12/31/2004

New lasted shoes

Here's the next pair, taken from a shoe found at Newstead, illustrated in the Curle book, available in online form here. This is the second effort on the same last, however I experimented a bit with ways to use the last. Previously I had had difficulty stretching the toe around sufficiently with the heel preplaced and the the last intact. Here, I put a couple nails in the toe first, then slid the heel piece and assembled the last in place inside the shoe. fortunatly the wedge shaped center section works perfectly for this. I can see some improvements that need to be made to the last design: the edge around the bottom should be sharper, the sole cross section should have a little s curve, so the toe kicks up a hair, and the sole raises up a bit in the arch. Over the arch on the inside should be raised out a bit, with the arch cutting in under a little deeper. The upper section above the heel needs to be narrowed a good amount, and the top of the foot, up past the toes needs to be shaved down a bit more. It would be helpful if the whole last was well sanded, and oiled to the leather would slide around more easily. It also needs some sort of connector piece that goes on top of the ankle, attaching the three pieces together when needed.
The pattern works well, although if I reduce the area above the heel in the last, the ankle will have to come in a little.
The first set of lugsoles I installed were too short, so I had to rip them off and make new ones. The ridge along the lace holes will need to be shaved down about 1/8 of an inch.

12/25/2004

lasted shoes

I have just completed my first pair of lasted shoes. There is still an awful lot I need to learn about making shoes on a last, but I think they came out pretty well. I built the last with a flat sole, but I think it may need to be modified with a bit of camber to it. Time will tell. The last were made from poplar, which I started out cut to the shape of the sole. They are each cut in three pieces(which facilitates the removal after the inner sole is glued into place)and taped to together. The eye bolt were used to fix the last in a vise for the hammering. I used steel nails- next time I'll use brass. The laces curl around the bottom of the pattern, I'm not sure how tight a curve you could get away with, but this works no problem at all. Here are some pics:



12/21/2004

shoe stuff

This morning I had three teeth pulled out, which has put me in a pretty crappy mood. Other than that, I've been working on some shoe lasts, and playing GTS San Andreas- I alternate. I made the lasts in three pieces so I can hopefully build the whole show, minus the outer lugsoles, and then remove the last. Well see.

12/13/2004

modern socks

This may be of interest to only "two or three people" (rick- the young ones), but one thing that looks really terrible is a great kit, and some totally modern looking crew socks sticking out, pulled up tight, it just slams the impression. Although Roman sock making was done in different ways, there is no question it was relativley advanced, and it seems that they did not make them much higher than the shoe, just enough maybe to roll over. They also seem to have liked striped socks...
These socks here are not striped, not hand made, not natural fiber even, and are certainly not perfectly authentic, but the colors are good, and they look "rough". They appear to be sewn from several pieces, the tops seem to fold down low enough, and they look comfy. I really find if my feet aren't comfortable those around have to pay... I don't speak from experience, I haven't bought these, but don't wear bad looking socks. They really need to at least look good.

These cool groups...

These two groups have lately captured my attention with their websites. Both are well worth spending a little time looking through. I can't help but be envious of any Legion that has the capability of "doing their thing" at a real Roman site, but regardless of that, there is some nice quality work going on...
PAX AUGUSTA
And
LEG VIII AUGUSTA Vexillation Be sure to go to the archive page in the photos section, scroll to the bottom and look through the photos from The Vindonessa Museum. Awesome!

Ramblings

Soo, I've been sitting on this blog for awhile, because I had some very serious work to do with the site, which is now mostly done. I still need to redo the segmentata page completely. I'm not exactly sure what is going to be next on the agenda there, other than I'm going to make some more shoes to finetune the calcei directions, and try to pinpoint any real trouble areas. One I've just nailed is the leather weight- use 4-5, not 5-6. Another section of that will eventually be a lasted shoe section- eventually.

I really want to make a contuburnium tent, which I plan to do of fabric, not leather. The canvas I'll use is colored a tan/buff color, which I think I can paint over a bit more, and from a few feet will be indistinguishable from leather. I plan to cut the fabric into the appropriate sized squares/rectangles, and sew them all together to help generate the leather illusion. The main thing a practiced eye will notice is the line of stitching along side each seam. You can't tunnel stitch fabric and I have no intention of hand sewing this thing. Fool I may be, masochist I am not. Hopefully this will be blended somewhat by the paint job.
Things I need: a plan/pattern-which I'm working on, an industrial walking foot machine, the fabric-which will be ordered from panther primitives, thread, leather for the tie tabs and such-which I have, a lot of patience-which, hmmm, that might take some searching, then of course I'll need wood for the center poles, maybe wood stakes, and I have to decide if I'm going to do a peak pole and eave poles. Probably not, less wood, less to carry.
I still need to decide whether to go with the 9x9 foot plan, or the 10x10 foot plan. Is 9'square equal to 10R' square? R being Roman. 10rxAF9~hypotenuse%3.5=circumference? no that's not it...