Great Leather!

Got any great sources for leather? Tools? Machinery? Looking for sources?
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Re: Great Leather!

#651 Post by dw » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:33 pm

I had the same problem with Bokay. I think he'd like the business without the inventory.

There really isn't anyone carrying good full grain suede in the US...not that I know of, anyway.

A.A. Crack in England is a rep for Stead, however, and if you can get them to respond to emails yoy can order on at a time...last I heard.

Also you might try some of the Glass Calf from Hardtke. It has a nice black flesh and so does the Milano buffalo calf.
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Re: Great Leather!

#652 Post by courtney » Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:17 am

Thanks! I have heard nothing but good things about Hardke, but I've called and spoken to someone twice and requested swatches and they never come? Maybe third times the charm.

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Re: Great Leather!

#653 Post by dw » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:03 am

Ask to talk to Loy.
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Re: Great Leather!

#654 Post by homeboy » Thu Feb 13, 2014 5:33 am

Martha (aka Big Al),

Is it wise to cut welt strips on the outside edges of a double insole shoulder after trenching out your insoles? They would run parallel to the spine.

"Lay your insole shoulder on the floor, an get a median or largish size last for the work you have to do, or anticipate doing, and a piece of chalk. Starting at the outside (belly-flanky) edges, put the last on the extreme right (toe/heel aligned roughly head/tail) and chalk around it roughly, not left or right shaping. Then move the last to the same place on the left and chalk around. Number that pair #1. Then, chalk off pair #2, #3, etc. working inward to the spine, until you have the whole shoulder marked out and then cut them all out, inspect, and keep sorted by numbered pairs until needed. Some pairs will be thin and flanky, others thick and firm, but the important thing is the pairs match. I usually get 9+ pairs out of one Baker’s shoulder, plus a 3” to 4” spine strip out of the very middle."

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Re: Great Leather!

#655 Post by das » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:43 am

Jake,

I know it's "traditional" (see Golding et al), but I've never used insole shoulder for welts. If you can get 9 pair of insoles from one shoulder, you ain't gonna get 9 pairs of welts too. My preference for welting was that Horween horse "strip" that M. Seigel/Seigel of CA used to sell, but the mellow tannage. Some of it was coming in hard as a rock and like flint. Then switched to Wicket & Craig saddle skirting, and even stooped to using Barbour's leather welting for "modern" work. I've had no problems with the latter.

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Re: Great Leather!

#656 Post by dw » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:50 am

I got some of that flint-y horse strip, as well. I got to looking at it and decided it wasn't tanned properly. The "flint" was effectively rawhide.

Right now I'm working on some welting strips I got from Baker. It's a little inconsistent and just a touch thin for my tastes but when it's good it's very good.

I'd go back to the horse strips if I knew where to get it.
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Re: Great Leather!

#657 Post by dw » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:59 am

PS...

I think Tannery Row has it. This is the Horween spin-off that came about because Horween didn't want to deal with small businesses even with the outrageous surcharge that they were tacking on to every purchase.

Tannery Row doesn't carry the weights that I used--I used to love the latigo in a 3½-4 ounce for full wellingtons--and Horween told me that their prices were going to be much higher than buying direct. So I haven't contacted them...but that may change, because the horse welting was second to none.
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Re: Great Leather!

#658 Post by das » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:26 am

DW,

What's your opinion of the Barbour's pre-made veg welting? I know it's "factory" stuff and meant to feed through a Goodyear inseaming machine, etc., etc., but I got a huge roll of it, naked finish not the painted stuff like you buy in small lengths from shoe repair suppliers. If you cut it to avoid the splices it's not bad IMO.

After about 2000 seems all the Horween veg horse strips got flinty-hard. Used to be you cold get "soft" or "hard" rolled.

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Re: Great Leather!

#659 Post by dw » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:42 am

I haven't used any in a while. Problem with all that--pre-made welting, cut soles, etc.--is that you get the good along with the bad. You can cut the welt to avoid splices but what do you do with the sections that are simply too punky to use?? Of course, the stack of Baker welt strips I got had the same problem but it always seemed like the Barbour welt was about 50/50. And Barbours has a technique to camouflage the bad side--firm up the flesh--so you don't notice it until you're half way around the toe and you start hitting junk.

At least with the Baker, you have to channel and bevel it so you know ahead of time what the temper is.

When I use the horse strips, I get to cut and choose...toss the crap even before it gets stripped. But before the "flint age", there was dern little waste in a horse strip.
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Re: Great Leather!

