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2019 shoe revival challenge - submit entries HERE

actionjbone

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I think this is a solid approach. August is tough for me -- at home, my kids go back to school the second week, and for work (university administrator), the kids come back to campus the third week. But if I have the summer to find shoes and pull something together in what limited free time I have before the chaos begins, a) I will be more likely to participate, and b) I can be a little more adventurous in sinking some time here and some time there, because my weekends frequently get blown up by kids' activities.

The other feedback I might offer is that the judging sheet gave me pause. It felt like the majority of points were assigned to actual cobbling tasks, most of which I have no interest in attempting. If my entry is at an immediate disadvantage because I'm only eligible for 30% of the available points, then I might as well do them on my time for my own benefit. Not that I have any designs on winning, but that's usually a considerable part of the motivation for entering a contest/challenge. Perhaps there should be two categories, one more technical and one more creative.

My $0.02. Which is pretty much worthless in the overall scheme of things.
There was a judging sheet?
 

eTrojan

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suitforcourt

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IfUOTE="eTrojan, post: 9884126, member: 267049"]
I think this is a solid approach. August is tough for me -- at home, my kids go back to school the second week, and for work (university administrator), the kids come back to campus the third week. But if I have the summer to find shoes and pull something together in what limited free time I have before the chaos begins, a) I will be more likely to participate, and b) I can be a little more adventurous in sinking some time here and some time there, because my weekends frequently get blown up by kids' activities.

The other feedback I might offer is that the judging sheet gave me pause. It felt like the majority of points were assigned to actual cobbling tasks, most of which I have no interest in attempting. If my entry is at an immediate disadvantage because I'm only eligible for 30% of the available points, then I might as well do them on my time for my own benefit. Not that I have any designs on winning, but that's usually a considerable part of the motivation for entering a contest/challenge. Perhaps there should be two categories, one more technical and one more creative.

My $0.02. Which is pretty much worthless in the overall scheme of things.
[/QUOTE]

Great feedback! Always open to changing things to make it fun and realistic.
 

actionjbone

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Interesting. I guess I never read the first post.

I wouldn't have taken the time to enter at all if I'd read that over, honestly.

I still would have fixed up the shoes the same way, I just wouldn't have taken all the time to take pictures and post in such detail. Because the stuff I do doesn't fall into the categories it looks like you need to win.

I do leather restoration, not cobblery.
 

suitforcourt

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Interesting. I guess I never read the first post.

I wouldn't have taken the time to enter at all if I'd read that over, honestly.

I still would have fixed up the shoes the same way, I just wouldn't have taken all the time to take pictures and post in such detail. Because the stuff I do doesn't fall into the categories it looks like you need to win.

I do leather restoration, not cobblery.
Thanks for the responses. After a careful review, I agree the criteria is leaning towards cobbler work. Not the intention. Things will be revamped for next year.
 

Thomas Crown

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I invested $14 odd bucks,I like messing with the shoes regardless of my likelihood of winning,I’d be doing it in my free time anyway and I loved the detailed posts of everyone’s efforts. Can things be improved? Of course,but this is hardly a waste of time if one finds the subject interesting
 

actionjbone

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I invested $14 odd bucks,I like messing with the shoes regardless of my likelihood of winning,I’d be doing it in my free time anyway and I loved the detailed posts of everyone’s efforts. Can things be improved? Of course,but this is hardly a waste of time if one finds the subject interesting
No, everything is clearly terrible and everyone is horrible and we're literally going to burn our shoe collections in protest.

Obviously.
 

suitforcourt

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Update for all participants: The judges are aiming to have a final decision by end of month. @davidVC has submitted his evaluations already.
 

cliffordcaucus

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Congrats @Thomas Crown for kicking this off, and thanks @suitforcourt for the whole organization!

Here is my application with a pair of Church's Diplomat II from, I would guess, the 60's.
Receipt (here is the original listing)



The obvious issues with these shoes where the roten soles stitching which made the soles completely falling apart, the severe misshape and a very dry and "lifeless" leather.

The Before :















The Process:

  1. Dismantling of the heels, soles and cork
  2. New cork
  3. Full handstitched resole under closed channel
  4. Flush metal toe tips
  5. New heel tops
  6. Edges finished with wax and hot iron
  7. Sole finish with liquid wax
  8. Restitching of a facings base stitch (does it have a name?)
  9. Several rounds of light dyeing to give the leather a museum effect
  10. Neutral cream
  11. Mirror shine
  12. Original laces cleaned in the laundry
Everything was made at home by hand (only machines used was a Dremel to pre-drill toe tips screw holes and a washing machine for cleaning the laces 😁 )

Here are some pics of the process if anyone is curious.

The Result















Did you have a last/shoe tree at home to form the leather over while you hand-stitched the outsole? The new shape brought back to the shoes is phenomenal. Amazing work.
 

ijustknow

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Congrats @Thomas Crown for kicking this off, and thanks @suitforcourt for the whole organization!

