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Posts by Demeter

This is done for several reasons. (1) Logos of some tannery on a brand new sole are ugly. (2) The soles or heels that are used can be old, and a bit dry, especially if they're kept in an arid closet in the back of the shop. A cream/moisturizer is applied liberally to the leather, and seeps in, conditioning the leather and thereby making it more durable, more flexible, especially in cold weather. (3) It allows a new finish to be put on, polished and shaded to blend in...
First, the heels are shaved down with a rotary blade wheel on an old Landis machine. Some sanding is done to make sure that the curve is even around the entire heel. This attachment is very useful because the head is curved so you've got more control over how much is taken off and at what angle. This rotary finisher is then used to give the heel a smoother finish. Edge smoothing. Yes, we do recycle. This is how the heel breast is very patiently...
Afterwards, the excess is cut off. This is done roughly because the next step is to shave it down very close. At this point we encounter a problem. The thing is that if a shoe is not properly balanced, it wears away at the heels in the wrong way, puts pressure on the wrong part of the spine, and just plain does bad things to your feet, and, more importantly, to the shoes. Here's where we first caught it: A closer inspection... ...confirmed it. To fix...
If the heels are just put on top of the sole, there's not much that's keeping them together. Most shoemakers use some big stationary nailers that basically shoot a wire through the sole to take care of that. But we're traditionalists. Nailing the heels from the inside with a nice new set of nails. Old ones always rust out because of the moisture that seeps in from the inside of the shoe. If you don't like your shoemaker, you can wear really warm socks in the summer so...
Cleaning the bottom of the the new half-sole a bit, and creating the gradient. Reason why shaving the sole into a gradient is hard - when the two meet, there can't be any variation in the thickness of the old sole, the new sole, or the inch and a half or so of space where they actually merge. Gluing. More gluing. At least three layers are put on, with at least a few hours between each coat to let the glue dry and settle. After the first coat. The...
You'll see that the heel is actually in a couple of pieces. Only the bottom heel (rubber and leather hybrid that actually hits the ground) needed to be taken off, but the way that it was nailed down, this was hard to do. Seeing if the Italian soles we've got will fit the shoe. Luckily they did. These soles are from a company that no longer exists - Kis. Fortunately we stocked up before we even heard the news because they are quite possibly the best. Cutting the...
By popular request, here is the post as it appeared in December shortly before the hard drive crash. "A Tale of Two Shoes" I managed to find these at a thrift store in town and thought they would be a perfect candidate to do something like this about. Usually when a pair of testonis, Lobbs, or anything else comes in there isn't much time for me to bother the master cobbler with holding the shoes still while I set the aperture on my camera to take a photo. In any case,...
Whoops, wrong thread.
Andrew, very beautiful additions. I'll echo that the Grensons are very striking. Dimitri
VM: Haha, of all my ailments, faecophelia is not one, thankfully.
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