A blog about the things I make and modify, with occasional thrift purchases that I am especially proud of. Some things I make to hopefully sell, others I just want to show off, but the right price will take anything--shoot me an email if you are interested!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Cobble Sometimes

I got some used shoes that I liked the styling of, but were in less than ideal condition. The heals and parts of the soles were very worn and basically needed to be replaced. Since the motto of my life seems to be, "If you want something done right (or for little money) you have to do it yourself," I bought some stuff and got to it.

In these first pictures you can see how worn the leather bits of the heel are. I've already used the claw on a hammer to pry them up and remove the nails. 

And the heals are off! You can see the nail holes that held the bottoms on, as well as the nails holding the middle portions on.
Here are the new rubber heels. They are pretty large, so there is a lot to cut away. I used the Barge Cement you see in the middle. It is applied to both surfaces, spread evenly, and allowed to dry for 15-20 minutes before they are stuck together.
Here they are stuck on with a few nails re-used to hold them together. You can see how much extra material there is.
Here I've cut most of the material away with a razor blade, and am about to sand the edges smooth with the existing heels. The masking tape will prevent them from getting scratched up in the process.  I first used a Dremel sanding drum, then sandpaper by hand.
The right heel needs the razor blade and the left more sanding. 
At this point I started to work on the soles. They were pretty unevenly worn, with the centers and outsides being much more worn than the insides. For this reason, I cut the rubber soles down to fit over only the worn areas. I also used rough sandpaper and some alcohol to clean the surface and rough it up for maximum adhesion.
Here the heels are looking better. 

I trimmed the soles down a bit at a time to avoid removing too much material. 
Here the alcohol has dried and they are ready for cement. 
Here they have just been stuck on. I used the Dremel to sand the edges so there would not be an abrupt lip.
More fine-tuning the sanding of the heals. 
They are finally done!

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