Sunday, March 26, 2017

Desk Shoe with Side Sole Stitch

So I need something for spring especially something to wear to the CCS Student Show.
I had this cross-over idea for some time and as we all know if an idea won't leave you alone you must act upon  it!

The basic idea is that the derby vamp line goes rearward of the normal point, and the heel cap goes forward of its conventional point; thereby crossing over.
As a summer shoe I saw the opportunity to open up the crossover and so had to set up the stitch lines carefully. The original, original idea was to do a woven leather vamp but I still don't know how to do that.

The lining does not have the hole in it
Skived and ready to assemble
Back half assembly
Closed Upper
I am likely going to make my own cup-sole

The opening in the side was well received however, it made some awful wrinkles.

I went ahead without it.

Went with a hand made cup-sole

My 1st use of the side wall stitcher

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2017 Derbys

I really wanted to push the side facing forward and do a cap heel for this pair; may have gone too far with the side facing but I do like the heel cap.

I have the last tuned in to where I like the fit and the "Chamfer" toe

I think it is because I have been working with the students at CCS on their sneakers that I was influenced by the long side facing.
Still not sure whats wrong with the extended side facing?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Marika comes to CCS in the D

This week in the FAD department at CCS we had the pleasure of an intensive one-day with Marika Verploegh from Brooklyn NY. 

Marika presented several things:
  • A "down and dirty" canvass last wrapping method
  • A shrink wrap material for protecting your uppers during out-sole work
  • And edge finishing of a stack heel.

The students got to try out the canvass wrap on a h-heel boot last and spend some time finishing.

Marika is a Master Bespoke Maker and teaches at RISD and FIT.

She was very kind to spend the day with me in my shop talking and reviewing shoes and shoe making tools of which I now make and sell about 10 different products. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2017 Boot Making Class at CCS

Cynthia Montague is teaching us one of the leather boots that she and Tim make in Flint Mi. at Sutorial.  The class is being taught at CCS on Saturdays and spans 10 sessions.

We did the foot measure, size selection, clicking, and closing.

With that we went to the cutting table and made a full set of lining and outer parts.

With that finished I did the closing 

 The Cynthia method of insole

With router bit, sander, and die grinder

Further progress

Fully Welted

Test Fit!

Added my signature tri-nail pattern
Polished and ready

More to come...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2016 Darbys

Needed a pair of casual AND Christmas derbys so this is what I came up with.

The Last has two modifications from the previous; I added a full 1/8 on the sole so that I could have a Poron base under my foot.

And added a little in the joint area to give my foot more room over the great toe - ball.

Getting more adventuress with the lining; still not where I want it...

The new water based contact cement is so sticky that I only need tack around the heel & toe.

Experimenting with buckram for toe puff & counter

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

2016 Sandal Development V3 (1/4" padded in-sole)

Working on the 3rd in the development series, of the sandal.
This fully hemmed version includes darts to re leave the stiffness at the toe and tongue areas.

Further development of the insole "pocket" understanding the best techniques.

Also going with a chain stitched welt.
Glued 1st, then ground flat, then stitched.

The notch reliefs are so helpful in eliminating rub points.

And  couple more...

Monday, May 2, 2016

Knife Sharpening for Leather Skiving with the Work Sharp WS - 3000

As we've all learned skiving requires a substantially sharp knife. In this post I'll be talking about knifes with a good edge on them already, starting from a dull or nicked blade is a different project.

My goal here is not to change how you work, it is just to share my way and my insights.

I have five knifes that get me through any project, each has its own specific details but the sharpening part the process is the same.

  1. Clicking
  2. Curved skiving
  3. Heavy 
  4. Narrow skiving
  5. Wide skiving
I am primarily a "flat on one side" guy, that is to say all of the blade angle is on one side and the other side is essentially flat. There are good reasons to work with both types of knifes and in fact a one sided knife tends to be "handed" in that a right handed person would want the flat on one side and the left handed person on the other.

I have been using a sanding/stropping board ever since I learned the system from James and Debra. But I stopped using any polishing compound finding it unnecessary when the blade is sanded well. Instead I use the Latigo Veg. tanned oil finished leather suede side up and have never had to replace one yet.  Switching from stones to sandpaper was the best thing I ever did; and ultimately led to investing in the Work Sharp.

The Work Sharp 3000 is an outstanding tool for knifes. (Completely unsolicited) It comes with a 3\8" thick 6" round disc cut from a sheet of glass! Flat is king in this instance. I am not going to get into the many things that can be done with the machine but it was invented for wood workers and I have sharpened my wood chisels to an incredible level in very little time. I have come down to leaving the 400 grit on the top and 120 grit on the under side for chisels. Once you have got used to it you should get a year out of a single piece. Again, I'm using this for the last phase - the super fine finish phase, I use the Sandpaper/strop board for touch up and for stropping between sanding. You may notice I have modified the edge guard on the Work Sharp it allows me to get in closer you may need to consider this option.

How can stropping between sanding help? A nice fine edge can actually get slightly rolled over and stropping helps straighten that out.

Stropping is of course necessary and for good reason although many people have not seen the details up close, I have 10X and 60X images of the edge that will illustrate what the "wire edge" (burr) is and why it exists.

My marble skiving board, and my two sanding/stropping boards, one side with 120 or 180 grit and the other side with oil finished leather.
My YT vids on sharpening and Skiving  

The wire edge cannot be avoided and actually represents the perfection of the sharpening sequence. Ultimately the wire edge has to be small, fine, or thin, enough to be "worked" or broken off with the strop; that is it gets folded back and forth until it falls off. We have all had the experience of trying to wear down a too big burr ultimately having to go back to the sandpaper for another try.

It took a while to get a nice example of the wire edge; here it is at 10 times scale.

And again at 60 times.


It is important on the flat side to bring down onto the disc at the edge 1st and slowly lower the sharp edge onto the sandpaper. 
The final test of a blade ready for skiving is the thumb nail test; if it stops immediately on hitting your thumb nail you are ready to go, if not keep sharpening.
Another easy way to See the edge condition is to look directly down the edge if it is not consistently sharp light will reflect off of the smallest element.