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Hello all,


First off, Ill start by pointing out that I am not a shoe/boot maker and have never made a pair. I have absolutely no experience in this field although I have been leather crafting accessories for a few years. 


That said; I'd like to take a stab at making a rough pair of boots. I'm not really interested in learning how to carve a pair of lasts out of wood at this point as it seems that this is an art of its own. Rather, I'd like a more simple way of making a pair of lasts. I've done a bit of reading about using a pair of old boots/shoes to pour some sort of resin/foam into to get a rough last shape out of, then shaping it. The problem is, the only information I've found about a substance which can be nailed into without cracking is this smooth-on foam #25. Which apparently is dense and rigid enough to put a nail into, but flexible enough to avoid cracking, according to a user in another thread. This foam used in combination with a thin layer of bondo apparently will do the job for a couple of pairs of boots/shoes. Problem is, this foam is $185 a gallon. This is completely unreasonable for me as I'm just doing this as a hobby. I also wonder if this foam would be rigid enough to stretch the leather over without altering the shape of the "last". Is there some other resin or plastic combo or otherwise I could use to achieve a "nail-able" and rigid material? Could I just melt some recyclable HDPE? Or would that deform the shoe I plan on using to pour the substance into? I need something that won't hurt my wallet, and is hard enough that I can form leather with it, but not so rigid that it would crack when nailed into.


I really hope someone has some experience with this! 


Thanks again,



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The last are cheaper, but regular polyester resin would work for what your talking about

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Zayne, last are complex things.  One of the things that they are not is a copy of your feet.  And a shoes made on a bad last can mess up your feet.

Walrus Shoes carries a last making book and DVD.  I'd suggest getting both.  And if you want to chat about it, Larry, the owner or Walrus Shoe, is a very knowledgeable and helpful guy.

I realize you aren't interested in carving a pair of last, but the book will help you refine whatever you chose to use with proper measurements.

Edited by Aven
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