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shoe construction...behind the veil - Page 91

post #1351 of 1515
Thread Starter 
Yes, Goodyear, Seiberling (sp?) and Biltrite also made rubber heels back in the day, although I don't think Biltrite ever made heels that were not intended to be attached with the "machine gun" (autosoler). I never used Biltrite for that reason.

I can't count the times I saw shoes and boots come in that had so many wires in the heel the wearer would have been in danger in a wrecking yard. And probably as important, depending on your POV, the insoles were rotted and brittle from the iron burn.
post #1352 of 1515
How much time and expertise does it take to make a toe stiffener out of leather instead of "cleastic?" Do the "high-end" RTW makers use leather at all?
post #1353 of 1515
Doesn't take much expertise to do it, skiving leather is pretty basic. If you can't skive a bit of puff leather you shouldn't be anywhere near shoes until you've honed that skill.

It can take a while to do it well though - stiffener leather is usually 2-3mm thick, so the tricky bit is to have a smooth transition from 0.01mm at the edge with no bumps, to more or less full thickness at the business end for strength and to maintain the intended toe shape.

Celastic is thinner so all you have to/can do is wrap it round and take what you get.
post #1354 of 1515
Thread Starter 
I think you're too modest.

It takes quite a bit of skill just to sharpen a knife well enough to skive a leather toe stiffener properly.

And it takes a certain mindfulness and a keen eye to shape the stiffener and make it blend in with the lines of the last. Doing that well is often what separates the good from the better. And not only can't everyone do it, it often takes years before those who can, see the nuances of line and form.
post #1355 of 1515
Well you're right, it's a lot easier once you know how to do it but it's not the most difficult task you'll face in making a shoe either. Sharpening you knife is a good test of how you'll fare in your potential career, if you can't pick that up early on then it's probably the job for you. One of first tasks I had as a lad was get handed a knife, a pile of lasts and a load of fitting leather to cut, skive and attach. This was to be my "treat" after I'd finished the important duties of pulling lasts out of shoes, filing them away, socking, polishing etc that kept mounting up.

If a ready to wear company wanted to start using leather puffs then I'd imagine it wouldn't be all that hard to train someone up and sit them at a skiving bench all day. That job sounds like an awful penance to me though, and it would add to the making time considerably - for very little benefit to your typical Goodyear welted shoe.
post #1356 of 1515
Thread Starter 
I have often asked the question of shoemakers...and particularly on The Crispin Colloquy..."what's the most important skill you can have in shoemaking?"

And the universal answer is sharpening a knife. Everything depends on it. Every aspect of sharpening a knife translates...eye, feel, hearing, touch, control of your hands...and is the foundation for every other skills.

And almost every subsequent job depends on a sharp knife.
post #1357 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirling View Post

How much time and expertise does it take to make a toe stiffener out of leather instead of "cleastic?" Do the "high-end" RTW makers use leather at all?

 

Yes.  Some RTW GYW makers use leather heel stiffeners while some uses celastic heel stiffeners.  I think most uses celastic/kp toe stiffeners.

post #1358 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

I have often asked the question of shoemakers...and particularly on The Crispin Colloquy..."what's the most important skill you can have in shoemaking?"

And the universal answer is sharpening a knife. Everything depends on it. Every aspect of sharpening a knife translates...eye, feel, hearing, touch, control of your hands...and is the foundation for every other skills.

And almost every subsequent job depends on a sharp knife.

 

Same thing could be said for woodworking/carving, cooking, or any other job that requires a sharp knife.  Maybe not .25 micron diamond paste sharp, but sharp enough to be practical.

 

Great skill to have by anyone even in this day and age.

post #1359 of 1515

I am aware that the whole celastic toe puff/heel stiffener business has been discussed previously.  Are there any advantages to the wearer/owner of celastic versus leather beyond cost?  Maybe the celastic would hold up better if one was repeatedly getting the footwear soaking wet, but perhaps the leather stiffeners would withstand more than the leather uppers, so it's a moot point.

