Tools to Make

Got any great sources for leather? Tools? Machinery? Looking for sources?
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large_shoemaker_at_large
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Re: Tools to Make

#76 Post by large_shoemaker_at_large » Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:17 am

Hi DW
Thanks now that makes sense. You pinch the leather with the u shaped parts then tension with the T handle?
Where do you plug in the computer ? wink.
I take it that for a full wellington? how do you mellow your leather to get that curve?
Regards
Brendan

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dw
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Re: Tools to Make

#77 Post by dw » Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:54 am

Brendon,

You don't really do anything special to the leather. Naturally, it has to be wet and it is my contention that certain leathers are probably unsuitable for this style of boot.

But, that said, I shy away from soft, stretchy leather even though it may seem counter-intuitive. If a leather is unsuitable for making a four piece boot...because it is overly soft or stretchy--some leathers are more "garment" of upholstery leathers...then it is equally unsuitable for making a two piece boot.


Tight Stitches
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Re: Tools to Make

#78 Post by homeboy » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:22 am

Brendon,

Just crimped up a pair of elephants yesterday....here ya go on a regular board
6964.jpg

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Re: Tools to Make

#79 Post by gshoes » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:01 pm

Jake,

How wet is the leather and how thick is that baord?
Geri

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Re: Tools to Make

#80 Post by ridgerunrbunny » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:26 pm

Off topic question. I just finished watching Marcell's and Tims Youtube films. Can someone tell me what Marcell uses to scrape the heel down with. A curved file/rasp type thing. I could use something like that if I recognized it.

Bunny

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Re: Tools to Make

#81 Post by homeboy » Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:33 pm

Geraldine,

The board is approximatley 1" thick and has a tapered blade on top.

I soaked the elephant vamps for a good 15 minutes. Then I let them "mull" or "case" for over an hour. This gives the moisture time to filtrate thoughout the piece of leather.

Hope this helps.

Jake

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Re: Tools to Make

#82 Post by large_shoemaker_at_large » Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:49 pm

Hi Jake
Thanks for the pic. Where do you live and wear did you get Elephant? What would that cost I assume if you bought a whole hide you should be set for a while. I'm not exactly sure but importing African species into Canada is almost impossible.

I would like to see the finished product
Regards
Brendan

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Re: Tools to Make

#83 Post by homeboy » Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:29 pm

Brendan,

I live in Northcentral Arkansas. You know, I can't recall where I bought the elephant. I've been hoarding it for a while! It's my favorite leather to work with. Most of my boots are elephant. It just keeps a going! Pretty darn tough!

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Re: Tools to Make

#84 Post by homeboy » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:42 pm

Brendan,

Concerning the elephant, this is the best I can do:

Kelly Larson Sales @817-339-0044
ask for Chuck Larson or Jay Kelly
Tell'em Jake Dobbins sent ya!

Hope this helps.

Jake

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Re: Tools to Make

#85 Post by hidesmith » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:07 pm

re: closing awls
Well, I have one shoe almost closed using the round method. I had one closing awl that I've babied for the last 7 or so years, only using it when I couldn't use anything else.

I finally broke it and went antique shopping to find another. We live in a former shoe town, so they ought to be available. We also live on "antique alley", which runs through two towns and is well known in antique circles across the country. Finding another ought to be easy, right?

Well, one of the places I stopped at was the shop of a former blacksmith - his parents run an antique shop on the same property as his shop. He suggested I make them. All I needed to do was find a coil spring with the same diameter wire as the awl.

I have now made and broken at least a dozen awls. I'm trying to get the correct thickness, curve, hardness, etc. so I can just finish one darned shoe. The seams are looking pretty good, but I suspect I'm using leather that's not exactly the correct stuff - it's pretty hard. No amount of wax on the needle helps.

At least I'm starting to get the awls down to a science.

