica, NYC had the one I got the idea from. It was a big and round, maybe 5' dia., with a rotating round grill in the middle. You'd cement a part, lay it on the grill, rotate the grill, plop down another freshly cemented part and so forth. After a while, when full, the pieces you laid down first would be rotated back to front ready to remove--but he was doing production, lots of shoe parts on the "Barbie" IOW. I recall he had suspended the round top to the grill a few feet above the bottom like a hood, but he did not put the lid down to cover it. His vent pipe was that crinkly corrugated aluminum duct tubing, like clothes dryer's are vented with, exhausting it from the center of the bowl-shaped BBQ base. Not sure of the fan and motor rig, but to avoid pulling the fumes through the fan, it may have been a gentle blowing fan located above in the BBQ top hood come to think of it, to force air down, moving the fumes down the vent, instead of sucking them into a fan???

As noted solvent fumes are heavy and tend to fall anyway, so a fan above the cemented work pushing air down, might be a better idea than a fan below sucking the fumes into it and its sparking motor. Thoughts?

BTW, I've given up on the Singer clutch motor I was trying to re-wire over in Sewing Machines. Added the capacitor to the switch, and it still just sits and hums at me. Oh well... some things, like motors, just do not get better with age, like fine wines and elder cordwainers Image

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Re: Around the shop

#82 Post by large_shoemaker_at_large » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:15 am

Hi All
As for the down draft table, years ago I did a presentation on safety on the pedorthic shop. I should have went into production for down draft tables due to all the requests for them. The best info I could find for a proper table is 150 CFM per foot of vented space. That would take a large fan and inline spark proof fans are expensive. I have used a squrill cage fan as the fan and motor are seperated. The easy way is to build a hood so the actual vented size is smaller than an open table.
When I built my present shop I hooked it to my air to air heat exchanger that is about 5 feet from the table. I checked with the manufacurer and they figured the total vapor load would not effect the core from deterioration. Yes blowing heated or cool air outside is a waste of good money. As for the charcoal filter is a good idea and I have heard some States mandate collection of VOC's. I believe Deviblis makes a vapor hood so you might google them and see what they have. Vapors can only be sucked not blowen. How ever you get rid of the vapors is good as if tolulene hits a glowing surface like a furnace heat exchanger you make phosgene gas a gas used during WW1 to kill people. I had to take an Occupational Heath certificate to realise I was slowly killing myself. The disclaimer "Use adequate Ventilation" does not tell the whole story.
Good luck with your project.
Regards
Brendan

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Re: Around the shop

#83 Post by luckyduck » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:32 am

Hey All,

I did a very cheap version of Alan Z's down draft table. Made the top out of peg board (like what you would use on a wall to hold tools) Then made a ring around that of 2X4's and a bottom of some 1/4" plywood that was laying around and legs from 2x4's. Then mounted a 50cfm cieling fan on the bottom and ran it out a dryer vent in the wall. It works great in that I can glue the soles for 3 pairs of sandals at a time and not smell the barge at all. Everything was scrap laying around except the cieling fan.

By the way, I didn't worry about spark control because at the rate I glue, it is way below a concentration that will explode.

Paul

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Re: Around the shop

#84 Post by djulan » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:28 pm

I'll take a pic or two to post my (crude, yet efficient) table and vent setup. Meanwile, I found whenever asking the environmental experts which filters work best, they always want me to have my MSDS sheets in hand before they will answer. There are apparently filters specific for certain VOC's. Though I can't guess how much of all that is marketeering.
Also Blaze (Systems Plus) sells a filtered system. And the replacement filters are expensive, but you could build your table to use his filters.
Al, I gotta do my next table the way you described Bill Klinbeil's, like a lazy susan system. Love it!
David Ulan

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Re: Around the shop

#85 Post by romango » Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:50 pm

You can't get phosgene from toluene. Phosgene contains chlorine and toluene does not.

