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shoe construction...behind the veil - Page 90

post #1336 of 1513
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

I, as one who is sadly ignorant about these matters, appreciate DWF's generosity in taking the time to educate me about them. DWF, could I try your generosity one more time and ask for your thoughts on the durability of this cut-and-turn gemmed hand-welting used in the Tramezza video? Would
you rate it a 5 like you did Weston's machine Goodyear cut-and-turn, or does it rate higher because of what you said was the ability to use a shoemaker's stitch and to wax the thread? Thanks.

Yes, probably on the same order as the Westons stuff, in my professional opinion. Simply because as I said earlier, HW benefits from the shoemaker's stitch and the pine pitch based hand wax, but it really is a gestalt--a sum greater than its parts.

And really, I don't mind answering questions...that's why I'm here. I'm 70 and I've had my day in the sun. Time to pay it forward as well as I can.
post #1337 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Well, you may have noticed I started prefacing at least some of my remarks with "In my professional opinion..." some days ago. And if you've gotten into other threads that are not about shoemaking and seen my occasional...very occasional...posts there, you know I generally say something along the order of "personal opinion only". I often, no matter where I'm at say "IMO..."Although that could be regarded as a placeholder. Still, I don't see much in the way of reciprocity, esp. in these threads, (present company excepted.).

Or course that's just my personal experience...

DW,

 

Humbly, I suggest being more explicit.  In every one of your posts, I would state how many years you have been involved with making and repairing footwear, as well as stating approximately how many pairs of footwear you have made and/or repaired.  You might also inform your readers to be cautious when considering rebuttals from people who will not describe their experience or whose experience is significantly less than yours.  Then, you just need to leave it up to the readers to decide for themselves.

 

It may be beneficial for readers for you to ask sincerely how someone came across a particular piece of information of which you are suspicious.  However, it probably is less helpful to repeatedly complain that somebody is making statements with little or no basis in real world experience.  Again, if readers of the thread want to value an opinion based on a factory tour or trunk show as highly as descriptions of hands-on professional experience, then those readers are beyond help--at least for the time being.

 

If you become too frustrated with people's behavior on this forum, post a question asking whether we value and respect your input.  I think you will get more than enough positive responses to reaffirm for yourself the value of the time you put in here.

post #1338 of 1513
Thread Starter 
Listen, I have done all that. In fact, I think it is waving a red flag to some extent. One that may, at times, be necessary in the face of intransigence. The problem is that is draws 'em...like moths to a flame.

But just for instance, not too long ago--within the last week or so(?)--one of these guys was chewing on my leg because I was "Dubiously Honored (DH). Nevermind that I had nothing to say about that. (In fact, I jokingly mentioned the "dubious" part when I was informed--don't get me wrong I appreciate it).

Beyond that, it's simply not my way. I yam what I yam. Which is, when all is said and done, probably just "convenient"--until someone better comes along, IOW.

But, having said that, I'm not insensible to, nor ungrateful for, the numerous supporters (far more numerous than the detractors) who deal with me like they themselves would like to be dealt with and without pretense. Point of fact, the reason I was "Dubiously Honored" is, if I understand the system correctly, because of the number of "thumbs up" I have received. It's worth noting (in gratitude, I have) that a person cannot give themselves a thumbs up.
post #1339 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I think there's a real need for some people to start their own thread...I said this before and even offered to stay out of it. But that would spoil all the fun for some people.

That said, I know how to end all this dissension...although I doubt it will go over well...here's what I propose:

I'll try to remember to preface all my remarks with something along the order of "In my professional opinion..." or " From the perspective of having made shoes for 45 years, day in and day out..."

And those who insist on questioning my experience or my integrity or truthfulness, or the sincerity of my offerings, can preface theirs with 'In my personal experience..." or 'I don't know anything about shoemaking but..."

This way we can each have our say and let the angels and the reader sort it out as to who is right and who is wrong...who has more credibility and who they want to believe. No need for any back and forth.

edited for punctuation and clarity

Excellent idea. I'm certainly on board with it.
Thanks for the suggestion....

BTW.....DW posted an interesting article about awls today in the "Shoe-making techniques and traditions.....These foolish things". If you haven't seen it, it's worth the look.
The pictures show hand tools that look like antiques. They're not, they were made new and still used today. They certainly have blood, sweat and maybe some tears on 'em.
They belong in a museum some day.

It's one thing to write about this stuff it's another to do the work -or- be exposed to those that do it successfully every day for four decades.

