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The Ultimate Vass (Footwear) Thread (Pictures, reviews, sizing, etc...) - Page 872

post #13066 of 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post



Several questions...

Why would a hand awl break while stitching rubber where a machine awl--which is not significantly heavier, if heavier at all--not break?

How is it that a workshop that consists of "hand workers only" is not able to stitch evenly and consistently using tools with which they presumably have years of experience and skill?

Machines actually have a slightly harder time sewing evenly and consistently in rubber simply because the two materials--the leather welt and the rubber outsole--are different densities and different firmness. The rubber is softer, yet two or three times thicker, and it feeds unevenly relative to the leather.

The real problem with hand sewing rubber (Carreducker had a blog entry about this several weeks ago) is that the rubber closes up when the awl is withdrawn and it makes feeding bristles difficult. That said, a hooked hand awl could be used...but then what you end up with is structurally no different than a "machine stitch"...not a shoemaker's stitch, at al
--

 

According to both Vass and Daniel Wegan at Gaziano & Girling it's the awls that has been the problem for them. Daniel Wegan has expressly said that "awls breaking" was the problem, Vass just mentioned the awls and I didn't ask more than that.

post #13067 of 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by j ingevaldsson View Post

According to both Vass and Daniel Wegan at Gaziano & Girling it's the awls that has been the problem for them. Daniel Wegan has expressly said that "awls breaking" was the problem, Vass just mentioned the awls and I didn't ask more than that.

So...WADR...there's really no way of knowing, is there? No explanation, no reason or logic, just a take-it-on-faith-and-don't-ask-questions assertion that defies logic, explanations and known facts from other quarters.

And yet you say that the shoes in question are hand stitched.

I don't doubt Vass or G&G (or you). I just wonder what the heck the problem is.

I have hand sewn 12 iron Fineline Vibram--a relatively firm, and extremely tough material. Never came close to breaking an awl. James Ducker seems to be doing the same thing (maybe different material).

"What one man has done another can do."

Nevermind...I was just curious
post #13068 of 20266

Stunning shoe mastery on all accounts.  What is the last on these?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by agedashidofu View Post

Vass v cap oxford in Shell Cordovan
Magic touch by Dandy Shoe Care (Alexander Nurulaeff)

This particular shell had blemishes and irregularities which I wasn't particularly fond of - so I decided to give Dandy Shoe Care a try and what came out afterwards was magic! Extremely pleased with the outcome...



 
post #13069 of 20266

U last.

post #13070 of 20266

It's pictures like that which remind me why U is my fave last.  That, and looking at my own Vass rotation. :D

post #13071 of 20266
U caps in Oxblood calf on New Peter

post #13072 of 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


So...WADR...there's really no way of knowing, is there? No explanation, no reason or logic, just a take-it-on-faith-and-don't-ask-questions assertion that defies logic, explanations and known facts from other quarters.

And yet you say that the shoes in question are hand stitched.

I don't doubt Vass or G&G (or you). I just wonder what the heck the problem is.

I have hand sewn 12 iron Fineline Vibram--a relatively firm, and extremely tough material. Never came close to breaking an awl. James Ducker seems to be doing the same thing (maybe different material).

"What one man has done another can do."

Nevermind...I was just curious

 

 

This is actually a bit interesting. It’s just not this occasion, but others as well.

 

I’m not a shoemaker, I will never become a shoemaker. I will always have second hand experience (well mostly at least, since the small steps into ”the real world” are so few for me). So, I talk to others that do.

 

First of all, I haven’t said that you can’t do it, or that anyone else said that you can’t do it.

 

You do imply that I didn’t ask questions, which you don’t have any reason to do. With Daniel I discussed it quite a bit. He explained that rubber is sluggish and hard and can often make the awls break, it’s better to do it with machine. He did not say that you can’t do it, but that it was easy that awls broke. When he makes single rubber soled shoes (both Dainite and Wensum) he stitch the sole by machine. If it’s double soled shoes he stitch the welt and middle sole by hand and attach the rubber sole with glue and screw the toe.

With Vass they have explained that they have had a struggle to solve how they should do their Dainite soles, and that the problem was with the awls (can’t remember if they said it expressly that they broke, but my interpretation of it was at least that this was the case).

 

So of course I trust what they say, and in this case when Vass Dainites was discussed, I found it totally reasonable to mention that awls can break and that they haven’t done hand stitching on complete soles because of it, before.

