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Tips For Mending & Caring For Shoes

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

BOOTS AND SHOES--Cement for Patching Without Sewing.—Pure gutta percha, eschewed or cut fine, 3 oz., sulphide of carbon, 1 1/2 ozs. is about the right proportions. It should be the consistence of thick molasses. Keep corked when not in use, as the sulphide is very evaporative. DIRECTIONS—Cut the patch the right shape, pare the edge thin, remove all dirt and grease from the place to be mended. Apply 2 or 3 coats of the cement to boot and patch,, with a suitable spatula or flat stick, as a brush soon dries up; heat each and press on the patch with a warm burnishing iron, as shoemaker& understand.

Remarks—The sulphide of carbon, has proved the best solvent for thegutta percha. If well done, it will prove permanent and satisfactory. I have. had them thus applied, and they kept their position for many months.

Boots—To Make Water-Proof.—Farmers and others whose business. calls them into wind, snow, etc., ought to have their boots made purposely for them, not of thick, heavy cowhide, but kip or some soft and pliable leather, a kind the shoemakers know as a " runner," is good, and the soles should be double the whole length, and of firm and well tanned leather, and before wearing the soles should be well filled with tallow, heated and dried in; then oil the uppers with castor oil, also heated in, at least, a tablespoonful of it to each boot; then, if out in muddy or damp weather, or snow, or if you are compelled to stand or work. in water during the day, wash off the boots clean at night, warming them by' the fire while wet, and rub in the castor oil, a teaspoonful at least to each boot, and there will be no shrinkage, nor hard boots to get on in the morning. Do this twice to thrice a week all winter, as the snow or mud demands.

Remarks.—I have condensed this from a report of one Delos Wood, address not given, to the Indiana Farmer, retaining all that is essential to, understand it. He says, " I have stood in mud and water 2 or 3 inches deep, for 10 hours a day for a week, without feeling any dampness or having any difficulty in getting my boots on or off, by this heating every night." He had previously tried one of the water proof receipts containing rosin, tallow, etc., but found this the best plan. I will, however, give one of this kind, that any one may suit himself as to plans. The compounds containing rosin, how-ever, must have a tendency to harden the leather, but kerosene, as mentioned below, is now said to soften them as soft as when new, so suit yourselves as to which shall be used. The oil dressing and blacking for leather, carriage tops, etc., below, must, from the nature of its ingredients, prove a good dressing for boots; but if I was making it expressly for boots, I'd leave out the Prussian blue. Neat's foot-oil, and castor oil are both very softening for all kinds of leather. Still, it is considered that rosin, and Burgundy pitch both have a tendency to harden leather; but, as seen below, it has recently been discovered that kerosene will soften old boots equal to new.

- Boots—Water-Proofing for.—D. S. Root, of Grand Rapids, Mich., a traveling man, whom I met at Eaton Rapids, after learning that I was the author of the Receipt Books bearing my name, and that I am preparing my Third and Last, desired to give me the following receipt, hoping it might thereby do others as much good as it had him when tramping in snow and wet:

I. " Linseed oil, 1 pt. ; spirits of turpentine, 4 pt.; beeswax and Burgundy pitch, each, 4 ozs.; ivory black, 1/4 oz. Make, or simply heat together over a slow fire."

Remarks.-He kept it with him in winter, and applied as needed. I should prefer neat's foot oil or castor oil, as they are not so drying in their nature as linseed.

II. Mutton tallow with twice as much beeswax, makes a valuable water--proofing for boots, and they will soon take blacking after its application. One-fourth as much Burgundy pitch as tallow, might be put in.

Farmer Boy's Water-Proofing for Boots.—" Farmer BO," of Buchanan, Mich., gave one of the papers the following water-proofing for boots, which will be found good. He says: "Melt together beef tallow., 4 ozs. ; rosin and beeswax, each, 1 oz., and when nearly cooled add as much neat's foot oil as the above mixture measures (6 ozs. will be near enough). It, is to be -applied with a soft rag, both to the soles and uppers. The Ieather should be warmed meanwhile before the fire, and the application well rubbed in. It requires two applications to make the leather thoroughly water-proof."

