Tarantula: Construction

Ever since embarking on my shoemaking journey in the first place, I have dreamt of making this shoe. (There’s just so many shoes to make, and so little time – hence the wait). A contrast spectator in textured and aniline dark brown calf.

00 Pattern Quarter Brogue 980

When I made the pattern above, I was still waiting for a brogue tool in the post. The tool didn’t turn up in time, so I made the shoes without broguing. (Often that can look weird I presume, but I do think the proportions ended up well in this case.)

I used my standard method for making the pre-molded heel stiffeners (in Tärnsjö leather), and added into the mix the making of pre-molded veg tanned side stiffeners, with 4 oz veg tanned calf. The insoles underneath is also in Tärnsjö leather, and the lasts are Springline #980. Sliding these stiffeners into the shoe later on will be a breeze.

01 Stiffeners

The quarters and vamp of these shoes were cut from Tanneries du Puy Epsom calf. With austerity design (no broguing), I currently use a 6 mm margin for overlap. I skive the leather manually (knife on marble), and then measure out and mark the 6 mm line on the inside with a pen. I find this helps greatly when aligning the parts, to get them exactly where they were designed to be. I may be well off, but I find it quite satisfactory when the skiving matches the overlap on the millimeter.

02 Skiving quarters

I attach the lining like I always have, Andrew Wrigley-style.

05 Upper lining

By no means a beautiful picture, yet a fair illustration of these uppers before lasting prep:

03 uppers

I tried more carefully now than before to shape the toe stiffeners, as this has a great impact on the final shape. While I think the slightly blunt chisel look is kind of cool, I will make sure to trim the insole as well as the toe stiffeners to get a more smooth transition at the very tip next time.

06 toe chisel

I used to think welting at the toe was difficult, due to the risk of having the welt curve up against the uppers. Now I’m in no agony as I just keep the welt moist while welting, and compress it at the toe (as opposed to trying to stretch it out).

08 Welted Toe

Another look at that welted toe:

09 Welted toe

And yeah, that’s the construction post… (I ran out of images.)

Continue to the summary of the finished shoes »

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