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Stitching welted footwear without an outsoler!


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So you don’t own an outsole stitcher for what ever reason, well here’s what I’m sure will be a controversial alternative using a singer 29K

 

When I started my shop I couldn’t afford an outsole stitcher from the beginning and I couldn’t bring myself so give out welted footwear repairs that hadn’t been stitched. So I developed this technique and used it successfully for quite a few years until I got my first outsoler.

 

 

 

*****Its very important to stress, this method is beyond the design capabilities of a singer 29K and will cause excess wear , ONLY use this method if you have a spare 29K.*****

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So how’s it done well first of all you need to make a couple of modifications to the machine. The first is to the foot

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which will need the material grips ground of the bottom for two reasons.

1. To allow a little more room under the foot

2. To make sure the foot doesn’t mark the leather.

 

The second modification is to insert an altered washer under the tension rings again to allow a little more lift for the thickness involved.

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Then swap the needle with a 160 thickness, and begin stitching!

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Once finished the stitches look very neat, and although the thread is thin its worth remembering that its polyester so very strong, and the finished repair looks far more professional than with no stitches at all.

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Two other considerations with this method are, you will break a few of these lift springs

 

And it will take around 5 minutes a shoe to stitch.

 

Lee

 

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Although less than Ideal at the time, it did help build my reputation as it actually looked a far neater job than with my "proper" outsoler.

 

But I thought I would show others who may also be in that boat now, as it also creates a bit of sideways thinking at the same time.

 

Remember There's always two ways to do the same job..... (other than with a blake!)

 

Lee

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What about stitching the sole on by hand using a waxed twin?

Bloody hard work but better than using patcher thread :?

Keith

 

Ah but you have to be a proper cobbler to do that Keith :lol:

I used to use a battery drill in my last years to drill fine holes through like an Awl would make then use a Myers Awl or another make "Awl you need".

Drill had to go through from the welt side or you caught the upper as I did when 1st trying it.

 

When I test the method on the Patcher I have some 10g thick thread and very thick needles but I will still be soaking the soles 1st (after coating with adhesive and letting go bone dry). Looking forward to trying it.

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Thread thickness is irrelevant its thread strength thats important, polyester patching thread stitched in this manner is extremely strong.

 

Its also worth considering the history of welted shoes before undertaking this method.

 

When welted footwear first came into the history books the soles probably (hugh can tell me, he was there) weren't even bonded on just stitched, advancements with glues have meant that one manufacturer at least (that I can think off) of high end footwear don't even stitch welted footwear soles now when making them.

 

This technique aids the strong bond between the welt and the sole, its not a method to replace a waxed twin. But it can be used if like myself you had no alternative. I wouldn't have considered sitting down hand stitching on every pair, not economically viable.

 

This method was just about time allowable to make the job commercial.

By the way Keith, I would only go back to this way of stitching as a last resort having used one of "Standards" beautiful outsolers!

 

Lee

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What about stitching the sole on by hand using a waxed twin?

Bloody hard work but better than using patcher thread :?

Keith

 

Ah but you have to be a proper cobbler to do that Keith :lol:

 

I would say doing it by hand was easier!! And I would curtainly have Lee down as a so called "Proper Cobbler"

 

Hand stitching is so easy its untrue,,, But alot of old school think its the bees knees, theres more to being a proper cobbler than a bit of hand stitching :)

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Manufacturers still dont use adhesive if the sole is being stitched and the construction is the Goodyear method. Glueing and stitching a sewn welted shoe puts considerable strain upon the welt as it cant move of its own will when the sole is flexed. Stitching with waxed threads allows this to happen.

Not that I would envisage anyone not gluing soles on before they were stitched, its just a development that you have all grown up with. I'm sure Keith would be far happier selling you Rounding Channelling machines to go with the refurbished Goodyear.

 

Whatever the customer is happy with, if OK by them is OK by me.

Who is to say what is right and what is wrong.

I quite like Lees method, as when I 1st glued soles on before stitching I ran the welt round on a machine to compress the welt to the sole just as you do with the foot on the Patcher.

