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My feet mysteriously turned into blocks of wood...?

Or maybe blocks of wood turned into my feet. 

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After three years of making inferior-quality fabric shoes (with some slippers, some flat shoes, and ballet slippers being the only not-absolutely-weird-looking exceptions)  the realization that a shoe last is a necessary thing has soaked in...Thanks to the discovery of some new, enthralling shoemaking tutorials on Youtube!

Apparently one needs a last before they can make leather shoes. I couldn’t find a wooden shoe last in my size anywhere online, so I tried a thing..a crazy thing...a “This is so not going to work, but I can always burn the evidence once it disastrously fails!” thing.

So I glued scraps of free-roaming garage wood together and started chopping.

Then Dremel sawing, measuring, obsessively comparing the block to my foot, Dremel sanding, measuring again, and then trying to replicate the same shape on the other last.

Treated them with paste wax after taking the photos, so they’re a bit shiner now. The weird dark spots are where I accidentally roasted the wood with the Dremel.

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I’ll probably have to add some type of ferrule in the top of each last. Decided not to make steel sole plates for now, because my parents found an antique, cast-iron sole last in an old barn at my grandmother's house. It’s made for nailing the leather down during lasting, I think..(?)...That’s what I'll try to use it for, anyway. Here’s a stock photo of it, because it is currently bathing in vinegar to remove the rust. 

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Also recently got my Needle-Launching-Monster (China Leather Shoe Patcher, hand-crank sewing machine) to work properly. It’s been my non-functioning roommate since February. It’s only working now thanks to resources found in a Facebook group...And some electrical tape, until I can get one part sodered/welded. Just made a little leather pup charm on it for now, as I’m out of leather and the local market is still closed..(not a good excuse, just haven’t gotten around to it).

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So, yeah.. I suppose it’s time to get some cork, shanks, a skive knife, tiny nails and stuff to begin this adventure… Also, there are different shapes of shoe lasts for various shoe styles, but I just made a random, basic replica of my feet (+one cm in length, the last is supposed to be slightly longer than the foot).. .ihavenoideawhatimdoing…..I’m really just thankful to have unlimited access to an overwhelming amount of tools…especially MAGICAL POWER TOOLS. Those are fun. My dad’s kind of a hoarder collector. What’s also fun is unintentionally frightening mail delivery people when using the power tools on the wooden feet outside. That FedEx dude was rather shaken.

 

Wow, this was uncharacteristically long, sorry.

Also sorry if this entry has too many pictures, I wasn't sure if there was a limit.

 

Anyone else on here into shoemaking or leatherworking? 

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