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stook1

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WARNING: Giant Post - sorry

Quick progress photo on the MTO (?) shell Saratogas from a few days back... I think I am going to pause work on this pair for a little while since I need to get a couple of minor repairs handled and won't have a chance to get into NYC for a few weeks. In the meantime, here is what I've done.

1. Started with a quick wipe down and some hydration, which was a mix of a little vsc, bick4, and neatsfoot. They really started coming back to life once conditioned and treed, which is typical. They landed pretty dry. Having said that, once the shoes were moisturized the darker colored rolls stood out a lot more. It also further accentuated the difference in color between the two shoes.

2. I decided to try a relatively mild once over with renomat. This was only somewhat effective, which prompted my post from yesterday. I'm not sure if it was wax or some type of coating but the renomat seemed to only partially get it off and so the shoes had sort of splotchy finish. I also didn't find the renomat to be all that helpful for cleaning out and lightening the rolls (that's probably not a reasonable expectation, regardless... more on this shortly). Finally, I ended up with some water marks around the apron of the shoes where I think water seeped through the stitching while rinsing the renomat. Not a huge deal but annoying to have to address.

3. So late last night in a fit of motivation after the kids were in bed I decided to give them a good once over with acetone. MUCH better. I'm officially in @friendlygoz camp on the utility of acetone for shell. It's really a better option for shell than Renomat, in my opinion, and seems to be pretty much idiot proof. The end result is clearly a smoother, cleaner shell. It just works better.

4. Now pretty late at night with motivation that had yet to fully wane, I decided to do some sanding. The original owner of these shoes was apparently a bit less careful than me and there were minor scuffs, dings, and damage mostly at the toes and heel counters. I ended up doing some sanding of these areas as well as the rolls with a 3k grit sanding pad & bick4. Then I lightly went over the shoes with a 5k grit sanding pad just to get a smoother finish. Once done, I reconditioned the shoes with Bick4.

Overall, they are looking a heck of a lot better today. I very nearly decided to do a very subtle dye on them last night to even up the color a little. I decided not to do that and instead figured I should let them dry and take a look in natural light. I'm glad I deferred doing the dye. For one, it's probably not a good idea to do dye work at night. But, I'm now wavering on whether to dye them at all. I still may but it's more of a toss up as opposed to a more definite yes. The rolls are still a little darker but much better. The dye would improve this. The shoes are also still a slightly different color but not quite as different as they had been prior to the acetone & sanding working. On the other hand, the base color of the shell is pretty darn great and I'll lose some of the natural patina with even a subtle dye. Tough call... will sleep on it more.

As for the repairs... There are around 6-8 stitches that gave up just above the corner of the neck on the tongue. It almost looks to me like the cordwainer only caught the edge of the shell while stitching it and it just couldn't hold. I'm not sure it's a great idea to wear these shoes until I've had it fixed. Should be a very minor repair and fortunately the shell is fine. There is also a really annoying issue that I guess I caused. The strip woven around the neck of the shoe seems to be some sort of fabric providing the structure internally with, I think, a super thin piece of CG leather covering it. There was a seam in the CG leather that was exposed and opened up. I almost took a shot at gluing it down this morning but it's a more difficult repair than it would seem. I may leave it to the cobbler.

Finally, while the soles are in pretty good shape there's some toe drag evident and these shoes really should get plates (if not too late) and/or a topy to prolong the life of the soles. Speaking of the soles, I may also sand them down and go with a dark chili edge color rather than black. I am usually not too keen on edge colors that don't match the welt color but in this case the welt is very closely trimmed and the difference won't be obvious. Undecided on this change as well.

Ignore the mark on the tongue just inadequate brushing.
IMG_1833 (002).jpg


IMG_1784.jpg

IMG_1783.jpg
 
Last edited:

Jiqea

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I had a nice score this week, a pair of early 70's Hartt built Strathcona RCMP boots, Size 12E, complete with the leather straps for the spurs in their original packaging. The boots have never been laced and come complete with their original cardboard sleeves and tissue in the toes. The pebble grained Hartt high browns with the Goodyear heels are the earliest version that they made.

IMG_6850.jpg
IMG_6851.jpg
 

friendlygoz

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WARNING: Giant Post - sorry

Quick progress photo on the MTO (?) shell Saratogas from a few days back... I think I am going to pause work on this pair for a little while since I need to get a couple of minor repairs handled and won't have a chance to get into NYC for a few weeks. In the meantime, here is what I've done.

1. Started with a quick wipe down and some hydration, which was a mix of a little vsc, bick4, and neatsfoot. They really started coming back to life once conditioned and treed, which is typical. They landed pretty dry. Having said that, once the shoes were moisturized the darker colored rolls stood out a lot more. It also further accentuated the difference in color between the two shoes.