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Re: Around the shop

#86 Post by relferink » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:06 pm

Al,

As always a scholar and a gentleman, giving credit were credit is due. Thanks for the clarification of the rotating grill. That sounds like just the thing to have. I had been hanging on to an old grill thinking I would convert it but last winter I was told by Sonja to choose between her or the grill. Thankfully she came backImage
Pushing the fumes with an fan from above will not work. The fumes are not heavy enough and with air movement will easily be pushed outside the containment area. The fumes in the air act a lot like water in scotch. When an ice cube melts in a glass you can see the water and alcohol swirl around, not quite mixing. When the glass gets picked up the movement is enough to undo the faint separation. Same with the fumes, when the air is disturbed the fumes move all over.

I was sticker shocked when I started looking for ignition protected fans. Than I found fans used for marine use, specifically bilge fans to vent engine compartments. They start around $20 on-line. Not that an ignition protected fan is absolutely necessarily, a local repair shop uses a bathroom type vent and as of last Friday the place was still standing. With the limited amount of fumes I'm not overly worried about getting a concentrated enough mixture but it won't hurt to set it up the right way. When adding a charcoal filter you can put the fan behind the filter, pulling the fumes through the filter by creating a vacuum behind it. This way the fumes are no longer present when the air passes by the ignition source.

The shoe system plus fume buster is set up with a squirrel cage fan and a motor in a separate compartment but the drive shaft opening is quite large that allow fumes near the motor, a combustion source. Brendan, I'm confused by your post. Do you vent your fumes into your heat exchanger untreated? Won't that send them all over the place?
When I was trying to read up on activated charcoal there was not much difference made to what type of contaminates it attracts. David may be on to something thinking it has something to do with marketeering.
I don't know what filters Shoe Systems uses in their tables but find them generally expensive and wouldn't be surprised if the same filters can be found elsewhere much cheaper.

David, I'm looking forward to those pictures. Any type of inspiration is welcome.

Rob

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Re: Around the shop

#87 Post by erickgeer » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:46 pm

We're running a Fumebuster at the school here, and I can give a little info on them. They get shipped from the manufacturer- Landis Canada, if I'm not mistaken.

The five footer has three filters that look for the world like your standard furnace filter- these are for particulates only (though I'm sure someone can claim they are something more).

Underneath the particulate filters are three cannisters partially filled with activated charcoal, which can be opened and refilled (No-one seems to know how to tell when they need refreshing).

The canisters are perforated, so the air flows through them. Underneath, the housing narrows to the two fans, and vents to through the back and sides.

Maybe not too informative, but it's a description.

Erick

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Re: Around the shop

#88 Post by large_shoemaker_at_large » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:20 am

Hi Rob
Yup those vapors go to the great outdoors. I know that may sound unfreindly but here is my question. If you use charcoal to collect the vapors and then what do you do with them? The charcoal maybe reactivated I beleive by heating so then were do they go and what do they make? or are they put in the landfill to slowly release over time. Once a VOC is made they only really go one place and that is into the atmosphere hence the move to make more products with less VOC's a Californian act started the whole trend. One fellow I know uses water based contact cement for his orthotics.
The nature of our materials really restricts us to use cements with the nasty components. The only way that will change is for the manufacturers to develop products that are waterbased friendly. I don't think the shoe industry has enough clout to force manufacutrers to change.
I understand peoples urge to not pollute and it is a good thing, I don't pour gas onto the lake, like when filling and outboard motor, I don't use creasote products, But I still have to drive and the amount of VOC's made shoemaking is miniscule compared to running a car. How many nasty things are made when EVA is made or leather tanned?
Not to step on any toes or rub hair the wrong way, fumes are metal particulate ie. welding fumes. Vapors are from evaporation.
Today is July 1st Canada day. To all my Canadian shoe friends Happy Canada Day. To my neighbors to the south Happy July 4th. Let us appreciate the ability to freely discuss our thoughts and concerns!
Regards
Brendan

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Re: Around the shop

#89 Post by romango » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:47 am

I agree with Brendan.

The only reason to use charcoal would be if you could not vent outside for some reason. The VOCs will end up in the atmosphere even if they do take a little rest in a charcoal bed.

Having worked at a chemical company where they regularly pump their maximum allowed chemicals into the air, measured in tons, I tend to think we small shoemakers are not the problem.

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Re: Around the shop

#90 Post by dw » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:50 am

All this talk of exhaust systems only serves to underscore the fact that we've obviously taken a wrong turn in this Trade some time ago.