Here is my application with a pair of Church's Diplomat II from, I would guess, the 60's.
Receipt (here is the original listing)



The obvious issues with these shoes where the roten soles stitching which made the soles completely falling apart, the severe misshape and a very dry and "lifeless" leather.

The Before :















The Process:

  1. Dismantling of the heels, soles and cork
  2. New cork
  3. Full handstitched resole under closed channel
  4. Flush metal toe tips
  5. New heel tops
  6. Edges finished with wax and hot iron
  7. Sole finish with liquid wax
  8. Restitching of a facings base stitch (does it have a name?)
  9. Several rounds of light dyeing to give the leather a museum effect
  10. Neutral cream
  11. Mirror shine
  12. Original laces cleaned in the laundry
Everything was made at home by hand (only machines used was a Dremel to pre-drill toe tips screw holes and a washing machine for cleaning the laces 😁 )

Here are some pics of the process if anyone is curious.

The Result















All put aside, I am most curious about your magic of removing all the crease!!!! It is MAGIC!!!!!
 

ijustknow

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View attachment 1235802I bought the Executive Imperials that I wanted to work on last year (but the seller would not budge below $15.95). They were still for sale and I bought them for $14.
View attachment 1235765

I liked the austerity brogue design. The uppers looked neglected. The heels and soles still looked good, although I decided to apply a sole protector. I figured that if I was going to do a bunch of work on them, I didn’t want the sole wearing out right away.

View attachment 1235767
View attachment 1235769View attachment 1235770View attachment 1235771View attachment 1235772View attachment 1235774View attachment 1235773

I went after these with some acetone and the dark brown finish came right off. It left behind a reddish layer that appeared to be some sort of corrected grain finish. This took more acetone and scrubbing, but it too came off.

I finished this step by thoroughly scrubbing with isopropyl alcohol/water to further help remove the wrinkles.

View attachment 1235775View attachment 1235776

Now came the fun part. The theme of these shoes was “autumn.” I applied a mix of dyes with a slight greenish tint using a sponge to the heel and wingtip. This was actually three “coats” of various mixed shades, followed by another that was more brownish.
The main part of the shoe had something similar done, but with a slightly reddish tint of light brown. This was finished with a hand scrubbed coat of dye using a small scrap of sponge.

The sole bottom was sanded, and cleaned with isopropyl alcohol prior to installing the sole protector. I chose a tan sole protector so that it would be a similar color as the sole.

I did not think that the original black sole edge would look as good with this lighter shade of brown. I wanted a medium shade of brown, but found that the heel stack had a black layer above a thick black rubber bottom. I decided that a dark brown would be less jarring visually with that black, so I dyed the edge brown and finished with two coats of chili edge dressing.

They were finished with cream conditioner, followed up with wax.

View attachment 1235785View attachment 1235786View attachment 1235787View attachment 1235788View attachment 1235789View attachment 1235791View attachment 1235793
View attachment 1235802
Before you clean the shoes, I thought it is a high quality one, but corrected leather does not say so. Your final work is a masterpiece.
 

ijustknow

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I wasn't originally planning to compete, but then I had quite the haul at the thrift store this weekend. (50% off EVERYTHING.)

View attachment 1235811

One of my favorite things is taking something utterly destroyed and making it absolutely gorgeous. For example, I interviewed for my current job wearing a pair that I'd brought back from the grave.

So when I found these - for $3! - I knew I had to do something with them.

View attachment 1235818

This was an utterly ruined pair of Florsheims. I don't even know why they were put up for sale, and not just binned.

There are no identifying markings left anywhere on the uppers or insoles. I only know they're Florsheim based on the heel logo, though I've never seen another pair of Florsheims with that logo on the heel. I figure that means either they're old, or they were unpopular.

View attachment 1235813

And speaking of the sole, it's cemented and it was starting to come off in places.

View attachment 1235814

In spite of their appearance, they were smooth leather - not suede or nubuck. The finish was simply destroyed. And they're unlined, so they had even less internal structure than you might expect.

View attachment 1235816

The surface was a complete mess. Stains were everywhere.

View attachment 1235815

These shoes had very clearly NEVER been cared for.

View attachment 1235817

And did I mention they were in bad shape?

View attachment 1235812

This is the most miserable pair of shoes I've ever worked on, which also means it was one of the most interesting challenges.

