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About niftycurly

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
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    bettering my skills
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  1. Claire - you may wish to contact Jay Paul at Sunnybrook Hospital in Canada. He is a pedorthist - last and bespoke shoemaker for "abnormal" feet. You could start with any old last from the Internet but there is so much more engineering in a shoe (our feet are complex structures!) than most people realize. If you already have a medical issue with your feet an improperly made shoe can make things much worse. Jay would be able to point you in the right direction for your situation.
  2. The Aquilim glues are great! 315 is a contact cement but they have another that can be used wet so you don't have to wait for it to dry. It's either SG or GL. A little goes a long way as they're highly concentrated. For holding straightish edges for sewing a lot of bag makers use double stick tape. Not the stuff from office supply stores but the 1/4" kind on bigger rolls. Art supply stores and Lisa Sorrell carry it. No mess, NO SOLVENTS, easy and fast to apply. I've never had any trouble with it gumming up needles.
  3. I'm going to cast a vote for the Renia water based glues (Aquilim line, water resistant as is waterproof if you use the cross linker additive). They work GREAT and are completely non toxic. Cost more per quart than Barge, etc but they are also more concentrated so you use much less, only a thin coating. Plus you save brain cells and can use them indoors without tons of ventilation. There's a contact cement (apply both sides, let dry, press together), one that behaves like a rubber cement (temporary and moveable) and one that bonds permanently but you put on one side then stick together while wet which is a time saver. There's also a water based cork filler product which is great since we can't get any type of cork filler in the U.S. They've just started setting up a U.S. warehouse but Lisa Sorrell has been carrying them for a couple years.
  4. The water based glues Lisa carries are from the Renia Aquilim line from Germany. I just took a leather inlay class with her and had the opportunity to try them out, they're great, totally non toxic and very effective. Not at all like the usual water based adhesives we're used to in the US. Lisa has transitioned to using only these glues for her cowboy boots with the exception of attaching soles because her soles are attached while leather is wet.
  5. Hi All - Couldn't find much information on the internet on this machine besides manuals. I have found possibly a good deal on a Singer 51W44 post bed roller foot head only. The Singer manual says it's for sewing shoe vamps, uppers, etc. I would be using it for shoes and hand bags. It's missing a few small things like the bobbin cover and front tension knobs but seems like those are fairly easy to replace. Is anyone familiar with one of these guys? And would $350 seem like an outrageous price? Many thanks, -Ellen
  6. Hi Denster - Shuttle hook at 7 o'clock when handle fully upright, check. I took off the needle plate per your suggestion and noticed two things. 1) the needle clearance is quite tight, almost touching. The hook tip passes just under the needle eye. 2) this is more curious and perhaps indicative of bigger problems. I'd always assumed the occasional "rough" action was due to thread jamming in the shuttle area but it appears that occasionally the hook jams itself against the right rear of the needle foot instead of clearing just behind as it should on a good clean stroke. Like either the needle foot is late going up or the hook is arriving too early. There appears to be no pattern for when it does this and I keep the shuttle area well oiled. There is some clear wear on the needle foot where contact occurs. As for tension - the upper thread had sprung off the spool without me noticing wrapped itself around various spots it shouldn't be and popped out of the tensioners. I'm using 277 Linhanyl bonded nylon thread and it's an older cast iron Boss if that makes a difference. Thanks kindly for the detailed query and suggestions.
  7. Yes, the shuttle area is put back together as it was when it was working properly. The timing being off was that the long ear of the shuttle was at 11 instead of 12 o'clock. I made the adjustment in the rack stop bolt. Thank you.
  8. Hi Hobageeba, your photo looks exactly like magnesium photo engraved stamps plus wood blocks. I got some a while back from ashop that specializes in engraving plates for print. It was $65 for their minimum size of 4x4" and I got 4 stamps out of it. They had a "deep etch for leather stamping" process.
  9. Art, you're quite right about the Saderma website, it's next to useless. I think it's intended for people who know the exact item they're looking for to restock their repair shop. Fortunately for the kids in Los Angeles we can go to the store and browse. I don't get there too often but if there something your trying to find, let me know and I can have a look on my next trip.
