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Shoemaking Techniques and Traditions--"...these foolish things..."

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by DWFII, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK6gLL4iOB4

    Hi DW, could you please watch the beginning of this video and tell me if this maker is creating an inside channel just with end of the knife and a feather (skiving the edge of the insole). Do you call this technique "stitching aloft" or not. Thanks for clarifications.
     
  2. DWFII

    DWFII Senior member

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    Yes, he is cutting a bevel on the feather edge of the insole. I, myself, don't think that is as effective, or as protective, as cutting a rebate. But...horses for courses, different strokes...etc..

    At 0.13 of the video, he is cutting an inside channel.

    No, I would not call this "stitching aloft" or "sewing aloft" simply because the stitches will be under the edge of the inside channel and effectively covered and protected from wear, grit, etc..

    In the EB thread I see the stitches being made in a similar channel at 2:02 of the video.

    PS...I am having a hard time seeing the videos on this browser (Firefox) on this computer. I had to switch to IE.

    --
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
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  3. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    @DWFII
    Thank you once again for always taking the time to clarify things especially with us lay folk.
    We certainly appreciate the effort you've taken.
    Just a question, given that the inseaming process requires both hands, each pulling in one direction, how does a shoemaker manage to not drop the threads, maintain tension, and then at the same time, use his awl to create the holes needed to pull the thread through?
     
  4. DWFII

    DWFII Senior member

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    Aye there's the rub, laddie. :tinfoil:

    Fundamentally, you feed the bristles from opposite directions. Pick up the bristles and pull them enough to wrap a bit of thread around your fingers and then grasp the thread in another spot and pull to tighten...hard.

    You never put down your awl.

    And except when feeding the bristles, you never let go of them or the thread. The bristles remain in each hand throughout the tightening, hammering and holing. .

    I can easily feed a bristle with the awl in my hand. What's more, my awl haft is purposefully shaped such that I can use the butt to hammer the stitches. And as for maintaining tension, if the wax is correct, once the stitch has been tightened, it will not slip.

    It's a bit more complicated than that and I'm sure every shoemaker has his own trick / technique. But once upon a time it was almost a guaranteed dismissal, or failure to hire, in some shops if you dropped your bristles. At least in this country.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
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  5. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    Crap, that sounds like quite a handful.. literally...!
    I imagine that nowadays, even among makers capable of handwelting.... the standards aren't quite the same as before.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  6. DWFII

    DWFII Senior member

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    Probably not. Even my own teacher didn't give it much thought, as I recall. But I made it a point to teach myself...esp. after I tightened down several accidental knots in rosin and pitch waxed linen thread.

    I don't want to talk about it. :lol:

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
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  7. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    Haha, and of course, one would always respect another's right to privacy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Senior member

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    FYI & FWIW...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    Thanks for the pictures DW!
     
  10. DWFII

    DWFII Senior member

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    :fonz:
     
  11. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    @DWFII
    Sorry this question does not quite pertain to Traditional techniques or handwelting.
    But I'd recently been thinking....
    Comparing Blake Rapid construction against GYW.... Would you think that Blake Rapid represents the sturdier construction method?
    There is no gemming to worry about, the insole and uppers are stitched directly to a midsole, which is then in turn stitched to the outsole.
    Seems like there is less room for failure than the much vaunted GYW system???
     
  12. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    I would like to ask shoemakers and cobblers about pros and cons of the following different HW inseaming techniques:

    A.-Carving a holdfast with inside channel and feather.

    [​IMG]
    B.-Stitching aloft.

    [​IMG]
    C.-Cut an inside channel and turn-up a leather flap by hand.

    [​IMG]
    D.-Cut a small and straight inside channel but no leather flap (although not clear here).
    [​IMG]


    1.-Would you rely on the strenght of those B, C and D techniques if done correctly and with good quality materials?.
    2.-Would you still consider B, C and D techniques to be of superior quality than GYW if done correctly and with good quality materials?
    3.-If the welt is damaged, could it be an issue to replace it on those B, C and D shoes?.

    It seems clear to me the superiority of the hand welting construction carving a holdfast but I am not sure about the rest of techniques specially C & D.

    Thanks for your inputs.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  13. DWFII

    DWFII Senior member

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    IMO...B-R is far superior to GY.

    As far as "vaunted" is concerned there isn't much "vaunting" from folks who know and appreciate the differences.
     
  14. DWFII

    DWFII Senior member

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    Everything comes down to technique and materials. I've been saying this forever.

    1) As you can see, D results in a mess if not done correctly. Or if the leather of the insole is poor or unsuitable. But the same could be said for any of them, although IMO, B and D are especially vulnerable simply because the technique leaves the thread vulnerable. And because, thinner insole leather is often employed.

    2) Again the same general observations apply...good leather, skilled and mindful technique makes good shoes. But fundamentally good leather and skilled technique are contrary to the purposes and goals of GYW. So...in answer to your question...any one of these examples, "if done correctly and with good quality materials," will be better than GY. Objectively. In my professional opinion.

    3) Depends on how well the work is done. It seems evident that the work was done poorly on D. Replacing welt would probably be an issue.

    There's not a lot of difference, IMO, between B and D except execution and length of time in service.

    edited for punctuation and clarity
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
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  15. ThunderMarch

    ThunderMarch Senior member

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    Haha. Yes Sir.
    I was saying that with a good bit of sarcasm.
     
  16. DWFII

    DWFII Senior member

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    I understood--wry humour.
     
  17. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I just wanted to share some different matererials used in a shoe and have your opinions.

    What do you think is the filler made of?. It seems like a thin layer made of neoprene fabric or tarred felt but is not clear to me. On the other hand the shank is a short piece of wooden paste (?) screwed to the insole with a leather piece cut on top mounted at the waist.

    Any thoughts?.
     
  18. ntempleman

    ntempleman Senior member

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    Looks like tarred felt in the forepart judging by the colour, and the shank is either a shaped bit of composite material or it's a cover piece for the wood/metal shank underneath. The shaped bit on the waist is presumably to assist in shaping a fiddle waist. Are these pictures from GG?
     
  19. Zapasman

    Zapasman Senior member

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    Thanks, Nicholas. I doubt that the wooden paste or composite material piece is covering any metal/wood shank because it seems to flat to me and there is only one little screw to anchor it. In fact I thought the shank was the short piece of leather on the waist that could assist to conform a fiddle back waist too. On the other hand, it is the second time I see tarred felt used as a filler (the only maker I know it uses is DW). Those are Enzo Bonafe shoes which are HW; I ordered a pair and I am curious about its construction.
     
  20. ecwy

    ecwy Senior member

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    I actually thought it was one of those ready made leather pieces for the waist but covered up by another layer.
     

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