DW, question, when you write that you turned the handles on some of those awls, did you do them by hand -or with a lathe?
post #1340 of 1513
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post

Excellent idea. I'm certainly on board with it.
Thanks for the suggestion....

BTW.....DW posted an interesting article about awls today in the "Shoe-making techniques and traditions.....These foolish things". If you haven't seen it, it's worth the look.
The pictures show hand tools that look like antiques. They're not, they were made new and still used today. They certainly have blood, sweat and maybe some tears on 'em.
They belong in a museum some day.

It's one thing to write about this stuff it's another to do the work -or- be exposed to those that do it successfully every day for four decades.

DW, question, when you write that you turned the handles on some of those awls, did you do them by hand -or with a lathe?

I did my first couple of handles...believe it or not with two nails stuck in the ends of a block of wood, a pair of gloves to hold the nails and a finisher. Don't laugh.

Eventually I got a cheap lathe, and began to learn...mostly teaching myself from books and just immersion in it. Then I got a small Jet and ended up with a lot of really expensive chisels.

I was never all that good. But I did do several pieces that I was esp. proud of. (see below) before the dust got to me. I had a "professional" dust collector and an expensive filter mask but old lungs couldn't handle the dust. Plus there was micro-fine dust all over the shop. Every time I'd sweep I'd cough.

Anyway...for giggles:

Here's an applewood vase I did. The walls are about an eighth inch tick all the way down. Applewood is tricky and can check very easily. I'm probably the proudest of this. 6"x 4"




Here's a maple hollow form that I did. It had some shake in the block but I turned all of it off. Walls uniformly about 1/4 inch. 5"x7"




And here's a green turn from I don't know what wood--it was scrap for practice. Bark on. The distortion was anticipated and hoped for. Walls about 1/8" inch 7" high, almost 9" wide.



And finally a big black locust bowl... about 8" or 9" across. Stuff is hard. I loved it but after being used as a salad bowl for a few years--washed and maybe not dried completely, it cracked. She still uses it for a salad bowl but I'm afraid for it.



As for tool handles I've done a goodly number. Sold them for a while.

And thank you for the kind words.

cheers.gif
post #1341 of 1513
Fascinating; thanks, DWF! So if I understand correctly, in your professional opinion, some of the shoes made for a marketing-obsessed lifestyle brand like Salvatore Ferragamo are superior in the construction techniques used to shoes like Edward Green or Gaziano & Girling's non-bespoke lines. The reason is that the SF Tramezzas are hand-inseamed cut-and-turn supported by gemming, while the EG and G&G non-bespoke are, so far as we know, machine GYW with no cut-and-turned insoles, just purely gemmed flat insoles with a canvas rib as the holdfast. KA-BOOM!
peepwall[1].gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

Yes, probably on the same order as the Westons stuff, in my professional opinion. Simply because as I said earlier, HW benefits from the shoemaker's stitch and the pine pitch based hand wax, but it really is a gestalt--a sum greater than its parts.

And really, I don't mind answering questions...that's why I'm here. I'm 70 and I've had my day in the sun. Time to pay it forward as well as I can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

I, as one who is sadly ignorant about these matters, appreciate DWF's generosity in taking the time to educate me about them. DWF, could I try your generosity one more time and ask for your thoughts on the durability of this cut-and-turn gemmed hand-welting used in the Tramezza video? Would
you rate it a 5 like you did Weston's machine Goodyear cut-and-turn, or does it rate higher because of what you said was the ability to use a shoemaker's stitch and to wax the thread? Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I've lost the letters on my keyboard and I always was a two finger hunt and seek typist. I went back and corrected my post ...nothing major but to me almost incomprehensible. Hope you got the idea.

The video that MTM posted a link to looks to me like the inseam is much the same as Weston (?)--channels and "gemming."

When you cut the channels and turn the resulting flaps on edge, you weaken the "holdfast" significantly. I would guess as much as 50-75%, depending on the tannage and quality of the leather. Adding the canvas strips reinforces it some but ultimately it's a kludge (see wikipedia for excellent definition), pure and simple. As is standard GY relative to HW, of course.

I have never understood the rationale behind handsewing to gemming. it takes nearly the same amount of effort as handsewing to a proper holdfast. What's gained? Nothing! Not even the "efficiency" and time savings that a machine sewn inseam would bring to the game. Maybe you can use a better hand wax and a shoemakers stitch...and all that's good..but it doesn't balance what is lost.

Like I said...the benefits of neither.

If HW is a 10, Blake-Rapid (with a decent leather insole) is an 8 or maybe a 9; GY is a 4 and cut and turn GY a 4-1/2 or 5. Cement construction a 2 and injected molded a 1.

