Clever title, yes?
Now, I'm no bootmaker, so I'm going to try to be really non-judgmental in what I'm about to say. Both Siam Leather AND Indy Magnoli have told me they will be unable to make the boots based solely on the pictures I have.
Since I'm not a cobbler, I'm not really in a position to tell them that they should be able to. But if they tell me they cannot, I will just have to take their word for it. But at this point, I've exhausted all of the options I have that I know of. So it looks like I'm going to have to tackle the boots on my own.
The good news here is that just yesterday I tested my sewing machine with a leather needle in it, and it worked pretty well. I think I can pull it off. I won't be making the boots from scratch, but will instead just be building a facade up around a pair of CA Boots that I already own.
Polou Laser Cutters can do laser etching on leather, and so does my other laser cutter. My thought is that I can do the micro-S engraving that way, and then basically just wrap it around the front of the boot.
But it's the soles that are going to get me in the end. I was driving home from work tonight and came up with an idea. My talents do not lie in sculpting with clay. I'm just not good at it. But I CAN shape something that is rigid, using tools like a dremel, some files, and sanding paper. So I got it in my head to try to put together something rigid for the sole.
I made a trip to a local hobby shop and Home Depot, and came home to get started.
Here's what I've got. A CA boot, some bondo, some latex gloves, popsicle sticks, and some low tack painters tape.
I start by wrapping tape around the part of the boot I want to schmear. I then sprayed it with a quick blast of mold separator, which is basically spray on vasaline.
I mixed up some bondo, then just started slathering it on using the popsicle sticks. Yes, the boot was on my foot at the time to make sure it filled out properly.
I've got to say that I was stunned at how well it turned out. The rigid positive pretty much slid right off, and is looking REALLY great.
I will build it up a bit more with more bondo, getting the general shape of the sole, and then I will start going in with some tools to take it down to the proper shape. After the results I got tonight, I'm actually starting to think that making this sole by myself just might be possible.
The extra cool thing is that once I have it molded, I can make copies for any of my friends who happen to wear size 10.5 CA Boots! NICE!