|Shane Rose (Rosesj)
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 - 12:38 pm: |
I am just beginning to acquire equipment and tools for boot and shoe making, and plan on attending my first Roundup (not having to do with the ones where we were branding and cutting calves, that I grew up with). As I look for equipment and tools, however, I find that I am woefully unprepared to really make good purchases and recognize that I am more likely to purchase things which are UNnecessary rather than choose to not purchase something I need. Heck, for that matter, I am just as likely to purchase more than I need than too little, and half of it wrong for the purpose anyway.
So... being a savvy internet shopper (good or bad depending upon how you look at it) I have access to far too much with too little knowledge to go along with it. I want to begin, but I want to ensure that my purchases are the best for my purpose. I intend to make boots and shoes as a hobby... self and family only is the most likely outcome. I have no desire, at least at this point, to begin it as a career, although retirement might change that direction, in about 20-30 years. But by that time, I suspect I will have sufficient experience to make these sorts of choices myself.
I have DWs book, and it gives me alot of information concerning what I need. But some things I am running up against is the question about not only WHAT to buy... but WHICH WHAT I should be buying in order to best meet my goals.
Also, given that I don't have the option to actually have the 'tool in hand' prior to purchase along with my exuberance to begin and realization that these things coincide to produce the opportunity for wasteful spending, I have been wondering whether it would be prudent to wait to make tool purchases until the roundup. I don't know what is available there nor whether the prices are more or perhaps even LESS reasonable than at other locations. However, I recognize my biggest deficit at this stage is knowledge and experience in what I will need and why.
Given that my goal is not consistent production, but rather production when I am able to do so, I have no desire to purchase something which is likely to require a large amount of maintenance each time I would like to use it. I am in more of a position that I want what I want... and I want it to work when I want it. For instance, I don't want to have a few hours for stitching and spend it all trying to get my old machine timed to allow me to stitch. I would much rather purchase something which is going to do the job well now and in times to come, without a huge amount of mechanical input by me. Its not that I CAN'T do it... but moreso that I don't want to spend my time doing it rather than working on my leather.
So, any information you have concerning these things would be beneficial in all regards.
Mainly, whether waiting for the Roundup in Wichita would benefit me in the purchase of basics such as sewing machines (I suspect I need a flatbed and a post)... what would you purchase given the options available (if money wasn't the prime concern)? Crimp boards and lasts... tools and ultimately leather.
I have found all these things online, however, don't know enough about making a sound purchase of them.
One question I have concerning lasts especially though. Given that I plan on making these for ME and me alone for some time, I would like to have lasts of a few styles but made specifically for me. Since it is unlikely that regardless of my educational reading about fitting the foot, etc, that I will be able to do this well early on, I want to have some lasts MADE specifically to fit me. Is this something that can be done at the Roundup? ie are there competent and reliable last makers at the Roundup who can fit me while I am there? Otherwise, what would you recommend in order to get lasts specifically for myself? It is good not to have to worry about fitting my customers at this point obviously, but I can see that I still have a need to fit me.
|Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
Post Number: 1317
|Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 7:51 am: |
Any suggestions here?
|Jim Brainard (Jbcustom)
Post Number: 55
|Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 9:05 am: |
Although I resell used equipment and some tools for the trade it is benificial for me to do so BUT I do know the machinery and what works well for specific applications. It is not just my intent to sell equipment but to be honest, helpful and up front about needs, price and values. You can ask my advice and opinions and regardless if I have something you need or want and regardless if you buy anything from me it is my purpose to help fellow craftsmen. The trade show will also provide you a great deal of helpful knowledge as every vendor there I have found to be of the best integrity. I consider myself a used equipment broker of sorts but more than that a 40 year veteran craftsman of the trade. If you are interested, I have 2 cents worth...
|Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
Post Number: 1318
|Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 9:58 am: |
There will be a LOT of people at the Round Up, and I am sure that you can find a lot of info by just meeting them and talking to them. They are some of the most friendly and helpful people I know.
|William E Fowks (Wfowks)
Post Number: 8
|Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 11:04 am: |
I too started from scratch about a year and a half ago and, same as you, just for friends as gifts. I feel that if I charge it becomes a different game where I don't feel qualified -- yet. I am a lot older - 76 but have the passion of much younger. I do know that you will have to spend more time than you want fixing, learning and adjusting machinery because you really need to understand them to be good at their use. I bought the equip.from a closing shoe repair shop here in Joplin. It took a loooooong time to learn how they operate, but for me that is part of the fun. Just wait till you tackle a curved needle mach. Talk about love hate.
I'm self taught - WHICH I DON'T RECOMMEND - unless you are just stubborn like me - it just takes a lot longer.I did go to the Roundup which you should not miss. Sorry I can't be more specific but all I can say is that if you like problem solving, working at a great craft and meeting some of the most generous, interesting people, you are in the right place. Bill fowkartbags.com
|Bill Nordan (Billnordan)
Post Number: 1
|Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 11:06 am: |
Last are a must, crimp boards and scews and Hand tools are number one. I have also been in the custom boot and shoe making for years and have acquired more than I need. I plan to be at the Round up and could bring yo boards and screws at that time. Call Bill Nordan 251-979-3371 or 251-947-7657 evenings
|Edie Kudlis (Brooklyn_edie)
Post Number: 7
|Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 11:32 am: |
I have been doing more or less the same sort of searching around for the past year or so. Although I have less experience than many on this forum, I can add a couple cents of my own.
