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  1. Hello, a couple days ago I asked whether I should get a post bed or a cylinder arm sewing machine. Thanks to the input from this community I have decided to purchase a post bed for shoemaking. I am wondering what post bed would you recommend? I plan to sew work boots around 16 oz leather combined and want to use bison leather rarely, but would be in the vicinity of 18 oz of leather combined. I have seen the techsew 830 which from what I have seen is the only post bed capable of sewing 3/8 of an inch. Compared to other post beds they are rated for a maximum of 5/16 inch leather. I was wondering what other post beds would you recommend or should I get the techsew 830? Also will the techsew 830 sew 3/8 veg tan leather or is the 3/8 a maximum for like denim and the maximum for leather is something else?
  2. I recently finished a new pair of foot-shaped shoes — photo attached (hopefully!). As ever, the goal was to make comfortable footwear that lets the foot move as naturally as possible while being stylish and unique. Wide toe shapes and flexible, totally flat soles are a consistent feature of my designs. I never make tapering toes, stiff soles, toe spring or raised heels — as these can all cause major issues for feet and for general health (e.g., knees, hips, backs) especially if worn for years or decades. In fact, I started making my own footwear because it’s almost impossible to buy shoes without at least one of these features (even if you can find flat, flexible soles, the toe area usually tapers too much). See my blog post at https://tozafoot.com/2019/07/02/experimenting-with-design-and-method-side-fastening-shoes/ for more photos, and a summary of how I made this pair. I’ve taught myself a lot, and invented some ways of doing things that would probably raise professional shoemakers’ eyebrows, but they work for my philosophy and toolset. I only use a few hand tools, no sewing machines or sanders or other power tools, and I only use solvent-based glues for attaching a rubber sole, after the shoe has been completed and is wearable (with a leather outsole). Again, see my website for more details. Cheers! tozafoot
  3. Hello everyone, I have a few machines for shoemaking that I am interested in selling. The mchines are: Cliker Press. Selo Attaching Machine. Buffering machine. Compressor with 80gl tank. Back moulding machine. Eyeletter. Flash (glue activator) Global edge folding machine. Heel nailing machine. I canprovide some pictures in case anyone is interested. Thank you so much. Dayan
  4. I would really appreciate some expert thoughts on what kind of machine I should invest in for making footwear, please. I’ve spent hours (re)reading many excellent threads on this forum to try to learn about machines, needles and thread (all new to me). But I am having trouble narrowing down my options. I’ve been making footwear since 2015, mostly by hand. I make both lasted and unlasted shoes (see my website at https://tozafoot.com and my Mastodon feed at https://ohai.social/@tozafoot). Since 2020, I have been concentrating on unlasted / stitchdown types, because it’s much easier to end up with a sole that’s very flexible, and to vary the toe shape without paying for an expensive last. I’m not a complete sewing machine novice, but the thought of having to set up and maintain a complicated machine rather daunts me. I’ve used (and own) a domestic machine for making things like curtains, pillow covers, aprons, some clothes. And I have been on a few taught courses where I have used other people’s (already set up!) industrial machines for sewing a very limited number of footwear uppers: I have used flat beds with presser feet, and cylinder and post beds with roller feet. So I am familiar with things like stitch length and tensioning, but I’ve never had to swap out thread sizes, needle sizes, presser feet types or footplates. For my hand sewing I've been using Ritza (Tiger) thread: 0.8mm for uppers and 1mm for attaching uppers to soles. Stitch lengths have been 2-4mm for uppers, and 6-10mm for attaching uppers to soles. I wouldn’t want a machine to do any stitch length larger than 10mm, and probably 2-8mm would be ideal. From my very limited experience and understanding (and apologies if I am getting some of the terminology wrong): I think I prefer a roller foot to a walking foot because when I used a roller foot, I found it easier to stitch close to the edges while still seeing what I was doing, and to make tight curves… but maybe I’m wrong? I don’t think I am too bothered about whether it is a post or cylinder machine, although post machines are often used for footwear uppers, and there must be a reason for that! I believe I need a machine that will sew 2-20oz thickness, but mostly 3-14oz (=1-6mm). For example: a 3oz upper to a 2oz lining; adding decoration and