Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Monday, 18 August 2014

Carreducker Intensive Shoemaking Course August 2014 Days 10, 11 and 12

And so our brave students started the final push to the summit of their shoe making mountain. With the heels built, they were ready for finishing.

Here are their finishing packs complete with rasps, sanding blocks and various grades of aluminium oxide paper.

Heavy rasping was followed by glassing and then the 3 kinds of paper until a smooth, blemish free finish was achieved on both the heels and the sole edges.

It was Blake's 21st birthday so the cake and champagne was enjoyed a day early. He even had the pleasure of some balloons!

With the sanding done, it came time to set the edges. Here are a selection of the tools of choice.

The final stage is inking and polishing, starting with the soles.

Last of all, late on Saturday afternoon, they pulled the lasts on the lasting jack and tried the shoes on. The moment of truth, as it were. Because the lasts are standard sizes, some fitted well and others required a bit of tweaking, but we managed to get a decent fit for everyone. Of course, if you give us enough time in advance, you can have a bespoke pair of lasts to work on if you decide to do the course.

What a sense of achievement for everyone. It really is something to have made a pair of shoes by hand in two weeks. All the students were very happy with their hard work and results. Well done to all of them from Deborah and myself. You guys were a lovely group. Nice work or jo da ho ho (spelling?) in Cantonese.

If you would like to try your hand at shoe making or pattern making with Carréducker, our next courses are in October 2014 and January 2015. Get in touch or look at the website

We will be setting exact dates for 2015 in September and will announce them here and on the website.

Until next time, happy shoe making!


Reuel Mercado said...

Hi Jimmy,
Love your Blog.
Just wondering what grits of sandpaper you use in finishing? Sole and heels?
Where can I find a rasp like the one in your student kit?

jimmyshoe said...

Hello Reuel, thanks for the comment. If you are a regular reader, please become a follower. We use 80, 120 and 240 grit aluminium oxide paper for finishing. And those rasps are from a shop in Tokyo called Otani
Best, James