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bengal-stripe

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Do last makers ever use shaving horses?
Not that I know - They use a vice which is optimized to hold a relatively short piece of wood in virtually any position.

lobb lastmaking2.png
Photograph taken at John Lobb London

Neither do they use the tool shown in the video: the draw knife or it's more delicate and versatile cousin, the spoke shave. Both are knives with two handles which can be either pulled or pushed (pulled is probably more common). I've never understood why the spoke shave isn't used, as it is able to do very delicate work.

Main tools for lastmakers are the stock knife (not so popular in England, I only know that Foster&Son and Nicholas Templeman are using it regularly) and rasp and sand paper.
 
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ntempleman

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Do last makers ever use shaving horses?
Not something I’ve ever seen anyone use, but if it works for that lastmaker then why not. The problem for me would be the limited usage for quite a big tool, lasts are fairly complicated shapes so gripping them in such a tool in a convenient way for the area you want to work would be awkward. The stock knife I use has fallen by the wayside for lastmaking, it’s quite good for rapid removal of stock in certain areas but I don’t use it much. When the wood came in big rectangles I guess it was more important. I don’t even use a vice to be honest, not as a vice anyway. I move the last around a lot, in between rasp strokes etc so I hold in one hand and rasp with the other. I used to get told off for doing that but it works for me. I’m probably an oddball though, left is my dominant hand so I use that to control the last against the action the dumb rasping hand
 
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ntempleman

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I’d expect with a spokeshave or draw knife kind of thing they’re ideal for making a chair leg kind of shape, where you know the dimensions you want it to be on a relatively simple plane. In lastmaking you’re kind of making it up as you go along, you take a bit off there, take another off there, wait, I need to change that now, let’s go back there etc etc. Sculpture tools are the most practical and versatile for the work we do
 

Fishball

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My latest acquisition is a pair of bespoke side seamed Wellington boots in Horween Chromexcel leather, where Swedish bespoke shoemaker Janne Melkersson of Melker Shoes & Boots have added a Scandinavian touch to a very traditional British model, and created a quite spectacular pair. Here’s lots of photos of both making and final pair.

Those who don’t know about Melker Shoes & Boots and Janne Melkersson can read more in this report, but to summarise he is sort of a legendary Swedish bespoke maker who’ve worked for over four decades in the trade, also highly respected internationally. This is my third pair from him, after a dark brown plain cap toe oxford and a special adelaide version with where my twin brother hand stitched the decoration seam.

The boots are made on my regular bespoke lasts, which I certainly adore. The uppers are stitched by Wales-based closer Gunvor Troelsen, who knows how to make this type of traditional Wellington boots. The shoes has rubber topys on leather soles and are made with wood pegged bevelled waists, making them stand out a bit compared to the more common square waisted Wellingtons, and in a lovely mid brown Horween Chromexcel leather. These boots surely will gain a lot of character as years go by. Below a bunch of photos of the finished pair, if you want to see more of that and of the making of the boots go here to this article.

View attachment 1576308
I have a similar pair of Wellington boots in Horween Chromexcel made by Hong Kong shoemaker Kow Hoo, but my pair is a zip up version.

kow hoo boots.jpeg
 

Concordia

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Now the article is published, featuring Hung Shoemaker from Taiwan, Siroeno Yosui from Japan, and Mogada from Germany. Read it here.

Hung Shoemaker

Norwegers always have a shot of looking good, but these are very nice. I am thinking of a black pair like that for when I am back in the UK and able to spend semi casual evenings out again.
 

ziggy1984

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Don't know it is related to the thread or not, but I am thinking of joining the online shoemaking classes by Carreducker. Actually I was planning to apply for the shoemaking school in Japan but it is hard to implement due to covid. So I hope to learn some basic skills first. Is it suitable for people don't have any leather craft experience? Really happy to hear any advice or opinion. Thanks.
 

Boggis

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Don't know it is related to the thread or not, but I am thinking of joining the online shoemaking classes by Carreducker. Actually I was planning to apply for the shoemaking school in Japan but it is hard to implement due to covid. So I hope to learn some basic skills first. Is it suitable for people don't have any leather craft experience? Really happy to hear any advice or opinion. Thanks.
I've signed up myself, but I'm awaiting my last being made so I've not been able to get stuck in yet.
Anyhow I asked them the same question and they said the course is basically an online version of a 10 day in person course suitable for people with no shoe making / leather work experience. They cautioned though that it's obviously easier to teach in person than learning remotely by video, but you can arrange a zoom session with them to discuss elements you don't understand for £30/hour. I can't wait to get started myself.

There's also a shoemaking thread on here that might be a better fit: https://www.styleforum.net/threads/shoemaking-techniques-and-traditions-these-foolish-things.412909/
 

marlinspike

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After wearing my work boots all day yesterday and being reminded of my routine of walking with a limp for a few days after being on my feet in something other than my bespoke shoes for 10 hours, I'm going to see if Maftei can make a pair of work boots for me (I tried a fit sheet with Nick's, they don't think any of their lasts will work for me). What's the best material to go with here, chromexcel? This would be for actual work, from working on a car to doing construction.
 

dieworkwear

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After wearing my work boots all day yesterday and being reminded of my routine of walking with a limp for a few days after being on my feet in something other than my bespoke shoes for 10 hours, I'm going to see if Maftei can make a pair of work boots for me (I tried a fit sheet with Nick's, they don't think any of their lasts will work for me). What's the best material to go with here, chromexcel? This would be for actual work, from working on a car to doing construction.
I assume @UrbanComposition would know since he wears work boots for actual work.
 

UrbanComposition

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I assume @UrbanComposition would know since he wears work boots for actual work.
By far the toughest boots I have are the Boss engineers from Wesco. While never uncomfortable, they were stiff at the beginning: the upper leather is a robust 7oz/2.8mm. Just the 4.5oz leather lining alone at 1.8mm is thicker than most boots’ outer leather.

I’ve worn them on many jobsites (I’m a union electrician in San Francisco, currently working on the underground train station) and the combination of a stout sole and thick leather have made them my favorites for the toughest/dirtiest jobs.
 

marlinspike

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Does Shell Cordovan not work well for boots? I feel like I've seen old ads before it was a luxury material where the point of it was to be a rugged material.
 

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