straps could increase upper thickness to ~8oz in places; the uppers then need to be sewn to a 5-8 oz sole. I think this means that ideally I need #46 thread (#14 needles) to #277 thread (#25 needles), but I could probably just about manage with #69 thread to #138 thread (especially if I sew two parallel stitch lines with the latter when I need a very strong seam). In an ideal world I would have a treadle-powered machine, because I’m kind of old-fashioned, and get negative joy from having to set up and deal with electric motors and speed reducers etc. And I loved using an old treadle machine in someone else's workshop. But I recognize that realistically, a servo motor with a speed reducer may be the way to go. I think I may need some support in configuring and learning how to use the machine, so buying from a good dealer (rather than, say, Craigslist) may be useful for troubleshooting. My budget is $2K to $3K (or maybe a bit over for a super machine, especially if it will have good resale value). I can’t currently see how to turn my hobby into a business, so any machine I get would likely be used for 8-20hr a week. Based on this, I have identified the following machines that might work for me: TechSew 830. Post bed, with dual drive roller. A bit on the pricy side at around $3.1K including tax, but I could spring for this if it really is the best option and will have reasonable resale value. My main concern about this is that its max thread size is #138. Also, its max stitch length is 5mm, and in an ideal world I would have slightly longer stitches at times. Consew 710 UX: roller foot, post bed, but again only uses up to #138 thread. Class 26 Cobra or TechSew 2750. These would handle heavier thread (up to #207), and have longer max stitch length (8mm), but will they still be OK for the thinnest uppers I need to stitch (~2oz)? A Cowboy 3200 fitted with the narrow needle plate that RockyAussie developed, so it can sew with much thinner leathers and closer to the edge than the factory defaults allow. This would sew #69 to #346 thread (perfect), and has a 12mm maximum stitch length, but the arm diameter is pretty large, and I am still not sure about the walking foot. Are there any more that should be on this list? Should I knock any off? Is there anything else I should be looking for? Any pros and cons of the various models I should particularly consider? What should I ask a dealer when I enquire about these? Thank you for any advice you can provide!
  5. I am having trouble finding the materials I need to make the sandal from joyce leslie in the link below. I am in love with that type of shoe. I just have three questions, thanks in advance so much to people who answer! 1) Where would I get the material that makes that lift in between the sole and the leather top? 2) Does anyone know where I can get that type of tan rubber sole as well? I was looking at soling sheets but am not sure which one to buy (any suggestions?) 3) Any suggestions on what thin foam to get to put below the upper to make it more comfortable? THANK YOU SO MUCH! http://www.joyceleslie.com/05566955.html
  6. Howdy, I'm new to leather working. I've been doing it for close to two years now. I've been wanting to build myself a pair of all leather boots. I have no idea where to start. All the books I've searched online have mixed reviews and I want to make sure I get the right kind of leather for the soles. I have no cobbler specific tools but shoot it doesn't matter, if I need it, I'll get it. I've just been yearning to push my skills to another level and finally make something for myself. Thanks all.
  7. 20 Total tools, Heel Irons, Edge Irons, Waist Irons (17) and wooden Slide Box (3). Majority of name brand is J Schmidt & Son (all the metal tools). $300.00
  8. Hi everybody! (Complete with Grover arms) I am sooooo pumped! I just finished paying for, and am picking up tomorrow, a Cobra 4 -16” and a Thompson Walking Foot machine! I also am the proud owner of a paper weight with a treadle, that says it’s a Singer 29-something. I get to try and fix that up on my own. Fun! My husband has kindly cleared the garage out for a leather/craft shop and plans are underway to change a church table into a leather table! Can clear shoe boxes with foam for my stamps be far away? I’m going to ask a gentleman in the area to make sure the two new machines are in spec. I have been told he’s really good with industrial machines, soooo, yeah, pumped! I’ve been talking to several people about learning from real professionals about shoe/boot making/repair and saddlemaking/repair. So, do any of you have names of people in the Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas or South Dakota areas that give lessons about shoes/boots/saddles/harness? oh, and now I get the museum of sewing machines tendency! The right tool for the right job! Sorry about before!
