Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Counter, Toe Box, and Final Lasting

Time to get going on the structure.

I know - this first picture is a re-post, but it's in here to show different things.

I cut the counter out of the same orange suede I used on the insoles.  In class, we used split shoulder (tooling leather), but I don't have a splitter, and I'm thinking that the suede is about the same thickness.  I soaked it for a couple of hours in water, and then spread Hirschkleber (elk hoof glue) all over one side.  I applied the counter to the back of the last, on top of the lining, but under the outer leather, and lubed up the outside with the hirschkleber.  In the photo, the counter is the brown thing on the back of the shoe. 

The white, semi-circle piece is the toe box (also known as a toe puff) - it's a thermo-molding material.

You put glue on the white stuff and on the toe of the shoe, and let it dry.  Then heat it up in a toaster oven (I got one on clearance at Fred Meyer for $20!) until it's floppy, and quickly stretch it over the toe of the shoe.  While it's still warm, you can use scissors to trim off the excess material at the feather line.  

Then, I used a file to sand down the edges of the toe box, so there won't be a visible line on the outside of the shoe. 
I also took the shoes up to the belt sander and ground down the wrinkles in the lining (on the insole) and trimmed away the excess material there.
Time to finish lasting!  A quick swipe of glue on the insole and the black suede, and a generous application of shoe stretch, and it's ready for nails.

My ghetto lasting stand is working just fine. 
Here's how they're looking at the moment.  Next, I need to trim and sand down the wrinkles on the black suede, like I did on the liner, then fill in the bottom with some cork.  Then soles - which I'm going to make out of leather - yet something else I've never done.  These shoes have a lot of experiments in them.  Perhaps I should have started with a more standard pump...