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AriShaster

Looking to get first machine for footwear making, any thoughts on singer 29 and Politype leather patcher clones?

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Im not sure what this forums thoughts are on making footwear and using machines for it, but I would be curious what you all think with regards to that. So in looking for a footwear machine for leather footwear, the two by far most prominent ones are chinese clones of the Singer 29 in either a short 12 inch arm or longer arm variant, and the newly imfamous 115 dollar Politype clone leather patcher. Neither of which come motorized, all of which are sold in some rebranded name or another like techsew, axis, yequin, etc, which makes understanding it all the more difficult for getting parts. If anyone has either and can comment on the pros and cons of working with either machine I would be grateful.

SingerPolitype clones.png

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The Singer 29 and Adler 30 class top universal feed machines are known as shoe and boot "patchers." They are staples in the shoe "repair" business, not so much in the shoe manufacturing business. In order to get recommendations for a first machine that is used to make, rather than repair shoes, you need to explain what type of shoes you plan to make. Links and/or photos will help define your end game.

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1 hour ago, Wizcrafts said:

The Singer 29 and Adler 30 class top universal feed machines are known as shoe and boot "patchers." They are staples in the shoe "repair" business, not so much in the shoe manufacturing business. In order to get recommendations for a first machine that is used to make, rather than repair shoes, you need to explain what type of shoes you plan to make. Links and/or photos will help define your end game.

I am not particularly sure of the correct terminology for the methods of footwear making, but I would like to do something along the lines of inward style leather footwear, where the sole is more proportioned to the sole of the foot as opposed to being larger to accommodate an outward stitching as are seen in many boots. The boot on the right has what I am trying to do. I get the idea the sole is the most difficult part to get done at this point, yes? I would also like to make myself a pair of winter boots soon as well that are about 12 inches high.

boot type.png

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Outsoles are usually edge sewn on a curved needle and awl lockstitch machine, like the Landis 12 series machines found in most shoe repair shops. Sometimes the soles are sewn from inside the upside down shoe. The machine that does this is called a McKay machine and it is a chainstitcher. The chain lies inside the shoe or boot and gets covered by an insole pad. The seams and decorative patterns on the uppers can be sewn on a zig zag or a straight stitch roller foot machine. Sometimes a double or triple needle machine is used, as is done on Redwing work boots. Because the inside thread is hidden a chainstitch machine is sometimes used.

There are lots of videos on YouTube demonstrating the use of these machines on shoes and boots. I recommend that you watch everything published by our friend and advertiser Lisa Sorrell. Her YouTube channel is called "It's a Boot Life."

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33 minutes ago, Wizcrafts said:

Outsoles are usually edge sewn on a curved needle and awl lockstitch machine, like the Landis 12 series machines found in most shoe repair shops. Sometimes the soles are sewn from inside the upside down shoe. The machine that does this is called a McKay machine and it is a chainstitcher. The chain lies inside the shoe or boot and gets covered by an insole pad. The seams and decorative patterns on the uppers can be sewn on a zig zag or a straight stitch roller foot machine. Sometimes a double or triple needle machine is used, as is done on Redwing work boots. Because the inside thread is hidden a chainstitch machine is sometimes used.

There are lots of videos on YouTube demonstrating the use of these machines on shoes and boots. I recommend that you watch everything published by our friend and advertiser Lisa Sorrell.

Any other channels for different styles? Im not particularly into cowboy boots, but from what it seems, most of the sole area work is done by hand initially. The rest appears to be doable with something like one of the patching machines that I linked. The 115 dollar one appears to be actually based off of a bradbury machine: https://sewalot.com/bradbury_sewing_machines.htm 

Heres a piece I would like to be able to recreate. I think the term for sole making may have been also called 'lasting" at least from a local company called dehner boot company.

 

322314_BL.jpg

Edited by AriShaster

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I´m not a boot or shoe maker but this one looks like vulcanized / directly molded sole.

Do not expect that you can fabricate top notch shoes with a shoe patcher machine. The machines you have shown above a repair machines (resewing seams replacing straps and zippers and the like) and not fabrication machines. Making shoes often requires more than 1 sewing machine. Before you start looking for sewing machine better learn how boot / shoes are made and what materials (not just a rubber sole and some leather) and tools machines are required.

Maybe visiting a shoe/ boot making class is a good idea or find something online like: 

https://icanmakeshoes.com/online-courses/

or similar.

Edited by Constabulary

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8 hours ago, AriShaster said:

The rest appears to be doable with something like one of the patching machines that I linked. The 115 dollar one appears to be actually based off of a bradbury machine

Don't expect professional results from one of those Chinese or Vietnamese patch machines.

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You are correct, those are lasted, meaning a shoe shaped last of the correct size was used to make the boot.  The upper was put together first.  The midsole is attached to the last and then the upper is stretched over the last and attached to the sole, via glue or stitches.  Once that is done, the outer sole is attached.