  9. Hello, I am selling a shoe repair oven with infrared lamps used to revive the glue, as new (used only a few times). Heating temperature at 45°C in ~5 minutes. My price: 140 GBP. Retail price is around 450 GBP, check below: http://www.bicifestival.it/lavorazione-artigianale-pelle-bdd-1_26/forno-a-raggi-infrarossi-per-calzature-jlrhqclq-odd-1903.html The item will be shipped from Romania. For UK the shipping cost is 30 GBP. For other countries I will check best shipping option at request. The item is listed also on ebay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Infrared-oven-for-shoemaking-repair-FORNO-A-RAGGI-INFRAROSSI-PER-CALZATURE/233017359077 If interested, please let me know. Best regards, George
  10. Just got my hands on this beauty, gonna pick it up next week...a leather perforator to punch decorative holes/ patterns in shoe uppers (as used on classic "english" brogue, derby etc.). Brand name is "Ideal", late 50's I guess. Does anyone know this one or has experience/ manual on hand? There have been similar machines by Peerless, Albeko and USM.
  11. Recently got this one, dirt cheap compared with the value... guess what that is?
  12. Hey folks, I'm glad I came across this site... awesome to connect with other leather enthusiasts! I am based in Germany, working in footwear industry (design/ development/ pattern making) and have set up my own little workshop with lots of vintage machinery at my basement. Looking to exchange thoughts and experiences with others, will be happy to give input and support regarding shoemaking and machinery...Cheers!
  13. I only make shoes for myself — much as I would like to turn my hobby into a profession, I can’t see how to make the numbers work at present. So I was interested to see this blog post from a professional shoemaker lamenting “The Extinction of a Craft” https://shoesandcraft.com/2018/02/05/the-extinction-of-a-craft/ I had lots of thoughts on reading this, two of which were: 1) People who make footwear for love not money (whether you call us amateurs or hobbyists or something else) are likely to be key to keeping many aspects of the traditional “craft” alive in coming decades. For example, just look at all the amazing ideas and sharing of expertise on this forum. 2) We need better educational materials for people to teach themselves how to make footwear, if “only” as hobbyists. Ideally, these would be materials that can stand the test of time — forum posts, or blogs, or tweetstorms or even online videos may not be around in 5 years let alone several decades from now. I’d be up for thinking more about how to achieve 2) if any one else is interested in collaborating on this.
  14. This took me several months to get started with so many many delays and a multitude of reasons. I Seriously wanted to learn how to make shoes. The very sad truth is that, there's no school around my region that teaches this, and the only two craftsman i know who makes shoes well, one of them closed his shop and is gone, the other man is about to close his shop and is not willing to teach. So i had to learn everything that is reachable from the web. The problem with this is that, not everyone tells you what you need to know, and me being so ardent jumped straight into buying the only shoe last i could find. the seller had no idea about the lasts and she thought the last was ok for me. What she didn't know is that the last is for a female shoe. But then i happened to have a girlfriend and i was needing to give her a gift. I then thought of making her shoes. This is my output. the entire shoe is handmade - handstitched and without anyone to teach me, i steered a little bit away from the orthodox methods. I dont know if its typical for womens shoes to use the goodyear welt, and since i wanted it made in a way that it wouldn't make her foot look wide. So i did the stitching like that of the Blake welt - done my hand. there's a lot to be desired on this first build. some uneven parts on the shoe and some parts which could have been done better. these will have its own laces when she starts wearing these. She selected the design from the internet and we changed it a bit with the choice of leather. Sadly I couldn't put any more linings on it since the suede is thick. and i had to put a toe stiffener on. If anyone wants to see how i got to this point, please do say so. i have some more pictures
  15. Hi. This is my first post so please be kind. I have searched the forums and couldn't find what I am looking for. I would like some advice on what to do with the metal plates that are sometimes on lasts? I can't tack through it when lasting shoes. My first pair of lasts I drilled them off but that was a slow and painful process. But I have just brought a few more second hand lasts and they all have metal plates. Is there an easy way to remove them? I have thought about covering the bottom of the last with thick soling leather but am worried this will change the shape of the finished shoe? I just can't find any information on what to do about them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  16. I recently ordered a pair of brand new plastic shoe lasts from a new supplier who produces components for shoe making industry and also sell his products to retail buyers – www.shamrockarts.etsy.com I just received the shoe lasts in the mail, and I'm very happy with them. The item arrived in excellent condition. The seller was very helpful in choosing the right size. I only bought one pair from at first as a test and I must say I'm super happy I love them! Highly recommended.