#660 Post by homeboy » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:45 am

Thanks Al!
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Re: Great Leather!

#661 Post by HNW » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:10 am

While I'm not a shoe maker, I continue to peruse back posts throughout here with great enjoyment. I'm not sure what I'm really gaining other than satisfying a great personal interest, however I'm pretty sure that a little knowledge is never wasted.

Elsewehere to here I see a real prevalence on internet fashion boards of Horween's Chromexcel and it seems to attract a fairly consistent enthusiasm. I've only ever handled it myself passingly, and actually thought it to feel a pit rubbery for want of a better description.

As makers, I wonder what your opinion of it is, say in terms of ease of lasting, qualities compared to say for instance latigo, or purely veg tanned hide, or otherwise durability perhaps or other quality? I wonder why one would choose it in favour over any other hide.

I had it in mind that chrome tanning, for instance had some environmental impact less friendly than full vegetable tanning. I'm sure I'll need to read more but I am nonetheless interested in your opinin of the leather from a cordswainer perspective.

I'm sorry for chiming in occasionally with my own questions while offering near nothing in return to the forum. Best wishes to all.

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Re: Great Leather!

#662 Post by HNW » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:50 am

Too late to edit, but another thing that I have noticed is that chromexcel is very rarely struck through (is that the same as drum dyed or mil dyed? ) - and in some cases aniline finished (painted?), which I read can evolve through wear to reveal the lighter shades beneath - a sought after finish, by all accounts. Designed to crack and or fade over time, as some might see it.

Almost an artificial encouraged ageing, or antiquing I suppose.

Be that as it may, I am still curious over what preferential qualities chromexcel - or even the chrome tanning? - might possess over regular veg tanned from a makers perspective?

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Re: Great Leather!

#663 Post by homeboy » Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:26 pm

Just for those folks who was wondering what Al was describing concerning "trenching" your insole double shoulders.
Start on the outsides to "match" your pairs. Work your way toward the center.
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Re: Great Leather!

#664 Post by dw » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:24 am

Jake,

What kind of insole shoulder is that? Where did you get it, IOW?
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Re: Great Leather!

#665 Post by dw » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:31 am

Speaking of insole shoulder...

I understand the idea of trenching the shoulder and theoretically I like it. But I havea question that sticks in my craw...

What about the fat wrinkles?

Shoulder is more prone to fat wrinkles than any other part of the hide and invariably they always run across the shoulder.so if you cut insoles parallel to the backbone, you get heavy fat wrinkles running across the insole.

That means that when the shoe is worn those fat wrinkles will be the easiest and default position for the insole to flex in. If the fat wrinkles are not aligned...somewhat closely with the treadline and the way the foot wants to bend, I suspect the foot will not be comfortable...initially,at least...and maybe not ever.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Great Leather!

#666 Post by homeboy » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:24 pm

Dee-Dubb,

I purchased a couple of double shoulders (Bakers) from Lisa. She's a dealer for Bakers now. Anyone interested, just contact Lisa.

Concerning the fat wrinkles.......I ain't no expert! I "trenched" one double shoulder yesterday and still have one untouched. I really didn't encounter very many fat wrinkles. Will take pics for you on the other shoulder.

Not to start a "wee-wee" contest here, but I tend to agree with Big Al on his logic concerning fat wrinkles. We as bespoke makers tend to set up the "break" position with the shank. But like I said, I'm just a "pup"!

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Re: Great Leather!

#667 Post by das » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:59 pm

I've used Baker's insole shoulders for 25 years--Croggan's pit-tanned before that. Never had an insole flex funny or where I didn't want it to based on the wrinkles. Usually once the grain is buffed-off the wrinkles disappear. The only issue I've had is that the thickness/stiffness fall off so dramatically as you cut from spine to flank on either side, I "book match" all my insoles, cutting (trenching) a shoulder up all at one sitting. Some pairs will be almost too thick/stiff (right next to the spine), and others too thin/soft (at the edge), so I just sort them into pairs and use accordingly. Cut larger size insoles close to the spine, and smaller ones out near the edge. I guess I start cutting maybe 3"-4" out from the very spine, leaving a 3" to 4" spine strip that's good for shanks, etc. If you cut too close to the spine, one side of your insole will be impossibly thick and stiff, while the other side of the same insole will be less thick and mellow, IOW pretty much useless. Even if you run it through a 6" splitter to even-up the thickness, one side will remain stiffer than the other.

