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shoe construction...behind the veil

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. DutchW

    DutchW Senior member

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    +1. Thanks to both of you guys for the videos!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. duncanbootmaker

    duncanbootmaker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to you all for your kind words [​IMG]
    DW, I did the filming (in 720HD as 1080HD would have killed my spare memory space), editing, over dubbing, sound adjustment, slo-mo, opening and closing credits on an iPod (not an iPhone) that I bought late last year, using the iMovie app. The extreme macro is using a clip-on macro lens.
    The film isn't as sharp as I'd like, and a few bits of the editing would probably have benefited from a bit more time, but the shoemaking work is quite full at present, so need to stay focused.
    I'll go and link it on the Crispin Colloquy.
    Cheers
    Duncan
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. duncanbootmaker

    duncanbootmaker Well-Known Member

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    Another 'behind the veil' task in shoemaking is carving lasts. This vid. is of my first major use of an 1800's French 'Sabot' knife I bought (used for carving French clogs, or sabot). In order to get the hang of how it behaves, and find out what these knives are capable of, I made a quick 'last shaped object' with it. So this isn't a last for a real person, just trying out cuts, curves, hollowing, bulk removal, fine trimming.
    This particular knife is unusual in that, instead of having a hook on the blade end to fit in an eye bolt set in the work bench (see second photo), mine has a lug that fits in a series of holes drilled in a fixed upright, giving you variable hight adjustment for getting at different parts of the last, and is beautifully quiet and doesn't take any effort to keep it in the relevant hole (which was one of my concerns). I only found about 4 other knives designed this way on the 'net, and only one photo of it in use; a turn of the century postcard. Look at the gentleman, second from the left.

    [​IMG]

    And a more conventional (English) clog knife

    [​IMG]



    Prior to getting the Sabot knife I'd been using a carpenter's draw knife, shave horse and other tools. This knife is a revelation to use, able to remove large chunks of timber, or paper thin shavings and it arrived from France already sharp; but I did some more work on the edge and was able to get it to shaving sharp. After four or five hours of use, the edge was still scary sharp (as one split second of inattention, while it was leaning against my work bench, showed me. No stitches, but I keep it stored elsewhere now).
    Oh, and DW, this one was also filmed and edited on my iPod [​IMG]
    Cheers
    Duncan

     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
    6 people like this.
  4. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    The videos and commentary are great @duncanbootmaker
    Thanks for all the trouble taken to make and upload them.
    Especially enjoyed the Sabot knife video. Quite amazing that such a large, "brutish" looking tool is capable of making something as refined and elegant looking as a last.
     
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  5. Nick V.

    Nick V. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Interesting videos DW and Duncan.
    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  6. pleatedjeans

    pleatedjeans Well-Known Member

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    These videos are really interesting and well made! Thank you for sharing
     
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  7. duncanbootmaker

    duncanbootmaker Well-Known Member

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    This French knife, ThunderMarch, is much more graceful, lighter, in design than the traditional English 'Stock' knife, and is quite heavily dished for getting into curves. Hope I haven't offended any shoemakers/last carvers using stock knives.
     
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  8. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    Looks a little short for my tastes, I like a longer arm for more leverage and a slower action. Your stock knife looks to be dead straight, we traditionally used curved blades in the West End for reasons you're aware of. What wood are you using there? (edit: turned the sound up and heard it was poplar)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
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  9. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Having never used either knife, I have no opinion whatsoever on the superiority of 'French' versus 'English' last making knives.

    But I do wonder why all the French last makers seem to have opted for the 'English' knife
    .

    [​IMG]

    Berluti


    [​IMG]

    Philippe Atienza


    [​IMG]

    Anthony Delos


    [​IMG]

    Herve Brunelle


    [​IMG]

    Pierre Corthay
     
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  10. duncanbootmaker

    duncanbootmaker Well-Known Member

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    G'day Nicholas,
    Your web page was one of my destinations, early this year, when I was researching stock knives [​IMG]
    The knife is 80cm long and weighs just under 1.5kg. If my knife was a hook one, I would want the crooked handle too, but as it uses a series of holes, depending on where on the last you're working, the straight handle works very well. Each to their own [​IMG] In the end it's 'Can you make a decent last with it?' that matters, and what you're used to.
    The poplar I was using was just to try it out; for orders I use clear pine, laminated up (I live in the country and there's not much in the way of specialist woods around), though I was given a large block of Jelutong wood by a couple of pattern makers (for large scale metal castings) and am in the process of making my first lasts with it. Looks promising.

    Bengal-Stripe,
    Stock knives for sale are rare as hen's teeth in Australia, so I was looking over-seas for one. The one I bought was in my price bracket, and looked to be in good condition (turned out it was in excellent condition), though I was apprehensive about the 'lug' verses 'hook' end. Finding the postcard of it in use was a great relief.
    Cheers
    Duncan
     
  11. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Senior member

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    :uhoh:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
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  12. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    C'mon dieworkwear, it's just a few guys having a civilised conversation about how they handle their wood.
     
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  13. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    Oh don't get me wrong, I wasn't knocking anyone's methods, not really my style. Just adding my tuppence worth if it's of any use, that's all. The crooked handle is essential for a longer arm, as you want to get pretty low while cutting - my bench is about mid-thigh - and you need the bend to give you room to bring he blade up. When I said curved though, I meant the blade itself; the stock knife in your picture looks like a flat blade, we use one with a concave cutting side to get into the curves of a last.

    I've got a bit over a metre of length to play with, and when your carving some hornbeam or beech you appreciate the extra leverage. In an ideal world I'd have something a bit smaller in the toolbox for finessing things, but you have to draw the line somewhere with tools.

    All those French makers in the pictures are using what I'd call a traditional paroir de sabotier, they've got a bit more of a gracefully shaped blade to them than the British stock knife does. Again, I'd quite like one of those too but maybe with a different handle. Better call my blacksmith and see ownmuch imaginary money I've just spent.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
    2 people like this.
  14. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    Comme ça

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. duncanbootmaker

    duncanbootmaker Well-Known Member

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    Yes, you're right Nicholas, the one in the photo (off the internet) does appear to be flat.
    My Sabot knife also has quite a dished blade, and before getting it I used a drawknife and shave-horse. No comparison, is there?

    [​IMG]


    Quote "...but you have to draw the line somewhere with tools." That's the tricky part [​IMG]
    Cheers
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    moccasin construction. pretty cool
     
  17. shoefan

    shoefan Senior member

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    There are always a few on eBay france -- search for 'paroir' and/or sabotier. If postage isn't too high to the UK, they sell for really low prices.
     
  18. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    Yeah, but those tiddly handles don't inspire me. I like the look of the blade itself though, so I've harboured dreams of having some sort of hybrid GigaKnife made up as a fun project.

    No, I don't get out much.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I can't comment either way...but I can ask--surely it's better than some old hack like me that starts with a standard plastic last and has no knife, at all? Regardless of the results, eh?

    I give him props for trying and for doing the best he can to adhere to the spirit, if not the "British" details of the Tradition.

    I wish I were thirty years younger.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  20. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    Not sure what you mean - hope I haven't come across as disparaging because that certainly wasn't my intention. Just thought I'd add what I've experienced to the conversation because there's probably not too many folks out there that can
     

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