 

I know you know a lot about shoemaking, and has huge knowledge, and I really respect you for it. But I wonder, why should I take your experience and opinions more seriously than other shoemakers? Why should your experience and your opinions be any more truth than theirs? Your input is second hand information to me, just as what I get from Daniel and Vass.

 

And although I know you have a lot of knowledge, there’s also many parts of the shoe world that you don’t know that much about, but where I feel that you still think that your opinion is much more worth than others. For example when it comes to factory made shoes. One I come to think off now of the top of my head was recently in the Hardcore bespoke-thread where you were surprised that factories fudge wheeled the welt for decoration, something that is very common among RTW Goodyear welted shoes (not just in Britain).
You also have the famous gemming debate (which I don’t want to start a new one now, just want to use an example. And I’m NOT saying that Goodyear welted shoes are better now. Everyone has always agreed that hand welting essentially is the better construction method.) where your opinion is very well stated. But when I talk to Janne Melkersson about gemming failure, he says that it’s so rare that a shoe break down because of it that it’s almost no reason to take it into account. He has worked almost 50 years in the trade, he has for sure gotten ”his hands dirty”, and besides bespoke shoemaking he also has worked several years in a shoe repair shop, which should give him more ”first hand experience” from gemmed shoes than you. Why are your experience and you opinion more correct than his? Why should I listen more to you?

 

To end where we begun:

The way I see it, I’ve now learned from you that it in many occasions can be quite easy to hand stitch rubber soles. I take that into account for the future.

The way I see it, you should now have learned that some experience it as quite hard to sew rubber soles by hand, because awls brake easily for them. You can now take that into account for the future.

post #13073 of 20266

Great post J. Inge.  You hit the nail on the head.

post #13074 of 20266

Sounds like a "it can definitely be done...but we don't like to do it for ready-to-wear shoes...because there are risks"

post #13075 of 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCK1 View Post
 

Sounds like a "it can definitely be done...but we don't like to do it for ready-to-wear shoes...because there are risks"

 

Daniel Wegan works for Gaziano & Girling's bespoke department. And for what it's worth, Bestetti only glue on Dainite soles on his bespoke shoes as well.

post #13076 of 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by j ingevaldsson View Post

 

 

Sorry thought you were only referring to their ready-to-wear operation...since you were mentioning Vass alongside...

post #13077 of 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCK1 View Post
 

 

Sorry thought you were only referring to their ready-to-wear operation...since you were mentioning Vass alongside...

 

No worries, wasn't so clear.

post #13078 of 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by j ingevaldsson View Post


This is actually a bit interesting. It’s just not this occasion, but others as well.

I’m not a shoemaker, I will never become a shoemaker. I will always have second hand experience (well mostly at least, since the small steps into ”the real world” are so few for me). So, I talk to others that do.

First of all, I haven’t said that you can’t do it, or that anyone else said that you can’t do it.

You do imply that I didn’t ask questions, which you don’t have any reason to do. With Daniel I discussed it quite a bit. He explained that rubber is sluggish and hard and can often make the awls break, it’s better to do it with machine. He did not say that you can’t do it, but that it was easy that awls broke. When he makes single rubber soled shoes (both Dainite and Wensum) he stitch the sole by machine. If it’s double soled shoes he stitch the welt and middle sole by hand and attach the rubber sole with glue and screw the toe.
With Vass they have explained that they have had a struggle to solve how they should do their Dainite soles, and that the problem was with the awls (can’t remember if they said it expressly that they broke, but my interpretation of it was at least that this was the case).

I apologize if you think I implied you didn't ask questions--that wasn't the issue for me--it wasn't about you (or them) as much as why. That said, you didn't share the reason for the awls breaking even after I asked (in post #13065).

On the other hand, rubber is sluggish and hard, but the rubber doesn't make the awls break, it is the skill (or lack thereof) of the maker who is using the awl that makes it break. The rubber is passive, the maker is the one responsible.
Quote:
I know you know a lot about shoemaking, and has huge knowledge, and I really respect you for it. But I wonder, why should I take your experience and opinions more seriously than other shoemakers? Why should your experience and your opinions be any more truth than theirs? Your input is second hand information to me, just as what I get from Daniel and Vass.

