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

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    Brushing does nothing with the spots. How many times over do I have to say the same thing? I'm not distraught, I'm just over shell. The novelty has worn off and the benefits don't outweigh the costs by any stretch of the imagination.
     
  2. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    Oh well, don't mind the stupid question then haha...

    As of replacement what have you got in mind?
     
  3. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    I am dying to try out reversed waxed calf though, regarding the matter of something that can compete with shell.
     
  4. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    I'm not replacing my shell, I just won't get new ones.

    Traditional reversed waxed calf sounds great, but apparently it doesn't exist anymore. Won't take a shine either I'm sure.
     
  5. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    Wo ho ho hold on their Pat! Big mistake thinking that the good old hide won't reflect! - http://horacebatten.com/boots/wax_calf_riding_boot & http://www.styleforum.net/t/354137/leather-quality-and-properties/200_100#post_6505402 - check those out. Perhaps traditional reversed waxed calf shines even brighter than shell in certain instances.

    I know a few English boot makers are still around and at large with this hide, but it's all a hell to find them.

    And ignore the Horween stuff in the post, please. We all know it was an unsuccessful replication of the original leather.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  6. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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  7. jimmycth

    jimmycth Active Member

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    I suspect that the shoes may be a slightly too long. The crease on the right shoe is 'digging' onto my big toe. Below are pictures after half a day and a full day (same day) respectively. As can be seen in the second picture, the crease on the right shoe is deeper that the left shoe. Any other reasons for this occurrence apart from the shoe being too long or my feet not fitting the last?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Again, no certainty...but I suspect you're correct. That crease should correspond with the "joint" of your foot and the line from the medial ball joint to the lateral ball ball joint(--the "treadline." If the crease is digging into your toe, the shoe is probably creasing in the wrong spot. Sometimes this can be related to the style of shoe and the thickness of layers of leather, but from the photo the crease is in the right spot on the shoe...just not in the right spot relative to your foot.
     
  9. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    So this stuff is available then. I must admit it sounds pretty awesome. I don't understand why you can't just make it yourself. Is it as simple as getting some sort of non-split veg tanned suede and waxing it? What am I missing here?
     
  10. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    According to DWFII, you have to mix a reasonable mixture of grease, consist of a wax, a grease and an oil, mix it hot (warm enough that the leather drinks it), then paint it on until it cannot soak anymore grease. After that, it was supposed to be left on an attic until it falls into forgotten (I'm sure it won't, coz you gotta vacuum the place and let not even one single dust to settle). After a very long time settled, it should be then scrubbed with lye soap and a type of powder blacking. Then you have to use a "sizing" product, either starch or wallpaper paste, and burnish it to the spit-shine appearance, then further polish or grease it for the best effect of the leather.

    It should be noted that the leather must be quite thick to be tan this way, though.

    @DWFII , help me out if I sound very silly, will you?
     
  11. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    In some cases it may be...I suspect in most cases, unfortunately--none of the sites above are more specific than "heavy wax" on the flesh surface. Many folks making shoes and boots for Civil War reenactors do just exactly that.

    But the Traditional stuff...the real stuff...was a much more complicated and time consuming process. I would like to look at and try some of the Baker iteration if I could gt my hands on it but I suspect that's easier said than done.
     
  12. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    And, remember, Pat, it's heavy, HEAVY grease. You need to deposit a huge amount of oils, waxes and greases in the leather, so that it can work its full effects (naps all low, if scuffed rub a bone on and take the scuff out etc). You also need a very warm attic to store it, or else the grease can spew, or else cannot dry up as wanted, and the result will pretty much be screwed.

    DW also mentioned of a specific hide that will make the best waxed calf, a kip butt.
     
  13. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    DW, you have to include the fact that they are trying to save the recipe for themselves, not disclosing it to the wide public like you would kindly did (you had a heart of a whale, DW, with all the love I have).
     
  14. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if this Baker's stuff is easier for Europeans to get their hands on.
     
  15. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much spot on but thickness has nothing to do with it. Most of the surviving examples were fairly thick because the style of making...and the fact that it already had a smooth grain surface inside the shoe...dictated that no linings were used. Waxed calf was as thick as "ordinary" calf plus a lining.
     
  16. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Certainly so. I have dealt with Baker in the past and Andrew Parr is a great fellow. But like a lot of old British companies...I suspect...a little bemused by the Internet. It's hard to confirm an order and months in the shipping. Then you have VAT and customs and customs brokers.

    :cloud:
     
  17. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    Nah, the recipe is obscure but no secret. It's just that to do it, it's a pain in the backside, requires a lot of manual labour and equally obscure ingredients and takes a long time before any cash flow is in the offing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  18. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    It can't be that much more time consuming and costly than Horween making shell. I guess there just isn't the same demand for it as shell these days. I would guess any sort of tallow, oil, and wax would suffice.
     
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Well-Known Member

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    I suspect you may be gravely mistaken there, pB. The Traditional recipe call for at least a year for the leather to "mellow." Just the business of shining them after making is tedious...and dirty. Historically, most people who owned boots made of this kind of leather had servants to do the shining.

    By comparison to the Traditional waxed calf, shell is "fiddly work.".

    And FWIW, the Traditional recipe doesn't call for any wax...in the sense that most people define "wax."

    --
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  20. traverscao

    traverscao Well-Known Member

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    It is much more, Pat, because you need up to a year or over. Then you have this scrubbing thing and the hand burnishing which is annoying. Did I tell you that blacking powder would never get off of your hands?

    Really DW? No wax? I thought on the leather property thread or so, you did mentioned of beeswax. Would it harm using wax in the grease mixture, though?

    Other than that, can waxed calf be in its natural dark brown color? Or must it always be black?
     

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