NB--Be sure to flesh the backs off well. There's often a lot of compressed loose fluffy tissue on the backs that will not hold a stitch, but a good skiving knife will lift it off like paper and get you down to solid leather.

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Re: Great Leather!

#668 Post by homeboy » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:34 pm

As Al mentioned, and I was "fix in" to say, these shoulders are buffed (which I do not prefer). Very hard to tell if wrinkles are present.
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Re: Great Leather!

#669 Post by homeboy » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:37 pm

Here's a pic of the "fleshy" stuff Al was describing. I circled the only fat wrinkle I could find.
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Re: Great Leather!

#670 Post by homeboy » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:48 pm

I usually case my insoles (12-24 hours) before placing them on the lasts. As most of us do, I inherited the sorriest pair of insoles from the double shoulder. Placed these on the lasts last night. Personally, I don't think I'll have any problems making these work.

Lisa begged for thicker shoulders. These are a tad "light" for my preferences. Once again, I prefer .....non-buffed!

Big tip of the hat goes out to Lisa. She has done ALL the heavy lifting for us. THANKS LISA!!!
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Re: Great Leather!

#671 Post by das » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:17 pm

Jake,
You better shave all that compressed papery crap (adipose tissue) off the flesh or you're askin' for trouble. If Lisa's Baker's shoulders are coming is with buffed grain, good. If not you gotta buff the grain off with broken glass or the like. or they'll be too slick inside and raise hot-spots and blisters, at worse the grain will crack-up from acidic foot sweat--just sayin'.

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Re: Great Leather!

#672 Post by dw » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:20 pm

homeboy wrote:Here's a pic of the "fleshy" stuff Al was describing. I circled the only fat wrinkle I could find.
Jake,

If that's the flesh side I'd call that a "vein shadow."

I see the fat wrinkles on the grain side, never, that I can recall on the flesh (maybe I just wasn't looking). I have a Baker...hell, I don't know what it is...I thought it was a bend but it is so fat wrinkled I couldn't user it for outsoles even if it was a bend. And such fat wrinkles are so unusual anywhere but the shoulder or belly I have to think it must be shoulder. But it's shaped more like a bend than a shoulder.

Of course, that shoulder in your last post looks kind of more like a bend than a shoulder too...from this angle at least. So maybe shape doesn't mean much.

I dunno.

Maybe I'll take a photo of it tomorrow...if I think about it. But you will see what I mean by fat wrinkles if I do.
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Re: Great Leather!

#673 Post by dw » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:25 pm

das wrote:Jake,
You better shave all that compressed papery crap (adipose tissue) off the flesh or you're askin' for trouble. If Lisa's Baker's shoulders are coming is with buffed grain, good. If not you gotta buff the grain off with broken glass or the like. or they'll be too slick inside and raise hot-spots and blisters, at worse the grain will crack-up from acidic foot sweat--just sayin'.
Al,

There's another good question...Why?!

Why do you have to get rid of all the loose duff/flesh?

I understand about roughing up/buffing the grain the grain, but I'm not about to rely on loose stuff to hold a stitch...so I'm not sure what drawbacks there are to leaving it there?
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Re: Great Leather!

#674 Post by homeboy » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:18 pm

Dee-Dubb & Al,

It's a double shoulder for use!

I don't like receiving leather buffed for the same reason I don't like pre-cut insoles......I don't like people messing with my leather or cutting it! As Al said, once it has been buffed, well, you don't know exactly what the surface looked like. Of course, pre-cut insoles are just a "shot in the dark"!

I hear ya Big Al! I never leave the grain surface un-attended to. Always use a piece of glass or take it to the finisher, followed with some type of conditioner.

Al......I don't see your point on my insoles. No "fleshy" spots in places that require a stitch. I'll check again closely tomorrow.

I would give my left.....leg........to get both of you two in a shop one day. Making a pair of boots with the Two of You would be heaven! Of course, there would have to be a bottle of scotch also.

Have one on me fellers!
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Re: Great Leather!

#675 Post by dw » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:21 pm

Couldn't wait...here's a photo of the Baker I was complaining about. Must be a shoulder...maybe not even a double shoulder...or just oddly trimmed.

But those, my friends are fat wrinkles and, right or wrong, I just naturally want to put them perpendicular to the line of flex.

I can guarantee one thing--they aren't going to buff out.
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