Tuesday, February 6, 2018

2018 Apron Cut

I was looking at showing off the modified toe I designed into this last and wanted a Whole cut level surface; no toe cap, no side facings anywhere near the toe form.

I went thru my usual multi step process of design and have one more version yet to complete

The order of assembly was the 1st big question so the early versions helped me confirm the process. 

I started here:
and was disappointed
then added the tab
than added the tab in the tab
and finished with the asymmetrical apron.
the pattern just gets updated each time

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Best Choice French Curves

I am not a master maker, However I am a skilled Draftsman.

Trained over 35 years ago in the Art of Auto Body Drafting on the "Board" strictly 2D, in Detroit just before CAD came into wide spread use. Auto Body Drafting was the last holdout for CAD because of the difficulty of Curve and Surface development compared to Machine drafting.

Because Curves can be expensive I thought I would share my recommendations for those getting started and wishing to keep their investment to a minimum.

I was so happy to start Pattern Drafting because it felt like home. Jessie taught me the process and I have been hard at it since then, refining and trying to understand what is important and what isn't.

I  have about 75 or more Curves and Sweeps from my years in Drafting. Over the last three years of Pattern Making I have boiled them down to 3 different curves that get me thru the process. Of course having 5 - 10 curves won't hurt however they will represent your personal touch.

For shoes I can get by with the 4" x 8" Brunning 74 206 16 French Curve

For boots you will want a longer Sweep; about 4.5" x 14" and/or 5" x 17"

My recommendation for buying is to look closely at the curves to convince yourself that there are no unusual "flats" "dents" or "bumps."

The best curves were / are machined and not injection molded, hand made curves are not often "sweet"enough for my tastes.

"If we all used the same French Curve our shoes will all look the same" not so; we are all going to come up with different results by the proper use of the curve while following your freehand curve.
I can make a video but YouTube is probably already there.

So for shoes the three places I am most concerned about are the Top Line, Heel Curve, and Derby Curve.
After using many other Curves I believe that this particular shape contains within it most of what I need.

Just to be clear; if you overlay all three of these curves over each other they WILL NOT necessarily match exactly... that's OK.

Have fun Drafting, I do!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Holiday Derby

My Making schedule is based on the calendar; Sandals in the Spring, Derbys in the Fall.

The choice to go with suede was a risky one but it came out OK.

The development of the design went thru several stages but the theme of overlap has been maintained.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

2017 Derby Development

After two design tryouts I have a finished development pair
I really began to like the "shadow" or "peek out" of the heel cap and the toe cap so that is the theme for these

My 1st fully stitched Landis 12 L pair; Great Machine!
I have a full 1/4" Poron inside too

The goal is to make a fully hemmed version next

Its the patterns that get a little tricky

Instead of having little strips of patterns I'll cut windows and include the peek-outs with the adjacent pattern

As I go thru the development I make changes; add or subtract from the original unless it is a full on theme change the Master and the drape are still related

Friday, September 22, 2017

2017 Men's Sandal Development (3/8" padded footbed)

I really wanted to get to a buckle on the 2016 sandal.
A complete re-work of the basic theme

I am getting the lasting down by leaving the lining complete even in the area of the buckle so that the buckle is not taking the lasting loads

So with this method I can have any parts floating in any way and still have the lasted look
This time I wanted to us my super soft 1/4"Poron so on top of that goes 1/8" of a stiffer Poron blue
This makes it possible for me to wrap the foot bed by hand and get a crisp edge'

Sunday, September 10, 2017

DIY Leather Burnishing Wheel - Motor

Been working on refining the wheel part of my burnisher for a year or so and have it pretty good.
Just a 1/4hp motor will do the job
I made this collet for the end of the motor but you might be able to buy a collet too
The shortest length from the motor to the wheel is best
I used Bass wood but pine is OK, I use bee's wax and have nice results
The trick is that you have to have access to a wood or metal lathe, this is 2" in dia. and about 2" long

Over time I modified the grooves to suit my needs and I feel free to change them at will because there is very little cost involved.

The most important thing is to mount the wood to the shaft securely and then use that shaft to turn the wood on the lathe.
This is the best (only) way to make sure that the turned wood is super concentric with the shaft it is mounted to. If you turn the wood 1st then center drill it you will still see wobbling. 
I really don't like using wheels that are not concentric because it bounces the work around and it also only uses one area of the wheel.
The most important thing is to mount the wood to the shaft securely

I can provide drawings if needed.

I have refined the drum process:
  1. I take a piece of Bass wood and drill a 3/4 hole 
  2. Slide in place a 3/4 x 1/8" wall tube
  3. Drill and tap a 1/4-20 set screw
  4. Mount this to the lathe
This reduces the number of parts and the distance from the motor
See bench-top set-up

Thursday, June 8, 2017

CB801 CowBoy Leather Skiver

So I decided that the number one machine that would help me get thru project development faster had to be a bell knife skiver.
The CB801 is a Chinese version of apparently the only design on earth that anyone ever developed for skiving. 
It has a nice sound to it and 1st runs are very promising.

These machines are not for the "UN-mechanically" inclined; you will have a learning curve if you have never used one.

It is a technical machine that requires practice, practice, practice.

Adjusting the presser foot has two dimensions

Adjusting the drive wheel has two or three

Adusting the the bell knife has one

Grinding the bell knife is a challenge