2. I decided to try a relatively mild once over with renomat. This was only somewhat effective, which prompted my post from yesterday. I'm not sure if it was wax or some type of coating but the renomat seemed to only partially get it off and so the shoes had sort of splotchy finish. I also didn't find the renomat to be all that helpful for cleaning out and lightening the rolls (that's probably not a reasonable expectation, regardless... more on this shortly). Finally, I ended up with some water marks around the apron of the shoes where I think water seeped through the stitching while rinsing the renomat. Not a huge deal but annoying to have to address.

3. So late last night in a fit of motivation after the kids were in bed I decided to give them a good once over with acetone. MUCH better. I'm officially in @friendlygoz camp on the utility of acetone for shell. It's really a better option for shell than Renomat, in my opinion, and seems to be pretty much idiot proof. The end result is clearly a smoother, cleaner shell. It just works better.

4. Now pretty late at night with motivation that had yet to fully wane, I decided to do some sanding. The original owner of these shoes was apparently a bit less careful than me and there were minor scuffs, dings, and damage mostly at the toes and heel counters. I ended up doing some sanding of these areas as well as the rolls with a 3k grit sanding pad & bick4. Then I lightly went over the shoes with a 5k grit sanding pad just to get a smoother finish. Once done, I reconditioned the shoes with Bick4.

Overall, they are looking a heck of a lot better today. I very nearly decided to do a very subtle dye on them last night to even up the color a little. I decided not to do that and instead figured I should let them dry and take a look in natural light. I'm glad I deferred doing the dye. For one, it's probably not a good idea to do dye work at night. But, I'm now wavering on whether to dye them at all. I still may but it's more of a toss up as opposed to a more definite yes. The rolls are still a little darker but much better. The dye would improve this. The shoes are also still a slightly different color but not quite as different as they had been prior to the acetone & sanding working. On the other hand, the base color of the shell is pretty darn great and I'll lose some of the natural patina with even a subtle dye. Tough call... will sleep on it more.

As for the repairs... There are around 6-8 stitches that gave up just above the corner of the neck on the tongue. It almost looks to me like the cordwainer only caught the edge of the shell while stitching it and it just couldn't hold. I'm not sure it's a great idea to wear these shoes until I've had it fixed. Should be a very minor repair and fortunately the shell is fine. There is also a really annoying issue that I guess I caused. The strip woven around the neck of the shoe seems to be some sort of fabric providing the structure internally with, I think, a super thin piece of CG leather covering it. There was a seam in the CG leather that was exposed and opened up. I almost took a shot at gluing it down this morning but it's a more difficult repair than it would seem. I may leave it to the cobbler.

Finally, while the soles are in pretty good shape there's some toe drag evident and these shoes really should get plates (if not too late) and/or a topy to prolong the life of the soles. Speaking of the soles, I may also sand them down and go with a dark chili edge color rather than black. I am usually not too keen on edge colors that don't match the welt color but in this case the welt is very closely trimmed and the difference won't be obvious. Undecided on this change as well.

Ignore the mark on the tongue just inadequate brushing.
View attachment 1625959

View attachment 1625961
View attachment 1625962
I love the long post, the so-obsessed-I-can't-sleep-until-it's-done attitude, and the results. They look great. They have almost a reverse burnish on the toe, which is cool. I'm glad you found that acetone worked well for you. I'll be curious to see how the edges come out. Thanks for sharing the process. They are great shoes and now they are fantastic shoes b/c of the work you put in.
 

stook1

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I love the long post, the so-obsessed-I-can't-sleep-until-it's-done attitude, and the results. They look great. They have almost a reverse burnish on the toe, which is cool. I'm glad you found that acetone worked well for you. I'll be curious to see how the edges come out. Thanks for sharing the process. They are great shoes and now they are fantastic shoes b/c of the work you put in.
Thanks! Yah that reverse burnish you noted at the toe isn't really intentional but rather because of the sanding. If you look at the original pics you can see some of the damage to the toes. I've not fully worked out the damage but it's significantly better and I didn't feel comfortable sanding more. The rest I will do with the deer bone. I'm not sure it's even noticeable in real life on foot at this point.
 

friendlygoz

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Dack’s kudu wholecuts today. I got a set of flat dress laces yesterday. I became obsessed immediately, installing them in three pairs. They really do add a touch of class, I think.
8E854839-0092-4B92-86A4-AB44D5A9A28F.jpeg
95AD1951-219E-4E96-BA62-C1B71646533A.jpeg
5C66EBEE-3AB6-4CC7-95C0-F964F7C2D755.jpeg
E9672080-96E3-476C-B263-5C7B07AD605B.jpeg
 

stook1

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Dack’s kudu wholecuts today. I got a set of flat dress laces yesterday. I became obsessed immediately, installing them in three pairs. They really do add a touch of class, I think. View attachment 1626013View attachment 1626014View attachment 1626015View attachment 1626016
Nice laces! They look pretty waxy. If I may ask where did you source those? I happen to re-lace a pair of my carmina boots about 20 minutes ago and I must say that the non-waxed flat laces that they offer absolutely suck. It's almost impossible to not twist them and they just feel cheap (although they haven't broken yet so maybe not).

Shameless vintage violation because I haven't worn these in a long time and I'm just showing the crappy laces... really...

