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Quantum17

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I was sitting in my mothers house in London, Ontario late yesterday afternoon when I received a text from Quantum who had a theory I might be interested in this pair. I bought them immediately. They are without doubt the rarest John McHales that I have ever seen. They dare to the early 50’s. Canadian vintage shell shoes just don’t exist. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this pair. I will post more pictures and research when they arrive. Thanks Quan!
We played Rock Paper Scissors over the phone for it. And @Jiqea insisted I went first out of politeness. What a guy!
 

suitforcourt

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I was sitting in my mothers house in London, Ontario late yesterday afternoon when I received a text from Quantum who had a theory I might be interested in this pair. I bought them immediately. They are without doubt the rarest John McHales that I have ever seen. They dare to the early 50’s. Canadian vintage shell shoes just don’t exist. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this pair. I will post more pictures and research when they arrive. Thanks Quan!
My world has crumbled. I've never seen or even heard of Canadian shell. Now I have to find myself a pair.
 

stook1

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Next installment of shoe science.

I have some experience using renomat, acetone, and isopropyl alcohol on shell. However, I don't have enough experience with any of them to say which product is best and under what circumstances it might be better to use one vs. the other.

Anyone have thoughts on this topic?

Side topic for extra credit. Has anyone successfully lightened the stitching on uppers? I know many of us have done so on the welt stitching. I am curious about the uppers. I think it is not possible to do because I don't think the thread is cotton but perhaps I am confused. :-D
 

Nealjpage

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Next installment of shoe science.

I have some experience using renomat, acetone, and isopropyl alcohol on shell. However, I don't have enough experience with any of them to say which product is best and under what circumstances it might be better to use one vs. the other.

Anyone have thoughts on this topic?

Side topic for extra credit. Has anyone successfully lightened the stitching on uppers? I know many of us have done so on the welt stitching. I am curious about the uppers. I think it is not possible to do because I don't think the thread is cotton but perhaps I am confused. :-D
Coincidentally I just used acetone on a pair of shell Alden for BB last night. Also used it on a pair of sharkskin Imperials. I'll do a post about it shortly.
 

suitforcourt

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Next installment of shoe science.

I have some experience using renomat, acetone, and isopropyl alcohol on shell. However, I don't have enough experience with any of them to say which product is best and under what circumstances it might be better to use one vs. the other.

Anyone have thoughts on this topic?

Side topic for extra credit. Has anyone successfully lightened the stitching on uppers? I know many of us have done so on the welt stitching. I am curious about the uppers. I think it is not possible to do because I don't think the thread is cotton but perhaps I am confused. :-D
Not trying to steal anyone's thunder, but in terms of science and using stripping agents, @wasmisterfu is likely the master. He used a whole can of varnish for one of the shoe revival challenges.
 

friendlygoz

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Next installment of shoe science.

I have some experience using renomat, acetone, and isopropyl alcohol on shell. However, I don't have enough experience with any of them to say which product is best and under what circumstances it might be better to use one vs. the other.

Anyone have thoughts on this topic?

Side topic for extra credit. Has anyone successfully lightened the stitching on uppers? I know many of us have done so on the welt stitching. I am curious about the uppers. I think it is not possible to do because I don't think the thread is cotton but perhaps I am confused. :-D
For shell, I find acetone works best to remove old polish and general gunk. It's more effective than Renomat and alcohol. It's not as drying as alcohol. When I've used acetone on shell, it looks at first like I've removed a ton of the color; the shell becomes almost white in places. However, a quick brushing brings the color right back. I don't hesitate at all to use acetone on shell.

Yes, you can lighten the stitching on uppers. But I think the thread has to be white to being with. I know that some 93605s use black and some use white stitching (the latter looks awesome I've done it twice. I have a pair of Florsheim captoes (made for Florsheim retail stores) that stripped w/ acetone, which brought out the natural color of the cotton stitching. I dyed them moccasin brown and applied too much dye. I used Bick4 and a rag to remove some of the dye, including from the stitching. What remained on the stitching was a fantastic gold color.
2B8A04A6-F7D0-4750-B3F2-01BE089E932C.jpeg
A31C4F45-0A28-419C-98B7-7BBECF907645.jpeg
 

stook1

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For shell, I find acetone works best to remove old polish and general gunk. It's more effective than Renomat and alcohol. It's not as drying as alcohol. When I've used acetone on shell, it looks at first like I've removed a ton of the color; the shell becomes almost white in places. However, a quick brushing brings the color right back. I don't hesitate at all to use acetone on shell.

Yes, you can lighten the stitching on uppers. But I think the thread has to be white to being with. I know that some 93605s use black and some use white stitching (the latter looks awesome I've done it twice. I have a pair of Florsheim captoes (made for Florsheim retail stores) that stripped w/ acetone, which brought out the natural color of the cotton stitching. I dyed them moccasin brown and applied too much dye. I used Bick4 and a rag to remove some of the dye, including from the stitching. What remained on the stitching was a fantastic gold color.View attachment 1625552View attachment 1625553
Very helpful, thanks man.

So I will throw out another minor negative regarding renomat vs. acetone. With renomat, so far as I know, you really need to rinse the shoe after using it in order to remove any left over solvents. In some instances, this can be slightly problematic especially with shell since you can end up with some discoloration from the rinse. Yes, I know it is generally fixable. But I don't think this is an issue with acetone since it evaporates immediately and, again so far as I know, doesn't require a rinse.

As for the changing the color of the thread or bleaching the thread... I'm considering this for the AE loafers I just got in order to create a contrasting stitch color on the vamps. However, every pair of AEs I've tinkered with use a synthetic thread for the uppers, which I know because when you singe the ends they melt like a synthetic. I'm about 99% sure it's not going to work but maybe I will try in an inconspicuous spot.

thanks for your input!
 

CWOyaji

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@Oshare congrats on the pickup and best of luck in the reshaping process
 
Last edited:

suitforcourt

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For some reason, Florsheim did not make a lot of their models in EEE width. Including the Golden Harvest. However, Florsheim would make custom sizes for customers.

For the longest time, I was betting on finding a pair in 9E. I bought a pair in 9.5E that I eventually sent to Florida to @Quantum17 .

This custom made pair is marked as 9eee. Which if TTS, too big for me. I rolled the dice, and they actually fit like 8.5eee, which is my size. A cobbler did a great job rebuilding with JR soles, toe taps, and cat paw heels.

20210616_165858.jpg
20210616_165846.jpg
 

smfdoc

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For some reason, Florsheim did not make a lot of their models in EEE width. Including the Golden Harvest. However, Florsheim would make custom sizes for customers.

For the longest time, I was betting on finding a pair in 9E. I bought a pair in 9.5E that I eventually sent to Florida to @Quantum17 .

This custom made pair is marked as 9eee. Which if TTS, too big for me. I rolled the dice, and they actually fit like 8.5eee, which is my size. A cobbler did a great job rebuilding with JR soles, toe taps, and cat paw heels.

View attachment 1625636View attachment 1625637
Beauties in a unicorn size. Congrats.
 

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