Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

London intensive shoemaking course Day 3, Week 1

Day 3 already and our intrepid shoemakers are nearing the completion of the lasting stage. I tell you what though, they don't know they are alive they have it so easy. The master shoemaker who trained us spent the first two weeks of his shoemaking life straightening the nails his master had used and thrown to the floor. Baptism by fire, sorting the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys, whatever you want to call it. Maybe we should introduce that into our course...

Today started with lasting the stiffener in the heel part of the shoe and lasting it down. After lasting the fore part tightly, the stiffener was pasted into place and pulled down.

The upper, lining and stiffener are pulled and nailed into place up to just behind the joint and the excess leather is trimmed off.

The nails are then knocked down with a hammer to secure everything.

Once the heel area is lasted, they moved on to the fore part. First they lasted only the lining.

From here the excess is trimmed off; the nails knocked down; and the toe puff started.

After pasting the lining, they lasted on the toe puff.

We then dried the puffs and started the process of shaping them and making sure they are a pair. This is done with a rasp.

The last stage was to get rid of the excess on the under side and sharpen up the feather edge.

Ready for the upper to be lasted over - see the pair in the middle on the bottom shelf.

Nice work guys!

Until tomorrow, happy shoemaking!

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