IMG_1834.jpg
 

friendlygoz

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they are not terribly waxy. The quality seems OK.
 

ZePrez

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Hi

got in the Canadian made a few months ago with their Hartt long wing built like a tank and weighing as much :p. Has to be my heaviest Shoe. It could be polished cobbler. See attached pix.
as a side note: I have worn 9.5D for most of my shoes and most of my life, recently realized that 9E is/was the better fit for me. Strange.
1623953568987.jpeg


1623953743210.jpeg


1623953476259.jpeg
 

CWOyaji

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Total vintage violation but with the heat wave here I am going deep in the rarely-worn category for these thrifted sandals somebody bought on vacation in Positano. Which reminds me, it's been almost five years and I'm due for another trip to Italy.
DDAC4AD7-92DE-4B18-86AC-76E6C7489E88.jpeg

They’re marked 45 but really fit like a 47.5 (US13). And they don’t have mountain lions in Italy, so that’s something. I ride right by here every morning, but not today.
FC2D4CB0-EDE9-4A13-B23C-596FE84D85B1.png

No lie, this is about a mile from my house as the crow flies and 7 minutes by bike, just past the San Andreas Fault.
 
Last edited:

wasmisterfu

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WARNING: Giant Post - sorry

Quick progress photo on the MTO (?) shell Saratogas from a few days back... I think I am going to pause work on this pair for a little while since I need to get a couple of minor repairs handled and won't have a chance to get into NYC for a few weeks. In the meantime, here is what I've done.

1. Started with a quick wipe down and some hydration, which was a mix of a little vsc, bick4, and neatsfoot. They really started coming back to life once conditioned and treed, which is typical. They landed pretty dry. Having said that, once the shoes were moisturized the darker colored rolls stood out a lot more. It also further accentuated the difference in color between the two shoes.

2. I decided to try a relatively mild once over with renomat. This was only somewhat effective, which prompted my post from yesterday. I'm not sure if it was wax or some type of coating but the renomat seemed to only partially get it off and so the shoes had sort of splotchy finish. I also didn't find the renomat to be all that helpful for cleaning out and lightening the rolls (that's probably not a reasonable expectation, regardless... more on this shortly). Finally, I ended up with some water marks around the apron of the shoes where I think water seeped through the stitching while rinsing the renomat. Not a huge deal but annoying to have to address.

3. So late last night in a fit of motivation after the kids were in bed I decided to give them a good once over with acetone. MUCH better. I'm officially in @friendlygoz camp on the utility of acetone for shell. It's really a better option for shell than Renomat, in my opinion, and seems to be pretty much idiot proof. The end result is clearly a smoother, cleaner shell. It just works better.

4. Now pretty late at night with motivation that had yet to fully wane, I decided to do some sanding. The original owner of these shoes was apparently a bit less careful than me and there were minor scuffs, dings, and damage mostly at the toes and heel counters. I ended up doing some sanding of these areas as well as the rolls with a 3k grit sanding pad & bick4. Then I lightly went over the shoes with a 5k grit sanding pad just to get a smoother finish. Once done, I reconditioned the shoes with Bick4.

Overall, they are looking a heck of a lot better today. I very nearly decided to do a very subtle dye on them last night to even up the color a little. I decided not to do that and instead figured I should let them dry and take a look in natural light. I'm glad I deferred doing the dye. For one, it's probably not a good idea to do dye work at night. But, I'm now wavering on whether to dye them at all. I still may but it's more of a toss up as opposed to a more definite yes. The rolls are still a little darker but much better. The dye would improve this. The shoes are also still a slightly different color but not quite as different as they had been prior to the acetone & sanding working. On the other hand, the base color of the shell is pretty darn great and I'll lose some of the natural patina with even a subtle dye. Tough call... will sleep on it more.

As for the repairs... There are around 6-8 stitches that gave up just above the corner of the neck on the tongue. It almost looks to me like the cordwainer only caught the edge of the shell while stitching it and it just couldn't hold. I'm not sure it's a great idea to wear these shoes until I've had it fixed. Should be a very minor repair and fortunately the shell is fine. There is also a really annoying issue that I guess I caused. The strip woven around the neck of the shoe seems to be some sort of fabric providing the structure internally with, I think, a super thin piece of CG leather covering it. There was a seam in the CG leather that was exposed and opened up. I almost took a shot at gluing it down this morning but it's a more difficult repair than it would seem. I may leave it to the cobbler.

Finally, while the soles are in pretty good shape there's some toe drag evident and these shoes really should get plates (if not too late) and/or a topy to prolong the life of the soles. Speaking of the soles, I may also sand them down and go with a dark chili edge color rather than black. I am usually not too keen on edge colors that don't match the welt color but in this case the welt is very closely trimmed and the difference won't be obvious. Undecided on this change as well.

Ignore the mark on the tongue just inadequate brushing.
View attachment 1625959

View attachment 1625961
View attachment 1625962
Interesting giant post is allowed because: interesting giant post.
 

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