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**The Official Shoe Care Thread: Tutorials, Photos, etc.**

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mr. Moo, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    It doesn't take too many; it all depends on the technique. I remember I could use an hour getting a mirrored toe on one shoe, now I use about ten to twenty minutes per pair.
     


  2. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    Train or bus? I'd be worried about ambient lighting.


    This is a massive thread, but it's all contained within. Someone posted a brilliant Japanese (translated) pdf (html?) on this very subject. Don't have the link, but It isn't too far back from this point.

    Lear

    Edit:

    "When Lear saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more shoes to conquer."

    Warning: too much enthusiasm can have you running out of shoes to attack. I'm feeling a little down in the dumps right now. Even managed to get through some relatives footwear over Xmas. My reason for living has been buffed out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013


  3. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    Wat?


    I have had the same feeling before! I'm currently working on my shell cordovan project, will post a lengthy update when I get home from work.
     


  4. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    I received the vintage Florsheim Imperial shell cordovan longwings about a week ago; they looked decent for the massive amount of $51:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What annoyed me was a tacky, white substance which covered both shoes; the seller probably used some kind of fat to renew the shell.

    I have read a couple of threads were vintage shell cordovan shoes have cracked as a result of dryness and dry rot, and even though these didn’t cost much I wanted them to hold. As I wrote when I ordered these, I am going to try much not recommended when treating shell cordovan.

    I started with using a damp cloth to try rubbing off some of the substance and old wax, but without effect. So I took a cotton rag and dosed it with a bit of Saphir Renomat and went to town with a good amount of elbow grease. After a couple of passings on each shoe the substance and wax seemed to have been removed. I then poured 1 cl of lemon vodka in each shoe just in case to get rid of the nasties, and then allowed the shoes to breath overnight.

    The next day I used a couple of layers of Saphir Renovateur and neutral Saphir cordovan cream and some Lexol conditioner on the leather lining and sole, giving this result:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://www.styleforum.net/content/type/61/id/624659/width/

    [IMG]http://www.styleforum.net/content/type/61/id/624663/width/350/height/700

    Not too bad at all, if I might say it myself! There was an awesome patina, and a clear reddish hue on the burgundy shoes. But as I wrote; I’m experimenting on this pair. So what am I going to do with them now?

    [​IMG]

    ”What is that? ”

    [​IMG]

    ”It can’t be? He isn’t that dumb?”

    [​IMG]

    ”Christian B, stahp”

    Yep, Obenauf’s HDLP. After seeing Cranes’ Wolverine 721 LTD (method here, and the result here), I deceided that I want to try the same on these shoes, as I’m going to use them as beaters.

    [​IMG]

    ”My eyes; it hurts!”

    After using hair dryer:

    [​IMG]

    Nope, not finished, needs two coats!

    [​IMG]

    After two very liberal coats of Obenauf’s the shoes looks almost black; the patina is gone for now. The shoes sucked up the Obenauf’s, possible as a result of dryness. I let the shoes rest for another night.

    The next day I noticed that the vamp on both shoes were quite tacky and would not shine up even after 30 minutes of brushing, probably a result of the huge amount of Obenauf’s. Here are some pics of the shoes:

    [​IMG]

    After a couple of days some of the tackiness had dissapeared, but they remained a bit dull on the vamp and other places where the Obenauf’s had penetrated the most. With some wax and more water and brushing they come out like this; not too bad IMO:

    [​IMG]

    I used the shoes three days in a row after this picture, and the tackiness kept diminishing. Here is two pics of them today after another round of wax and buffing:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I hope the shoes keeps on developing and gets a nice hue and patina as Cranes’ did; I’ll keep you guys updated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013


  5. SHS

    SHS Senior member

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    It's only the layer of wax that cracks, not the shoes.



    There is much information on that in this thread, and glenjay has a lot of good advice on his blog: http://oldleathershoe.com/wordpress/
     


  6. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    Christian B

    Thanks for putting this cordovan mini tutorial together. Bookmarked. Great looking shoes at a great price.

    Keep the pics coming.

    Lear
     


  7. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    Will do! I don't at all advise this for everyone, but it removes some of the myth that anything else than Saphir Reno or wax will destroy shell.
     