  17. Hello, I am a new member here. I am a new shoemaker based in France and I need to buy a sewing machine to sew the shoes upper. I have experience with post bed one needle sewing machine. I learned to used it in Shoemaking school and when I was in Indonesia. Now I need a sewing machine to work here in France. I don't have a huge budget and I have been looking around for used post bed sewing machine but they are all too expensive for me. I am thinking to buy something cheap first like vintage SINGER sewing machine 99k and when I got money I buy the post bed machine. But I'm afraid it won't work well. I am thinking to get me vintage SINGER 29K but then it doesnt have roller foot, and I don't have experience in stitching upper with walking foot. Now I found a flat bed sewing machine from SIECK that seems good, the price is still a bit high but I can cope with it, it is PFAFF Kl. 143-4 single needle flat bed sewing machine with motor 220v and roller foot. This PFAFF machine cost me 612,5 euros already included VAT and shipping. But it is still a flatbed, I have experience stitching upper on a flatbed is not really that easy but I can cope with it. I still need your advice about this. The question is, should I buy vintage machine like SINGER 29k, or sewing machine like SINGER 99k (I saw this can sew leather too), or this PFAFF 143-4 sewing machine? My work is mostly women shoes. Here I attached one of my work for example. I am using soft not thick leather. Thank you so much for your time. Earlene A. Agripina www.earlenechen.wix.com/myleatherworld
  18. Hello! I am a beginner shoemaker and have been trying to figure out an affordable and dependable way to sand and shape leather soles and heels. I purchased a harbor freight belt sander that broke down very quickly. Then I purchased a black and decker grinder that was modified by a shoemaker that exploded and almost took my eye out! Anyways, I would love to hear what people are using to shape leather that isn't a huge investment like the industrial ones but one I can use at home and feels safe. Can anyone recommend perhaps a better brand for a belt sander? Regards, Maia
  19. I have for local pickup in the S.F. Bay Area / Marin, a pretty awesome lot, including how to make western boots and shoe books, 31-15 sewing machine with roller foot, hardwood stitching pony, linen thread , hardware, tools,...feel free to ask questions. Sorry, can't figure out how to make my photos small enough to post, but here's a link.. https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/art/5629871581.html
  20. We purchased this Consew Double Needle Post Machine recently. It was purchased brand new from the manufacturer. We thought it would work for our business, but instead it has sat unused in our art studio. We tried using it once or twice, but discovered that it is most definitely the wrong machine for our needs. It is technically in Like NEW condition, with no signs of wear. We've proactively serviced it to ensure that it is ready for the new owner. This machine would be better suited for a saddle maker or a company specializing in leather/upholstery fabric furniture, please see Full Specs below. This machine comes with the table and a servo motor. We are selling it for a few thousand less than what we paid in hopes it will sell quickly. Willing to accept reasonable offers. We are asking $3800 for this machine, actually selling it for a few thousand dollars less than what we paid in hopes it will sell quickly. Willing to accept reasonable offers only. We are unable to ship, due to its weight and size. Instead we are willing to deliver it anywhere within California for an additional $200. California buyers only. Local pick up is also acceptable. This machine is currently listed on EBAY, but I can pull auction if someone on this forum is interested. FULL SPECIFICATIONS: Model # 369RB-2 Double Needle, 1/4" Gauge- 135x17 Walking Foot Speed, Max (S.P.M)- 2200 Clearance Under Pressure Foot- 11/32" (8.5mm) Stitch Length- 5 s.p.i (5mm) Bed Size- 7"x20 3/8" (177mm x 518mm) APPLICATIONS: For sewing medium to medium heavy-weight fabrics. Leather, canvas, vinyl, synthetics, and various coated and laminated materials Designed for sewing operations which require decorative or functional angular stitching such as collars, pockets, shoe uppers, auto, boat and furniture upholstery, slacks, shirts, etc... Designed for stitching such products as overalls, raincoats, luggage, travelware accessories, bags, umbrella's, awnings, covers, tarpaulins, tents, wearing apparel, outdoor clothing, underwear, etc. General/parallel two-needle stitching with split bar for making even angle turns. Suitable for stitching uneven, hollow, tubular and curved articles FEATURES: Compound feed, walking foot mechanism assures perfect feeding of sewing material Large hooks and bobbin cases with their own thread take-up mechanism assure uniform and perfect stitching with minimum bobbin changes Easy operation of disengage able right and left needle bars by use of finger-touch lever Centra-Lube, semi-automatic lubrication system Oil fed take-up Stitches per minute 2200 Reverse Stitching Various gauge sets available Safety clutch protects the hooks from being damaged
