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I recently bought a pair of leather-soled dress shoes on the cheap (the name of which I will omit to avoid the inevitable onslaught) which I am planning on personalizing abit (antiquing, etc.) and would like to spiff up the soles too. This is more of a learning experience than anything else and I had some questions about sole construction that I was hoping to get some help with:

1. Sole stripping: The soles appear to be covered in a thick wax or paint which is pitting and shredding after two wearings. However, I can see the leather underneath and I would like to strip the current finish off and create a new one. I'm thinking acetone and/or sandpaper for stripping, but I'm not sure what to use to refinish. Meaculpa's excellent post was missing this step, but I would like to achieve something similar to his result.

2. Channel filling: The shoes have a channel on the sole with exposed stitching which I would like to cover up. On the JM Weston site, the video of shoe construction shows them filling the channel with wax. Anyone know what kind of wax this is, or what kind would work?

3. Toe nails: I have decided I would like some kind of toe tap on the shoe, and I really like the shoes that have a row or two of nails on the toe. What size nail do they use, and where could someone get shoe nails or an equivalent?

Like I said, I am more interested in learning about the process than anything, so any info would be appreciated even if I could not actually do it. Thanks in advance