Turn the question around...why would you not? Or, perhaps more to the point, why would you take the word of people who are demonstrably trying to solicit your business or good opinion as opposed to knowledge that comes to you no strings, and no hidden agendas, attached? Why would you not ask questions? Why would you be so ready to accept an explanation that, on the objective facts, doesn't make sense? I suspect you and others jump at the chance to accept what you want to believe --what costs you the least and upsets your world the least.

If I were alone in my opinions, it would be one thing. But I'm not. James Ducker agrees with me...as do almost every bespoke maker I have ever talked to. The people who most vociferously disagree with me are invariably those who have virtually zero knowledge or experience. What does that tell you?
Quote:
And although I know you have a lot of knowledge, there’s also many parts of the shoe world that you don’t know that much about, but where I feel that you still think that your opinion is much more worth than others. For example when it comes to factory made shoes. One I come to think off now of the top of my head was recently in the Hardcore bespoke-thread where you were surprised that factories fudge wheeled the welt for decoration, something that is very common among RTW Goodyear welted shoes (not just in Britain).

There's a good example...I'm not at all surprised that factories use fudge wheels for decoration. You have misinterpreted the issue simply because you have no frame of reference. Traditionally, it wasn't "fudging," it was "pricking up" the stitches. And it had...and has...a very functional motive and reason. It is rare indeed when a fudge wheel is used for anything but decoration. Fudging is another one of those counterfeit bills that is passed off because real pricking is too onerous--properly pricking up the stitches can't really be done in any way but by hand...one stitch at a time.

Maybe that's why it's called "fudging"--because it "fudges' the results. And in the process any benefit that came from separating and tightening the stitches is lost. Gone by the way in favour of something that looks like, pretends to be, but isn't really capable of achieving anything close to the same result. It's all of a piece.

And yes, it's common among RTW Goodyear shoe manufacturers because they share the same philosophy, right down to their roots--that appearance is better than substance. That the quicker and cheaper a product can be made, the better...for them at least. And those who don't know any better can be convinced by marketing and misleading advertising. It's all of a piece.
Quote:
You also have the famous gemming debate (which I don’t want to start a new one now, just want to use an example. And I’m NOT saying that Goodyear welted shoes are better now. Everyone has always agreed that hand welting essentially is the better construction method.) where your opinion is very well stated. But when I talk to Janne Melkersson about gemming failure, he says that it’s so rare that a shoe break down because of it that it’s almost no reason to take it into account. He has worked almost 50 years in the trade, he has for sure gotten ”his hands dirty”, and besides bespoke shoemaking he also has worked several years in a shoe repair shop, which should give him more ”first hand experience” from gemmed shoes than you. Why are your experience and you opinion more correct than his? Why should I listen more to you?

You're under no obligation to listen to me. Am I wearing a badge? Are you being fined?

But as to why...maybe because I can tell you in detail...if you want to hear (and that's not a given)...why GY is flawed relative to HW--starting from the materials, to the way the materials are used, to the assumptions and philosophies that predicate its implementation, and where such assumptions have historically (even recently) lead.

Maybe it's because I can give you an objective analysis of why it might not be the whole story.

Or maybe it's because in the absence of a countering, objective analysis and accompanying explanation--a good reason to believe otherwise, IOW, any rational person has to suspect there isn't one.

Someone of Janne's undeniable stature can say one thing and he may be right...for himself. But to me...I don't know about you...just saying it doesn't make it so. If you can't explain it, you don't understand it. If you don't understand it, maybe...probably...it's only speculative opinion or a "one off."

The thing is, no one can similarly critique hand welting--the best anyone can do is point to individuals...singular examples...whose workmanship is faulty. And most, if not all such critiques originate in a lack of understanding or an understanding that comes from third and fourth hand knowledge. Almost never from first hand experience. Ask Janne the next time you see him what method he uses for his own shoes. He told me himself that he offers gemming (by hand) to customers "who don't want to pay for better quality" (and if that's not a direct quote, it's close).

When you tell me what so and so said to you, without verifying it yourself, it isn't just second-hand...it's third and fourth hand information to me.