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Rounding and Channeling machines :shock:

 

Gawd Hugh, you need to get up to speed mate.

 

All modern finishers have grooving tools, thats if you can't do it with a knife :wink:

 

Oh, hang on, I suppose channeling is the best method ever? Whatever next?

 

Most customers that I used to serve that had a channeled pair of shoes hated it, for the reason that once the skive started started to wear and the stitches started to show they thought summat was wrong with the shoe or the repair.

 

I used to like showing of a nice pair of leather soles with the stitches all dropped in neat so I could boast how good my repairing was :D

 

Keith

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Sorry Hugh, but I do agree with Keith, I wouldn't want to swop my power unit for one of these older finishers. infact my power unit is out dated now, compared to some of the stuff coming through now.

 

I also believe that there are as good if not better repairers around today as when you were in your prime.

there may not be so many, but there is still quality out there.

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I think some folk have missed a vital piece of info here.

I totally agree with you both in that I would not be happy using antiquated machinery for todays business, that was not disputed. We were just saying that you cant get as good a finish on todays machines, plus I also agree that there are a select few who would knock spots off the quality produced years ago, not disputing thast fact either. The fact is though those who can produce thestandards do not do it on a daily basis like they did many years ago.

I reiterate, I am not saying the older machines were better, just that those few who can produce the goods can do it better on the machines with the facilities that you dont get on modern "Standard" finishers, or anyone elses for that matter unless there are some that I have not seen.

It's horses for courses.

You want as near as possible to perfection then the old one.

If you want reasonably good quality and speed with less dust then the modern "Standard" or equivelant machine from one of the current manufacturers.

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:lol: @ Hugh, give up Oldtimer, consider yourself beat on this topic, Like the old saying goes, "A bad craftsman will always blame his tools" It's all down to user ability

The fact is though those who can produce the standards do not do it on a daily basis like they did many years ago

 

I can create a pukka job on a daily basis & on any machinery provided, like I say, It's all down to user ability

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OK, how do you get an edge finish with molten ironed astral wax that comes up like glass if done properly, on a modern machine for starters.

I'm not aware that "Power Units" have Irons, i could be wrong though as I have only seen half a dozen. One had a hot melt container on the top years ago that dripped or layered wax onto the edges but it was not fully controllable. Too much/Too little/Too hot/Too cold.Too much trouble.

 

And what machine has a bottom scourer? Dont tell me you can get the same finish using a naumkeg. Possible by hand using 600 grade wet & dry but that takes far too long.

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I got a 1984 build WHB700, It has a cold black & brown iron with four variations of width, I only use JR soling leather which is pretty tough stuff, edge trimming on a correctly ground forepart cutter of the right width will give the correct profile (concaved middle with a lip top & bottom) to achieve a perfect finish when applied to the cold iron with a firm pressure

 

As for a Bottom Scourer, why would you what to ruin the fine finish of the JR sole?

 

Naumkeg... I hardly ever use mine

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Cold irons just compress Tel not put a layaer of wax on. you can heat them with friction or a blowlamp but hey it's supposed to be an iron for christs sake, would you iron your shirt with a cold iron.

20 year old machine I would not call modern although it is one that I would prefer to use over an alternative.

To explain the use of a bottom scourer will take far too long an yes I would use it on Hans's soles, good as they are if I was doing an exhibition type show repair.

 

Would a custom car enthusiast be satisfied with the factory finish on his car? Or would he build a higher gloss?

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Cold irons just compress Tel not put a layaer of wax on.

Oh is that so? You just have't knock every comment & achievement, don't ya

20 year old machine I would not call modern although it is one that I would prefer to use over an alternative.

Take a close look at a new one, there ain't much difference

To explain the use of a bottom scourer will take far too long an yes I would use it on Hans's soles, good as they are if I was doing an exhibition type show repair.

But, I ain't doing competition work, this is commercial repairing at its best, although I've created masterpieces for Meltonian competitions on said machinery

Would a custom car enthusiast be satisfied with the factory finish on his car? Or would he build a higher gloss?
:smt102
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