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Removing metal eyelets

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Is it possible to safely remove metal eyelets without damaging the leather? Can a cobbler do this?

Although my question is general, I am particularly interested in doing this on Alden shoes.
post #2 of 12
M, why do you want to remove the eyelets? Most aldens have them on the inside from what I remember. You don't like the looks? Removing them should not be too much trouble, a good cobbler should be able to handle it - however, I am not sure it is a good thing having no eyelets (inside or outside).

I love metal eyelets and I wish alden made more shoes with eyelets on the outside.
post #3 of 12
edit: crazy posting failure
post #4 of 12
My EG's have metal eyelets, but they're recessed so they're only visible if you pull back the tongue on the inside of the shoe.

All the durability benefits, without the clunky looks = win.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by srivats View Post
M, why do you want to remove the eyelets? Most aldens have them on the inside from what I remember. You don't like the looks? Removing them should not be too much trouble, a good cobbler should be able to handle it - however, I am not sure it is a good thing having no eyelets (inside or outside). I love metal eyelets and I wish alden made more shoes with eyelets on the outside.
First I need to clarify that I am talking about the metal eyelets on the outside. Although I like them in general for clunkier shoes, I do have 4 Alden high boots, 3 of which are indy and one is tanker, all with metal eyelets on the outside. I may consider removing the eyelets in one of them, if that is really easy for a cobbler without damaging the leather, for a different look. I just saw the new photos of the cigar indy posted on leffot's blog, and I really liked those Indy boots without metal eyelets.
post #6 of 12
I'm afraid, you cannot remove them.

The eyelets would have been placed with a machine similar to this one which uses heavy pressure to close them, depending on the system used, the eyelets are either two pieces or one piece that opens up star-shaped prongs on the underside.

http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/prod...s_leather.html

Even if you could pull them out without damage to the lining underside (which I doubt), they would leave a pressure mark on the top leather as they are actually larger than the hole.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengal-stripe View Post
I'm afraid, you cannot remove them.

The eyelets would have been placed with a machine similar to this one which uses heavy pressure to close them, depending on the system used, the eyelets are either two pieces or one piece that opens up star-shaped prongs on the underside.

http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/prod...s_leather.html

Even if you could pull them out without damage to the lining underside (which I doubt), they would leave a pressure mark on the top leather as they are actually larger than the hole.

Thank you. Very helpful info.
post #8 of 12
If the eyelets show on both sides they can possibly be removed. You would have to drill them out with a bit the same size as the eyelet shaft. The problem you may run into is that the eyelets might want to spin before you can drill the head off and pop them out. If they start to spin it will burn and mark the leather.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by josh1233 View Post
If the eyelets show on both sides they can possibly be removed. You would have to drill them out with a bit the same size as the eyelet shaft. The problem you may run into is that the eyelets might want to spin before you can drill the head off and pop them out. If they start to spin it will burn and mark the leather.

Don't do this.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mg428 View Post
Is it possible to safely remove metal eyelets without damaging the leather? Can a cobbler do this?

Although my question is general, I am particularly interested in doing this on Alden shoes.
I wouldn't do this.
post #11 of 12
When taking my Aldens in to the local cobbler to get toe taps I asked about this. They told me the same thing, removing the metal eyelets will most likely be impossible.
post #12 of 12
I want to remove and then reinstall the eyelets that don't show metal on the outside. Is this still a no? I think the metal eyelets that show on the outside make the shoe a too casual.
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