Heel Building – the Traditional Method

Let’s talk about this a little bit. Why we have to see all the layers? Maybe it is a mold shoe heel, so they just want to fake leather layers – in this case it isn’t our business. But sometimes our handmade end up like this. What we can do against it?

For those tiny little lines – well, the thick glue is responsible. If you used glue – well you can’t get rid of it so much. The glue is really soft and flexible in the same time leather layers are hard – guess which layer will be sanded off earlier? Yes – the leather and the cement stays, Thats why you see it. Is there a solution for this tiny detail? And anyway do tiny little details do matter? Let me answer the second question first: yes. Those make these handmade shoes so awesome.

But the other answer is way more interesting: and that is the old way technique – wooden pegs and paste. You can actually build up a heel without any synthetic cement, so you won’t incorporate any glue layers between the rather ones. Isn’t it easy? (no).

Check the this gallery and feel free to try – it isn’t that difficult as it seems.

ps. We will learn later how to finish that edge glass shiny I promise.

oh.. before I forget. The propotion between the awl and the peg is very important. it should look ilk this:

As we don’t have 3 different sizes from the pegging awls, we use a leather piece to adjust the lenght.

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10 thoughts on “Heel Building – the Traditional Method”

  1. This is very good. Very helpful for repairman, shoemaker wannabe. I think the tiny lines add appeal. When burnished, can produce grain and antiqueish stack. I’ve never used edge iron, except for on end of finisher machine.
    Marcell, the first layer (rand) is that pretty close to the width and skive angle as the welt? And paste vs. cement. Is that hirshbucklers like you use in your shop? Thanks

      1. Yes you are right. I see way too much crap out here. Heel bases just crumble when being removed.’I try to save bases to reattach. It’s much better technique -handmade like the tutorial – I will start replacing bases like you build them. Thank you for this post.

  2. Marcell,

    On your paste (Hirshkleber), do you thin it down with water? If you do, how much?

    As always, Thanks! We appreciate your expertise and generosity.

  3. Greetings,

    Just going, by the photograph…the lenght of the
    awl blade should be 2/3 lenght of the peg?
    Is this correct?

    Many thanks….

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