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Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..." - Page 57

post #841 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post

I forgot to say that I heard of that book from DW long ago, but it was not until VRaivio mentioned recently I did not decide to purchase it.  It is very interesting so thanks you two.  Could you please recommend me another book about shoes with some interesting text and photos?. I enjoyed very much HM Shoes for Men from Vass too.

Dictionary of Leather-Working Tools c. 1700-1950 R.A. Salaman

No photos but lots of illustrations. Somewhat of the next step in terms of knowing about ahoemaking and how it all works.
post #842 of 1710
Zapasman, it's a great sign that you've remained curious. As long as you keep asking why, you can only learn and improve.

You can download a few great shoemaking books for free here:

http://thehcc.org/library.htm

As far as I know, this 559-page magnum opus has only been published in German, but it has hundreds of photos for your viewing pleasure:

http://www.amazon.de/Alles-über-Herrenschuhe-Helge-Sternke/dp/3894792523/ref=sr_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456843741&sr=1-10&keywords=herrenschuhe

If you're still hungry for more, you could buy this one:

Cunnington, C. Willett, and Phillis Cunnington. (1966) Handbook of English costume in the nineteenth century, Faber & Faber.

...as it has a portion about the footwear worn by English gentry in the 19th century.

On another note, Cunnington writes that he thinks that the acme of Western tailoring was achieved in the 1870s. I remember DWFII mention that this time was The Golden Era of shoemaking as well.
post #843 of 1710
Thread Starter 
The Last Shall Be First: The Colourful Story of John Lobb the St James's Bootmakers, Brian Dobbs No photos but an interesting biography / story.

And a fun one although a bit more tedious but chock-a-block full of interesting tidbits:

The Romance of the Shoe: Being the History of Shoemaking in All Ages, and Especially in England and Scotland, by Thomas Wright, 1922 146 illustrations
post #844 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFII View Post


Dictionary of Leather-Working Tools c. 1700-1950 R.A. Salaman

No photos but lots of illustrations. Somewhat of the next step in terms of knowing about ahoemaking and how it all works.

On the way home.:fonz:

post #845 of 1710

Thanks both of you again.  I think with this 3 books will be more than enough for me.  Although I take note of all your indications.  It relaxes me to take a look at them and do some reading late at night.

post #846 of 1710

 

Hi DW, I know you have discussed the height of the heel of a shoe before, but I would like to know what parameters do you take into account to decide the lenght and the width of the heel of a shoe (maybe the model?).  On the other hand, I have discovered some great  impact absortion in the rubber heel stack of my new pair of shoes.  What do you use here?.  Thanks.

post #847 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post


Hi DW, I know you have discussed the height of the heel of a shoe before, but I would like to know what parameters do you take into account to decide the lenght and the width of the heel of a shoe (maybe the model?).  On the other hand, I have discovered some great  impact absortion in the rubber heel stack of my new pair of shoes.  What do you use here?.  Thanks.

I'm not sure what you're asking here. Yes, rubber had much greater impact absorption that a solid block of leather would. But to me it looks cheap. One of the reasons may be that long ago all heels were leather. And then came the rubber toplift and then the rubber heel and then the autosoler. There was never a better example of technology working to cheapen an otherwise reasonable technique.

An autosoler drives a wire (from a roll) and clinches it so that it can function as a nail. Trouble is many shoe repairmen figured out they could step on the pedal and hold it down and the autosoler would drive wires like a machine gun spitting out bullets. Ending up with so many wires in the shoe that the customer didn't dare go anywhere near an auto wrecking yard for fear the magnet would pull him off his feet. I've seen so many good shoes ruined like this that I associate full rubber heels with expediency and cheap. And wouldn't under any circumstances allow an autosoler in my shop or anywhere near shoes that I cared about.

As for the size of the heel...the insole determines the width of the outsole. And the width of the heel. When it comes to length, there is a formula...I was taught--25% of the length of the shoe, IIRC.
post #848 of 1710
I believe another approach is to make the heel as long as it is wide (width measured at the widest point). For example, if you watch the Delos bootmaking video, he uses his knife to measure the width of the insole, and then uses that to transfer the same distance for the length of the heel. However, if there is a very narrow heel width, then that will lead to a very short heel. At the end of the day, it is an aesthetic decision.
post #849 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoefan View Post

I believe another approach is to make the heel as long as it is wide (width measured at the widest point). For example, if you watch the Delos bootmaking video, he uses his knife to measure the width of the insole, and then uses that to transfer the same distance for the length of the heel. However, if there is a very narrow heel width, then that will lead to a very short heel. At the end of the day, it is an aesthetic decision.


I've seen Delos do that...and other shoemakers, as well. As you say....

Once you get past the "formulae" everything is.
post #850 of 1710

I thought there might be some kind of trade consensus for mechanical reasons but I have observed with RTW shoes that the decision is taken mostly for aesthetical purposes, depending on the shoe model.

 

With regard to the rubber heel toplift (I forgot the word in my previous question so I wasn´t clear at all), do you have any preferences in the composition of the rubber material?. Most of my rubber heel toplifts are hard as a rock and just a few have a really soft one that absorpts quite nicely heel impact.  Thanks you all.

post #851 of 1710
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post

I thought there might be some kind of trade consensus for mechanical reasons but I have observed with RTW shoes that the decision is taken mostly for aesthetical purposes, depending on the shoe model.

With regard to the rubber heel toplift (I forgot the word in my previous question so I wasn´t clear at all), do you have any preferences in the composition of the rubber material?. Most of my rubber heel toplifts are hard as a rock and just a few have a really soft one that absorpts quite nicely heel impact.  Thanks you all.

Well, most manufacturers buy pre-stacked heel blocks so there is a set of standards sizes...ostensibly keyed to last sizes.. and consequently a limited range of sizes available. Some trimming can be done but if shoe is narrow, for instance, and there is no standard size heel to fit it, the job of fitting, correctly, is a little more difficult, simply because the concave bottom radius will have to be ignored. Not insurmountable but more work...and usually hand work...so manufacturers have a vested interest in ensuring that the insoles and outsoles are pretty standard, as well.

It's a toss--up. I make my own combination toplifts and use 12 iron Vibram sheet. Too soft and it wears away quickly. Too hard and it wears away quickly. As well as being noisy and slick-ery.
post #852 of 1710

Thanks again DW, interesting to know that rubber sheets comes in irons too, like veg leather bends.

post #853 of 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post

I have observed with RTW shoes that the decision is taken mostly for aesthetical purposes, depending on the shoe model.

It is not only the last, but also the construction of the shoe that determines the width of the heel. If you make a shoe where the welt runs all around the heel (maybe even with 'Goiser' or 'Norwegian' welt) the heel will be wider than on an elegant narrowly cut heel. So it makes sense to include the width of the heel into your formula (whatever that might be). Otherwise the delicate heel of an opera pumps and the chunky heel of a heavy mountaineering boot would have the same length (assuming the length of both lasts is identical).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapasman View Post

Most of my rubber heel toplifts are hard as a rock and just a few have a really soft one that absorpts quite nicely heel impact.

You can always get a component producer like E A Tailby in Kettering/England to produce top lifts to your specifications and aesthetic preferences.

http://www.tailby.com/
post #854 of 1710

Thanks bengal, very good info.  I always push my cobbler to get better materials and suppliers so he can do better.  I will contact them to see any distributor here.  Cheers.

post #855 of 1710
What is the most challenging shoe design to make for an experienced maker? When experienced cordwainers are evaluating other cordwainers' work, what details do you focus on to determine if the maker has the "right stuff?"
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