Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Valkenburg/Castleford style caliga step by step
#1
Hi,

since we've been talking quite a bit about various aspects of caligae design and (re)construction and the idea for a dedicated homepage has sprung up, I thought up the following: I'm not the guy to undertake building such a homepage but since I'm at the moment making a pair of Valkenburg/Castleford style caliga I would like to document this work here in a series of workingdiary-like posts.

Actually I have built one of the pair as a prototype and it is pretty much finished except for the insole, nailing and finetuning the strap lenghts:

[Image: ValkenburgStyle09_2.jpg]

[Image: ValkenburgStyle06_2.jpg]

At this stage I took the dimensions of the shoe, placed it on a copy of the pattern I originally used, to compare the minor changes I had made underway. Probably not that good to see, but red is the original pattern I used, blue and gray are revisions from the actual shoe:

[Image: Pattern_02_2.jpg]

I will need to do a few final adjustments and then recut the pattern for the other shoe.

So much for now, more as I progress ...
Reply
#2
We could certainly cut-n-paste a completed sbs to a dedicated page on Romanarmy.com. If there's anyone else which such stories, be happy to host 'em.
Greets!

Jasper Oorthuys
Webmaster & Editor, Ancient Warfare magazine
Reply
#3
ok, I got around to start the second caliga of the pair. However, before starting at all, I used Jared Fleury's method to make a pattern of my own according to the one published in Stepping through time. See

http://www.florentius.com/calcei-pattern.htm
(a brilliant page!)

on how to make such a pattern. Here is mine:

[Image: Pattern05.jpg]

This helps a lot to get an impression of what measurements you need and what your foot looks like flattened out. As you can see there are areas where the spread out pattern overlaps due to the curvings of the foot, so these will need to be adjusted for the cutting pattern. What is needed is some compromise between the published original and your foot's pattern, the result of which you can see in the initial post (red lines represent the first drawing). I then went ahead and made the first shoe and with the experiences gained from that readjusted the pattern:

[Image: Pattern01.jpg]

I now know pretty much what strap length I need where and how long I need the cutouts to fit my foot. When not 100% sure always cut everything longer/wider than expected (or cutouts smaller, respectively), as it is a lot easier to cut something off than on ;-) )

When satisfied I cut out the finalized pattern

[Image: Pattern04.jpg]

and transferred it to leather. 2 important things here: as you normally cut and therefore draw from the grain side, do not use a ball pen or such, a pencil works ok and does not leave any traces you might regret later. After transferring the pattern bear in mind that all the lines and everything is now slightly wider/longer and therefore accordingly always cut on the inside of those lines. Otherwise you will end up with broader straps than originaly intended.

So much for now, I'm heading back to do the rest of cutting out my pattern. More on that soon.
Reply
#4
I simply magnified the cutting pattern from the book to match the lenght of the left (longest) foot. I forgot to consider the small space existing in the back of the boot. As a result, these caligae came out a tad big, but with socks and a bit of felt padding I can wear them ok.
Titus Licinius Neuraleanus
aka Lee Holeva
Conscribe te militem in legionibus, vide mundum, inveni terras externas, cognosce miros peregrinos, eviscera eos.
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.legiotricesima.org">http://www.legiotricesima.org
Reply
#5
Cutting out the pattern is fairly obvious I think. For all the corners and sharp angles I prefer to use a small circular punch (1-2 mm diameter) rather than cutting those as it often happens that you cut to far into the leather at one side which might later be the starting point for the material to tear apart. I also use wood carving knifes with rounded blades for all the narrower curves as I find this easier and faster than a straight knife.
Here is the most convenient method I found for cutting out all those little bulbs that decorate the pattern:

First cut a pine cone shape with a rounded blade,

[Image: Verziehrung02.jpg]

then round off with a narrower curved blade

[Image: Verziehrung04.jpg]
[Image: Verziehrung03.jpg]
Reply
#6
I also like to break the edges of the cut leather. There is a special tool (apparently called Edge Beveller in English) for that, which you can get at leather workers's supply shops. Breaking the edges makes for more wearing comfort/ less chafing and a nicer finish. According to my leather working books it also help preventing the leather to split at those edges. This and pre-punching the corners (see above) are not required from the standpoint of a proper reconstruction of course.

[Image: Entgraten02.jpg]
[Image: Entgraten01.jpg]
[Image: Entgrater02.jpg]

Total for copying the pattern to the leather, cutting it out, breaking the edges and oiling it with netsfoot oil (for 1 shoe): 2h 10min
Reply
#7
Preparation for sewing the back seam: first pitch (if that is the right word in English) the yarn with shoemaker's pitch, then pull a couple of times through a piece of cloth to give an even surface.
This will make the yarn more resistent against wear and moisture.

[Image: Pichen.jpg]
Reply
#8
For sewing I use blunt, flexible steel needles, as all the hole are done with an awl. Thos flexible needles follow nicely through the canal opened by the awl, be it straight or curved. Here is a good way how to thread the yarn so that it does not slip out again while sewing:

With a sharp awl pierce the yarn and slide the point of the needle through those holes as shown.

[Image: Einfaedeln1.jpg]

Slide the whole assembly back to the eye of the needle and thread the end of the yarn through the eye.

[Image: Einfaedeln3.jpg]

Now pull the yarn over the eye and the back of the needle. The holes you pierced into the yarn will hold fast the yarn end protruding from the eye.