Rubber Water-Proofing for Boots.—Neat's-foot oil, 1 pt.; old rubber boots, 2 lb.; rosin, 1 oz. DIRECTIONS—Melt slowly, and then pour off from or take out the cloth of the old boots, and apply warm. The boots will be water and snow-proof.—" C. E. G." in Scientific American.

Jettine, or Liquid Shoe Blacking—Water-Proof, and Does Not Soil Ladies' White Dresses.—Alcohol, 1 qt.; gum shellac, 1/2 lb.; camphor gum, size of a hen's egg; lamp black, 1 oz. DIRECTIONS—Breakup the shellac finely and put into a bottle with the alcohol, keeping in a warm place and shaking a dozen times daily till dissolved; then break up the gum camphor and put in, and when dissolved add the lamp black, when it is ready for use. Apply with a sponge fastened with wire to the cork. The camphor pre-vents the cracking of the varnish. It may be applied to anything requiring a black finish.

Boots and Shoes, Jet Polish for.—Nice clear glue, 1/4 lb.; logwood chips, 3. lb,; powdered indigo, isinglass and soft soap, each, 2 tea-spoonfuls; best cider vinegar, 1 qt.; soft water, 1 pt. Directions -- Put all together and boil 10 minutes, after it begins to boil. When cool, strain. Remove all dirt from the boots or shoes and apply with sponge or swab.

Boots. Hard, to Soften.—The latest discovery as to the. uses of kerosene is that it softens boots or shoes which have become hard ,from water-soaking, making them as pliable as new; but they should then have a coat or two of one of the castor oil or Neat's-foot oil dressings to prevent a like condition again. If you doubt it, try it on a piece of old leather, as I did first.

Oil Dressing and Blacking for All Kinds of Leather, Carriage tops, etc.—For 1 gal., take Neat's-foot oil or fish oil (Neat's-foot is the best), qts.; mutton tallow, 2 lbs.; castor oil, 1 pt.; ivory black, very tine, 1 1/2 lbs,; Prussian blue, % lb.; beeswax, % lb.; rosin, 3 lb.; Burgundy pitch, 1 oz. DIRECTIONS—Put all together in an iron kettle over the fire; boil and stir % an hour; then set off and let settle 15 minutes, and pour off, free of all sediment. When cold it is ready for use,

Remarks.—Valuable as a water-proof for boots and shoes, harness, carriage tops, etc. The dirt in all cases to be cleaned off or washed off and allowed to .dry, as the case demands. For this recipe, and the one for " Exceisior Axle Grease," an old farmer friend of mine and myself joined, paid $1 for them to .a man who lived near Ann Arbor and was selling them on the streets, and had been doing so for some time, the articles giving satisfaction As the two seem to belong together, I will give the axle grease here, He called it

Allen's Excelsior Axle Grease.—Castor oil and linseed oil, each, 1 qt.; tallow and rosin, each, 2 lbs. ; beeswax, 1 lb. Directions—Heat all well together, stirring to incorporate, and stir till cool.

Remarks.—" If either of these are too hard," he said, "add a little Neat'a foot oil; if too soft, a little more tallow." They will prove valuable.

Boot, Shoe and Harness Edge Blacking, Cheap. — Soft water, 1 pt.; alcohol, 1,4 pt.; tinct. muriate of iron and ex. of logwood, each, 2 ozs.; best blue nutgalls, 1 1/2 ozs. Directions-Pulverize the galls and put into a bottle, adding the others; let it stand a few days, shaking several tittles daily, until the extract of logwood is dissolved, when it is ready for use and will give ,great satisfaction.

Remarks.—It has been customary to use all alcohol, but a shoemaker, con-Lidering the use of all water in inks, concluded, and proved by test, that for summer, water is just as good; and for winter the above amount of alcohol is sufficient.