That's my professional opinion...I wonder how many pseudo-professional, E-experts are even now gritting their teeth?
post #1342 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I did my first couple of handles...believe it or not with two nails stuck in the ends of a block of wood, a pair of gloves to hold the nails and a finisher. Don't laugh.

Eventually I got a cheap lathe, and began to learn...mostly teaching myself from books and just immersion in it. Then I got a small Jet and ended up with a lot of really expensive chisels.

I was never all that good. But I did do several pieces that I was esp. proud of. (see below) before the dust got to me. I had a "professional" dust collector and an expensive filter mask but old lungs couldn't handle the dust. Plus there was micro-fine dust all over the shop. Every time I'd sweep I'd cough.

Anyway...for giggles:

Here's an applewood vase I did. The walls are about an eighth inch tick all the way down. Applewood is tricky and can check very easily. I'm probably the proudest of this. 6"x 4"




Here's a maple hollow form that I did. It had some shake in the block but I turned all of it off. Walls uniformly about 1/4 inch. 5"x7"




And here's a green turn from I don't know what wood--it was scrap for practice. Bark on. The distortion was anticipated and hoped for. Walls about 1/8" inch 7" high, almost 9" wide.



And finally a big black locust bowl... about 8" or 9" across. Stuff is hard. I loved it but after being used as a salad bowl for a few years--washed and maybe not dried completely, it cracked. She still uses it for a salad bowl but I'm afraid for it.



As for tool handles I've done a goodly number. Sold them for a while.

And thank you for the kind words.

cheers.gif

It's been written in the past that we both enjoy woodworking.
I don't laugh about how you made the first few handles. I envision it perfectly. Makes me laugh, the very things I've told my sons not to do, I did them. It's dangerous stuff. When you're doing it you're aware of the danger but, take the chance. Even lathes can be dangerous. I find them really safe to do a cork handle on a fishing rod. That's about it.

What's a jet?

Hazards got to me as well. I'm 10 years your junior. But was recently diagnosed with COPD. I was hospitalized 3 times in five weeks with related respiratory issues. It started this past October. I know very well about the coughing! The doc's told me to stay out of the shop as much as I can. We both know we couldn't get get rich doing what we do but, we had a passion for it and, could make a living at it. It's no wonder why the younger gen is not interested in the shoe industry (hand made or repair). Not worth the time and not enough money in it for them.

Thanks for sharing the pic's of the beautiful woodwork/art work that you created.

Much appreciated.

Cheers
post #1343 of 1513

^I have a scar across my wrist ("No, I was not suicidal") from putting a bowl on a lathe in high school shop class. A classmate leaned on the power lever while I was doing it...off to the hospital. Thinking back, our teacher/erratic basketball coach did lose a finger during our years there. Safety was not job 1. 

post #1344 of 1513
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post

It's been written in the past that we both enjoy woodworking.
I don't laugh about how you made the first few handles. I envision it perfectly. Makes me laugh, the very things I've told my sons not to do, I did them. It's dangerous stuff. When you're doing it you're aware of the danger but, take the chance. Even lathes can be dangerous. I find them really safe to do a cork handle on a fishing rod. That's about it.

What's a jet?

Hazards got to me as well. I'm 10 years your junior. But was recently diagnosed with COPD. I was hospitalized 3 times in five weeks with related respiratory issues. It started this past October. I know very well about the coughing! The doc's told me to stay out of the shop as much as I can. We both know we couldn't get get rich doing what we do but, we had a passion for it and, could make a living at it. It's no wonder why the younger gen is not interested in the shoe industry (hand made or repair). Not worth the time and not enough money in it for them.

Thanks for sharing the pic's of the beautiful woodwork/art work that you created.

Much appreciated.

Cheers

I am very sorry to hear about your COPD. That's a hard lick.

Jet is the name of a lathe manufacturer. Pretty good quality. Mine only had a swing of 12" IIRC, but turning a bowl much above 10" was near impossible because the rough block would ordinarily be bigger than 12" side to side much less diagonally.

Tioraidh.
post #1345 of 1513
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shouldaville View Post

^I have a scar across my wrist ("No, I was not suicidal") from putting a bowl on a lathe in high school shop class. A classmate leaned on the power lever while I was doing it...off to the hospital. Thinking back, our teacher/erratic basketball coach did lose a finger during our years there. Safety was not job 1. 

