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An amaz­ing dis­play of peri­od shoe­mak­ing tools

This is a pho­to­graph from Serge and Mar­quita Volken’s shoe­mak­ing museum which you can read about at http://www.shoemuseum.ch/. I have pos­ted it here with their per­mis­sion after they pos­ted it on their face­book page. They said, about the dis­play: “Our new dis­play: Shoe makers tool boards: from left to right: Neo­lith­ic, Roman, Medi­ev­al, …

The Truth

Via cyan­ide and hap­pi­ness (fre­quently NSFW, but this one is safe)   The thing about this effect is that it nev­er leaves you, but it can be the most notice­able when you’re past the “just start­ing out” phase, and you’ve hit the “argh, everything is crap” phase that you hit …

Site Changes

I’m in the pro­cess of migrat­ing the site to new host­ing, which is entail­ing some back end and theme changes. Please bear with me while I work through the issues that are crop­ping up. I hope the changes will prove worth­while and enable me to post more use­ful con­tent more reg­u­larly.

Scratch awl

An Awl That’s Not For Mak­ing Holes

I’ve seen had sev­er­al people new to leather­work or shoe­mak­ing tell me they’ve bought an awl but they are hav­ing real trouble get­ting it to make holes prop­erly. Most times when I’ve asked them to show it to me, they’ve shown me one of these: It’s called a scratch awl and …

A couple of tools

I just fin­ished mak­ing these. They aren’t based on any­thing in par­tic­u­lar but nor are they glar­ingly mod­ern. I recently got a gas torch and some refract­ory bricks which means I can do very very small scale for­ging, per­fect for awl blades and small tools. I am very much a novice at both for­ging and …

Brief status update

Apo­lo­gies to the vari­ous people wait­ing on me to write things up on here. A mix­ture of busy­n­ess and broken­ness has con­spired against much in the way of recre­ation­al typ­ing for a while, and what I could get done was going on the com­bat hand­book. It’s also meant I haven’t actu­ally done any­thing much …

Knives

Sharp is Good The most import­ant fea­ture of the knife is that it be sharp; razor sharp is a good start. In a recent post on the Crispin Col­loquy, D.W. From­mer II, a pro­fes­sion­al west­ern boot­maker whose skill and philo­sophy I admire a great deal, said the abil­ity to sharpen a knife is one of the …

Get­ting Star­ted: Basic Tools and Mater­i­als

In these “Get­ting Star­ted” posts I want to lay out the mater­i­als, tools and inform­a­tion you need to build your first pair of shoes. As you move on to build­ing more detailed shoes or shoes built with more peri­od tech­niques there are more things you will need, but these can be …

The Per­fect is the Enemy of the Good

I think Voltaire was on to some­thing with that, and it is some­thing worth bear­ing in mind for the begin­ning shoe­maker. Avoid sloppy and care­less work at all costs, but do not let the fact that you can’t do some­thing per­fectly stop you from doing it as well as you …

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