The shoe you want to create uses a cup sole that is specifically made for a particular last.  I seriously doubt you will be able to pick them up for one-offs.

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8 hours ago, Constabulary said:

I´m not a boot or shoe maker but this one looks like vulcanized / directly molded sole.

Do not expect that you can fabricate top notch shoes with a shoe patcher machine. The machines you have shown above a repair machines (resewing seams replacing straps and zippers and the like) and not fabrication machines. Making shoes often requires more than 1 sewing machine. Before you start looking for sewing machine better learn how boot / shoes are made and what materials (not just a rubber sole and some leather) and tools machines are required.

Maybe visiting a shoe/ boot making class is a good idea or find something online like: 

https://icanmakeshoes.com/online-courses/

or similar.

And what machines are that?

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41 minutes ago, Aven said:

You are correct, those are lasted, meaning a shoe shaped last of the correct size was used to make the boot.  The upper was put together first.  The midsole is attached to the last and then the upper is stretched over the last and attached to the sole, via glue or stitches.  Once that is done, the outer sole is attached.

The shoe you want to create uses a cup sole that is specifically made for a particular last.  I seriously doubt you will be able to pick them up for one-offs.

Ya its a rubber molded cup sole, though I really dont intend on going that route and would probably use a leather or sheet rubber sole. Any advice? I am hoping I can do most of the stitch work with either of the two machines listed, but I am looking for input on them. 

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2 hours ago, Wizcrafts said:

Don't expect professional results from one of those Chinese or Vietnamese patch machines.

Does that mean you recommend the singer 29 clone? 

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When I look at the seams most likely a double needle post bed machine with shifted needles. Something like a GOLDEN WHEEL CS-820 or Techsew 830-2 or old machines like Singer 52w or s Singer 236 (don`t know the double needle sub classes) or something similar.

But as I said, I´m not s shoe maker.

Just now, AriShaster said:

Does that mean you recommend the singer 29 clone? 

I´m sure he does not - the 29K is also a patching / repair machine but a bit more advanced design but it is basically doing the same job.

Edited by Constabulary

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12 minutes ago, Constabulary said:

When I look at the seams most likely a double needle post bed machine with shifted needles. Something like a GOLDEN WHEEL CS-820 or Techsew 830-2 or old machines like Singer 52w or s Singer 236 (don`t know the double needle sub classes) or something similar.

But as I said, I´m not s shoe maker.

I´m sure he does not - the 29K is also a patching / repair machine but a bit more advanced design but it is basically doing the same job.

I see, so one of those high post bed machines. I was watching a video on some doing a repair with them and he commented on how often the bed is simply to big, and its obvious something similar can be accomplished much more easily with say the singer clone. I havent seen many of those high post machines however, and so far the most ideal one has been a puritian leather stitcher like this. Is puritan the only one that makes them like this? They are the only ones I have seen doing this style with an extremely small bed.

 

s-l1600.jpg

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If you are wanting to make shoes / boots then a post bed to stitch the uppers and lining is the way to go. Examples: Cowboy 810 or 8810, Cobra 8810, Adler 888 or something along those lines. You can attach the welt by hand and hand stitch the sole. Or stitch the welt by hand and guy an outsole stitcher, like Wiz mentioned, to attach the sole. Not sure how much room you have or budget you have. 

 

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The Puritan is a heavy needle and awl machine - a totally different machine and very expensive. They are used for heavy work boot (like Red Wing) and is using extremely thick (often waxed) linen thread. Your appears to be a light weight / female fashion shoe.

Check these videos - from min 4.28 onward you see how shoe uppers are sewn (here a 1 need needle machine as it seems)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XpKTG6_nls

Here from min 2.27 onward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILu_6QpF0EU

This BTW is a video from a dealer showing a machine like the CS-810 (one needle - CS-820 is a double needle machine)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4jpqkAlyr4

This is a double needle post bed machine with shifted double needle:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inC_vlZhdG8

Just to give you an idea what kind of machines are often used for sewing shoe uppers.

 

I would recommend you check with a sewing machine dealer, tell him what you want to do and I´m sure he points you in the right direction.

 

Edited by Constabulary

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Check out the Chicago Shoe School.  It's not exactly next door, but it's closer than NYC or Portland.

https://www.chicagoschoolofshoemaking.com/

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4 hours ago, arashikage said:

If you are wanting to make shoes / boots then a post bed to stitch the uppers and lining is the way to go. Examples: Cowboy 810 or 8810, Cobra 8810, Adler 888 or something along those lines. You can attach the welt by hand and hand stitch the sole. Or stitch the welt by hand and guy an outsole stitcher, like Wiz mentioned, to attach the sole. Not sure how much room you have or budget you have. 

 

What is is the disadvantage with using a singer 29 style machine over that wheel style post bed? 

