Boot-repairing is a good job but not a very easy one. In my last article I put in the summer issue of the GOLDONIAN 1949, I told
you about the construction of a boot or shoe. Now I am going to write about repairing.
As I told you last time in my article, we start off with the stripping of the old sole or heel. Sometimes the boot or shoe is sewn so we
have to cut the stitches with an old knife, and then if the toe needs attending io, attend to it without any hesitation, because if it is left,
it won't look a first-class workman's job.
It might sound quite easy to you but it isn't because one has to take off the old sole or heel very carefully or the consequence will be
that the insole will be pulled up. The old sole is replaced by a new one, which must fit it perfectly. The second step to repairing is the
riveting. Some boys when they are new-comers to the trade put the rivets in the boot or shoe and consequently knock them so that
they stick out of the sides, but others knock them in slanted, which is the correct way.
I suppose some of you wonder what this has to do with your trade; well, if you were outside earning your own living and you wanted
your foot-wear repaired, and you couldn't afford the money to pay for it, you could do your own repairs by taking all this in, and it
would not only help you to become skilled, but also it would save you a few shillings. The cost of repairs to boots and shoes today
would be 10/6, also a pair of good soles would cost you about 4/6, and a pair of heels 1/6.
The next stage is the finishing process and the edges of the soles have to be wetted ready to be trimmed on the cutters. The cutter is a
round blade, and when the machine is set in motion it turns very rapidly and of course trims the edges of the sole.
The next operation is the heel scouring; the heel is scoured on the rough scourer and then on the smooth scourer. After this operation
the heel breast has to be made smooth or clean by the NAUM-KEAG. In case you haven't heard of a NAUM-KEAG machine it is a
wheel which has some sand paper on it, and that also moves very rapidly.
Some of these operations take a few minutes to perform, especially when one has to ink the edges of the boot or shoe and then wait
for it to dry off. The next process is the inking, but I don't think I need explain anything about that because it is just the same as painting
anything. After the inking process is done, the edges of the sole have to be done on the edge-setting machine and also the heel has to
be done on the heel-pad. The heel padding machine makes a polish on the heel, and then the sole and heel are brushed on the
brushing-wheel. To make a good job of your work, you have to scour the bottoms on the bottom-scouring machine and that cleans
the sole all ready for the last but one operation. The last but one operation is to make a good polish on the bottom of your work, so
one has to rub a little milk and ammonia on the job, or ink the bottom all over and then let it dry; and the last process of all is to brush
all the edges of the sole and heel on the brushing-wheel, which takes any bits of milk and ammonia off the edges which have been
left on by mistake.
I hope you can follow this work because when any of you have any boots or shoes to repair, you will know how to do it, also when
you next go into a "Boot and Shoe Repairers" shop you will know what the workman has had to do to try and please you with the
work he has done for you.
JOHN S. COOMBER