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For those that have purchased my buckles (from me or other fine vendors) here, is the skinny on how to get the dang things on your shoes.
First thing, have a beer or a red wine or something to relax you a bit. You don't want to be too wound up or it could lead to disaster. I was in such a hurry to get mine on my shoes that I almost had a catastrophe...
I use the crap out of an x-acto blade before my lazy ass decides to change the blade. Lets just say that the amount of pressure that you need with a new blade is much LESS than you had been using with the dull old one.
From period pictures, it seems that the shoes with buckle wore worn with the loose end latch pointing outboard. That may sound funky, but what I mean is, on the shoe you have two latches, one that secures the buckles' chape (that anchor looking thingy), and the other that goes through the frame and makes the shoe fit snug on your foot.
Now, while these shoes are straight lasted, that is they were not made right left, they seem to have been worn as a right left pair, meaning the same shoe was always worn on the same foot. So they broke in to be a right or left shoe, even thought they were not made that way.
So, determine which shoe you want as your right and which as left...
For your Left shoe, the latch that will secure the chape will be the the latch on the outside of your shoe (which we will now call the outside latch or chape latch), and the latch that is on the inside of your foot, closest to the other foot when worn, will be the latch that goes through the frame (now called inside latch or frame latch).
Another point is, as you wear a shoe, the leather will stretch... just keep that in mind a bit.
Determine which shoe will be worn on which foot
Take the outside latch of that shoe and stretch it across the shoe. preferable with your foot in it.
Place the buckle on top of the outside latch so that it is "roughly" in the center. Now remember, leather will stretch as it get broken in, so what may be in the center now, might not be in 2 years time after 20 events. I placed mine "slightly" off center so that as they stretch with use, it will center more... but that is up to you.
We are going to mark this point as the furthest point toward the "inside" that we are going to cut the chape slit. Basically, we are going to cut a slit that is horizontal to the leather latch and perpendicular to the chape anchor and no more than 1/2 the width of the chapes anchor tines. That means you want about a 1/2" or 12 mm slit. Its important that you make the slit parallel to the sides of the leather latch and in the center so that when you slide the chape in and turn it to the wearing position, it won't fall out.
|This is where I screwed up one shoe when I used the "new" blade. Instead of a 1/2 inch slit, my left shoe has about a 1 1/4 inch slit. F@#%$!|
You can see the anchor has been slid through and turned. This is why we make the slit parallel with the leather strap, so that when we "turn" the anchor chape, the anchor will be perpendicular to the slit.
NOTE: The other two mark or holes are where the former POST 1725 buckles were attached. Before I had my buckles made, we could only get a double spiked chape and that is where they were attached.
This is the buckle almost in position, being turned in the slit.
I didn't take any pictures of the next step, but this is where you decide where you want the hole for the buckles tongue to go through on the inboard latch.. Again, leather will stretch, but mark where you want yours to go and use a sharp pointy thing to make the hole and then feed the inboard latch through the frame.
If you have any questions, e-mail me.
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