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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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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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