B

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Re: Tools to Make

#86 Post by homeboy » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:19 pm

Bruce,

If I were you, I would contact Dick Anderson for some pointers. I imagine he might be interested in making you one. He's made me several awls to my specifications for a nominal fee.

Good Luck!

Jake

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Re: Tools to Make

#87 Post by amuckart » Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:08 pm

Do any of you have good pictures of small closing awls?

I've made some straight ones by grinding them out of allen keys and they work ok but the tip profile isn't ideal.

I'm not really sure what a straight awl should look like, are they much like curved awls but without the curve?

There was apparently a large discussion on here about the evolution of curved awls from straight awls but I've searched the archives and I've never been able to find it so I'm assuming it's on the CDs.

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Re: Tools to Make

#88 Post by hidesmith » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:03 pm

The number of awls is now up to 15. I believe it's due to the hardness of the leather. I'm thinkng about wetting the leather so I can pierce it, then letting it dry before sewing it. I dunno! I'll bet I wouldn't have this problem if I just ponied up the money to start with and bought the correct leather.

The awls are good, and work well in some of the less cast-iron leather. I have several different curves for different purposes. For instance: the curve is more gradual for the round closing, but for the foremost part where the latchet overlaps the vamp, I use a more drastically curved awl. It works well when it doesn't break.

I'm also perfecting the making of them. So far, the 14 I've made and broken have cost me the cost of a bottle of propane and about twenty minutes each. I just made 5 more and broke 3 of them, but I think it'll be cheaper for me to just keep making them. I have a lot of coil springs.

Look in Salamon's for pictures of different awls.

B

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Re: Tools to Make

#89 Post by romango » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:08 pm

I learned the hard way to never use an awl on dry leather. Why do you think that is necessary?

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Re: Tools to Make

#90 Post by amuckart » Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:26 pm

Bruce,

I imagine Dick Anderson has better info on this, and it will be dependent on the type of steel you're using but if you're having trouble with them breaking it may be that the steel is too hard. A small piece of steel like an awl will probably air-cool too fast to easily temper with a propane torch.

Something you could try is after you've shaped, hardened and polished the blade is heat your oven up as high as it'll go put the hardened blade in there for an 45 mins to an hour then turn the oven off and just leave the awl blades in there to cool with the oven.

You probably only want the very tip of the awl actually hardened, with the body of the awl blade well tempered. If the whole thing is "edge hard" it'll likely snap.

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Re: Tools to Make

#91 Post by headelf » Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:03 pm

In the guild library (Find it by clicking the Return to HCC Homepage button at left) there is a video for sale where Dick Anderson shows how to make awls. This was a presentation at a previous AGM.

Regards,
Georgene

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Re: Tools to Make

#92 Post by hidesmith » Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:57 pm

Rick,
In past experiments, round closing with wet leather leaves loose seams when it dries. Loose seams allow dirt in and cause the joint to fail prematurely. Round closing uses no cement, so the joint is held together by the thread alone, making a tight seam essential. I'm considering wet piercing, followed by dry stitching.

The awls I'm making are no different than any others I've used - they break when they're used improperly. You are correct, Alasdair, in that I'm flash-hardening them. They do cool to fast to do anything different. I'm using spring steel after I've annealed it, then grind it to shape before heating and bending the tip. Once bent to shape, I heat red and quench. Then I follow with polishing and sharpening with a razor stone. I suspect that heating in the oven will anneal them again - though, not having tried it that way, I'm guessing.
Anyway, thanks for awl the help and suggestions (sorry, I have difficulty resisting bad puns)

B

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Re: Tools to Make

#93 Post by homeboy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:18 pm

Brendan,

Got an email from Jay Kelly yesterday. Elephant is $25/sq ft. He has it in several colors. You can reach him at KelLeCo@aol.com

Hope this helps.

