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.
Gefle is completed and delivered! This page is a summary of the finished shoes – in Part 1 and Part 2, I display in detail how they were made.
The shoes are crafted with seven different kinds of vegetable tanned leather (of which one is latigo tanned), as listed below. In these images, the shoes have been polished only with Renovateur medaille d’or, and some pate de lux in neutral.
Construction: handmade with hand-held tools, English welted
Last: Vintage mystery lasts from german ebay, heavily adjusted.
Uppers: 4 oz vegetable tanned calf side
Lining: 2 oz vegetable tanned baby calf
Insoles: 12-13 oz vegetable tanned calf butt
Insoles (sock liner): 4 oz vegetable tanned calf side
Outsoles: 9 Iron J. Rendenbach
Toe/heel stiffeners: 5 oz latigo tanned calf shoulder
Rand/welt combo piece: 5 oz vegetable tanned shoulder
Heel lifts: 9 oz vegetable tanned shoulder
Top lifts: vegetable tanned (1/4 rubber) J. Rendenbach
The 5 oz pure veg tanned leather used for the welt was much easier to finish nicely.
My second attempt at a fiddleback waist:
The color behaves very differently in different lighting.
On the feet of the recipient in the evening sun:
And here Gefle is worn in the shadow, next to me wearing Ericsberg. (It’s obvious which one of us is the evil brother.)
There are still many areas to perfect, of course, but there are also improvements with every pair. A part of my life walked away tonight, as my elder brother took Gefle home.
These are amazing. The color looks so good in both lighting conditions. Would love to see them aged. I am yet to try coloring out, but I may need to buy some better leather first.
Thank you very much, Fan! I hope time will do good things to the shoes. I have only tried to color vegetable tanned crust leather myself, but I’ve found it’s been easier than I thought it would be – I think it took ca 25 minutes to paint this pair without rushing it. (I have no experience painting chrome tanned leather yet, which is something I also want to try.)
Also, I am still looking to get curved needles used for vet surgery per your suggestion!
Nice result ! Seems that you didnt have any trouble with the welting (I was wrong 🙂
I really like the fiddleback waist…
Did you just scrap the outsole with broken glass, or does it involve another operation ? Do you make it before or after the stitching ?
I usually dont make any fiddleback but I will give it a try..
I don’t think you were wrong – I think I was lucky. 😉 From a certain angle, I can see that there is slightly more space at the toe than would be preferrable…
I used broken glass (from an old IKEA picture frame) to make the fiddleback attempt, but I also tried using a sand-paper covered cylinder attached to a hand-held electric screwdriver/drill. I made it before the stitching, because I figured I wanted to know exactly how long to cut the channel (and didn’t want to risk scraping into the channel if I would do it afterwards). As this was my second attempt, I think it can be refined quite a lot… I hope it works out for you, and it would be nice to see some of your work!
Thanks for the explanation about the fiddleback.
I am currently working on a new pair of shoes (halfbrogue derby), and will probably start writing a blog (probably not as great as this blog….), about shoemaking. As soon as the blog will be online, I will send you the link…
Looking forward to it! 🙂