I would bet that if Janne and I were to sit down and talk he would end up agreeing with me on most of my basic premises about GY welting--about the inherent weakness of the materials as compared to leather. About the fundamental unreliability of the techniques as compared to handwelting. About the direction that shoemaking is going under the leadership of the RTW firms. Even about the conundrum/dichotomy between "making money or making shoes."
Quote:
To end where we begun:
The way I see it, I’ve now learned from you that it in many occasions can be quite easy to hand stitch rubber soles. I take that into account for the future.
The way I see it, you should now have learned that some experience it as quite hard to sew rubber soles by hand, because awls brake easily for them. You can now take that into account for the future.

I don't know how you arrive at that conclusion. The first part seems fine to me...but I've personally seen and used both hand awls and machine awls--I gave a fairly clear and cogent reason why I suspected the conclusions being drawn. It was an objective analysis. I wasn't criticizing you but, in the end, the difference of opinion is between you and me. It is not between me and someone from Vass or G&G...or a discussion between me and someone from Vass or G&G...as filtered through someone who doesn't have the background to see the whole picture.

--
Edited by DWFII - 11/23/14 at 1:55pm
post #13079 of 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I apologize if you think I implied you didn't ask questions--that wasn't the issue for me--it wasn't about you (or them) as much as why. That said, you didn't share the reason for the awls breaking even after I asked (in post #13065).
Turn the question around...why would you not? Or, perhaps more to the point, why would you take the word of people who are demonstrably trying to solicit your business or good opinion as opposed to knowledge that comes to you no strings, and no hidden agendas, attached? Why would you not ask questions? Why would you be so ready to accept an explanation that, on the objective facts, doesn't make sense? I suspect you and others jump at the chance to accept what you want to believe --what costs you the least and upsets your world the least.

If I were alone in my opinions, it would be one thing. But I'm not. James Ducker agrees with me...as do almost every bespoke maker I have ever talked to. The people who most vociferously disagree with me are invariably those who have virtually zero knowledge or experience. What does that tell you?
There's a good example...I'm not at all surprised that factories fudge wheel for decoration. You have misinterpreted the issue simply because you have no frame of reference. Traditionally, it wasn't 'fudging" it was "pricking up" the stitches and it has/had a very functional motive and reason. Fudging is another one of those counterfeit bills that is passed off because real pricking is too onerous. Can't really be done in any way but by hand. In the process any benefit that came from separating and tightening the stitches is lost. Gone by the way in favour of something that looks like, pretends to be, but isn't really capable of achieving anything close to the same result. It's all of a piece.

And yes, it's common among RTW Goodyear shoe manufacturers because they share the same philosophy, right down to their roots--that appearance is better than substance. That the quicker and cheaper a product can be made, the better...for them at least, and those who don't know any better can be convinced by marketing and misleading advertising. It's all of a piece.
Why? Because I can tell you in detail...if you want to hear (and that's not a given)...why GY is flawed--starting from the materials, to the way the materials are used, to the assumptions and philosophies that predicate its implementation, and where such assumptions have historically (even recently) lead.

Because I can give you an objective analysis of why it might not be the whole story. In the absence of a countering objective analysis and accompanying explanation--a good reason to believe otherwise, IOW, one has to suspect there isn't one.

Someone of Janne's undeniable stature can say one thing and he may be right...for himself. But to me...I don't know about you...just saying it doesn't make it so. If you can't explain it, you don't understand it. If you don't understand it, maybe it's time to open your mind to other possibilities.

No one can similarly critique hand welting--the best anyone can do is point to individuals...singular examples...whose workmanship is faulty. And most, if not all such critiques originate in a lack of understanding or an understanding that comes from third and fourth hand knowledge. Almost never from first hand experience. Ask Janne the next time you see him what method he uses for his own shoes. He told me himself that he offers gemming (by hand0 to customers who don't want to pay for the best.

When you tell me what so and so said to you, without verifying it yourself, it isn't just second-hand...it's third and fourth hand information to me.

I would bet that if Janne and I were to sit down and talk he would end up agreeing with me on most of my basic premises about GY welting--about the inherent weakness of the materials as compared to leather. About the fundamental unreliability of the techniques as compared to handwelting. About the direction that shoemaking is going under the leadership of the RTW firms. Even about the conundrum/dichotomy between "making money or making shoes."
I don't know how you arrive at that conclusion. The first part seems fine to me...but I've seen and used both hand awls and machine awls--I gave a fairly clear and cogent reason why I suspected the conclusions being drawn. It was an objective analysis. I wasn't criticizing you but, in the end, the difference of opinion is between you and me. It is not between me and someone from Vass or G&G...or a discussion between me and someone from Vass or G&G as filtered through someone who doesn't have the background to see the whole picture.

