Tarantula: Construction

Disclaimer: This post contains an old attempt at shoemaking, during the 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.

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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