  10. Unfortunately, the amazing Ben at Tippmann has gone home for the weekend so I'm hopeful that the Boss owners out here might have an answer for this. I've scoured the forums and still can't figure is out. I was merrily sewing along quite successfully (upholstery plus 8oz veg tan, it's a shoe upper plus sole leather, 277 thread with appropriate needle) until the bobbin ran out. Replaced bobbin and then all sorts of unhappiness ensued. Top tensions went haywire, carefully unthreaded and rethreaded the whole machine, reset tensions, double checked bobbin, etc. Work started getting stuck on the needle, rechecked presser foot tension and noticed a burr at my needle tip, replaced with same type/size, Handle action felt rough so I opened the shuttle assembly to check for loose thread, debris. Nothing in there but noticed that timing was way off so reset that. Checked thread take up arm, rock solid. Now the needle thread refuses to engage the bobbin thread at all. I've reset the needle several times at various angles, rechecked the timing, even set it back to the original out of whack setting, oiled the whole monster and am totally stuck. Everything feels like butter but that danged stitch just isn't happening. Prior to this the machine was working fine for months. Anyone know what I'm missing?
  11. Nothing's labeled at SavMor, the guys that work there are really nice-just ask them any of your questions. Pigskin is fit only for linings. It is NOT durable or resistant to wear at all. It's just thin and very inexpensive. Vegetable tanned cowhide in heavier weights is best for soles. For a simple shoe like this you don't need a last, though for designing and patterning a last is always helpful. Unfortunately, top line tape is pretty hard to come by unless you're a shoe manufacturer. SavMor doesn't have it, perhaps Saderma (Western between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose) or your local shoe repair shop does.
  12. 1) you will probably fare best with 6-8oz veg tanned cowhide for soles that you can feel the floor through. Though you will probably also feel the pleating from your upper as well unless you skive very carefully. (that which you call shaving is "skiving", a belt sander also works wonders) I see that you are in Los Angeles - visit SavMor Leather (under the 10 freeway on Wall Street). They often have shoe sole sized pieces in the scrap bins, $3/lb. They also have a cheap skiving tool called a skife. 2) Pigskin is often used for shoe linings but almost never for the outside of uppers unless it's just decorative. It's just not strong enough. And it is very floppy so it won't do what you are asking. All leathers will stretch unless backed by a non stretch synthetic material. Make your shoe very tight so it doesn't get too big after a few days of practice. Again, go to SavMor and look in the scrap bins, they'll have lots of shoe sized pieces of assorted leathers. Pull on them to see how they stretch and know thatntheyll stretch more on your feet. Some are very spongy, some are super firm. Bring your patterns with you if you have them. A single layer of chrome tanned upholstery weight will be ok for most of a soft shoe but you will need to at least add a stiffener for the heel, called a counter, this can be more of the same leather or something else stitched or cemented in. You may also want to add extra support in the toe area. Actual ballet slippers have layers and layers of muslin and adhesive under the leather. Except for moccasins and Toms, very few modern shoes are made with a single layer. 3) in general, shoemakers use thinner leather for the insole and thicker for the outsole as the outsole will wear out much faster. I'd recommend you do the same, but if you insist on going the other way just find a veg tan weight that feels right to you. You will need to roughen the smooth side of the outsole before cementing it on if you want the suede side out. 4) you must finish the raw top edge, called the topline, or it will stretch out of shape and very likely fall off your foot mid practice. If you can get your hands on some topline tape you would at minimum want to skive the edge, tape, turn and stitch like a hem on fabric. If you can't, then find some good non stretch ribbon like cotton grosgrain or tightly woven twill (not bias tape!) and bind/sew the whole topline. Not as good but will help keep the shape. 5) for this one project you could get away with heavy duty upholstery thread (fabric store) or waxed linen (leather stores like Tandy). Sinew is too heavy for is type of shoe. You can sew the upper on a domestic sewing machine with the upholstery thread if you get a leather needle (fabric store) and a stick some tape under the presses foot so it's smoother. (normally I'd say get a Teflon foot but tape will do for just one project) If you're handsewing, you'll want to prepunch your stitch holes no matter the leather to save your fingers. Pliers and a $6 stitching awl (Harbor Freight Tools) will make your life easier.
  13. The soles pictured are one piece and most likely custom manufactured for that shoe brand. Unless you want to rip a set out an existing pair you have two options a) sculpt and cast your design. Or b.) design your sole in 3D software (as the manufacturers do) and send the files to a service like Ponoko or Shapeways to have output in the material of your choice. Either way, you should rip apart an old pair of thrift store shoes and look at the sole piece before you sit down to design, they usually have a waffle construction inside for flexibility and weight. If you want to be really fancy and are tech savvy enough, try the shoe design software from DelCam/Crispin. It's free to use, expensive as hell to export, but it's possible to translate to other open source 3D programs if you know how. Personally I don't see anything wrong with diving straight in if you have the time and temperament to learn that way
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