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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

Here we go now. The toe puff is nicely dried, hard, ready to continue the work.

First step is shaping to exaggerate the shape of the last – why? Easy: we want to have a nice, sharp shape in the toe, not something covered with several layers, so practically a last shaped potato.

Then we remove the nails, so we can do something about the wrinkles and the lasting allowance.

So get rid of the access – you just need a little, going under the stitches, not so much more. By the way… Toe puff has some important role, like providing shape for the shoe. If it doesn’t have lasting allowance, it is just not structured enough for that. Keep lasting allowance on your toe puffs!

Skiving.. on the last and the holdfast.. not an easy job, so not for beginners. There is no room for “trial and error”

make the final shaping with a good rasp..

And finish it with the handle of your hammer. Why – I can hear this question.. well. Let me explain. The upper must slide on the toe puff, if you want to achieve a smooth surface. Wood helps to make the surface really smooth.

Here we go – ready for lasting.

Apply glue, clean the brush on the upper – you are OK to continue lasting.

Cordovan is a thick leather – it can be stretched, it can be compressed – that is why the nails are not so close – same theory, what we used with the toe puff.

Ready for welting. You don’t need to wait.

The side is pretty dry, so let’s just remove a bunch of nails.

Dampen the holdfast a bit, get a good Koronya awl (did you realize how smooth I embed this self-promotion here? 🙂 ), and start welting!

STOP RIGHT HERE. Let me point you something interesting about the welt.. or maybe you will realize on your own…

Here it is… Do you see what I am showing you – the welt. Nothing happened with it, except sewing. It says flat without any adjustment. Go back two pics – that explains why.

Ready. Let it rest for a day.

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