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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.** - Page 1201

post #18001 of 19073

You, more than anyone, knows how to bring life back to these shoes, Patrick.  Great to see you again, by the way!  Sincerely yours, Munky. 

post #18002 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by jet-stream View Post

*** Cross-post from AE Appreciation Thread ***

How to make cheap shoe trees better (OT)


I've seen recent discussion of shoe tree sales (such as JAB trees) and thought I would share my modifications to such trees. While I strongly prefer Woodlore Epic trees, they are relatively expensive and I have plenty of JAB tres. To me, the big shortcoming of the JAB and basic woodlore models is the lack of a good handhold. To solve this, I simply added brass knobs to the cheap trees, which magnifies their utility substantially (especially for boots!). If you have a few basic tools, there's not much to get.


As pictured below, for each pair, you will need:

- 2x Cabinet knobs (I like brass to match the nicer shoe trees)

- 2x 8/32 screws, preferably brass, 1/2" in length (5/8 could potentially work but will be hard to get into place).  Note: disclaimer below.

- A tiny Phillips screwdriver (#0 or so) to remove the nameplate

- An 11/64 drill bit and a driver (you probably could go up to 3/16 if absolutely necessary)

- (Optional) small needlenose pliers




How to:

1. Remove the existing nameplates.


2. Drill a hole on or near the screw hole closest to the front. Take care not to move too far back or you'll get into the area where the shoe tree curves, which means your screw won't be long enough.




3. Feed the screw through the hole from below. Pliers are not essential but will help, especially for those of us with robust fingers.




4. Hold the screw head in place with a finger and thread the knob on top.




5. Place trees in shoes.




That's it. It is pretty quick - I could probably do this for a dozen pairs in the time it will take me to write this post.


Of note, some of you may be tempted to buy a longer screw (2") and attach the knob near the back of a tree. I do not recommend this, for several reasons:

- it's more complicated. You will have to drill a countersink and do some sanding. It's even worse if you want to avoid the wood on the bottom splintering.

- it may get into the heel of the shoe (see below)

- unless you go really far back on the tree, the spring mechanism is in the way


Trust me on this. If you don't believe me, post your skepticism and I'll take a photo of why this is a bad idea. The method outlined above puts the knob in a really handy place (especially for boots), and looks fine aesthetically:




As far as process, that's it.  A few notes:

1. Brass screws in this size are readily available at any hardware store or big-box home improvement store, typically about $1.20 for 6 pcs.
2. TRUST BUT VERIFY: one of the 6 JAB trees I modified had a thick shelf/handhold, and 1/2" screws were not adequate.  In this case, I needed a 5/8" screw, which are more difficult to find.  I ended up just cutting a longer screw (hint: dremel or similar).  The 5/8" will still fit under the handhold, but the pliers become less optional.  Moral of the story: measure before purchasing hardware. 
3. If you don't want to shop for just the right knob, I used the cheapest brass knobs I could find on amazon (<$1 each).  The specific ones I used are now like $5 each, but this would be pretty much the same thing: http://www.amazon.com/Amerock-BP1910-PB-Allison-Hardware-Polished/dp/B000HAUS9Q/ref=pd_sim_60_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=410WUDdjiwL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR131%2C160_&refRID=0EZ3DF9N9FVFF59KRC1E - note this is an add-on item if you want free shipping (assumes amazon prime).  If you get the knobs for this price, the total cost of modifying a pair of trees is <$2.50.

Hope this helps - enjoy!

Very nice. I have been planning to do the same thing, but worried that the thin part of the handhold where you place the screw might not be strong enough. I thought I would drill farther back, closer to the heel, where I would have the full thickness. Then use a knob with a build in screw. Have you had any problems with the wood cracking where you put the screw or breaking thereafter under use?
post #18003 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick V. View Post


It's better to use a thin layer of all purpose cement on both sides then putting the cement on liberally.

The amount of pressure he applied by hammering the sole guard on and tying it down is not sufficient for a solid bond.

