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Metal Stilletto heel blocks

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You have all seen them, the solid metal heel blocks, with no tube on (mostly) the more designer type stiletto heels. Usually with a screw in top piece which if worn to far and need drilling out is a BUGGER!

any one got any neat tricks to easing the replacement of these?



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Sykes Pickavant Screw removal tools from car spares if nowhere else.

(other types and makes dont work like this)

Comprises of several splined bars of various thickness's pick the one neares to the screw size, drill a hole jusr smaller than the bar diameter and hammer the bar in. There is then a nut which fits over the bar and you can then use a spanner to undo the screw. Ive had one since the late 60s when custom cars were all the rage and have used mine over 500 times, worth every penny I paid for it, think it was about a tenner.


Another option. Using a Dremmel fitted with a cutting disc (very thin) cut off the top 2mm of the heel leaving the top of the screw or pin exposed. Putting a thicker top-piece on after means customer dont feel the difference in hieght.

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If all else fail's, Drill a smaller hole down the centre of the pin/screw, then put a small blob of Superglue down the hole and knock in a wood peg, If the punter wants rubber, cut out a piece of vaulkatop and attach with a bifricated rivet, I also put a bit of super glue on the the base of the heel before I knock the top piece on (extra strenth as the bif rivett isn't as strong as a attaching pin)

If the punter wants steel, I use a 101 attaching pin, and sharpen it at the end so in goes into the wood peg easily.

I find this way is often succesful when all else fail's. :D

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I was under the impression that you were having trouble drilling them?


If this is he case then you cant drill to insert the wooden peg!

Provided that you can drill them and I have not yet come accross any ladies heel blocks that I have not been able to drill then any method of fixing a top-piece that survives until worn out passes the test of time, but be a bit cautious on how hard you hit the top-piece as there is no room for expansion and the block could split if the Peg is in tight.

A method used years ago involved the use of Rawlplugs to fill the hole as this allowed for a certain amount of expansion. Dont know if you can still buy these things though as they were originally made for the carpenters to use on the Ark!

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I've always found the shoe mentioned quite easy to drill :?

maybe It's one I haven't come across :shock:


So have I but there were quite a few posts very early on about Drill Bits and drilling in general, many, well not many, but a few were having trouble drilling Stilettos. I guess it is not until you have drilled a few hundred that you can recognise which are the easy and which are the hard ones. There is one, as there was one previously that is of a steel that is almost impossible to drill. It will allow the Pin or Screw to be drilled but if the block is worn and you have to lower it then there is only a Cobalt drill that will do the trick. However, these bits have there downsides in that they are expencive and will not take to the slightest bend, as they are prone to shattering. Also if you drill normal steel or even spring steel tubes the bit will come straight through the side if you dont have the block 100% upright.

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I've never used a cobalt drill so I can't comment on that Hugh :oops: . To be honest, if I have that much trouble (which I don't normally)I'll advise the customer of the problem, then tell them of my intentions. Lower them a little, extract the tube and replace with a new one, build it back up, and replace the tip.

It is almost impossible to do a completley invisible build up on some stilletos,

so if you tell the customer first you can cover your arse.


I've had a badly damaged pair in today, I might take some pics on how I rebuild them. Might be helpfull to some folk. :?

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uk900. you went off course a bit there, we were discussing SOLID steel heel blocks not tube built. Very easy to get side tracked though.


cobal bits are used in Precision Engineering and will actually drill out a normal high Speed Steel bit if you are carefull and take it slow, no use with a drill without speed control though.


It is possible to carry out a completely invisible build or repair to Kurb / Dog damaged heel blocks. The secret is in the finish using Cellulose fine surface fillers (used to be called Cellulose Putty). Fibre Glass paste (for the deeper holes 1st) Several grades of Wet & Dry using soap and the use of Air Brushing techniques using Acrylic colours from the Art shops, these can be mixed with high build agents to give bulk. Metalics, Satin, Pearl, and Antique finishes are all possible with the right equipment . I leaned by having friends in Boat building (Resin mixing using 7 different products to acheive differing results) and Car body finishers. Suprising what you can do with Custom Car building skills (covering scratches etc.).


The hardest part though is as you say, building the buggers up in the first place. Thought I had got it right many times only to find after final finish that the darn thing was off centre when put down on the counter.


A number of times I have had to build a complete new blocks due to being a little to adventurous, that's where the boat building blokes tuition came in handy to give the block its strength.


Hey this is like work!!!!! I've given it up, I think I'll go and sit out in the Rain and wash the silly thoughts away.

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Yeah, just looked back through the posts, forgot what Lee had said in the first place :oops:

I've used various techneques in the past with fillers etc... but sometimes it's easier to do a complete heel replacement.

matcing colours can sometimes be apain, I've got dozens of sprays & paints, but with todays wierd & wonderfull colours it can still be quite difficult to match.

Sometimes it's more or less impossible to get a exact match without going to ridiculous lengths.

Customers are happy when they see you've made an effort. I like to explain to them what we will have to do to get them back to the original state, that way you form a bond with them and they apreciate you're efforts and become a loyal customer.


Think I'll join ya in the rain :lol: I was drawing pictures last night on lee's topic, about key boards.. I went out for a pint after... I had a chuckle to myself... I think I need a Rake-out :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :P

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I think that is where many go wrong, they dont involve the customer.

If they know what to expect and you tell them you will do your best with a very difficult job, then they expect the worst and get a pleasant surprise.


What is aceptable to you or I and every other repairer may be a total mess in the customers eyes as they are expecting perfection. Pait them a picture beforehand and they dont get a nasty surprise.


If you get stuck with a colour, B & Q will match it with their colour matching service, worth a try if all else fails.

Artists shops sell a colour wheel with every colour and combination on it, on the back tells you the mix, 1 part red, 4 parts white, 2 parts green etc.

I've used mine for years and i now dont need to look up a colour as its carried in my head along with a load of other useless crap. Quite expencive now though, think they are about £60, I do watercolour and Acrilic painting so I did not get it just for cobbling.


Lady Esquire = Acrylic Paint = Silk Vinyl Emulsion = B&Q

I use their White as a base mixer to add all the other colours to (artists small acrylic tubes).

Using 4 spray cans at once to get a mix can be a tad on the hit & miss side, though it works well will the addition of Gold/Silver to get the Metalics/Pewters/Bronzes based colours.


I just like pissing about, but get satisfaction from the end result.

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Pissing about, I'm the worlds worst... I'll mess about with a crappy old shoe on and off all day to try and do a good job.


My two lads laugh at me, but thats the reason I can afford to employ em both, You might not always get the price you want for the time put in, but you'll have a customer for life.


So "Pissing about" is a good attribute I think :shock:

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