Great Leather!

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

#676 Post by homeboy » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:32 pm

Dee-Dubb,

That's a shoulder (single). I agree, those ain't gonna buff out. Surely that's not a Bakers shoulder! Looks like good heel lifts to me.....of course, after hammer-jacking! :crackup:

Sorry! Couldn't help myself!
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Re: Great Leather!

#677 Post by dw » Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:05 pm

homeboy wrote:Dee-Dubb,

That's a shoulder (single). I agree, those ain't gonna buff out. Surely that's not a Bakers shoulder! Looks like good heel lifts to me.....of course, after hammer-jacking! :crackup:

Sorry! Couldn't help myself!
I think you're right. But it is Baker. It lives with my Baker stash and I labeled it when it came it.

I've hesitated using it because of the fat wrinkles. I suppose with some judicious cutting I could get some insoles out of it but wouldn't you hesitate to place them across the insole?

Hell of a price to pay for heel lifts....sometimes you're the bug. :greatnotion:
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Re: Great Leather!

#678 Post by das » Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:34 am

Main reason I flesh the loose stuff off is, so when I cut my feather and channel, and hole the insole all depths are gauged in only good solid leather. And, when the flesh-fluff raises it's ugly head, it's messy is all. If you soak the insoles as-is, when you take them out of the water the loose flesh has raised up from being compressed--too loose to hold a stitch, so why do I want it on there? It's like pills on a cheap sweater IMO.

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Re: Great Leather!

#679 Post by homeboy » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:36 am

Dee-Dubb,

Your right! I would be very careful on running any of "that" across the insole!

I guess you have to take the bitter with the sweet. Hell of a price to pay though.
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Re: Great Leather!

#680 Post by dw » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:54 am

das wrote:Main reason I flesh the loose stuff off is, so when I cut my feather and channel, and hole the insole all depths are gauged in only good solid leather. And, when the flesh-fluff raises it's ugly head, it's messy is all. If you soak the insoles as-is, when you take them out of the water the loose flesh has raised up from being compressed--too loose to hold a stitch, so why do I want it on there? It's like pills on a cheap sweater IMO.
Al,

You,ll forgive me if I come across a little contrarian...not my intent...but theoretically, I don't see how leaving it in place does any harm.

If it were visible, even from the highway, that might be one thing. But isn't it just more depth for a footbed?

If I add a leather forepart liner, I'm not going to use prime, first cut, leather. So I scrape/rasp off the duff and then add marginal, not-the-same-temper-or-quality, scraps back?

Even felt...to some extent...fits that description--it's far less dense than the duff even.
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Re: Great Leather!

#681 Post by das » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:15 am

DW,

The flesh-fluff just annoys me, so I skive it off. It's only a few thousandths off the total thickness. The tanners leave it on because they sell by the pound, just like a butcher leaves excessive fat on the meat--it's profit for them, waste for us.

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Re: Great Leather!

#682 Post by dw » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:24 am

das wrote:DW,

The flesh-fluff just annoys me, so I skive it off. It's only a few thousandths off the total thickness. The tanners leave it on because they sell by the pound, just like a butcher leaves excessive fat on the meat--it's profit for them, waste for us.
Al,

I get it. And ain't that the truth!

Thanks for taking the time.
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Re: Great Leather!

#683 Post by dw » Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:27 am

Thought folks might enjoy this short slideshow on Baker Leather
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Re: Great Leather!

#684 Post by k15n1 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:04 pm

(Can't start a new thread... 0-posts restriction? Maybe someone can move this to a better location.)

I'm looking for leather sources for making some oxfords. I don't think I'm ready to buy a whole hide. What are the options for smaller pieces that are suitable for making shoes (and lining them)? Can I get the uppers pre-fabricated? I've seen pictures on the intertubes but don't have a source.

I've been wanting to make some shoes for several years. I've done a lot of woodworking and other hands-on type of work so I'm not afraid of the construction process. I've been stuck on the materials end of things. I'd appreciate any advice or answers you might have. And if I didn't ask the right question, or have the wrong idea, don't be shy about correcting me!

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Re: Great Leather!

#685 Post by dw » Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:30 am

There are at least two or three topics that this post would be appropriate in. And this is one of them. So, no worries.

As far as finding small pieces of leather for making shoes...good luck with that. Maybe your best bet would be Tandy Leather or the remnants from another shoe/bootmaker.

