Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Day 8 - Shoemaking Course

Good progress today.

Everyone finished their sole stitching and they have all moved on to heel building.

We had a comment asking if we use any form of nail or peg to attach the sole around the heel. We use nails to do this.
We use 20mm nails, knock them in to half way, clip them and use a nail punch to punch them under the surface of the sole.
Some makers use wooden pegs, but in England, we use nails.


And so to heel building. First up is the split lift or rand which goes around the edge of the heel. It helps to level up the curve of the heel and make it flatter.

The students had to skive the  split lift down to nothing.


Next come five notches and then some hammering to get it into a horse shoe shape.



Now to attach it. Again the students used paste and nails.


Once on, they had to trim with the knife and peen with the French hammer.

Some judicious skiving to flatten the surface followed, et voila! Attached and ready to go.



Next came the first heel lift, again using paste and nails.
Same routine, trim, peen and skive. This time, however, they started to shape the heel with their knives. At this stage the shoe begins to look like a real shoe. It's an exciting point to reach.


Two students are attaching the heel lifts, so we will review this stage again tomorrow when the rest catch up.

Another good day's work everyone!

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