Thursday, August 12, 2010

Feet! - Day One

After doing sufficient digging yesterday, I found an old pair to Steve Maddens in the garage that I hadn't used since my junior high years. I'm surprised they still fit, but not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I'm just happy I don't have to drop the money on a pair of cheap boots I'll be miserable wearing. Also, I'd feel kind of bad for the poor things if I took them home just to take a hacksaw to them. At least I know the boots I sacrificed today had a good life prior. They carried me through my odd phases of wanting to be trendy, but still being awkward in anything other than Converse (you may note the ridiculously thick heels), and also having a slight pull towards the punky-goth genre. Ah, youth.

My friend came over to help me, which was incredibly useful. I don't think I could have taken these apart without her. Using a hacksaw, we slowly chipped away at the rubber heel. Mm, nothing like the smell of burning rubber in the morning!

As we sawed, we were confounded by how quickly it became difficult. Our motto became, "When all else fails, cut it in half!" After dividing down the heel we realized that the rubber actually encased a much harder plastic heel base. Oh, Steve, you sneaky, sneaky man.

One boot with the remnants of the semi-dismantled pair. You can see where the rubber was hollow to allow for the mini-heel inside.

Here you see the tiny inner heel as we try to saw through it, and the clunky heel remains on the side:

 The smaller, tougher heel was also screwed in to the sole, quite well, actually.

This gives another view of that same little beast:

After much sawing, breaking, and rubber shredding later ... viola! 

I have one funny looking boot. I also removed the buckle strap from the boot with a pair of awesome heavy duty scissors that don't back down against copper pennies, let alone old leather boots.

At this point, I'm going to say that was the most difficult part of the project ... I don't think anything else could be as difficult as those couple hours we spent trying to break a nailed in, screwed on, welded piece of plastic without destroying the integrity of the boot/sole itself.

After this, we headed to the local Lowe's to pick up supplies for the next step. We looked at blocks of wood first, but ultimately decided to go with PVC pipe. Kind of lazy, perhaps, but I lack the tools to shape wood and the pipes come pre-cut. It was just a matter of finding a size that fit on the base of the boot well enough for me to balance on. I got some weird looks, slipping in to a deformed, heel-less knee-high and standing one-legged on PVC pipe caps in the middle of the aisle. I think they were just jealous.

We finally decided on a good size cap for the width of the base, but it wasn't quite the height I was looking for. Face it, a 5'4" draenei just isn't going to cut it. Looking through a few more bins, we found an insert that fit well inside the cap we had decided on, then headed over to the adhesive aisle to buy all sorts of PVC cement, sand paper, and a cheap paintbrush. Things are a little fuzzy here, as I'm not totally pleased with the process I did today and will be heading out within the next day or two to try to get a replacement.

Here are the bits of PVC I brought home: 

We joined the inserts with the caps first and let them dry, then started the process of adhering the caps to the boots ...

Hours later, they are still holding well. 

I'm going to let them rest for the night, and then I'll be going out after work tomorrow to look in to buying some more heavy duty adhesive/putty to compensate for the opposing curves on the cap and boot soles. Then I will be applying fiberglass resin to reinforce further as well as blend the line from boot to PVC a bit.

I'm already real excited.

No comments:

Post a Comment