Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 14 August 2015

Carreducker Intensive Shoemaking Course - Days 5 to 10

Days 5 and 6

Welcome back shoemakers to the second instalment of our summer shoemaking course. Week 2! The welting awls took the brunt of our students' efforts this week. Any of you who have broken an awl before will know, it feels and sounds awful! Even worse when you then have to find and pull the broken blade out from your shoe...or your thumb! 

4 down
A sharp knife is always needed 
Attaching bristles - a 'favourite' activity
Welting done!

Trimming the upper, toe puff and lining ready for shanks and cork

Day 7

Day 7 moved our intrepid students onto stitching their soles. So channels were cut; threads made; and stitching begun

A bit of masking tape to protect the upper

Boning down the stitches inside the channel

Soles stitched

Hammering the soles to shape

Drying out the soles before gluing the channels closed

Days 8 and 9 - Heel building

Day 8 saw them making split lifts (rands) and building the heels. Lift by lift with paste and nails - no pegs in England!

Notching the split lift
Making split lifts
Trimming split lift
Preparing heel lifts


Peening, peening and more peening!

And a bit more peening

Day 10 - finishing the heels and finishing! The final push to the summit.

The last touches to the heels were trimming the seat; cutting the heel breast; and balancing the top piece.

Trimming the heel seat - carefully!

Cutting the heel breast

Last nail into the heel breast to close up a gap

Checking the balance of the heel with the top piece

With the top pieces on and nailed into place, we moved on to finishing, beginning with rasping.

And so, with 10 days done, we have 2 days left to make the shoes look beautiful - rasping, glassing, sanding, setting edges, inking, and polishing.

We will post the results next week.

Until then, happy shoemaking!