The sole and sole guard should both be sanded (roughed) in order to create a surface that would allow the cement to adhere properly.
It's more effective if you do this with a sanding machine.

Nick,

Thanks for the tips. Not being a cobbler, here is how I do it. Can you crtique my approach?

Line up where I want the heel end of the protector to end up and place masking tape to guard the part of the sole that will remain exposed once the protector goes on.

I sand the leather sole but not the sole protector unless it has smooth parts. For some reason the Vibram protectors I get have a final half inch or so, towards the heel, that is polished. I rough that up by sanding.

I usually sand by hand, but use a palm sander if the soles are new and still have a glaze on them. Getting that off by hand takes too long.

I clean both the protector and the sole with acetone to remove any oils.

I use blue barge cement.

I apply a coat of cement to the sole and give it time to dry, usually at least an hour.

I give the sole a second coat of cement and the protector gets a single coat.

Again, let dry for at least an hour.

Gently warm the sole with a hair dryer and warm up the protector in the oven.

Apply the protector, press firmly, then gently hammer. I don't have a press.


Either trim the edge right then, or hair dryer again later. Working with a warm protector makes it cut more easily to get a smooth edge.

So far, a few years, I have not had any protectors come loose, but always interested to hear how the pros do it.
post #18004 of 19073

Finally started to see some results!  I was using too little wax (Saphir Medaille D'or) and not enough water.  Thanks for the assistance!

 

 

 

 

post #18005 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

Very nice. I have been planning to do the same thing, but worried that the thin part of the handhold where you place the screw might not be strong enough. I thought I would drill farther back, closer to the heel, where I would have the full thickness. Then use a knob with a build in screw. Have you had any problems with the wood cracking where you put the screw or breaking thereafter under use?

No problems at all with cracking on the handhold - it appears to be plenty strong.
Trust me - don't go back past the handhold. The spring will be in the way, you'll have to do a lot of sanding, and if you avoid the spring you will be so far back the knob may contact the shoe heel. I can post a photo of the consequences of venturing past the handle in a few days if needed ...
post #18006 of 19073

Call me odd, gentlemen, but wouldn't it be easier/better to buy new ones with knobs on? Regards to all, Munky.

post #18007 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

Call me odd, gentlemen, but wouldn't it be easier/better to buy new ones with knobs on? Regards to all, Munky.

I'm guessing, but the DIY probably saves $5 per tree, and lets you convert ones you bought before you knew how convenient knobs are.
post #18008 of 19073

I took some of my shell shoes to get them  polished at Carmina´s shop in Madrid last year.  I was really shocked with the product the salesman was using; "a special home made recipe by Mr. Albadalejo" he said.  The product was fantastic, giving a nice shine to my pair of Vass.  It was watery, conteined bee wax, smelled very strong and it was cream colored.  You must shake the bottle before using the sponge to apply the product.

 

Here are the pics:

 

Left shoe polished at the shop with the magical product.

 

I was curious to know if that suppose recipe was "homemade by Mr.Albadalejo", so I checked the web and heard here about a really good italian product called Crema Nubiana or Crema Alpina that was not available anymore in the USA (I think it was imported by Mr. Rider before). This product is not available throught the web, so a friend of mine had to buy it in Italy and gave it to me cause there are no distributors here either.

 

I would say is the same product Carmina uses to shine his shell shoes.  I use it this afternoon with a pair of C&J calf shoes and results were pretty good. 

 

 

I like it much more that Reno et al for a nice shine; much less concentration of waxes but giving a beautiful luster.  

post #18009 of 19073

Could one of the shoe experts in this thread please tell me if there is a name for that stitch below the bottom lace?

AppleMark

post #18010 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbhdnhdbh View Post

Nick,

Thanks for the tips. Not being a cobbler, here is how I do it. Can you crtique my approach?

Line up where I want the heel end of the protector to end up and place masking tape to guard the part of the sole that will remain exposed once the protector goes on.

I sand the leather sole but not the sole protector unless it has smooth parts. For some reason the Vibram protectors I get have a final half inch or so, towards the heel, that is polished. I rough that up by sanding.