  21. Tippmann BOSS Stitcher, brand new condition. I purchased this machine after shoe school but never used it (aside from threading and testing!). I do have the box plus all accessories PLUS flatbead attachment ($135 value). $1000 plus shipping (If you are local, I will deliver)
  22. Hi Everyone, I am making my first pair of shoes, following Andrew Wrigley's YouTube guide and using a pair of used lasts off Ebay. The lasts come with a metal plate on the heel, as it seems many lasts two. I am now at the point where I am lasting the upper, and am running into a problem. The metal plate is preventing me from nailing the heel into the last. So two questions. First, what is the metal plate there for? Second, should I be removing it before lasting the upper? Thanks! Joe
  23. Hi everyone, I recently purchased a brand new Consew 199R-1A (specifications here: http://www.consew.com/View/Consew-Model-199R-1A-1). I've been having some troubles with it (details below) and would like to ask the members of the forum these questions: -Did I buy the wrong machine or am I misusing it? -Is this sort of quality to be expected from Consew? -If so, can you recommend a zig-zag machine for medium-weight suede that would be less of a headache? -If not, is it possible that I bought a lemon? and finally, -Should I try returning or selling this machine and getting a different one? Background information: A couple of weeks ago, I read a lot of the information on the LWN forums about sewing machines and decided that Consew seemed like a reputable brand. I make rock climbing shoes from 3-4 oz. cowhide suede (seems like this is usually referred to as a chap split). All of the critical seams in these shoes are abutted seams, which require a zig-zag sewing machine. One seam in each shoe is overlapped - so the machine has to stitch through two layers of suede - but the machine doesn't need to step up or down over the edge of the seam. From this I concluded (perhaps erroneously) that I wouldn't need a walking foot machine. With all this in mind, I ordered my Consew 199R-1A through a local dealer. When the dealer received it, I joined him in his store to help assemble the machine and learn about it. I was surprised to find that while the parts seemed solid, the machine did not seem designed for assembly or serviceability, and some parts, like the stitch length regulator, stuck quite badly. The dealer and I unstuck some parts, adjusted the machine, and then I tested it with the suede I was using at the time. Since the machine performed well, I took it home. However, within a week, when a new order of different suede came in, I started breaking needles. It seemed like the needles were breaking because either the timing was off (I could see them hitting the hook), or because the suede was deflecting them into the hook. I stepped up to 135x8 DIA needles in size 18 and was able to finish the rock climbing shoes I was making at the time. However, in the course of solving my needle problem, I inserted and removed needles probably 50+ times. About another week later, the threads in the needle post for the set screw which holds the needle in are stripped. The set screw no longer locks the needle in place. I've looked at the set screw, and its threads seem fine. Based on the above information and on Consew's reputation, do you think it's likely that I'll continue to have problems with this machine? Thanks in advance for your input. -Laura
  24. Hi All, I was wondering if anyone has used Aquilim 315 in lasting shoes? and for soles? How does it holdup when it gets wet? Is it easy to remove when it gets on the finished part of the leather? Does it hold up well for soles? Does it need the waterproofing solution to be used for shoes? Much appreciated...
  25. Hello All... Firstly, I am so happy to have found this helpful forum where I've read thru no less than 500 posts for various things! What a great community. I learned to make shoes while living in Barcelona, from a shoemaker who made beautiful bespoke men's dress shoes and ONLY spoke Italian/Spanish/Catalan. Needless to say, I only have small household type fluency in Spanish and I feel like I am missing some holes in my education that I'm hoping this community can help confirm/deny some thoughts. His terminology was also quite different from what I see in the US. -insoles- use buffed 5-7 iron shoulders or 7-9 iron bends? -midsoles and outsoles (cemented construction)- 8-14 iron? -toe puffs- 4-5 iron belly? - Does anyone have a US contact for Oak Bark Tanned sole bends that are not too expensive (less than $15/lb)? -Please oh Please! Does anyone know where I can find a premade sole press outside ebay, craigslist? Not one of those crazy industrial machines, just a frame with an inflatable bladder for small manufacture? -Does anyone know where I can find premade, fake welts, stitched in the US? I have searched Southern Leather, RJF, Springfield, Wickett, Zack White, Hide House, Goliger, Maverick, leathercrafttools.com, Southern Leather, Cobblersupplies.com, JR leather, J and FJ, Ohio Bag, even Tandy.....I live in Philadelphia, and online is great. Here's a pic of my first shoes made. Any help or info is greatly appreciated, Faye
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