Thank you so much for your comments but I feel I need to clarify my question. I am making a pair of orthopedic high top shoe. (don't really want to call them boots) the customer is diabetic with severe swelling. He has a hard time bending over so he requires a Velcro closure, probably 3 or 4 straps. One side has needs to be raised, thus the forward pitch in the last.
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I am making a last with a leg. This is the plaster positive, I'm working on modeling the toe extension. When I have this ready I plan to copy this last in a Poly Urethane hard foam so I can work on it like a wooden last. Plaster is just too brittle to work on and I would have to break the last when the shoe is ready to get the last out.
So my question: when this last is ready I make the orthotic and than I make a forme. I recently got Frank's book and the tape method strikes me as one that makes a lot of sense and has the potential to be more accurate than any of the other methods I know. Has anybody applied this method to a last like the one I'm making? Like I said before, I would normally use a wet copy method but find the leg on the upper pulling back to much. I know found ways to adjust but I prefer to find a way that gives a good forme directly from the last.
This also brings on an other question, has anybody any experience using any of the geometric or mathematical methods on orthopedic (non symmetrical) lasts? If so I love to hear about it. I have not been taught these methods and I don't know it it is because they don't work well with orthopedic lasts or that my teachers didn't know them.
Frank, I like your observation, 60% science 40% art. Your right that the fit of the final product is the mark we are measured by. I would just like to make improvements on the mix of techniques I use. After going through most of your book I'm jumping with excitement to try new things. The tape method makes strikes me as a great way to work and I think it will work very well on orthopedic lasts. I want to try sketching on the design and flattening out the individual parts adjusting for the stretch of the leather of that particular part. Still not having a mean forme is something so unthinkable for me so I may end up doing both the mean forme and the individual parts. I'll keep you posted.
Tom, Don't have the luxury to make multiple fitting pairs to get it right. Since my upper isn't lasted by machines I have more leadway with my lasting pliers, I can adjust for a lot yet I prefer to have a good fitting upper to begin with.
Janne, Do I get it right that you use a plaster last and cut it to be a scoop block. How do you keep the pieces together, I take it you can't put a screw through it. The elastic tube gauze and varnish sounds like something I should try sometime. Do you use regular hardware store bought varnish or something special. I think if it's for a customer that I expect to make multiple pairs for I prefer the PU last.
When I make high shoes on a low last I use the forme and than measure out the top. Like in Frank's book but if I need to reinforce over the ankle I make a high last.
Again, thank you all for your advice and please keep it coming