Here's everything I did, in order. Note that whenever I applied a coat of something, it was with my bare finger unless otherwise specified; all brushing/shining/buffing was with a Red Wing brand horsehair shoe brush (no rags or daubers or anything).
  • Cleaned and reshaped shoes
    1. Brushed the shoes and soles thoroughly
    2. Immersed the shoes in a tub of water for around 30 minutes
    3. Removed shoes from water, gently dried with a terrycloth towel
    4. Inserted form-fitting spring-form cedar shoe trees
    5. Placed shoes at a 30-degree incline over a wire mesh next to a cold-air vent for 24 hours (the incline is necessary to prevent the leather soles from getting damaged)
    6. After about two hours, removed cedar shoe trees and inserted form-fitting rigid hardwood trees (and placed cedar trees in front of the vent next to the shoes)
    7. Waited a day; shoes and soles and cedar trees had completely dried (inside and out)
    8. Swapped the cedar spring-form shoe trees back in
    9. Gently sanded the worst/roughest spots - mainly the left toe, the left vamp, and a couple smaller spots around the side/back.
    10. Wiped the shoes gently with acetone, partly to remove some stains and partly in case there happened to be any old polish to strip off. (There wasn't.)
    11. Using rotary face brush, applied a generous amount of Bick 1 leather cleaner to uppers
    12. Waited for shoes to air-dry
    13. Brushed thoroughly
  • Dyed shoes
    1. Applied three generous coats of Angelus brand Jade (green) leather dye with dauber
    2. Waited several minutes for shoes to dry and dye to begin to set
    3. Applied one very thin coat of neutral VSC
    4. Brushed gently
    5. Applied one very thin coat of neutral Tarrago cream polish
    6. Brushed a little less gently
    7. Saturated shoes with Fiebling's neatsfoot oil - I'm talking really, really saturated them. I applied many coats using a rag; I'd go over one shoe, then the other, then continued back and forth until no more was getting absorbed and the oil started to pool on the surface
    8. Left shoes to rest for a full day, to allow the last of the oil to absorb in and all the color to even out
I've developed this dying technique over time to help balance the color and to make it really penetrate the leather. The neatsfoot blends with the dye and drags it deeper in, while simultaneously spreading the dye around as the oil spreads - it's sort of like how CXL leather works, but without the hot stuffing and without quite as much permanence.

Anyway, continuing:
  • Polished shoes
    1. Applied thin coat of neutral VSC
    2. Buffed
    3. Applied thin coat of neutral Tarrago cream
    4. Buffed
    5. Applied thin coat of neutral Collonil 1909
    6. Waited for product to dry
    7. Buffed
    8. Applied another thin coat of neutral Collonil 1909
    9. Waited for product to dry
    10. Buffed
  • Shined shoes
    • At this point, I started to work more based on feel/sight
    • I repeatedly applied many, many very thin coats of neutral VSC, Tarrago cream, Collonil 1909, and Allen Edmonds carnauba wax
    • I brushed heavily between each coat, to spread it around evenly and really work it into the leather.
    • I chose each product based on how the shoes appeared after the previous coat, how dry/tacky the shoes felt, and what I wanted to gain from the next coat: suppleness, pure shine, or smoothness.
    • I probably did this for a couple hours, not including time waiting for the Collonil to dry. I lost count of the number of coats I applied.
    • I did this because the leather had been in such rough shape, I wanted to ensure I gave the shoes lots of waxes to absorb, as well as a durable but flexible coating.
    • Finished with two final coats of Collonil, then lots of buffing.
  • Waited another day for shoes to dry
At this point, I had thought about sanding down the entire sole edge to the natural leather, but I realized the sole edges would've absorbed too much green dye. So I came up with a plan B.
  • Dressed sole edges
    1. Wrapped low-tack painter's tape around both shoes
    2. Gently sanded edges all around
    3. Coarsely sanded heel risers, partly by hand and partly with dremel, to remove dark brown dressing around riser
    4. Removed painter's tape from shoes; wrapped masking tape around all except the very top of heel risers
    5. Applied three coats of black edge dressing around soles' edges
    6. Waited for edge dressing to dry
    7. Removed masking tape from heels
    8. Applied a generous coat of Bick 4 to now-bare heel risers
    9. Buffed
    10. Applied a coat of neutral Tarrago cream to heel risers
    11. Buffed
    12. Applied another coat of Bick 4 to heel risers
    13. Buffed
  • Finished up
    • Pushed a little Barge into the loose parts of the sole, to reattach (fortunately, there weren't any deep spots)
    • Applied two more coats of Collonil; buffed briskly after each coat
    • Laced shoes
    • Decided I didn't like the lacing; laced them again, differently
And the result?

View attachment 1235825

I'd wear these on a job interview, if only they were my size.

View attachment 1235820

Now, all the texture adds interest. The darker and lighter areas, the peaks and valleys - they create a unique patina, so the shoes look different from every angle.

View attachment 1235824
View attachment 1235822

The heels transition from green leather to black edges, then natural leather stacks, then finally to the tan rubber pad.

View attachment 1235821

These looked stunning in sunlight yesterday, but it was overcast today, so unfortunately I couldn't get photos of the light reflecting off. (If anyone wants to see, I'll try to grab more photos this weekend.)

View attachment 1235823View attachment 1235824

So, that's my entry.

These shoes were once trash. Now they're not.
The patina is invincible, is it possible to convert it from cemented to welted?
 

florent

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All put aside, I am most curious about your magic of removing all the crease!!!! It is MAGIC!!!!!
No magic trick, the creases was mostly due to the soles & insoles being severely bent. Resoling automatically staightened the whole shoes, several applications of dyes and cream took care of the remaining creases (leather quality is great, which definitely helps!)
 

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