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Re: Tools to Make

#94 Post by homeboy » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:36 am

Dee-Dubb,

Here's the "modified" George Barnsley tool. It's correctly called a "Stitch Pricker". The flat side runs right up against the vamp. I ground it down to shorten the stitch length and rounded out the middle to really define the stitch. The points will tighten and separate your stitches after sewing. Then it's a great time to stitch prick your welt.
7247.jpg


There's already a pic of this in the archives, but I thought I would show once again my tool for cutting the vertical stitch groove on the bottom of the sole. It's actually a worn out hoof knife. Notice the shoulder which limits your depth cut.
7246.jpg

hydeandheddle

Re: Tools to Make

#95 Post by hydeandheddle » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:18 am

I found an auction on Ebay that might be of interest to someone looking for a source for toplifts. I have no connection at all with the seller. Here is the auction number 180228162137 . I also noticed that someone is selling three fudge wheels at 320236361299. I hope this information is of help to one of you.
Ron

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Re: Tools to Make

#96 Post by mack » Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:22 am

A while ago Marcell asked me for pictures of scrapers used in finishing so I thought I would post a picture in case anyone is interested
8065.jpg

Most are made from old saw blades and the desired shape is easily made.Once made they last for years. The 3 shinier ones on the bottom row are made by Barnsley and are still available from Colin.
I have used glass to scrape and it is very good but I use scrapers now as you can sharpen them and the shape is consistant.

Regards Mack

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Re: Tools to Make

#97 Post by dw » Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:39 am

Mack,

I'm with you on scrapers. I have never mastered the finer aspects of using scrapers but I do use them. I have the Barnsley set and I have some that I bought from a cabinetmakers supply house. I actually like the woodworking scrapers the best. The steel seems to hold the burr a bit better than the Barnsleys and they are thinner.

But glass...although some swear by it...seemed a bit haphazard in my hands. As you say the shape is never the same from one piece to the next and when they get dull, you have to go break another window out of the upstairs bedroom. That gets old and, more importantly, it gets cold in northern climes.

This is a subject that has never been explored in any depth here on the forum. If anyone out there, reading this, can post a brief tutorial or explanation of how scrapers are used, especially when they are used in the final phases of finishing the outsole, it would be welcome and appreciated.

I, for one, would be very interested in knowing how critical scrapers are in achieving that perfect finish you're getting on the bottoms of your shoes, Mack.

Tight Stitches
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chuck_deats

Re: Tools to Make

#98 Post by chuck_deats » Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:14 am

FWIW: Handsaws show up at garage sales and flea markets very cheaply. Some are top of the line such as Disston D-23's, Atkins, etc, as carpenters go to all power tools. If it has a fancy handle, it probably has excellent steel. Don't know about cheap hardware store saws.

These saw blades make excellent scrapers as shown in the picture. They are just the right hardness to turn and hold a burr. One blade will make a lifetime supply. Cut to shape with a Dremel tool and abrasive wheel.

These blades also make excellent "Tina" type skiving knives. Saw blades can be gently bent without breaking. They are good but a little soft for this type knife. The cutting edge can be rehardened and drawn back to a very light straw for best performance. This can be done with a propane torch. Your mileage may vary.

Chuck

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Re: Tools to Make

#99 Post by amuckart » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:50 am

One thing I would add, as someone who is slowly trying to accumulate and learn the use of woodworking hand tools, is that if you find a nice old saw at a flea market or garage sale and it's in good condition it's probably best left as a saw. They don't make 'em like they used to and there are plenty of old saws around that are close to being beyond restoration as a saw that could still be chopped up for scraper stock.

chuck_deats

Re: Tools to Make

#100 Post by chuck_deats » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:00 am

Alasdair,

Well said, and I concur completely. If the saw looks like a well made and well cared for old saw, don't cut it up. You can probably sell it for a profit. Most will be modern saws or so rusty and broken handles that they are not usable. They are also cheaper.

Currently restoring a butchered antique firearm that makes you want to cry. It is amazing the amount of damage one can do with a hacksaw and pocketknife.

Chuck

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