 

Regarding skiving, I guess the original form of underwear made out of leather required a lot of skiving to make them comfortable, hence their being called "skivvies."  :-)

post #1360 of 1515
If you're getting your shoes soaking wet repeatedly then you need to invest in a pair of Wellies. There's no advantage to celastic that I can think of, beyond easier manufacture. A leather stiffener can be reshaped if something happens - soaked shoe, run over by taxi, trodden on by graceless dance partner too many times etc.
post #1361 of 1515
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntempleman View Post

If you're getting your shoes soaking wet repeatedly then you need to invest in a pair of Wellies. There's no advantage to celastic that I can think of, beyond easier manufacture. A leather stiffener can be reshaped if something happens - soaked shoe, run over by taxi, trodden on by graceless dance partner too many times etc.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

fing02[1].giffing02[1].giffing02[1].giffing02[1].giffing02[1].giffing02[1].gif

I woke up this morning and when I saw this it made my day. I have been saying this for three decades, at least.

In my personal...and professional...opinion, celastic is an abomination second only to you know what. It is the answer to a question that never needed to be asked. Never should have been asked. It is graceless and tawdry and brings nothing to shoemaking or shoes that isn't done better by leather.

It is for "makers" who do not respect the Traditions, the skills, the materials, or the customer.

It is a crutch for those who just want to get it over with and collect the cash.

IMO...
post #1362 of 1515
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirling View Post

Regarding skiving, I guess the original form of underwear made out of leather required a lot of skiving to make them comfortable, hence their being called "skivvies."  :-)

[chuckle]

Only "skiving" rhymes with "driving" and "skivvies" rhymes with "privies."

You could ask Grammmarphobia but I doubt the origins are the same.
post #1363 of 1515
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post

[chuckle]

Only "skiving" rhymes with "driving" and "skivvies" rhymes with "privies."

You could ask Grammmarphobia but I doubt the origins are the same.

In my personal experience, "skivvies" comes from "skiving," so I don't need to look anything up or trouble myself with facts, which frequently annoy me and undermine my worldview. :-)

Edit: Add: Now I remember that I heard this at an exclusive trunk show by an elite Tahitian RTW underwear maker. So, how could it not be true? :-)
post #1364 of 1515

Without taking apart a boot, how can one tell whether it is Blake, Rapid, GYW, Stitch down, Nailed, or HW?  I know some of this, I think, but only vaguely.  If you can see that the vamps are bent out, without a welt, then it's stitch down? If you can see stitching around the edge of the insole, then it's Blake or Rapid?  How can you tell, though, between these two?  How can you tell between GYW and HW?  Then, I suppose there are combinations, where extra outsoles are stitched on in ways that don't effect how the uppers are connected to the midsoles?

 

Also, I recall that a study from the Civil War era showed that HW was better than nailed techniques of making boots, but how does nailed compare to stitch down, Rapid, or GYW?  I realize that brass is superior to steel due to the rust issue...

 

Thanks much!

post #1365 of 1515
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whirling View Post

Without taking apart a boot, how can one tell whether it is Blake, Rapid, GYW, Stitch down, Nailed, or HW?  I know some of this, I think, but only vaguely.  If you can see that the vamps are bent out, without a welt, then it's stitch down? If you can see stitching around the edge of the insole, then it's Blake or Rapid?  How can you tell, though, between these two?  How can you tell between GYW and HW?  Then, I suppose there are combinations, where extra outsoles are stitched on in ways that don't effect how the uppers are connected to the midsoles?

Also, I recall that a study from the Civil War era showed that HW was better than nailed techniques of making boots, but how does nailed compare to stitch down, Rapid, or GYW?  I realize that brass is superior to steel due to the rust issue...

Thanks much!

As with the other thread you just need to educate yourself, familiarize yourself with the various forms and the details that each exhibits. Blake will have no welt. Blake-Rapid has a midsole that functions as a welt. Both may have stitching on the insole but it may not be visible because Blake and Blake-Rapid are typically provided with a full sockliner to cover that stitching.

The novice often cannot tell the difference between GY and HW. That's one of the disturbing aspects of GY. But sometimes an inspection of the insole will reveal dimples just under the surface of the insole on HW that will never be there on GY.

The word "Rapid" refers to a machine that stitches the welt and outsole. So when you talk about GY, and often stitchdown, and even HW sometimes, "Rapid" is a given--it is not distinguishable from GY. We only use "Rapid" in the context of Blake-Rapid to distinguish it from Blake.

As far as nails are concerned, they have their place but it's not mainstream.
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