Disclaimer: This post contains a very old attempt at shoemaking, during the very beginning of my journey. I really didn’t know what I was doing at this time, and the post is left online for archive purposes only. Please do not “learn” anything from it, as the post is certainly riddled with mistakes. It’s just a documentation on some of my thoughts as a beginner in this venture. For a more updated view of my shoemaking, please see my latest posts instead.
This time, I used a new leather to craft a combination piece of welt and rand – namely a 1st grade, veg tanned 5 oz crust shoulder. Previously, I’ve used 5 oz latigo tanned shoulder for rand and welt, which has been terribly difficult to burnish. I’m hoping this crust, pure veg tan will do better.
As it’s been rather difficult to match the combination piece perfectly to the shoe, I decided to make them with more generous margins than I’ve done before and just cut off more excess.
Additionally, I dyed these pieces with Fiebing’s Pro Dye. Previously, I’ve used Fiebing’s regular leather dye, and I my initial reaction is that there’s a huge difference. The pro dye dries extremely fast, and almost doesn’t rub off any color at all just moments after applying. I cemented the rand onto the shoe and pegged it on.
I can’t quite get the whole welting thing down it seems. On each shoe, I try but fail to penetrate the leather from the inside of the shoe and out. Instead, the technique that seems to work for me (with my current tools and skill level), is to penetrate from the outside and in. That is to say, I make the holes through welt, uppers and lining to then find the pre-made hole in the outsole holdfast. Then I welt it tightly as not to allow any wiggle room.
With welting complete, metal shanks were put in and covered with a couple layers of 4 oz veg tanned crust leather. The footbeds were filled with cork.
Then came the outsoles. To the last minute, I couldn’t decide whether to put on JR outsoles or crust calf butt. I decided to go for 9 iron JR soles, and to also attempt a fiddleback on them.
When the outsoles were cemented and hammered onto the shoes, I also branded them with my logo and with the name of the client.
I started preparing a fiddleback, and opened the outsole with a blade to prepare for stitching.
To sew the outsole seam, I used metal bristles.
Continue reading the Summary of the finished shoes »