The real problem is, simply, that while shoes can be made from almost any leather, not all leathers are appropriate or suitable for making shoes, nevermind learning on.

Tandy is unlikely to have any really optimal shoe leather and remnants are, well, scraps.

It's true, it is a commitment to buy a couple of hides. But the bottom line is that's what this whole enterprise is about--understanding leather...

and commitment.
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Re: Great Leather!

#686 Post by k15n1 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:46 am

dw wrote: It's true, it is a commitment to buy a couple of hides. But the bottom line is that's what this whole enterprise is about--understanding leather...
Fair enough.

For not-too-fancy dress shoes I'll need 3 sides, right, one for the upper, another for the lining, and another for the sole? Are these products appropriate? Maybe there's somewhere else I should be looking?

What about this product for the sole? http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-u ... 99-12.aspx

Is pig skin OK linings, 1-2 oz or so?

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Re: Great Leather!

#687 Post by dw » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:26 am

Two sides/hides...you can buy cut soles from a local grindery. I don't know where you live but most metropolitan areas have a business that caters strictly to shoe repair shops (they used to be called "grinderies"--I don't know of any modern or better term).

Stop in at your local repair and ask who they deal with. You might even find smaller pieces of leather at such places although again, substance, temper and finish have a critical bearing on whether the leather will be suitable.

Pigskin for lining would be OK but too thin and it will not have enough tensile strength to last any length of time.

For shoes a good, relatively thin (2-1/2 ounce) soft veg tanned kip would be a better choice.

For uppers don't go too heavy--3 ounce is a good weight for a beginner. Look for calf--usually chrome tanned--and not too heavy a finish on the grain surface. Kip, or less desirably, cowhide would work, all else being equal.
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Re: Great Leather!

#688 Post by romango » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:17 am

Like many larger leather stores, Oregon Leather (Portland and Eugene) has many bin full of cheap hides, sold by the pound. Most of these come from the upholstery business. About 95% I would not use but of the other 5%, it's pretty easy to find some suitable shoe leather. Knowing what you are looking for is the trick. Not too thin, not too thick, not too stretchy, not too stiff. There are other outlets like Oregon Leather around the country. See what is in your area.

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Re: Great Leather!

#689 Post by SharonKudrle » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:13 am

Sorry, guess I don't fit in here but I'm certainly no expert. I use Tandy shoulder leather for insoles sometimes and the thinner veg-tan is fine for uppers, you can tool it or do pyrography. Or, you can use kid goat for uppers, one hide is economical. Tandy has a monthly sales flyer and an on-line outlet store so you can always find inexpensive leather to learn on. If you tell them what you want to use the leather for, the employees will guide you away from the upholstery leather. If you use Tandy shoulder for insoles you will do the work the factories do, flesh it, beat it enough to compact it but not make it too hard, and allow extra when cutting it for shrinkage and make sure they match for thickness and firmness. Pre-cut and processed insoles and outsoles are great to use as guides to see what to aim for and to use for professional work. But, this is just one opinion from a non-expert, and oxfords truly aren't my kind of shoes.

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Re: Great Leather!

#690 Post by k15n1 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:30 am

SharonKudrle wrote:Sorry, guess I don't fit in here but I'm certainly no expert. I use Tandy shoulder leather for insoles...
Something like this?

http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-u ... 8-307.aspx

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Re: Great Leather!

#691 Post by dw » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:29 am

I'm not entirely sure what the difference in the tanning or currying methods are for "craft" leathers versus soling leathers. But I am pretty sure there are some.

Soling leathers are much denser than craft leathers. If the soling is to be outsoling it will be rolled...often several times...to compress the fibers.

With insole shoulders or insole bellies there is no rolling or compression.

And in my opinion 2mm (6 oz.), in the Tandy link above, is too thin for an insole....but then I stitch the uppers to the insole and need/desire the extra substance to hold the stitch and to form a footbed. It's worth noting that most leatherboard or fiberboard insoling is thicker than 2mm.

Now having said, all that I know of several makers who do use craft leathers or saddle skirting (12-16 ounce) for insoles...FWIW.
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Re: Great Leather!

