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Shoe Repairer Forum

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more and more shoe repairers have moved into key cutting and into the supply of car keys , this naturally leads into doing auto locksmith and locksmith work and more complex key cutting disciplins , after all its not just yale 1a and mortice any more .

i suspect there are many posts asking for help in this area , thus why theres alot of posts on the subject , after all most shoe repairers are experts in shoe repairs so will ask less questions on the subject , it is the areas they are not experienced in that they will be asking for help with .

its good that those from other trades exist here to share their experience , if they wasnt and didnt would so many enter these areas of work.

the role of a shoe repairer has long since changed , many dabble in many pies to get the till ringing and not just in shoes .

this might go along way to answer why so many non shoe related posts exist , would you rather the locksmiths didnt share on the forum , or perhaps ban them all .

it is also rare to have a forum that is polite and helpful without abuse and ridicule where actual helpful advice and answers are given freely especially from one trade to another , you only need read other forums that are alot more elitist and unhelpful to see that this is rare.

im sure admin could close down the trade areas and locksmith areas and delete everyone who is not a shoe repairer leaving just the shoe related threads , im sure that would be an easy adjustment to make , though im sure it would not be beneficial for many and the forum would become very quiet.




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When i started working for my dad in 1981 at the age of 14 shoe repairs was our main trade and key cutting was a side line.

Over the years many things have changed (right place right time) and now we cut anything between 50-80 thousand keys a year.

As i type this my Silca F900 is currently cutting and engraving 500 abus padlock keys.

For the last 10 years the shoe repairing trade has nosedived due to lower cost shoes and materials and higher prices for glues and materials.

Most of what we saw would have been nearly as cheap to replace than repair sometimes cheaper to replace.

I decided last year to clear out all the shoe repair equipment and focus fully on what we are "Professional key cutters and bench locksmiths".

I was a very early adopter of car key programming with one of the very first AD100 machines to be sold by Hickleys and we did very well but times change and i could see

the investment not only in time but money as well so we slowly backed away as cheaper machines entered the market and the race to the bottom began.

The forum really helped focus my mind on the way ahead and although I WAS a shoe repairer I was never at the skill levels of many forum members.

I still do love to see leather work carried to good quality mens and ladies shoes but i am also glad we no longer do this work.

Many in the Trade look at the forum and think it is a great tool for the many differing skills required in todays market place.

I used to have access to the MLA forum years ago and they where never as helpful as the forum is, many wishing to keep things to themselves and very aloof (not all but some).

So in my opinion it does not need to change it's name but that's just my opinion.

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Its interesting really. I stepped away because my own business was struggling & began to move to other areas. I've steadily rebranded & now have two signs on the shop "Cobb-Lee's" one end & "Bikespeeds" the other. Eventually I think there will be a day when I remove Cobb-Lee's altogether. Sometimes rebranding is the key to staying current, even Meta did it!


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