DIY boot sole repair tutorial (or how i did it)

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by 2 SPOT, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    lots of folks seem to ask about repairing boot soles, or having them resoled. the process is exactly the same either way and its really pretty dang easy to do.

    i did my homework and found out the long time honored glue is barge, its nothing more than a contact cement that remains flexible. i'm sure its slightly different chemicals than rubber cement buts prolly not much. the process is just like a inner tube patch where you apply some glue to each piece and let it dry tack free, then assemble.

    please excuse the crappy pics,,, i dont know what my phone is trying to focus on.

    so here goes,,,, everybody likes a project !!!
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    after removing the toe guard simply rip and pry the sole off the boot
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    sanding by hand will work just fine, somewhat course paper, no rocket science here
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    i went with the grinder and flap disc,,,, very light pressure, all you want to do is get to clean surface, old glue is fine as long as its clean and fresh looking, it will be sticky if you do it right and not take off any rubber
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    this is the glue you want,,, BARGE all purpose cement. you wont find this at the box store, ACE prolly wont even have it. it might be an online buy for some of you, for me i found it at my local Tandy leather store.
    [​IMG]

    so here's the moment of truth,,,, its really just like a inner tube patch. you apply a thin layer to both surfaces and let it dry tack free (check with your knuckle not fingertip). i spread it with a chip brush, worked fine. i also tried a foam brush, that worked well also. i wanted to try the scotchbrite side of a dish sponge but didnt have one handy,, i think that might be the best way to spread this stuff thin and uniform. cobblers use a brush so nothing wrong with that.
    [​IMG]

    when its tack free, carefully aligh the parts,,, you can slide the sole a little bit once its down but you'd be hard pressed to lift it back off the boot, so take your time here and roll it on starting from one side,,, i started at the heel. when its down press firmly all around, i also employed the hammer with firm blows all over the sole to help really press it on and try to get everything adhered well.i also went around the boot edges with a pair of pliers just to really get the edges down and uniform.
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    ta da!! you did it!
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    there ya go,,, i aint no expert cobbler but i did some homework and found the right steps to take and glue to use,,,, its really a simple job.
    #1
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  2. Laconic

    Laconic Cognitively Privileged

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    Nice work. A lot of folks would have thrown those in the trash, unfortunately.
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  3. Camarodude

    Camarodude Been here awhile

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    Good job. Nice write up. Did you buy replacement soles from SIDI?
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  4. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    You didn't talk about pulling the old stitches and resewing the sole on.:evil
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  5. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    LOL, thats the insole, didnt mess with it but i certainly could after reading up on a tool called "the speedy stitcher".

    no new soles, i reattatched my old ones cause they are just fine,, but the process is identical with new soles except that you may need to trim the new outsole to match the boots insole after its glued and cured.
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  6. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

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    The stitching attaches to the outter sole as well. Notice the holes. There are two sets of stitches in the welt. One for the outter and one for the inner sole. Some boots use screws in addition for the toe area and nails for the heel.
    You can take it to your local cobbler and have them replace the stitching. though finding a cobbler that is in business or not dead is hard to do these day.

    A speedy stitcher is not speedy at all. I have used one for years. It is faster when compared to use using a regular needle, pliers (super thimble), and thread. A good tool to have for sure.

    Regardless good job on the sole repair. Those Sidi's look like they have a lot of life left in them and not ready for the dump just cause the sole peeled.

    +1 on the Barge cement. The only cement to use on soles. Though not sure why yours is blue.
    [​IMG]

    I also try to weight soles over night by stacking books and such on an upside down boot. It is a balancing act for sure.
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  7. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    the stitching, at least on these does not attach to the outsole, those arent holes theyre just impressions from the stitching in the welt. no screws other than the toe skid,,, and no nails or screws in the heel.

    see? and before you ask thats NOT poop.:lol3
    [​IMG]


    the blue barge glue is toulene free formula,,, the regular formula is hard to find unless you buy the quart sized can. locally anyway.

    and yeah, these boots are way to good a shape and comfy to chuck out.

    thanks for the comments
    #7
  8. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    The 'new and improved' Barge cement is in a blue tube and is safe. It does not contain toluene. The yellow tube Barge cement is neoprene rubber dissolved in toluene. I am not sure what is in the blue tube but have not been satisfied with its adhesion.

    Good to see the OP got his sole repaired! Nice job! FWIW, if the sole comes undone there are other contact cements like (yellow tube) Barges.


    Note: working with toluene requires some safety precautions (ventilation, no open flames, etc.) and is more restricted to professionals, or at least those who can read a safety data sheet.
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  9. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    yeah stan,, i have read mixed reviews of the blue barge,,,, if it doesnt work well i will get the yellow barge and deal with growing a 3rd eye.
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  10. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    I have the (yellow) Barge in a quart metal can with brush. FWIW, I think toluene was removed because of a growth in the 'huffing' of solvents problem. Some companies (through social pressure?) have removed similar solvents. I even think there is a rubber cement 'safe' version (which, as I understand doesn't work well). A similar approach was used with gasoline - which is why it has a noxious odor now.

    However, toluene is a strong solvent and should be treated with respect, like firearms, electricity, boiling water, etc. But unless you plan on putting some in a plastic bag and inhaling it over an extended period - it's not that dangerous. That said, I try to do my toluene work outside or in the garage with good ventilation - just like work with gasoline. As a kindred spirit, I have resoled some shoes as well. Your boot repair looks cost effective.
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  11. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    i concur about the toluene,,, i'm not worried about health concerns as ive read a bit about it and it seems no more dangerous than anything else i use in the shop.

    i think the yellow a superior product based on everything ive read, i just dont need a quart bottle sitting on the shelf and going dry on me. so i ordered some online just a minute ago, i got a few 3/4oz tubes so i can leave them sealed, for reference the tube in my pics is 2oz and i didnt use a 3rd of it for both boots.

    boot repair was super easy and cheap,, it should hold up well, if not i'll do it again with the yellow glue.
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  12. P B G

    P B G Long timer

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    So...

    Standard yellow barge - it is great - for most everything except anything polyurethane - in many of these boots the outsole is polyurethane.

    Which is quite the game.
    #12
  13. Granitic

    Granitic Rider

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    Anything containing toluene is in a performance league by itself. Example: Mcnett AquaSeal vs. Goop.

    But chlorinated solvents are nasty. Highly recommend a full-face cartridge respirator based on personal experience I won't go into. This kind of respirator can be picked up on eBay and is cheap compared to the damage that can be done.
    #13
  14. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    egads, i wont ask.... the non toluene barge is holding great after a year, soles are still completely attached.
    #14
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