[Image: Einfaedeln4.jpg]

Pull tight so that it flattens out, twist and apply some more shoemaker's pitch for better grip if necessary.
Reply
#9
Quote:first pitch (if that is the right word in English) the yarn with shoemaker's pitch, then pull a couple of times through a piece of cloth to give an even surface.

Other than the color, how is this stuff different from Bee's wax, or simply pre-waxed thread?
Titus Licinius Neuraleanus
aka Lee Holeva
Conscribe te militem in legionibus, vide mundum, inveni terras externas, cognosce miros peregrinos, eviscera eos.
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.legiotricesima.org">http://www.legiotricesima.org
Reply
#10
Quote:Other than the color, how is this stuff different from Bee's wax, or simply pre-waxed thread?

I bought it at a shoemaker's supply shop, but the package didn't say anything about the ingredients. From the way it feels and behaves I would guess it is a mix of at least bees wax and some kind of veg pitch/resin. It is definitely harder than bee's wax. Afraid that's all I can say at the moment ...
Reply
#11
I need to see whether there are any "shoemaker's supply shops" here in the USA.
Titus Licinius Neuraleanus
aka Lee Holeva
Conscribe te militem in legionibus, vide mundum, inveni terras externas, cognosce miros peregrinos, eviscera eos.
<a class="postlink" href="http://www.legiotricesima.org">http://www.legiotricesima.org
Reply
#12
Hi,

searched a bit on the net on this:

Quote:Other than the color, how is this stuff different from Bee's wax, or simply pre-waxed thread?

From htis thread

http://flinkhand.de/forum/viewtopic.php ... husterpech

comes this description (my translation):

Black shoemaker's pitch is boiled from black pitch, wood tar, way, turpentine and water. Black pitch is coagulated / reduced-by-cooking wood tar, turpentine is fresh resin from pine or larch trees
Reply
#13
Time to start reporting on the back seam: this time I wanted to do it the way portrayed in Göpfrich's Lederfunde aus Mainz (op cit), i.e. with a double running stich from the inside and another one from the outside. Here is the diagram from the book:

[Image: BackSeam05.jpg]

Reportedly two different yarn strengths were used with the finds, I did this with the first of the pair, this time, for possible comparison in the long run, chose to use the same yarn. First I marked where the stitching holes should be. This of course needs to be done both from the inside (flesh side) and from the outside (grain side), as we have two seams. With the first I put the holes only 5 mm apart, but that seems a little too narrow to me, as the holes from the other side come in between those, so in the end you have a piece of yarn passing from one side to the other every 2,5 mm! I went to 8 mm distance this time, but 10 mm would be ok, too I guess. Making those rows of holes neatly and exactly lined up is the most important thing for an even seam ...
(Edit: I went back to my sources in the meantime and found that at least one original with the finer thread has 5-6 stitches per 10 mm(!) and the stitches of the other seam 6-8mm apart)

[Image: BackSeam01.jpg]
Reply
#14
Yarn length for this type of seam is about 4x the length of the length of the piece you want to sew. I am using blunt long and flexible steel needles here, until not so long ago a shoemakers choice was a pig's bristle (right word? - stiff and yet flexble hair from a pig), in fact the needles I am using are called steel bristles (Stahlborsten in German). Before actual sewing I found that I had to widen the holes once more, as the leather tends to close those holes, especially when pressed or moved. That of course is exactly the effect we are looking for, opening a hole with the awl 2-3x wider than the yarn's diameter so that it passes through easily and then have that hole close itself around the yarn again nicely.

[Image: BackSeam02.jpg]

Here are two details of the actual sewing in progress. Take care not to pierce one yarn with the other's needle, as you cannot pull the seam tight anymore afterwards then - another reason why especially with those double seams I prefer to use those blunt needles

[Image: BackSeam03.jpg]
[Image: BackSeam04.jpg]

Time needed to prepare the holes, pitch the yarn and sew both from the inside and outside down the length: 2 hours
Reply
#15
Finally the lower end of the back seam needs to be attached to the part of the leather that forms the middle layer of the caligae sole. Note that I did not sew down all the way to the end but left the last part open. First I needed to cut off little triangles from the lowest part of the heel, as those edges would overlap when folded inwards, because of the rounding of the heel.

[Image: Fersennaht01.jpg]

Push the unsewn section inward now and press and form the leather to get the heel form right.

[Image: Fersennaht02.jpg]

That is the way I want it to be, so I use the left over yarn from the back seam I just did. The length should be just enough to sew this on. I use a double stitch again for better durability, as walking puts a lot of stress on this seam. Each end of the yarn is used for one side, going forward for about 5 stitches and then backward again using the same holes so that both ends meet again in the middle, where they can be knotted then.
(I cannot attest to the historicity of this way to close the back seam at the heel, as to my knowledge unfortunately none of the researchers so far bothered to explain or show/draw this in detail even though it is a crucial point in construction IMHO. I have written Carol van Driel-Murray on this matter and am waiting and hoping for an answer at the moment.)

[Image: Fersennaht03.jpg]

Time needed: 30 min
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Castleford style boots Martin Moser 1 1,351 07-04-2016, 07:29 PM
Last Post: brennivs - tony drake
  Castleford Caliga Martin Moser 10 1,948 12-18-2014, 12:03 PM
Last Post: Martin Moser
  Help chosing which Caligae Castleford or Mainz Ptn Palmerius2002 6 1,486 07-29-2013, 11:01 AM
Last Post: mcbishop

Forum Jump: