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About deboardp

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  • Website URL
    Coming soon

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  • Location
    Cobleskill, NY
  • Interests
    Salvation, making sandals, staying alive, geopolitics

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    custom leather monastic sandals, my design
  • Interested in learning about
    how to do world-class leather work
  • How did you find leatherworker.net?
    I googled "forums for leather craftsmen"

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  1. Well, Dwight, I decide to buy one of them, because I don't want to disturb the neighbors below me. I bought a 1 ton from Vevor, with a wheel that quickly positions the ram onto the work item. one ton Vevor
  2. My 2015 stroke pretty much destroyed my memory functions, so I don't remember who started it, but there's a thread on this site that mentions leather stretching and how stitches affect that. The consensus was that stitching - specifically the needle poking all those holes through the leather - contributes to more stretching, and most threads used by people are nylon or polyester, which themselves stretch. Accordingly, I have decided to not stitch my strap edges. I've also been manipulating some samples of my strap leather sides - I have two sides for straps, an Italian luxury veg tan 6/7 ounce, and a utility veg tan 7/8 ounce - and both of them are resilient and somewhat stretchy to being poked with my fingers. I think they will conform to the knuckles just fine without soaking them. In fact, I read in one of my new sources of information about sandal making - again, I don't remember the specifics of who wrote it - that wetting the leather should be avoided at first. I'm thinking that might be because the thin leather is already wanting to stretch and form itself to the foot. So I'll not worry about it. 50 years ago I used horsehide for straps, and it was dense, hard, and smooth. I don't remember the weight I used. I think I used shoulder for the top and bend for the bottom. I think maybe those weights were something like 10 ounce and 12 ounce, but am not certain. To begin, I soaked both soles and formed them and let them dry in the sun for conformity to the foot and especially the arch. I cobbled throughout the arch to help it keep its shape. It seemed to be effective. My first shop was in the student union of a major university, in the summer, and in a six week period I made 8 pairs of sandals a day (12 hours each day), six days a week, almost 300 pairs in all, before moving to a permanent location in a nearby arts and crafts cooperative. This time around I'm not going to do anything to support the arches, because I don't think there's a problem with arches. They are complicated by design, and they work. I mean, people walk into the shop, right? So obviously their arches work. The sandals will simply protect them from stepping on painful rocks.
  3. No. Two of the straps will have s- curves to reduce their width and only the third strap will be the same width for its entire length. I'm trying to induce bulges at the tops of the two "balls of the feet", which I am calling the knuckles of the big toe and the little toe. In this picture the tip of my index finger is on the ball of my foot. And in this picture my finger is on the knuckle of my big toe, which is the top half of the ball of my foot. I simply want that strap to be slightly rounded, to conform to the roundness of the knuckle, for foot comfort. The strap over that knuckle will be wide, depending on the size of the foot. A big man might have a width over that knuckle of 1 and 3/4" (1-3/4"). I will cut an S curve in the front edge of the strap to reduce the strap width to about 1" for that man over his little toe knuckle. There is a ball under that knuckle, you can feel it under your little toe knuckle. I want the strap to mold to that knuckle, too. It's just details, what makes a sandal world class rather than ordinary. I'm not being arrogant, I'm stating my goal in sandal making. I'm too old to make ordinary things. The 1" end of the front strap will pass through a channel in the midsoleand come out behind the big toe knuckle and will have a smaller S- curve on the front edge to reduce the strap to 3/4". The third strap will come out of the top sole behind the little toe knuckle strap and will be a regular 3/4"strap. There will be loops at the ankle bones to hold the straps low, to anchor the heel. It's hard to see a picture from words. I'll have a pair made, more or less, in about a week, Lord willing, and will post a Pic then.
  4. Making progress! Working on the last two drawers.
  5. Back 50 years ago I made all kinds of designs, with straps everywhere, and every single one of the straps was fully adjustable by the person wearing the sandals. I never made a pair that was not fully adjustable, and I won't now. I use a midsole now (before I would use a French skive I think it was called, to make a channel, and would wax it. Later I used some kind of thin rubber for a midsole and cut out channels for the straps to cross to the other side. Now I'm using the softer portion of the strap cowhide for a midsole - same thickness as the strap, with a rectangle cut out to create the channel where the strap can be pulled to tighten up the part that goes over the foot - so that there are three layers of thinish leather that can be glued and stitched. I'll wax the leather above and below this channel so the strap can slide easily. There was never a problem with straps coming loose on their own, probably because pressure of the body weight kept it from sliding in the midsole. And I recall that even with wax. it took some concerted effort to adjust the straps. Probably a good thing, so it doesn't adjust on its own. In six days my Cobra Class 26 and Cobra Burnisher (the small one) arrives. My work bench is almost complete. Just need to assemble the last drawer and install the last two sets of cantilevered drawer slides (100 pound capacity).
  6. Right. It might not be a problem at all. I'm using luxury veg tan 7 oz for ladies and delicate men, 8 oz utility veg tan for regular men. I think the luxury stuff will possibly be fine as is. The 8 oz is stiffer. All of it is patiently waiting to come out of the shadows down there. I don't remember the weights I used 50 years ago.
  7. I'm concerned that the leather will stretch too much. I'd rather control it more. Maybe slightly wet and walk in them, so they tend to stretch. Leather will stretch anyway over time. The edge stitching will help the edges to not stretch. Maybe that first option of the three I mentioned would be worth trying. I can wet them when they are ready to go out the door, do the stretching with my fingers to get them where I want, then let them dry before wearing. If I can at least get the roundness of the toe knuckles started, maybe a daily pre-walk treatment of saddle soap and water would help the process. I probably ought to take notes.
  8. Water soak and stretch! So I'll show my customers how to do that, wet them and then use fingers to make space at the knuckles. The edges will be stitched so we won't push on them, just over the round part of the knuckle. Slip a finger in there between the bone and the leather... Or I can do the stretching at the final fitting, tell them to let them dry before wearing them. Could be a third option: wet them slightly and wear them.
  9. Well now the app has an 800 pixel option, or I missed it the first time. I've got to assemble the last drawer and install two more slides and then load those drawers up. There's a space under the drawers for the side of leather to slide under. It's a 4x8 bench but all the working of the leather will be probably in the foot closest to my belly. I've yet to install the 2x4 daylight fixture over the working area, thus the lamps.
  10. Ebay had a copy and I bought it. Can hardly wait to read what he says! But it doesn't arrive until Dec 13, and I start with the first two pair early in the week, so I guess I'll search YouTube for videos on softening leather to mold around things.
  11. My app didn't have that option, so I used the smallest option, 1200 pixels. It seems to have come out okay.
  12. When I started out as a remodel contractor in 1982 I listed with a similar outfit and it helped me get business and stay busy. However after two years I realized that the 5% of each sale I made was the equivalent of at least 10% of my net profit and sometimes more, depending on subcontractor expenses. I had to pay 5% of all the expenses and overhead I had, not just my profit. On some jobs I wound up paying 20% or more of the sale price. It was then I realized that company was getting the cream off the top. I brought it up with the owner of the outfit and he didn't want to negotiate something more fair so I quit our relationship. My overhead was always half of the sale price of a job, and job materials were a portion of the other half.
  13. I'll be starting to make sandals in a week. The front strap will be an inch and a half wide where it crosses over the big toe's knuckle and one inch wide over the little toe's knuckle. These are the bony protrusions over the ball of the foot and the little ball of the foot. The strap slots will be curved to be parallel with the edge of the sandal. I want to treat the leather with something to make it conform to the shape of these knuckles. I'll be using 8 ounce veg tan for men and 6 ounce for women, an Italian luxury veg tan for the ladies. I had heard I could tell my customers to brush saddle soap and water into the straps before wearing them, and I wonder if that's a good idea and if there's something better? I'll be stitching along the edges, about 1/8" in, to help resist stretching, but it would be great if the central portion of the strap between the stitch lines could bulge a bit to accommodate the tops of those balls. Generally I would like to know what I can do to make the top sole and straps soft and supple, and to prevent cracking teen years later. The top will be shoulder veg tan, 10 ounce. I have another, different, question. If I use 10 ounce shoulder for the bottom sole, glue and stitch the three layers (28 ounces total, equal to 7/16"), and then glue an 1/8" thick layer of gum rubber to that, do you think the sandal would protect the foot from walking on gravel? Or should I use veg tan bend (grain roughed off for two coats of glue)? Does anyone on here make custom sandals? Thanks in advance. My Cobra 26 arrives a week from tomorrow, and I'll finish the six drawers of my work bench maybe tomorrow. After that I'll unbox all my tools into the drawers and onto their fronts, and then start making some sandals. Patrick PS The front strap can be adjusted because the narrow end passes through a channel in the midsole and becomes one of the two other straps that are adjustable by a Conway buckle. I can't figure out how to get this picture appear.
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