You're right... Don't jump into it by buying a bunch of extra stuff you may not ever use. In fact, if you can manage it, buy as little as possible. Since this is going to be a hobby for you, stick to it on project by project basis.
I don't know where you live, but see if there is a class you can take, once a week or whatever is available, with a local school, YMCA, local cobler, etc... whatever you can find. As you make your first pair by hand, you'll learn about the stuff you may want to buy. You'll be able to use their machines for a bit, and decide which tools you want to purchase or which you may already have in your garage.
What I have at home is a small cabinet which fits all the tools I need to make a hand-made pair (asside from the sewing machine). It works just fine for me.
If there is anyone near you who makes boots, shoes, leatherwork, go visit them. Ask some questions. I've found that bootmakers are more than ready to share - not unlike this forum. If you're interested, contact me and I'll go through the list of tools that I have, which would be sufficient for you for sure.
Lasts are tough. My favorite way to get them to fit is to modify them myself. I use epoxy putty (plumbers use it), and leather to sculpt them and sand them to shape. I go around asking whomever is willing to sell me some used pairs for a size that I need, and then modify it. I'd ba glad to speak to you about it too if you like.
You've already got some nice advice to the question, from Bill and William and Jim and Mark, and will probably get more. Consider yourself very lucky already - in the "fashion world" here in NYC, people tend to be very secretive and closed to sharing. That's what I love about this forum with such wonderful, skilled, sharing individuals.
Yes, the roundup sounds great. You can even get some out-of-stock leather for a good price. I doubt I can go this year - my ladyfriend is with child, so the $$ are tight. haha.
Best of luck Shane. Don't hesitate to ask.
|Gary Cunningham (Gcunning)
Post Number: 380
|Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 2:57 pm: |
I'm on vacation right now am able to hit wifi
I have a few things to add. It's late and would add more when I get home. Coming to Wichita falls is one of the most valuable pieces of advice. Come to the BBQ at my house Friday night and meet some fantastic masters I will not name any due to "to many" but lots of advice can be given. And they are really great people. So I would say your first investment is Wichita n introduce yourself if you already have I apologize. BTW. Change in BBQ this year chopped beef sandwiches with chips and Tea. I think will b a lot easier. Wifi's are hard to hit here so reply might not happen for a week or so.
|Mark C. Candela (Mark_candela)
Post Number: 265
|Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 3:47 pm: |
I would buy a whole bunch of leather. Preferably Alligator and Crocodile. 20, 30 maybe even a hundred skins. Then I would buy a clicker press and a computerized top-stitch machine...wait a minute...sorry...I got all excited there...anyway.
I echo what these other guys are saying and that is to meet the bootmakers and round up is a great place to do that. Hanging around here on the forum and also FaceBook is starting to gather up a few guys.
I do think you want to start honing a few skills though. Basic skills like clicking, skiving, crimping, stitching. You can do a lot of damage with some basic skills.
You should also learn where to get findings and leathers.
Go ahead and cut some patterns out of DW's books. Crimp up some vamps, stitch up some tops. If you have to you could probably get another bootmaker to bottom for you just to get some boots on your feet.
It's a journey but ultimately you will need to take this journey with an experienced bootmaker. I believe it was Tex Robin who said right here on this forum or in an email or in Gary's back yard for that matter, that you can't learn to make boots from books or the internet. And though I hate to admit it I think he might be right. Damn, I hate when that happens.
|Armando Dominguez (Adominguez)
Post Number: 177
|Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2011 - 9:41 am: |
Shane Rose, my shop is in Burkburnett Tx and a 25 minute drive north of the Roundup in W.F., although, my wife drives it in 15 min, but i don't know how she does that. If you are driving down from the OK city airport you drive through the edge of Burkburnett. Anyway, i have a storefront downtown, my door is open, i am 50 years old, but i have only been making boots and shoes for 20 years so i don't have my old-timer's card yet, but i can try to answer any of your ?'s and you can look and even try out any of my equipment.
Don't forget that bootmakers love to talk about their craft and, i hear, gossip about the other bootmakers around them, which i refuse to do.
Burk Boot Shop
206 E 3rd St.
cell ph. 940-228-6366
|Shane Rose (Rosesj)
Post Number: 5
|Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 - 8:16 pm: |
Thanks Armando... if I end up driving that way, I will most certainly stop by.
By the way... is there a website which talks more about what is at the Roundup? The only thing I have found is a single 'poster page' and it really doesn't tell me much of what to expect. I was reading that they have presentations, talks, classes, etc. But I can find no information on them. If anyone knows of how I can get more information I would be much obliged.
This is the only place I have found with any information at all.
|Mark W. Fletcher (Bronbo)
Post Number: 1320
|Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 - 5:17 am: |
I will try to get some information gathered up and put a sub-topic for the 2011 Round Up.