Friday, 12 June 2020 12:18

Recommendations for choosing tools for beginners.

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 Recommendations for choosing tools for beginners.


Edge irons
This tool is for ironing the front of the sole of the shoe. For proper operation, the size of the tool must correspond to the total thickness of the sole. It compresses the sole, strokes, smoothes and improves the look. I offer two options for irons - EI-A and EI-B. For beginners, I recommend EI-B, in my opinion it is easier for them to work. It can be used for most outsole options. Remember - you must know the thickness of the materials you work with in order to order the right size. Most likely, even if you rarely work with shoes, you can not do without several sizes of Edge Iron. For example, the thickness of the skin for the sole is 4mm and the welt thickness is 3mm. The total thickness is 7mm, this is the size of the tool.

Waist irons
This tool is for ironing the waist. Waist Types:

  • Normal, rectangular
  • Beveled
  • Strongly beveled

For type A, you can use Edge Iron, the same as for the front of the sole. This is the simplest form of waist in the performance.
For beveled type , I suggest WI-A or WI-S. This type of waist is more difficult to work with, beginners can try to work with the WI-A tool. WI-S paired with WI-F work more efficiently, but this requires some experience.
For third type, I suggest WI-B. But this type of waist is not for beginners.
The size should correspond to the thickness of the sole at the waist, taking into account possible thinning. Usually this tool can fit adjacent sizes (+/- 1mm), but for the best appearance, the size should correspond to the thickness of the sole.

Heel Irons (C, P)
These irons are universal, it is worth having for every shoe maker, regardless of experience.

Bevel iron
For ironing corners, bevels. The average size is 1.5mm.

Bottom glaser
Universal tool. Leather tightening, smoothing. It is used to improve the appearance of the bottom of the sole before the final work, polishing.

Seat iron
A universal tool for aligning and sealing the edges of the heel. It is used on its own and is also required before using the Seat Box Wheel.

Seat Box Wheel 
This tool is for decorative heel decoration. Shoes after such a finish look more finished, refined. The average wheel size is 1.5 mm with a tooth spacing of 1.3 mm.

Recommendations for choosing the size of the wheel.

Heel Woman Man
Shoes 0,8 1,5
Unkle boots 1,0 2,0
Boots 1,3 2,5-4,0

Normal tooth pitch 1.3mm. For thin wheels (0.8-1.5), 1.0mm tooth spacing looks neater. These are just recommendations. The choice of wheel sizes also depends on the design of the shoes, and there are no restrictions for your wishes.

Fudge wheel
Before you sew the sole, you need to mark the stitches so that they are all the same. The novice master should choose the size 8spi (3.2mm), or less. It will be easier for you to learn how to sew evenly. As skill increases, you can try with 10spi, 12spi, and so on stitches.
If you method of assembling shoes is adhesive, this tool may be needed to apply a decorative relief to the welt without sewing. In this case, you can use the size 16-22spi.

Seam detailers, welt tools.
SM-Z - Used to improve stitches after sewing. It can also be used for marking instead of FW-S, but experience is needed for such work.
SD-Z is a universal tool complementary to SM-Z, as well as a stand-alone tool for separating seams after sewing. If you decide to use SM-Z in your work, you will also need this one.
SD-L - This tool works like SD-Z, especially recommended for thin stitches 16-22spi.
SP-A, SP-V - detailed work with welt. Not for beginners.

Feather knife
This knife is for creating a special cutout on the insole for welt shoes.

Skiving knife
This knife is for thinning leather parts, as well as finishing cutting.


 For sole thickness 5mm + welt 3mm. If you use materials of a different thickness or several layers of leather, keep this in mind.

    Size Expirience
*** EI-B 8mm Any
*** WI-A 8mm Any
*** HI-C   Any
*** HI-P   Any
** BI-A 1,5mm Average/Great
* BG-H   Average/Great
* SI-A   Average/Great
  EI-A 8mm Average/Great
  WI-B 8mm Great
  WI-S 8mm Great
  WI-F 8mm Great
*** FW-S 8spi Any
* BW-A 1,5mm Average/Great
*** SD-Z   Any
** SM-Z   Average/Great
  SD-L   Average/Great
  SP-A   Great
  SP-V   Great
** FK-A   Average/Great
* SK-J   Any

*Number of stars - the need for a tool for beginners.  Unmarked tools - for more experienced craftsmen.
"Experience" is how difficult the operation this tool is used for. 


 In conclusion, I’ll say if you regularly work with shoes all the tools sooner or later you need. There are craftsmen who have few tools, but they make very good high-quality shoes. But with a good tool, you will go through the training phase easier and faster.

I wish you good luck and enjoy your work!

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