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Brass Nails used to impede shoe wear

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by lucidream, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. SoGent

    SoGent Senior member

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    thanks. cutting enough of the toe area to install a toe wear protection plate is starting to come across as counter intuitive.
    i'm beginning to think the 'cool factor' isn't worth it in the long run.
     
  2. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Well, that's my conclusion as well but then I'm looking at it from a little different perspective than even the most fastidious consumer.
     
  3. lucidream

    lucidream Active Member

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    My issue is that regardless of how invasive a toe tap (plate) may be, my wear pattern is just as damaging, bringing me close to the welt if left unmanaged. This is what has forced my hand in exploring alternatives. I currently have a topy and an unrecessed toe tap on one pair, and I find them both unsightly, subsequently bringing me to consider brass nails.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Parenthetically...now that I'm back in the shop and not relying on ancient memory...I need to set the record straight; The nails I got from Marsh Fasteners came in an half pound box. The brads I got from Gurney...which, AFAIK, were the last of old stock...came in one pound boxes. My mistake.
     
  5. bubba04

    bubba04 Senior member

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    DFW -- what is your opinion on other (DIY or otherwise) options to prolong leather sole wear, such as the installation of a thin layer of protective material such as rubber directly onto the leather sole?
     
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Opinion...marginal efficacy. My wife likes Topy on the bottom of her shoes, and for the ones that are "pump stitched" it's probably a good thing.

    But for me...and again, my opinion only and probably skewed by what I do and have access to...the bottom line is that leather outsoles are meant to be worn away and replaced. At some point in time, the techniques that evolved and became preferred among bespoke makers were the ones that allowed a relatively easy and straightforward regimen of maintenance and repair. I expect to replace my outsoles on a regular basis.

    It's part of the price for owning fine things. A philosophy of care and inspection and attention to detail...sounds like simple "awareness" to me.:)

    Of course, it becomes more difficult and expensive when the shoes can only be repaired by sending them back to the factory--a big "gotcha", that one.

    But it begs the question...at least for me...if we cannot be bothered with the expense and hassle of leather soles, such that we have to cover them with rubber to protect the leather or add chunks of metal to compensate for inattention, then why not "skip the middleman", as who should say, and get rubber soles in the first place? Extend that perspective to its logical outcome and entirely rubber or vinyl shoes are the only rational choice.

    That or steel overshoes.

    And don't get me started on the way that gait affects wear patterns. :nest:

    I guess it all comes down to priorities and what works for you.

    --
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  7. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Quote: ....

    But of all the options available to us--iron shoe nails, lasting tacks(brass or iron), maple pegs, etc., even metal or plastic toe plates, the brass nails are the most appropriate and most aesthetic and, simultaneously, the most effective solution yet found.
    How about these, at 14 or 16 gauge, 3/4 inch?

    http://www.matoska.com/cgibin/gencat.cgi?AC=gencat&PC=14&ST=0&RS=NULL&S1S2=68,NULL

    How close together do they have to be to do the job?


    Quote:
    Here at amateur hour, I was planning on either pre drilling holes, or using a thin iron nail to make the starting hole.

    I don't have the guts to try this on the toe piece, too much risk of sending a nail in the wrong place. I think it will be hard to ruin the heels with a few nails, so we will see.

    Thanks to everyone who got DWF interested enough to keep coming back with more information. Has anyone collected his shoe posts so we can read them all?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    The 16 gauge would probably be OK if you clipped off the heads...or didn't --you're not looking for the finesse of a new bespoke shoe after all.

    As for spacing, I'd allow a little more than 1/16" between them. Too close and the leather is damaged and will abrade out from around the nail too quickly. Too far apart and they lose effectiveness.

    The 18 gauge might work in the forepart. Especially with an iron repair jack/last.

    PS...it can help if the leather is moist when the nails are driven.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  9. SoGent

    SoGent Senior member

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    dwf . . . .

    could you take a look @ a pair i just received & give me an opinion if the nails at the toe are accomplishing anything or just decorative ?
    [​IMG]
     
  10. dbhdnhdbh

    dbhdnhdbh Senior member

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    Quote: You got that right. I would not even experiment on, what are for me, middle of the road RTW. If I ever could afford bespoke shoes, let alone DWF creations, I would absolutely send them to the "factory" for all work. I would probably be afraid to polish, or for that matter wear them. I might put them in a glass case and marvel at the workmanship. I would probably be about as likely to walk on the ground in them as I would use a fine painting as a table cloth.

    I doubt I am going to manage 1/16" spacing. I have some beater shoes that are the next up for experimentation. If it turns out easy and reliable enough that my fellow tinkerers will be interested, 'll post results.

    Right now my favorite shoes are vintage. I love them, but they are also old, and their market value is limited. Together, these make me reluctant to pay a lot to have them resoled, so I am interested in prolonging the resole intervals. I have also had bad luck with cobblers doing more simple repairs. This makes me gun shy about giving a prized pair of shoes to someone who will work cheap, and hesitant to spend the money for some place like B Nelson. Someday I may get at least some fine RTW, and perhaps spring for brass nails from the start.
     
  11. SoGent

    SoGent Senior member

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    wonder if a brass screw would work
     
  12. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    More than decorative. Again, the whole raison d'etre of leather soles is that they will wear away...while protecting your feet...and can be replaced. The nails in the toe will retard wear...they will not prevent it. --
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  13. lucidream

    lucidream Active Member

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    Retarding is all that I am looking for. I am mainly aiming to resole my shoe when the sole is indeed reasonably worn, and not simply because the toe area is close to the welt (while the remainder of the sole is relatively fresh).

    Below is a poor picture of what started me on this journey (I accepted my cobbler's advice, and was unsatisfied with the overall grace of the results).

    [​IMG]


    Certainly appreciate the distinction between a shoemaker and a cobbler, and accepting a leather soled shoe for what it is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  14. SoGent

    SoGent Senior member

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    thanks. i would have thunk they would be placed closer to the front edge, more like a toe 'tap', to be really beneficial.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  15. lucidream

    lucidream Active Member

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    Most likely on the inside of the seam, in order to avoid the welt.
     
  16. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    What would be the best method to maintain relatively even sole wear to prevent resoling prior to getting/close to getting a hole at the ball of the shoes?

    Where exactly is the inseam for handwelted shoes and for gemmed shoes? On the feather, outside edge of the feather or inside edge? And are you suggesting toe plates are not good for the insole? What about a row or two nails at the toe?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. NORE

    NORE Senior member

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  18. lucidream

    lucidream Active Member

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    Love the toe in first picture. Any background anecdote to add, NORE?
     
  19. SoGent

    SoGent Senior member

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    wow. who did THAT piece of work ?
     
  20. lucidream

    lucidream Active Member

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