  8. archangle13

    archangle13 Senior member

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    What can remove old polish?

    I don't have access to many shoe care products in my country, so I am looking for as many recommendations as possible.
     


  9. SHS

    SHS Senior member

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  10. patrick_b

    patrick_b Senior member

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    Nicely done Christian. I've found that Obenauf HDLP virtually eliminates any possibility of bringing up a shine, but most who use HDLP don't expect the shoe to shine after the application.

    I admire your courage to experiment on shell, even if you got them pre-owned. In the end, they appear to be working out quite well for the desired application. Look like a great winter shoe.
     


  11. grendel

    grendel Senior member

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    Even more than the dubbin? If you wait 3-4 days you don't think you could bring up a shine like you can with that? What about the Obenauf's Leather Oil?
     


  12. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    Thanks Patrick! I don't expect them to shine like mirrors, but I hope after some use they will obtain the typical shell shine. I'm currently contemplating order a bottle of Filson boot oil (almost the same as the Obenauf's oil, just cheaper), as Crane's used on his Wolverines 721s.

    Yes, I've been reading everywher that shell should not be used with this or that and deceided to see if there was any truth to the opinions other than norms and myths. Of course, a experiment with sample size of 2 does not prove anything, but I would strongly advise anyone having vintage shell cordovans to either give them boot oil or Obenauf's HDLP; Saphir Reno and even Cordovan Cream is not enough to moisturize old shell cordovan IMHO.

    Grendel:

    Obenauf's HDLP is very greasy, and when used on calf shoes eliminates much of it's potential to shine without very much wax.
     


  13. Northampton Novice

    Northampton Novice Senior member

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    I was not aware of any such myth...


    Cordovan is extremely resilient and it's rare for it to have dried out. A light application of any conditioner would be sufficient if it had.

    Using Obenauf's is beyond overkill, it's not going to do any favours for the Cordovan regardless of how soft/supple the shoes may now feel, but as I say it is resilient.
     


  14. Lear

    Lear Senior member

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    Has anyone here experimented with 'brewing' their own polish? I've had another look at those Japanese tutorials, and the idea intrigues. However, they both appear to be inscrutably tight-lipped about their own brew. I doubt bribes, torture or blackmail would reveal anything.

    It'll be fun trying to improve upon what I'm currently achieving. Any link would be helpful, as the ones I've found are all about economizing, not refining/improving. There'll be none of the mistakes I made when trying to construct an atomic device in the kitchen. Wow!... that really put my neighbourhood on the map. But enough of ruined neighbourhoods and lost lives. I realize It'll involve flammable solutions gently warmed over a stove, so safety will be paramount. They had to rebuild the last fire station... and move it further out of town.

    You might ask, why go to the trouble? Perfectly valid question, and one I'm sure those two Japanese artisans could answer :)

    Lear


    Edit:

    Some theory:
    http://www.lformula.com/index.php?part=him003&page=041

    A recipe (at least something to study):
    http://www.lformula.com/index.php?part=him003&page=044

    A little history:
    http://www.ancestryaid.co.uk/boards/family-history-genealogy-information/11774-shoe-polish.html

    http://www.blancoandbull.com/boot-cleaning/boot-polish-history/

    Some opinions on why you should polish
    http://kaufmann-mercantile.com/shoe-shine/
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013


  15. cbfn

    cbfn Senior member

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    I read it all the time here on SF, people advising against using any cream etc. I may agree that I hyperbolized a bit.


    I fully agree on the overkill; I certainly won't use Obenauf's on my other shell cordovan pair (for now) the RL marlow, but I won't be as afraid of doing harm to them as I were before.
    Cordovan is extremely resilient and often outlast calf leathers which gets destroyed by as much crap treatment as shell can go through. The reason I deceided to experiment on this was after seeing this thread; dry rot. I can only think what my pair has gone through whithout any treatment at all; daily use without shoe trees; dried by a heat source when soaked; stuffed full of wax; sitting in a box for years. To think that a pea sized amount of Renovateur is going to replace all oil lost during all these years, possbly decades, is naive IMO. Of course, I'm not at all an expert, but that's just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013


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