Rubber Boots, To Mend.—In a recent Blade a request was made for the publication of a recipe to mend rubber boots and shoes, to which they gave the following: " Cut 1 lb. of caoutchouc into thin, small slices; heat in a suitable vessel over a moderate coal fire, until the caoutchouc becomes fluid; then add 1/2lb. of powdered rosin, and melt both materials at a moderate heat. When. these are perfectly fluid, gradually add 3 or 4 lbs. spirits of turpentine in small portions, and stir well. By the addition of the last, the rapid thickening and hardening of the compound will be prevented, and a mixture obtained fully answering the purpose of gluing together rubber surfaces, etc.

Remarks.—A coal fire is called for merely to avoid the blaze of a wood fire which is liable to set the turpentine on fire while pouring in. Avoid a blaze, and Iet there be only a moderate fire, makes it safe with wood. Over a stove will be most safe. One-fourth or % the amount can be made as well, keeping the same proportions; and, if I was making it, I should put all together in the vessel, as there would be less danger of burning the caoutchouc. Keep covered when not in use, to prevent its drying up. The rosin makes it very tenacious.

Tanning Skins with the Hair or Wool On.—Alum, 3 lbs. ; rock salt (good hard salt will do), lb. DIRECTIONS — Soak the skin in water for one day; then remove all the meat, fat, etc. Dissolve, by boiling, the alum and salt in sufficient water to cover the skin-this amount for a deer, dog, wolf,. or sheep skin--pour into a tub, and when only lukewarm, put in the skin, and let it soak for 4 days, working it with a pounder or square-ended stick of wood every day; then dry in the shade—a warm shed is a good place to dry in. Then heat up the tan liquor again, and re-soak as before, after which wash out well and beat it with a wooden mallet till quite soft; dry again in the shade, rubbing it well from time to time with the hands. If this is properly done, you will have a very soft and pliable skin, suitable for any purpose for which such skins are used.—Indian Domestic Economy.

Remarks.—The following, which is somewhat different, I take from the Toronto Globe, as it suggests the plan of coloring or dyeing, making them equal to those on sale' in the stores. It was given under the following head:

To Make Mats from Sheepskins.—" Take a fresh skin and wash the wool in strong soap-suds only slightly warm to the hand. Pick out all the dirt from the wool, and scrub it well on a washboard. A table-spoonful of kerosene added to 3 gallons of warm soap-suds will greatly help the cleaning. Wash in another suds, or until the wool looks white and clean. Then put the skin into cold water, enough to cover it, and dissolve % lb. of salt and the same quantity of alum in 3 pts. of boiling water; pour the mixture over the skin, and rinse it up and down in the water. Let it soak in this water 12 hours, then hang it over a fence or line to drain. When well drained stretch it on a board to dry, or nail it on the wall of the wood-house or barn, wool side toward the boards. When nearly dry, rub into the skin 1 oz. each of powdered alum and saltpeter (if the skin is large, double the quantity); rub this in for an hour or so. To do this readily, the skin must be taken down and spread on a flat surface. Fold the skin sides together and hang the mat away; rub it every day for 3 days, or till perfectly dry. Scrape off the skin with a stick or blunt knife till cleared of all impurities, then rub it with pumice-stone or rotten-stone. Trim it to a good shape, and you have an excellent mat. Dye it green, blue, or scarlet, and you have as elegant a mat as those bought in the stores. Lambskins may be prepared in the same way and made into caps and mittens. Dyed a handsome brown or black they are equal to the best imported skins. Still-born lambs, or those that die very young, furnish very soft skins, which, if properly prepared, would make as handsome sacques, muffs, and tippets as the far-famed Astrakhan. In dyeing these skins shallow vessels are used, which permit the skin to be placed in them wool-side down, so that the skin itself is not injured by the hot dye."

Remarks.—The coloring can be done with any of the recipes for coloring woolen goods, being careful that the skin itself is not allowed to touch the hot dye.

1, RECIPES FOR BAKING POWDER.—Tartaric acid, 1 oz.; cream of tartar, 10 ozs. ; bicarbonate of soda, 5 ozs. Mix thoroughly. This is improved by the addition of 4 ozs. of flour.

2. Cream of tartar, 6 ozs.; bicarbonate of soda, 2% ozs.; flour, 4% ozs. Remarks.—This receipt was procured from a chemist, and is a receipt for one of the best brands of baking powder sold by the trade.

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