#692 Post by leech77 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:00 pm

Hiya Folks,
I'm finishing up my first goodyear welted pair of shoes and need some help on the soling. These shoes are going to see a lot of outdoor use and wet, muddy conditions. I thought about using a pair of J. Redenbacher soles. Would these stand up to rough outdoor wear? Or should I go with a boot type sole? What do most western boot makers use for a sole and where could I go about purchasing it. I should mention that these shoes are for French & Indian war reenactment, so they can't really have anything other than a leather sole. I'm in Pennsylvania and would prefer to order whatever sole material I use within the US or Canada. Any help you can offer is much appreciated :)
Thanks and God Rest,
-E-

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Re: Great Leather!

#693 Post by dw » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:54 pm

By "goodyear welted" do you mean you used a GoodYear Welting Machine to create a holdfast of canvas and sew the welt on? "Goodyear welted" refers to a machine process. It is named after the inventor of the machine--Charles Goodyear, Jr.--in 1869, and would probably not be historically correct for the French and Indian Wars.

It is a different technique and different materials than handwelted construction.

As for outsoling, I believe Keystone is in Pennsylvania but I don't have a contact handy.

Any shoe repair finder would be able to provide you with outsoling, however.
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Re: Great Leather!

#694 Post by leech77 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:17 pm

Sorry bout that. I meant hand welted. Still a bit green to the terminology. Does keystone sell western boot soles? I imagine they're in Pennsylvania as we are the keystone state :)

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Re: Great Leather!

#695 Post by dw » Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:33 pm

leech77 wrote:Sorry bout that. I meant hand welted. Still a bit green to the terminology. Does keystone sell western boot soles? I imagine they're in Pennsylvania as we are the keystone state :)
I don't know if they sell cut soles or not. I don't buy cut soles from them, I buy bends.

Again, go down to your local cobbler/shoe repair and either ask him to sell you a pair or ask him where he gets his supplies. Take a shoe with you for fitting purposed or buy a jumbo 14".

That may be the only way to get a single pair.

Flash! Looks like they may sell cutsoles. Here's the contact info
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Re: Great Leather!

#696 Post by dw » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:23 am

Just wanted to let everyone know that Charlie Hardtke died and the two brothers--Peter and Jay are closing down the business in El Paso. Rumour has it that they will open a new company in Dallas but that their inventory will be limited to only a few items.

The beautiful Italian kangaroo they were carrying is no more and may not be included among the inventory in Dallas.

Anyone know where to get a kangaroo anywhere near the same quality?
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Re: Great Leather!

#697 Post by tmattimore » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:08 pm

I talked to Peter last week They still have some of their cordovan. They will cut down their line of goods. Their former salesman Loy is starting his own shop and may be able to get some roo.

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Re: Great Leather!

#698 Post by dw » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:26 pm

tmattimore » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:08 pm wrote:I talked to Peter last week They still have some of their cordovan. They will cut down their line of goods. Their former salesman Loy is starting his own shop and may be able to get some roo.
Yeah, I talked to a couple of people today, too. What I heard was that peter and Jay will move to Dallas but they will specialize in exotics for the NY trade and linings. No calf no 'roo.

Loy is looking at starting his own business and there wouldn't be a finer gentleman to deal with, but it take a lot...minimums in every colour and every kind of leather, to get started. Word is that he will try to keep the 'roo business, however.
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Re: Great Leather!

#699 Post by john_ralston » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:47 am

dw » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:26 am wrote:
tmattimore » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:08 pm wrote:I talked to Peter last week They still have some of their cordovan. They will cut down their line of goods. Their former salesman Loy is starting his own shop and may be able to get some roo.
Yeah, I talked to a couple of people today, too. What I heard was that peter and Jay will move to Dallas but they will specialize in exotics for the NY trade and linings. No calf no 'roo.

Loy is looking at starting his own business and there wouldn't be a finer gentleman to deal with, but it take a lot...minimums in every colour and every kind of leather, to get started. Word is that he will try to keep the 'roo business, however.

Very timely posting, as I just called this morning looking for some shark and was told Loy was gone and they had no shark. Sorry to hear of Mr. Hardtke's passing. Came here to ask about other sources and find this.

If anyone has contact info for Loy, I would like to hear from you.

And I need a source for shark, as Hardtke was the only place I ever ordered it from. I have several orders in my queue that require it.

Thanks,

John

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Re: Great Leather!

#700 Post by dw » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:07 pm

I don't use much shark..but maybe Kelly-Larson? Last I knew they carried Klein Karoo ostrich, and elephant. Exotics...so they might have shark as well.

Worth a call, at any rate.
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