Oh! that reminds me...I have one of those cardboard (pressed paper) honing wheels. And I also have a standard grinder. I deliberately set the honing wheel to run backwards because I like to see the edge when I'm honing a knife.

One day some years ago, I was sharpening an Ellsworth(?) high speed steel bowl chisel on the grinding wheel and for some reason--brain short circuit or just dumb shoemaker)--took the chisel over to the honing wheel and began rolling it around the edge of the wheel like I might on the grinder. I learned a lesson in mindfulness that day--I forgot that the honing wheel was cardboard and when I rolled the chisel far enough the edge caught the cardboard and bang! quicker than I could have blinked, faster than a neuron could have fired, the chisel had bounced off my glasses and struck me in the forehead.

My glasses took the brunt of the blow but if they had not been there, I have no doubt I would not be here now.

I have often reflected on that incident and how quickly and unexpectedly everything can change.

Between heartbeats.
post #1346 of 1513
Reminds me on the fact that for years, our company had instruction manuals in the conf rooms about how to properly use the coffee can.

Always a good laughbait for visitors.

But apparently, someone somewhere sometimes ago brew his hands with hot water because of improper handling of that coffee can.
post #1347 of 1513
The worst that happened to me was.....
During my college days I worked as a part time auto mechanic. I had just finished a job and had grease on my hand. I was leaning on a door frame and slipped. Went right through a window pane. Wound severing my artery. Within minutes I almost bled out. Luckily there was a cop at the station. He reached into my arm and pinched my artery shut until the ambulance arrived. Six days later I got out of the hospital with permanent loss of feeling (severed some nerves) and motion to my left hand and arm.
True, a split second can change your life or kill ya.

The worst I've seen in the shop was scary, sad and, gruesome.
I had a sole splitting machine. It ran on 220 volts. The thing weighed a ton. Maybe 150 lbs. It was driven by a leather belt probably 3 inches wide. One of my guys was using it and removed the fence. Somehow he got his hand caught in the machine. It slit his hand in half from his fingertips to the beginning of his palm.
Those machines and tools can be deadly. Worse is they have no conscience .
post #1348 of 1513
Thread Starter 
BTW, just for clarification...the last bowl in the photos spread above is cherry I think, not black locust. I remember, fairly early on, a friend gave me a rough turned bowl that he had abandoned after it cracked. I took it on because I was learning. I trickled some CA (cyanoacrylate--super glue) into the crack and finished turning it. You can see the crack in the photo.It's also why the walls are so thick.

I don't think I have a photo of the black locust bowl. Too bad it's beautiful.

(This whole strand of this thread is a little OT...thanks for tolerating it.)
post #1349 of 1513
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I think it is. When I was coming up, there were "half" heels, "whole" heels and 5/8 heels, IIRC. And thick rubber heels were common even on relatively high end shoes. Of course, it's cheaper to use a thick rubber heel...not only is rubber cheaper (in the short term) than leather, but building a heel stack takes longer.

But stacked leather heels look so much better (oops..."IMO"). As I said in another post, a rubber outsole makes a $1800.00 shoe look like a $500.00 shoe, IMO. Same principle applies to rubber heels.

Then too a gentleman never walks on pavement or gravel and flower strewn carpets won't damage a leather heel or tax a suspect method of construction.

edited for punctuation and clarity

Thanks DW. I am afraid I will have to continue to replace the rubber heels with the same frequency.

post #1350 of 1513
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


I think it is. When I was coming up, there were "half" heels, "whole" heels and 5/8 heels, IIRC. And thick rubber heels were common even on relatively high end shoes. Of course, it's cheaper to use a thick rubber heel...not only is rubber cheaper (in the short term) than leather, but building a heel stack takes longer.

But stacked leather heels look so much better (oops..."IMO"). As I said in another post, a rubber outsole makes a $1800.00 shoe look like a $500.00 shoe, IMO. Same principle applies to rubber heels.

From my experience, going by my memory (which is not always completely accurate). In my neck we would call the 5/8 heels, loafer heels. Most heels were made of as much rubber as they can. Cats Paw competing with O'sullivan individually boxed their heels. DW, remember? High-grades were made of a leather heel base and top-lift. Back then, still are. In repair regarding mid-range men's shoes it was always a question of what thickness heel was on the shoe and replacing with the same one 1/2, mid, whole.

Things have changed since then regarding mid/high grades. They all use a base (lower end brands use plastic). Others, depending on price points of the shoe, they mostly use a heel base made of leather -or- other composites.

They don't use the heel sizes mentioned above. It's now almost always a top-lift which is either 12 -or- 15 iron.
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