Over my years of shoemaking (about 9 at this point), I’ve picked up a few techniques and tricks through trial and error, and I thought I might share some of them, as people might be interested in more than just pictures of recent work and the occasional lesson or technique. By no means am I an expert – I haven’t been making shoes for decades, and I’ve yet to cross even the basic threshold of making 100 pairs of shoes. Additionally, I’ve only taken one informal class on shoemaking, so the majority of my knowledge comes from trying things out based on written descriptions and illustrations, but primarily from trial and error. As a result, if you have some potential insight to offer, I welcome it heartily! Hopefully, this series of posts might entertaining, insightful, and potentially even amusing.
This particular post focuses on an important tool of the trade – the hammer. In your visits to antique stores or looking through various Ebay or Etsy shops, you might have seen hammers looking very similar to the two below (if not, just type in “cobbler hammer”).
Interestingly enough, there do not seem to be many medieval descriptions or depictions of hammers used in medieval or Renaissance shoemaking.