A sole press is a very useful piece of equipment for the bespoke shoemaker and the professional sandal maker.
It gets used almost every day in my workshop, for pressing insoles to the bottom of a last for trimming, as well as the obvious use for pressing soles in place for sticking soles on to the finished shoe.
It gives a more professional, smooth finished look to soles, and there is less possibility of having the sole adhesion malfunction.
The patterns and images will enable your metalworker or boilermaker of choice to replicate the press that I had made for myself.
The press uses a bladder of insertion rubber on top, and compressed air to pump it up. Use a layer of leather to protect the rubber. The air pressure should be set at around 11 lb/sq" - 75.84 kilopascals (kPa) so the pressure is quite low.
I made the original design bearing in mind that it could be used in third-world conditions, so it is able to be pumped up with a car tyre foot pump, using a car tyre valve fitted in the side, or a 12volt tyre pump, or even a good bicycle pump, but it works best with a compressor.
It is small enough to go under a bench when not in use, and has a small footprint when put on top of the bench to work.
Not included are rubber or EVA wedges that will have to be made to fit the waist and seat of your individual lasts so that pressure can be spread evenly along the bottom of the last, and the last can sit level when in the press. Below are images of the press with a last, and with the last and wedge, click them to see a larger version.
The wedges need to be made specifically for the heel heights of the lasts you are going to use and must allow space for the heel if using women's louis heels.
The patterns sold here are paper patterns to use when either, building a press yourself, or getting one made.
Not included are rubber or EVA wedges as shown, for different heel height lasts, so the sole can be pressed into place evenly. They will need to be made for individual sets of lasts.
Patterns cost $30.00 Aud + postage.
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