 

Thanks for the reply. I'm sorry, but I'm not sure that your answer makes me much clearer to my main question. I'm not sure why I should see you as much more objective than Daniel Wegan or Janne Melkersson, or many other of those I learn from. And my point wasn't that you were wrong, or that they were right, I just used those examples to make it more understandable. My point was why I should take your words for more than theirs. It's second hand info to me. Theirs are second hand info to me. 

 

Regarding pricking and fudging and history of that, I'm quite aware of that thank you (and regarding fudging, I know your opinion about that, but that is one other thing that I have other information of other peoples experience with it, bespoke makers like you, who "can see the whole picture"). But the way I described it in my previous post, was the way I interpreted this post (might have gotten it wrong):

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

So a bench mounted fudge wheel is called a "decorative wheel" in Britain? confused.gif What's the purpose of wheeling the edge of the welt if it doesn't/can't separate and tighten the stitches?

--
 
And of course it's because of appearence that they do it, to mimic bespoke. And of course RTW cut a lot of corners to come off cheaper. Once again, that's not what I was talking about. I was talking about construction method, gemming, and the risk of serious failure. And why I should take your word above others.
 
I listen to all of you guys with knowledge. Try to compass my way through it all, trying to understand things. But you have to understand that from my point of view, I can't see why you are right and others are wrong. And it's NOT about what I want to believe. To me it seems as if I don't reccon your opinion as totally correct, you mean that I do it cause I want to believe something else. If I listened to you only, why couldn't that be just because I wanted to believe just that?
 
 

Edited by j ingevaldsson - 11/23/14 at 2:08pm
post #13080 of 20266
Quote:
Originally Posted by j ingevaldsson View Post

Thanks for the reply. I'm sorry, but I'm not sure that your answer makes me much clearer to my main question. I'm not sure why I should see you as much more objective than Daniel Wegan or Janne Melkersson, or many other of those I learn from. And my point wasn't that you were wrong, or that they were right, I just used those examples to make it more understandable. My point was why I should take your words for more than theirs. It's second hand info to me. Theirs are second hand info to me. 

Well, it really comes down to this...and no disrespect intended...you don't know what you're talking about and as a result you don't share the same basis of understanding. Again, I could sit down with Daniel Wegan or Janne Melkersson and within minutes we'd both realize that we shared a common perspective--only the details would vary.

When you read what I am saying, you're just seeing the details of what we all believe. It's a common lexicon. If you ask a doctor why you get a cold he'll tell you it's about viruses. If you're a doctor you know that it's about much more than that. Maybe if you listened to a discussion between two doctors talking about the common cold...well, what part of that do you think you would you understand?

That's why I told you to do as much with Janne as you could. If you actually handwelt a shoe--you are going to handwelt, aren't you?--you'll understand a hell of a lot more than you even have the background or capacity to understand now.

It's like the old story of the three blind men and the elephant--one feels a leg and thinks that elephants are like trees. Another feels the trunk and assumes a snake and the third...well, I don't remember the rest. But suffice it to say that only the elephant or someone who can see the whole picture really knows what an elephant is like.

I wish I could have made my response shorter because, for me, the issue of whether you see me as being "more objective" or worth listening to is almost beside the point. There was so much more to it than that.

But in the end you do fall prey to listening to third parties, even fourth parties. For instance I have never said that GY results in a "serious" risk of failure. I have said that there is a real and on-going risk of failure. And I have provided both objective analysis and photographic evidence...from my own work to examples from some of the best RTW makers in the world...as well as similar opinions from other bespoke makers.

There is a difference in what I have actually said and what people who don't know what they are talking about want to believe I've said. And, from your remarks, I suspect, you've bought into a common mythology that no one can actually verify.

You have to decide what you want to believe. I don't actually care if you believe me...that's why I'm so tenacious. Some will believe me, some will believe others--the fact that those "others" and I agree about almost everything, doesn't seem to matter. But those others are not here...are they? So if you say "so and so said this..." it's just hearsay. Just because so and so is not, in fact, actually here saying those things. We don't hear those voices or their opinions. We don't hear them elaborate or qualify. We don't hear what they've really said or meant.

Just the echos...

--
Edited by DWFII - 11/23/14 at 3:25pm
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