The Registry

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Full Name: Curt Hinson

Re: The Registry

#526 Post by PalmettoMan » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:29 am

I should start by introducing myself. My name is Curt H. I live in South Carolina, hence the name PalmettoMan. I am 39 going on 12 and work for myself in a non-shoe related field. I am also back in college, working on the degree I should have finished 20 years ago.

I have always found well-made shoes fascinating. I have recently started doing my own repair work on my shoes. Soon, I plan on making my first pair of shoes by hand. I also plan on making a good many of my own tools.

At the time, I am trading odd jobs and war stories with a local shoe repairman for hands-on knowledge. I have access to the usual assortment of shoe repair machines and tools. The man I am working with admits he has instruments to do far more than repair but neither the skill nor desire to do more.

I’ve been a lurker here for a while now and figured I should just go ahead and jump in head first. I have downloaded the books and have read as much as I understand. I have a lot of questions and hope I do not annoy anyone.

Curt H.

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Re: The Registry

#527 Post by paul » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:53 am

Welcome Curt!

You have a classic start on your "hero's journey"!

Several of us had our start in shoe repair. My first awareness of DW came from one of the Shoe Service of America Conventions, He tell you that his tutorial are aimed at such as us because of the "various assortment of tools and machines" we use.
The service aspect of footwear and leatherwork is where I've found my anchor. The view that what skills I may have were given to be used in the service of others, has been the driving force for the direction my life has gone.

I wish the same for you.

It sounds like a passion lurking around the corner.
Even the most difficult aspects of the trade can be come second nature with good technique applied.
There's a really great podcast by Ira Glass, an NPR contributor. It's entitled "DO a lot of Work" A wisdom, he explains, he wishes he would have known sooner. I've got it saved somewhere if you can't find it yourself.

You'll find great encouragement here as you progress.
It will be exciting to view.

With welcoming regards,
PK Boot Maker

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Re: The Registry

#528 Post by PalmettoMan » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:06 pm

Thanks for the welcome Paul. I think the thing that most attracts me to shoes is the magical simplicity of them. Every job that I’ve enjoyed has been blindingly simple at first glance yet remarkably nuanced once you learn what you are doing. I worked in a cotton mill during my early 20s. The machine I ran would do a perfectly acceptable job on its own, but if you listened to it and paid attention to the vibrations, you could make it sing. Humidity, temperature and cloth type all played their part too. A good operator could triple the output of what was expected of the machine.

Your comment that your skill should be used for service of others rings true to me. I have no doubt I can make shoes for myself. I would like to be able to make them for someone else to enjoy. That would be special. That is a weird way of explaining it but what could be better than being able to craft something of value for someone else to enjoy. By value, I mean appreciated by someone, not in the financial sense. I am neither young nor rich but have reached a point in life where I can work towards what I want. The medium may not turn out to be shoes, but I will never know until I try.

Curt H

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Re: The Registry

#529 Post by dw » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:48 am


As the "official" greeter and host, I apologize for being so remiss and not responding sooner--I've a lot going on in my somewhat secluded and usually sedate life. :greatnotion:

In any case, welcome. As Paul said, it's a that requires a lifetime. I hope you will find a "home" here and comrades that inspire and motivate.
Without "good" there is no "better," without "better," no "best."
And without the recognition that there is a hierarchy of excellence in all things, nothing rises above the level of mundane.

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Re: The Registry

#530 Post by PalmettoMan » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:10 pm

Thank you for the welcome DW.

I have certainly found inspiration here. Maybe a bit too much :)

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Re: The Registry

#531 Post by TokyoShoes » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:48 pm

Hello to you all. I found my way to this forum because I watched a video on youtube about making shoes and found it absolutely fascinating. Sometime in the near future I would like to try to make my own pair of derby's or oxfords but I still very much lack the knowledge to do so at this point. If you have any advice for a very new beginner please do share.

Out of curiosity I visited a shoe supply shop in Tokyo near my residence and looked at some shoe lasts, however they were all much too small for my big feet. I guess the first step in creating shoes is to acquire a last and so that is what I have on my to do list.

I am not too confident that I can actually make a truly functional pair of shoes, but maybe I might learn something trying.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Re: The Registry

#532 Post by Arttu » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:45 am

Hi TokyoShoes, I'm also very much a beginner shoemaker, so my knowledge is very limited.

However, I started the same way as you, watching a youtube video getting sucked in completely. My interest in actually making shoes has seen ups and downs since starting, but I've been reading a lot on the subject the whole time. I've finished 2 pairs so far (and scrapped several pairs) and I'm close to finishing the third.

A beginners advice for a beginner hobby shoemaker would be;

If you have the time and money, try to find a teacher to help you understand the basics.

Get a proper pair of lasts that fit you as well as possible without too much modification.

Don't skimp on materials, especially bottoming leather (insoles, welt, outsoles etc.). Inseaming an insole made of sole bend will most definitely make you want to quit (I know I almost did).

Get a good knife and learn to sharpen it (this really is essential).

Get a proper sewing machine, unless you really enjoy hand sewing for hours and hours.

Be prepared to spend money. I probably could have gotten a pair of bespoke shoes for what I've spent on tools and materials for the first 2 pairs (and I made most of the hand tools myself).

Read a lot. When you are starting to do something, think about what you are doing and why you are doing it a certain way. If you don't know the answer, find it (this forum is a great place for that). In shoemaking, everything is done for a reason.

You can definitely make a usable pair with the right tools and materials. It won't look like DW's work, but you can most definitely do it. You will also get better fast, so when you finish your first pair, start another.

Happy shoemaking!

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Re: The Registry

#533 Post by Almar » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:25 am

I am a French podo-orthésiste (shoes for handicapped persons). I also realize custom handmade shoes. Sorry if they are many mistakes, my level in English is weak.
With this link you can see a part of my job. ... t1591.html


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Full Name: Steve Barrus
Location: North Bend WA

Re: The Registry

#534 Post by SteveBarrus » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:41 am

Hello TokyoShoes and Almar,

I am still new at this craft but I have built 35 pair. I learned by reading and doing. A few books, DW Frommers ‘Western packers : an American hybrid’ and Tim Skyrme ‘Bespoke Shoemaking’ ‘Pattern Cutting’ Watch videos on youtube and study these books.


Steve Barrus
Last edited by SteveBarrus on Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Full Name: Damien

Re: The Registry

#535 Post by Damien » Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:33 pm

Hello everybody,

My name is Damien, I am a 29 years old french collector of leather tools. I also like to work leather especially by doing dog collars.
I don't know anything about the art of doing shoes, but I like to see videos to try to understand this job.
I am a friend of Almar, who told me about this forum.



Anton K
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Re: The Registry

#536 Post by Anton K » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:18 pm


I'm a rookie shoemaker from Ukraine. Found this forum when i was to looking for the info about the smallest stitches per inch on the upper of the shoe, great topic with a lot of useful information.

All best,


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