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About Hunhunt

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    woodwork, leatherwork, birddogs, horse training

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Mission oak furniture upholstery, shoe making
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  1. Another option would be to purchase a Munson last which Lisa Sorrel also has available. The Munson last was designed by an army officer in the WWI era for the troops. It provides for a very comfortable shoe/boot and should work fine for the boots you intend to make.
  2. I have experienced exactly the same problem with a similar knife, the ones sold by Lisa Sorrel. I use a Tormek sharpener and bring the edge to razor sharpness using the stone wheel followed by a stropping wheel. The edge is mirror polished. The knife I use is sharpened on both sides. The knife cuts extremely well but quickly dulls with the chrome tanned leather I use in shoe-making. I have experienced the same thing with the Super Skiver with injector razor insert and with an Osborne french edger/skiver. I make frequent trips to the Tormek stropping wheel to touch up the edge. I have tried varying the angle of the edge but have found little difference. Seems to be the nature of chrome tanned leather and metal edge tools.
  3. I've never tried plane irons but I have used wood skew chisels. The main problem with woodworking chisels is that the handles limit how low an angle you can use in making the skiving cut. I generally use a very low angle. Another thought would be to try using a power hacksaw blade if you know a machinist who is replacing an old blade. The steel should be very good and the price would be right.
  4. Get it really razor sharp and then keep it sharp by frequent stropping. I have leather stropping wheels on my Tormek sharpener but you can do the same thing by mounting a piece of vegtan scrap leather to a flat surface. I rarely have to resharpen with the grinding wheel since I use the stropping wheel frequently. It is amazing how fast leather can take the razor edge off a cutting tool.
  5. There is a very good Lisa Sorrel video on the use of these skewed type skiving knives. I have one that I got from her that I really like. Has to be kept absolutely razor sharp to work efficiently. It works far better than the Tandy's skiving tool (super skiver).
  6. You might check out the video series available at this website: http://www.healthyhandmadeshoes.com. It takes you through the entire shoe making process using the simplified stitch out (stitch down) sole construction method. It is a very simplified process and you can always modify what you learn from the video to suit your needs. As far as leather, I use 5-6 oz chrome tanned leather for shoes that is often sold as "chap leather". For the midsole you will probably want to use a vegetable tanned leather (I use 8-9 oz). Other materials you might use would be plastizote for the insole and crepe which is sandwiched between the midsole and the outsole. I use synthetic outsoles (Vibram) as I find leather outsoles to be too slippery.
  7. Since I am primarily a woodworker rather than leather worker, I keep a lot of wood stains and dyes stocked. I've always avoided pigmented wood stains (think thin paint) for leather since I am afraid the results would be blotchy and unnatural looking. I actually don't use pigmented stains much for wood either. I prefer aniline dyes for wood to get a more transparent finished look. I've used the same dyes on leather with good results. The dyes I use are primarily water or alcohol based. I do apply a finish (Tandy's Eco-Flo Professional) over them to avoid any bleed-out. I recently used some Fiebings leather dye on a leather project and liked the results I got. It seems like the Fiebings dye was more color fast when applying the finish than the wood dyes I've used.
  8. Electrathon, thanks for the tip on shoedo.com. Lasts are indeed the hardest thing to come up with for the amateur shoe maker. I've been buying used lasts off ebay and reshaping, repairing for my use (I'm a woodworker too). Unfortunately, it's not easy to find the Munson lasts I prefer and my collection is far from complete with regards to sizes. Shoedo.com has some very interesting looking lasts on their website. Here's an example of some shoes I recently completed on a pair of Munson lasts.
  9. I generally drop contact cement instead of dye on the concrete floor of the barn tack room. Makes a pretty big mess. Which is why I'm banished to the tack room for gluing.
  10. Welcome from a fellow southern Idaho leather worker. This forum has been a tremendous wealth of information for me. Don't know if you are aware of it but southern Idaho has some of the most outstanding saddlemakers in the country including Dale Harwood (if he's not retired) and Carey Schwartz. I have one of Carey's saddles and can vouch for the quality craftsmanship that goes into them. As I recall, he offers some instruction including a video series. You can check out his website. I started learning how to make shoes as a result of this forum and a video series I found on-line. It's a hoot.
  11. Another option that is less expensive if you aren't making a lot of shoes is the old LA Macker type presses. The pressure is applied through an acme screw thread. They show up on Ebay frequently. I payed less than $100 for mine and have been gathering various press forms for it as they come available. The press works fine.
  12. I've used 9 - 10 oz bridle leather from Waterhouse Leather for belt making. Was very pleased with the leather. It is very waxy, minimal stretch, and wears very well.
  13. Horween Predator leather is an extremely oily, waxy leather that I have used in shoe/boot making. It is difficult to glue because of all the oil (contact cement seems to remain "gummy" for awhile) but once everything has been sewed up it works fine. Predator may work good for your application. Some of the Crazy Horse leather that I have purchased from Zack White Leather has been almost as oily/waxy as Predator. The last Crazy Horse "dark brown" that I got was like this. It does have a sort of sanded surface which may not be your preference.
  14. Henry still had some size 5 needles when I ordered a few from him this past month.
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