I usually sand by hand, but use a palm sander if the soles are new and still have a glaze on them. Getting that off by hand takes too long.

I clean both the protector and the sole with acetone to remove any oils.

I use blue barge cement.

I apply a coat of cement to the sole and give it time to dry, usually at least an hour.

I give the sole a second coat of cement and the protector gets a single coat.

Again, let dry for at least an hour.

Gently warm the sole with a hair dryer and warm up the protector in the oven.

Apply the protector, press firmly, then gently hammer. I don't have a press.


Either trim the edge right then, or hair dryer again later. Working with a warm protector makes it cut more easily to get a smooth edge.

So far, a few years, I have not had any protectors come loose, but always interested to hear how the pros do it.

Well, if nothing came loose, why change anything?
A few things though.
Both the sole guard and sole should always be sanded. Using a machine will yield better results. Be careful not to disturb the stitching on the bottom of the sole.
Contact cement will give better results than rubber cement.
Contact cement should be applied to both sides. If applied correctly it should only take 15-20 minutes to dry.
Rather than clamping the shoe to the sole guard (which won't give much pressure). It's better to invest in something like this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-B-MALL-CHAMPION-MALLEABLE-CAST-IRON-SHOE-COBBLER-LAST-ANVIL-LOT-8-/311562449896?hash=item488a91b3e8:g:eRUAAOSwHPlWeE9E#ht_44wt_1241
Just carefully hammer the sole guard to the sole.
The jacks come in different styles and heights. You can also get one that sits on your thigh. You just have to look for one that suits you best.
It's not necessary to warm anything in the oven.

I hope this helps.
post #18011 of 19073
Hello there,

I would like to solicit your opinion about cleaning and polishing bi-material balmoral boots. The combination is that of grey suede (around ankle) and dark brown calf leather below. The suede has become quite dirty with the usage of these shoes and I'm wondering how I should go about cleaning the suede while protecting the calf leather on the boots?

Similarly when I try to polish the dark brown calf leather, I invariable manage to get some polish on the grey suede. I am really regretting the choice of these boots...

Any help would be highly appreciated.
post #18012 of 19073
I used Reno Mat for the first time a few days ago. It worked very well on one pair of Lobbs which had some rough dull patches on the toe cap. But it didn't work well on another pair. At least it worked on one shoe but not the other. The left shoe was worse than the right one to begin with but not by much. While I was able to get the right shoe back to a reasonably good shine the left one won't shine up at all. See the image. Just wanted to check with the experts here that I'm using the product correctly. I applied it with a cloth waited 15 mins and then wiped it with a clean cloth. Any thoughts?
post #18013 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Munky View Post

Call me odd, gentlemen, but wouldn't it be easier/better to buy new ones with knobs on? Regards to all, Munky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M635Guy View Post


I'm guessing, but the DIY probably saves $5 per tree, and lets you convert ones you bought before you knew how convenient knobs are.

I'd say $5 per tree or more. I've gotten JAB trees as low as 3/$25, and the lowest I've gotten for woodlore epics was a bit above $20 per. For me, this was probably about $10 per tree for 6 trees.

@M635Guy is spot on for the second count - primary use is upgrading shoe trees you already have. Sure, you could replace existing crappy trees with nice ones, but you could also buy shoes with that money. Plus, the JAB trees (a) are far easier to get into boots and (b) the chunkier forefoot is good for some of my shoes, so I don't really want to upgrade all of my lower-end trees.
post #18014 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddiegreen View Post

Could one of the shoe experts in this thread please tell me if there is a name for that stitch below the bottom lace?
AppleMark

Stay stitch.

Pinging @dwfii for verification. He's the shoemaker.
post #18015 of 19073
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Stay stitch.

Pinging @dwfii for verification. He's the shoemaker.

I guess that works. The stitch itself is not universal, however, and frankly I don't know that it ever assumed such importance that a term for it became commonplace or widely accepted. I've heard it called a "frog," as well.
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