YinTx

Or, How not To Sharpen It

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Wow, so I was watching some amazing work on making shoes, such as these, which are nice enough to make me want a pair:

 

 

when I came across this other little ditty, showing a representative artisan from a world renowned fashion house making high end women's shoes.. jump to about 5:38 in the video to see how he maintains the fine edge on his blades...  and then continue watching as he struggles to get it to cut anything!  He resorts to using it like a saw, hacking away at the leather.

 

 

Count me floored.

YinTx

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Watching that cat use that steel, I thought he was intentionally dulling the blade.

 

 

 

 

 

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Let's be fair here.  It has been quite a few years since this guy was an apprentice and had to sharpen anything.  Also, this video is a demo at a shoe show and he didn't have anything that looked like a stone on his workbench.  If that was an abrasive coated steel, then I imagine the knife was a little duller than when he started.  That, or for some reason, he was trying to cut the end off the steel.

Art

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Ouch. 

Adding to what Art said looks like the guy was taken out of his element and thrown into a display setting for the show. I could be totally wrong but looked like he just wanted to be at his work bench where everything was in its proper place like it has been for who knows how many years. Some people do not do well in that setting at all, regardless how well they do in there normal place of work. 

That first video is pretty cool, well done and its always nice to see craftsman doing stuff like that. Always make it seem so easy. 

Nice old 31 made it in the shot too. 

Edited by MADMAX22

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That Parkman video was neat, but again, no mention of where all the nails went that they hammered into the last. Just boggles my mind.

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The Parkman video is primarily a advertisement piece.  Their prospective customers have little desire to sit through the entire shoe making process.  All of the nails that are put through the sole and into the last are removed.  The nails around the periphery are removed when the welt is sewn to the foundation or insole and upper, the nails are there  to hold the tightened upper for sewing.  Makers remove the nails in a variety of ways and orders depending solely on their preference.  There are usually only two or three nails holding the insole to the last in the middle of the insole.  It makes it a whole lot easier to take the last out of the shoe if you remove these, and a whole lot easier to remove these if you haven't sewn on the outsole.

Art

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Heh, yah first thing that came to my mind was, "huh, been a while since you've sharpened something, yah?"  Occurred to me that using the backside of the shoe box lid he was working off of would have been a better strop, but the technique would not have sufficed.

I did really enjoy the Paul Parkman video, I've been fascinated by shoe making lately.  I can see how this has become a lost art, and dying business, with machines largely taking over and making similar styled shoes in way less time.  I am surprised there are still individuals out there making them by hand, watching the factory work it seems they can be fabricated with nearly equivalent levels of quality as well with the right operators.  There's another video on John Lobb shoes, they sell for  British Sterling 4,000, and take six months to make, using same tools they used 100 years ago.  Amazing.  Half of the work is in making shoe lasts, they have a collection of 15,000 of them from their customers over the years.

I have to wonder how many shoes you can make on a last before the nail holes destroy them?

YinTx

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3 hours ago, Art said:

The Parkman video is primarily a advertisement piece.  Their prospective customers have little desire to sit through the entire shoe making process.  All of the nails that are put through the sole and into the last are removed.  The nails around the periphery are removed when the welt is sewn to the foundation or insole and upper, the nails are there  to hold the tightened upper for sewing.  Makers remove the nails in a variety of ways and orders depending solely on their preference.  There are usually only two or three nails holding the insole to the last in the middle of the insole.  It makes it a whole lot easier to take the last out of the shoe if you remove these, and a whole lot easier to remove these if you haven't sewn on the outsole.

Art

 Thanks Art, that has been bugging me for about 2 months now. None of the video as I have seen ever show them removing the nails. Now it makes more sense to my "carpenter brain". Do they use any glue when attaching the upper to the last? So, it would stay put as they pull the nails?

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I don't remember the maker, but I saw a special on a London shoe maker who made shoes pretty much like they did 100 years ago. Almost his entire shop was full of lasts that he makes for every person he has ever made a shoe for. 

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Probably John Lobb shoes,

 

YinTx

They mentioned there were about 15,000 lasts there.  Including Royalty.

 

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I was rather amazed at the Ferragamo guy's sharpening technique.  Wow.  But, I threw the video up on screen and continued to watch in the background as I was doing other things.  It looks like he finally gave up on his sharpening technique at about 48:30 and opened a brand new Tina-messer knife!  Now, we all know how un-sharp knives are straight out of the package these days, but it works better than his original.  He also shows MUCH better technique sharpening that one at around 54:30 or so, which makes me wonder if he was originally sharpening the body of the blade and dulling toward the tip so as to skive the inner layer of leather thin without thinning the upper leather?

Also, at 50:45 or so, you see him removing the tacks from the shoe .... so there ya go, Bikermutt!  They mostly come out, except for it looks like a few at the toe and heel.

After watching this video, I now also understand the shape of a cobbler's hammer.  That swoopy head design makes sense.   Who knew?

Bill

 

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Thanks, I hadn't had time to watch the second video yet. I'll check it out.

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