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Removing metal eyelets

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mg428, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. mg428

    mg428 Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to safely remove metal eyelets without damaging the leather? Can a cobbler do this?

    Although my question is general, I am particularly interested in doing this on Alden shoes.
     
  2. srivats

    srivats Well-Known Member

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    M, why do you want to remove the eyelets? Most aldens have them on the inside from what I remember. You don't like the looks? Removing them should not be too much trouble, a good cobbler should be able to handle it - however, I am not sure it is a good thing having no eyelets (inside or outside).

    I love metal eyelets and I wish alden made more shoes with eyelets on the outside.
     
  3. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Well-Known Member

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  4. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Well-Known Member

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    My EG's have metal eyelets, but they're recessed so they're only visible if you pull back the tongue on the inside of the shoe.

    All the durability benefits, without the clunky looks = win.
     
  5. mg428

    mg428 Well-Known Member

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    M, why do you want to remove the eyelets? Most aldens have them on the inside from what I remember. You don't like the looks? Removing them should not be too much trouble, a good cobbler should be able to handle it - however, I am not sure it is a good thing having no eyelets (inside or outside). I love metal eyelets and I wish alden made more shoes with eyelets on the outside.
    First I need to clarify that I am talking about the metal eyelets on the outside. Although I like them in general for clunkier shoes, I do have 4 Alden high boots, 3 of which are indy and one is tanker, all with metal eyelets on the outside. I may consider removing the eyelets in one of them, if that is really easy for a cobbler without damaging the leather, for a different look. I just saw the new photos of the cigar indy posted on leffot's blog, and I really liked those Indy boots without metal eyelets.
     
  6. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid, you cannot remove them.

    The eyelets would have been placed with a machine similar to this one which uses heavy pressure to close them, depending on the system used, the eyelets are either two pieces or one piece that opens up star-shaped prongs on the underside.

    http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/prod...s_leather.html

    Even if you could pull them out without damage to the lining underside (which I doubt), they would leave a pressure mark on the top leather as they are actually larger than the hole.
     
  7. mg428

    mg428 Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid, you cannot remove them.

    The eyelets would have been placed with a machine similar to this one which uses heavy pressure to close them, depending on the system used, the eyelets are either two pieces or one piece that opens up star-shaped prongs on the underside.

    http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/prod...s_leather.html

    Even if you could pull them out without damage to the lining underside (which I doubt), they would leave a pressure mark on the top leather as they are actually larger than the hole.


    Thank you. Very helpful info.
     
  8. josh1233

    josh1233 Active Member

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    If the eyelets show on both sides they can possibly be removed. You would have to drill them out with a bit the same size as the eyelet shaft. The problem you may run into is that the eyelets might want to spin before you can drill the head off and pop them out. If they start to spin it will burn and mark the leather.
     
  9. JohnnyLaw

    JohnnyLaw Well-Known Member

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    If the eyelets show on both sides they can possibly be removed. You would have to drill them out with a bit the same size as the eyelet shaft. The problem you may run into is that the eyelets might want to spin before you can drill the head off and pop them out. If they start to spin it will burn and mark the leather.

    Don't do this.
     
  10. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible to safely remove metal eyelets without damaging the leather? Can a cobbler do this?

    Although my question is general, I am particularly interested in doing this on Alden shoes.

    I wouldn't do this.
     
  11. WBaker

    WBaker Well-Known Member

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    When taking my Aldens in to the local cobbler to get toe taps I asked about this. They told me the same thing, removing the metal eyelets will most likely be impossible.
     
  12. Shiny

    Shiny Well-Known Member

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    I want to remove and then reinstall the eyelets that don't show metal on the outside. Is this still a no? I think the metal eyelets that show on the outside make the shoe a too casual.
     
  13. atia2

    atia2 Well-Known Member

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    I thought I would resurrect this thread to ask the converse question:

    Is it feasible to insert metal eyelets (preferably the 'blind' type which show only on the inside) into dress shoes whose lace holes do not already have them?
     
  14. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    Why on earth would you want to do this? Have you managed to damage them or have you decided you know better than the manufacturer that they will become damaged?
     
  15. atia2

    atia2 Well-Known Member

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    My laces fray and break very rapidly in these shoes compared to my other pairs, all of which have metal eyelets. This makes physical sense to me, as the smooth inner surface of a metal eyelet is bound to place a smaller frictional load on the lace than a rougher leather hole.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015
  16. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes it depends on what is used to back or reinforce the facings. Also, depending on the laces you use, metal eyelets can get a hole worn in them and actually fray laces much faster than leather ever will.

    A lot has been said in this thread about how eyelets cannot be removed. That's news to me...it's not easy (although I think I recall seeing a tool to make it easy)...I guess when you don't know something can't be done, anything is possible. In any case, I have removed more than a few...without a drill bit...mostly in the process of replacing ones that were worn through.

    The real issue is what does the leather look like underneath and has it been damaged in the setting process? A lot of those eyelets are intended to split along the rim of the flange as it is rolled over the leather (some "rolets" resist splitting) and since the metal of the eyelet is thin, it will often cut into the leather.

    AFAIK, "blind"" eyelets cannot be mounted after the shoe is made.
     

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