Shoe/bootmaking was not originally as destructive of individual health as it seems to be now. But that old bugaboo--expediency--has trapped us again, if only because it is now accepted wisdom that we have to use highly toxic solvent based cements to make shoes. What in the world did shoe and bootmakers do for the hundred, nay thousands, of years before solvent based contact cements were invented? Image

Brendon touched on this with his remark about waterbased products. I use, and have used for a number of years, a waterbased all purpose cement. In fact, it is based on many of the same compounds as Barge or Duall 88 (although at least one variation is latex based) but the solvent is water--so there is no toxic fumes to breathe or to vent to the atmosphere. Several companies make this product and, as mentioned, it is available in a number of variations.

Now, such cements bring a whole new set of problems to the table but they are mostly problems that involve secure storage, and application, and the degree of adhesion. All these problems, however, are mechanical rather than chemical and as such, are readily amenable to common-sense solutions. Although these solutions require us to adapt and perhaps even slow down a bit, having "slowed down" we often find that we not only have the time but, in this instance, the olfactory receptors necessary to actually "smell the roses."

And there are some distinct advantages, as well, such as the ability to create a bond on oily leathers.

For instance, you can't expect to do a total glue-on sole with WBAP (waterbased all purpose), but in the elder days, when only glues were available, you couldn't expect to do that either. That said, I have cemented, sewn, and pegged soles and heel stacks using only WBAP. Given its limitations...and recognizing them...the WBAP performed very nearly as well as solvent based AP.

Eventually with the cost of oil going up and up...and as I understand it, most of the solvent based chemicals are petroleum based...we might be forced to return to a facsimile of our roots--to the betterment of our Trade, our skills and our health.

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Re: Around the shop

#91 Post by dearbone » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:13 am

DW,

Thanks for mentioning this water based cement,i didn't know such thing existed,but since we are on this subject, I once saw a shoemaker in London using a paste to stack leather heels, i asked him what it was and will it holds? He told me, it is made from gelatine and acidic acid,which is %33 vinegar, i will make some when i get the materials,but i was wondering,if anyone of you using it?

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Re: Around the shop

#92 Post by paul » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:28 am

DW,

Ok, I'm in... now that I'm very seldom doing a half sole.

I for one would be loath to surrender a reliable toluene based all purpose cement, for a service job such as a 1/2 sole. Especially on a such job on which one builds or destroys a reputation in town.

That said, I'd don't hardly do a 1/2 sole anymore. So I'm willing to consider having to deal with a five gallon bucket of the WBAP. But I'd sure need to feel good about it not going sour while time passes before I'd use it all. I got a couple of quarts a year and a half ago or so, and they stink! They seem to work ok still, but it doesn't breed confidence in it's holdabilty when it smells so bad. Does anybody sell it in smaleer quanities?

But don't get me wrong, I like the idea of slowing down. Gluing a sole on is still going to get done in a given days activities. It's not like it's a "waiter", or having to stop work because the lights in the shop are going to be turned off at 4 o'clock and the door locked behind me.
I work at home now and have a full 24 in which to do my days work. I don't work more than 10 or so, but I've declared I've retired from retail. That gives me the power to make choices, even to refuse certain work.

...This subject makes me think other thoughts that are probably better expressed elsewhere, like over a beer or a scotch. Hey, I just bought my tickets, so maybe at Lisa's in October?

But back on the subject of water based cements, what about storage?

Paul

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Re: Around the shop

#93 Post by sorrell » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:44 am

Oooh, I heard my name. I'm still holding out hope that DW and Randee will be able to come here in October. I'd love for DW to give a seminar on the benefits of water-based and give some demonstrations on how to use it.

Lisa

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Re: Around the shop

#94 Post by headelf » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:29 am

Nasser, perhaps the "gelatine" used by the London shoemaker to stack heels is the hide glue once common in woodworking and still used by some in bookbinding to make a flexible spine to the book.

It requires a hot glue pot. When I used it for bookbinding I would pour in the glue grains into a clean pot and cover with water overnight. The next morning I would plug in the electric glue pot which tended to stay heated all day. The glue would be thinned with a little hot water if it thickened.

this glue pot had the removable inner glue-holding portion and then the outside electrified pot.

