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Long time watching first time posting


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Good morning. 
I have spent a long time watching and learning from this forum and thought it was about time I said hello....

I have noticed a steady decline in people posting on the forum but see there’s lots of “views” on most posts? 

I do not have a long cobbling background but over the last couple of years I have developed a love for good quality leather boots..... I appreciate this is my love and it won’t be for everyone! 
I am just starting to offer extensive customisation and repair to leather footware that would justify the work as a service and have had a reasonable take up! 
 

I guess what I am saying is that it would be nice to hear from talk to people and see more about really good leather footware... (good not just expensive) 

I am hoping there will be a revival of quality and maintenance of footware in genera!

I am using all very old machines as that’s what I can understand and maintain. 
 

is there any proper old cobblers on here still in business or anyone else customising shoes as business? 

 

kind regards 

mat 

 

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2 hours ago, Mike at Vauxhall said:

Are you doing it as a hobby, a nice little side line or as your main business?

Mike. 

Hi Mike and thank you for replying!
 

All great things start as a side line..... so it would be great if it takes off and becomes a main business.

I am not looking to become a wealthy man and I have my first child coming along shortly so I won’t be committed to this as hard as someone very business driven! 

I am being honest when I say this came from a genuine interest in quality and serviceability, I have a few old machines that I use in my work almost daily....the shoe side actually very first started with a 1940’s shoe machine I won on eBay (didn’t think I would win for £30) lots of work later it’s running strong on its rebuilt original motor! 
 

I hope the general trend of “disposable” is coming to an end and people see the benefits of spending more at first and enjoying the savings later. 
 

I am posting on here because where the hell am I going to find someone to talk to about shoes ha ha 

Be great if someone could help me identify a part of my machine that I have no idea what it’s for and I would love to know! It’s 1940’s so assume it’s use is on leather.

it’s like a chubby stepped pulley? So slightly crowned middles with a ridge on one side and the surface of the wheels has small flats as if to give a continuous bumping to whatever you contact on the wheel, .... 

I will try to figure out pictures and take one tomorrow! 
 

 

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1 hour ago, x minit uk said:

It’s called an iron, it’s used for setting the edges on leather soles once they have been inked and waxed. Back in the day you would have heated irons .

So that wheel is an upgrade to my actual glazing irons? I will give it a try but I don’t have much faith ha ha I like my old iron! 
got a sole Groover blade ,shaft and collar turning up in the post today that hopefully I can adapt to fit the machine...

there’s a screw holding the cutter block on that I hope I can replace by threading the shaft of the groover.... it would be very optimistic to think I will have the appropriate die so I think I will be re-tapping the machine to metric and then cutting/ threading the cutter shaft to suit! 
 

fingers crossed neither are hardened ha ha 

will take a photo of the machine is a minute and would love it if someone has experience with one. 
I can’t find an oil suitable for the bearings.... they have reservoirs and I have tried my thickest oil (red steering box oil) and that still runs out when the bearings start warming. 
 

I suppose should also ask around to see if anyone has a spare bobbin for a very old what I believe is a K&B.... could just be the stand that’s k&b, will take a photo of that too. 
 

there’s a good story for that machine too! (£1 eBay purchase followed by the most exhaustive 4 man carry up two flights of stairs from a dark London cellar) 

took me hours and hours to figure out how the thread the bloody thing! 

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Pictures.... hopefully someone on here has used these before! 
 

clutch seems a little slippery on the stitcher.... I have to hand start it and if you slow down too much (going round the toe) it starts slipping and you have to hand start while rotating the shoe.... always a stressful moment ha ha
F3AD8C5B-3977-4196-B914-8E818520FC52.jpeg085F8642-019D-493A-BD11-59C3B56882FE.jpeg2AA5CDE8-ABB2-41DE-93F3-F9000F54FE58.jpeg7FD1A07C-5E4D-4DED-9EE8-EDB6F849DD96.jpeg69F3B750-9B5C-4312-8A7D-52D920108256.jpeg

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Best of luck with your venture, and congratulations on the upcoming addition to your family. I mainly do watch repairs and keys, not much cobbling or no leather work, so can't be of much help to you. One thing I would say as you go into a business/customer relationship is to make sure you manage your customer's expectations, sometimes they can be a bit of a nightmare. Something you might see as obvious, the customer might not, and it would need to be pointed out at the beginning of any work you do. 

Mike. 