 

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For one, the bobbin size. The 29 does not have a big enough bobbin to do a pair of shoes. Second, the wheel provides constant pressure on the work and provides better control. Another, is you can change stitch per inch much easier on a post bed. I’m not sure you can change the number of stitches on all 29 models. Typically, different styles of shoes have a different stitch count. My Cowboy 810 can do 5 - 21 SPI, I believe.

I recommend checking out Marcell Mrsan’s channel. He mostly does shoes but the same principles apply in upper making.

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You seem fixated on using one of the patcher type machines to make your shoes, even though the advice here is that they're not suitable. A company called Robin Industries has posted a few times on here, advertising specialist shoe making machines. Good luck trying to make a decent pair of shoes with one of those cheap Chinese patchers.

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5 hours ago, arashikage said:

For one, the bobbin size. The 29 does not have a big enough bobbin to do a pair of shoes. Second, the wheel provides constant pressure on the work and provides better control. Another, is you can change stitch per inch much easier on a post bed. I’m not sure you can change the number of stitches on all 29 models. Typically, different styles of shoes have a different stitch count. My Cowboy 810 can do 5 - 21 SPI, I believe.

I recommend checking out Marcell Mrsan’s channel. He mostly does shoes but the same principles apply in upper making.

oh well I guess that makes obvious sense. The reason I was more interested in the singer 29 was because it was being sold for only 1200, while these wheel based sewers with a high post where all going for at least 3k plus or more. I will check out that channel.

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How about a used industrial post bed machine? Don´t know how your local market is or if you would consider shipping a machine from a dealer.... I even bought all my machines used but have to admit that I restored most of them by my self and I like tinkering. But that saved me a heap of $$$ (or €€€).

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As stated by @Constabulary above the company https://icanmakeshoes.com/online-courses would be a good place to learn the basics at small costs online using just a domestic machine, once you are happy with the basics you can move onto your more ambitious plans and find the right machine for your needs, which will most likely be second hand and a compromise, 

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Start with a used machine. The 810 models are the cheaper ones because they do not have a gear driven wheel. See if there is a sewing machine dealer near you and ask what they have available. Granted i got mine at auction but only paid $375 for a Cowboy 810. There's a facebook group called "Leather Tools for Sale" that has had post beds listed off and on. 

The Singer postbed model i was thinking of is the 51W.   

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@AriShaster are you wanting to make a pair of shoes (for yourself or a friend), or quantities for sale?

If it's the former, Jason Hovater has a very good video class on designing, patterning and making shoes. He works from a lastless system (socks and duct tape), which avoids the difficulty and expense of obtaining a suitable last. His method produces a rather slim sole, which I think is what you're after. (The outsole is cemented to a midsole, which is sewn to the turned in upper.) He mostly looks at hand methods but discusses machine sewing the uppers. In industry this is done on a variety of machines, some quite specialist, but I think that the majority of them can be done one a small cylinder machine with a little planning (as used to be common in the trade) or even a flat-bed if you're willing to do a little hand stitching. Jason hand sews the turn-in upper to the midsole as the appropriate machine (an insole stitcher, often called a Blake or MacKay stitcher) is very expensive, and not much good for much else. You get an awful lot of good information for the price of entry.



If you want to produce shoes for sale (especially in quantity or standard sizing), this is a somewhat complex area of the leatherworking business that will require a large investment in time, learning materials, physical materials, and machinery.

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4 hours ago, Matt S said:

@AriShaster are you wanting to make a pair of shoes (for yourself or a friend), or quantities for sale?

If it's the former, Jason Hovater has a very good video class on designing, patterning and making shoes. He works from a lastless system (socks and duct tape), which avoids the difficulty and expense of obtaining a suitable last. His method produces a rather slim sole, which I think is what you're after. (The outsole is cemented to a midsole, which is sewn to the turned in upper.) He mostly looks at hand methods but discusses machine sewing the uppers. In industry this is done on a variety of machines, some quite specialist, but I think that the majority of them can be done one a small cylinder machine with a little planning (as used to be common in the trade) or even a flat-bed if you're willing to do a little hand stitching. Jason hand sews the turn-in upper to the midsole as the appropriate machine (an insole stitcher, often called a Blake or MacKay stitcher) is very expensive, and not much good for much else. You get an awful lot of good information for the price of entry.



If you want to produce shoes for sale (especially in quantity or standard sizing), this is a somewhat complex area of the leatherworking business that will require a large investment in time, learning materials, physical materials, and machinery. Im not big into hand sewing, especially with leather given that its difficult enough to puncture it by hand with a needle.

Just for myself. I know people where saying I need so and so machine, and probably should have clarified I want this just for myself. My main interested are riding boots, and frontier boots with an emphasis on ergonomics using things like elastic like what you see with paddock boots or chaps. What is this planning and small cylinder machine planing you say used to be common? I will look into Jason Hovater.

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