You could also use a double boiler or "bain marie",
for the French speakers among us, on a hot plate or stove.

I hope you'll be showing us the gosier stitch when we meet up in Guthrie, OK in October at the HCC Annual General Meeting.

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Re: Around the shop

#95 Post by dearbone » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:39 am

Georgene,You are correct,I think that's what gelatine is made of,boiled bones and skins,but if my memory serves me correctly, the way he told me to make it , was to add the acid to the gelatine,covered and left over-night.
As for showing you the gosier stitch, i will be glad to do so,if it is okay with the rest of the folks.

regards Nasser

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Re: Around the shop

#96 Post by large_shoemaker_at_large » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:35 pm

Hi ALL
As Nasser said I have never seen water based shoe cement in Canada the only was for laminating counter tops. I was a pale blue does that desrcribe a product you may know about?
The hide glue for wood workers is used with water and is reversable with heat. I am going to speculate here and say the acidic acid may be added as a preservitive and leather in London would be more moist. Perhaps it makes the paste un reversable? any chemical engineers lurking? They have tested 33% acidic acid as a herbicide and I works as well as Round Up from early reports I have heard.

DW I was doing that presentation and I found a quote in a book I can't remember the title Sorry? The author was in the 1700's in Italy and considered the first doctor that practised Occupational Medicine. He stated " During the March if the Guilds (on some civic holiday) the shoemaker's walked all crippled and hunched, no wonder they are so due to the way they worked all day, a being bent over their work. So I guess we have a long history of not being kind to our selves.

Is there any plans to record these seminars to be shared by us you can't make it to the AGM ?

Regards
Brendan
Ps Nasser I see the black flies didn't carry you off! where did you go?

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Re: Around the shop

#97 Post by dw » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:11 pm

Lisa,

Well, I have plans to come but there's no guarantee. I have a student who is interested in coming the last part of September (from Holland or Denmark...or somewhere far away). If she comes I'll probably make it to Guthrie...if not, who knows? But it will be a last minute thing, in either case. If I do come I will be wearing a kilt at the dinner party so get Guthrie ready...there may be a couple of us.

As far as a presentation on water based cement is concerned, I can't think of anything more boring. Using it is just exactly like using AP, with only slightly different results. You can even reactivate it with heat.

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Re: Around the shop

#98 Post by dw » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:23 pm

Paul,

I guess you got in on that "buy" a couple of years ago?

I had the same problem. The dern stuff started smelling like a sewer (or worse) after a while. I couldn't stand it any more than anyone else. I called Upaco and asked them about it. I can't remember what they said but although they didn't take responsibility, they did send me a couple of quarts of similar product that to this date has not turned sour.

I also called Midwest Chemical (is that right?...I'm not in the shop right now) and they sent me several quarts of their version--Vangrip something or other. I haven't even begun to use it although I did some experiments with it. So far no odor problems either.

Having said all that, I still use solvent based AP--mostly because of habit and because I'm used to it. But believe me when I say I am dead certain I could do without it if I had sufficient impetus. Rubber cement, now, that might be another thing...although I have recently developed techniques and sources that offer a partial solution even there.

I think the key to all this is not "time" so much as just the recognition that shoemakers have traditionally sewn or pegged or nailed footwear together for a reason. A good reason. What is unreasonable is the notion that we could...or should... aspire to make footwear without thread or pegs or nails. Especially if it means making footwear without fully functioning lungs.

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Re: Around the shop

#99 Post by dearbone » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:33 pm

Hi Brendan,

Well,i wanted to go to the head of the Missinaibi river,which is at James bay,but we made it to the Sault Ste Marie on lake superior,through Tobermory where we took a ferry to the Manitoulin island to the sue,where there were lots of birds for me to watch and study, the Mosquitos i can handle,but the black flies can take chunks of the skin.

DW, it will be so much better,if you come to the HCC meeting,i am looking forward to meet you there.

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Re: Around the shop

#100 Post by large_shoemaker_at_large » Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:59 pm

Hi Nasser
been there my Moms folks came from Owen sound and district I have take the Tobermry ferry a couple times. Nice place on the face of the earth. I was in Churhill Man for two week one summer the flies yuk
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