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Thanks, child due in April so if I fall silent you know why ha ha

 

up until then I will keep posting until the old long standing cobblers and forum members trust I am not a internet troll and I don’t want there hard earned knowledge for free

 


I appreciate the advice, I like to explain to a customer how things work so they have at least a basic understanding of what shoes are made of and how they are constructed. They are then able to respond to my questions with a little education on the subject....

same goes with everything really. People just don’t know how anything works anymore. 
 

blame them Chem trails ha ha ha 

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Looks like I will be buying some axle grease then!!! 
my fear was it would go hard in the cold months and not get into the bearing .... my stitcher isn’t happy as all the waxes thread is very stiff.... guess the cost of bearings is cheaper than heating the building though ha ha ha 

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13 hours ago, Mike at Vauxhall said:

Hope it pans out financially, but if it doesn't it always good to have a hobby for your wife/partner to complain about. :-D

Thanks for the support!

Ha ha what’s to complain about? The continual hammering? The piles of stitching fluff? The sinus clearing smell of glue? 

Jokes aside she doesn’t complain and is very supportive of my antics and I am very lucky to have her!

 

If she does complain I Wont hear it because of the machines....

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"I have noticed a steady decline in people posting on the forum but see there’s lots of “views” on most posts? "

Hi Mat! I've noticed this in life in general!! Years ago, many people decided they didn't want to talk anymore [-X and now many people don't want to type anymore either #-o, I wonder what the coming years will bring? Will we all just sit there and scowl at each other under Balaclavas? :lol:

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Well I hope not! I struggle to find people to talk to about things that actually matter or have purpose.... hence why I came on here.

I was hoping to find some weird old lifetime cobbler that lived local enough I could actually talk to them ha ha

for anyone who is following this thread.... my groover arrived but has left handed threads! I had no left hand taps so instead I ordered a 1/4 router that I will mount and use as a stand alone unit... yet to use the burnishing part of the machine still...

my outsole stitcher woes are solved by undoing the loop I put on the tensioner in the summer. 
 

lastly the redwing beckman looks like you could peel off/ remove the rubber half sole easily..... you can’t! Especially if it’s perished.... it came apart like chocolate and then clogged up my sandpaper..... after all of that it turns out the midsole is leatherboard so hardly worth saving any of it anyway.... typical! 
 

 


 

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good luck finding the weird old lifetime cobbler there are very few of them left ,as for you stitcher try not to be tempted to clean of to much of the hard dried up wax as if the machine is old sometimes its that hard wax that allows the machine run smoothly ,the clogged up paper is something we have all had to contend with at one time or another 

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2 hours ago, elfman said:

good luck finding the weird old lifetime cobbler there are very few of them left ,as for you stitcher try not to be tempted to clean of to much of the hard dried up wax as if the machine is old sometimes its that hard wax that allows the machine run smoothly ,the clogged up paper is something we have all had to contend with at one time or another 

You and I are old weired cobblers Eric. :-D:-D

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mad and crazy is just how weird people describe themselves ha ha ha 
 

I didn’t clean it too much mainly because the wax doesn’t come off easy! 
And before I got hold of it someone disconnected the heated wax reservoirs... from what have read they are redundant due to new fancy waxed thread!

I say fancy because at £35 - £45 a roll it can’t be run of the mill! Same with the needles and awls .... they must be chromed gold?  yet to break one of those! 

does anyone have any advice on how to re-welt a shoe faster? / am I likely to find a machine that can do it? 
 


 

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43 minutes ago, Foreverlearning said:

mad and crazy is just how weird people describe themselves ha ha ha 
 

I didn’t clean it too much mainly because the wax doesn’t come off easy! 
And before I got hold of it someone disconnected the heated wax reservoirs... from what have read they are redundant due to new fancy waxed thread!

I say fancy because at £35 - £45 a roll it can’t be run of the mill! Same with the needles and awls .... they must be chromed gold?  yet to break one of those! 

does anyone have any advice on how to re-welt a shoe faster? / am I likely to find a machine that can do it? 
 


 

I have 1/2 a tin of liquid stitching wax and 1/2 cop of seven cord reverse twist thread if it's of any use to you or anyone. . I switched my Victor over to polyester thread.

As for rewelting I always find it very satisfying. 

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I would love to know if I can change my machine to run on polyester... is there something that needs modification or it it just a straight swap? 
 

I have nothing against the wax thread other than the price and  the fact it’s often not in stock so it would be nice if there were options! 
 

very kind of you to offer the wax and thread but with the wax wells disconnected by what I can assume was an axe wielding plumber I don’t think it’s going to be a straight forward reinstatement ha ha 

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