Lasts at last?

I’m still working on the finding/getting/making-lasts-that-match-my-feet thing.  The three pair of lasts I got through Ebay don’t in any way resemble the feet I have.  I think they could be split and pieced to make a pair my size, though I suspect that would be an awful lot of work for little reward.  I’m really ambivalent about that. Part of my problem with that is I don’t have all the tools I need.

There’s a guy online who cut his own lasts out of blocks of wood.  I remember the photos being on one of the online photo galleries, you know the ones where you can sign up for an account and they host your pictures.  He used all sorts of hand and power tools and ended up with decent looking lasts that pretty much matched his feet.

In talking to our son, it appears he may have the perfect solution.  He has an epoxy that cures to the consistency of spruce, light, strong and workable with hand tools.  How cool is that!?  I just need to make mold of my feet with added room around the toes.

Did you know you can buy plaster impregnated socks?  I ran across them in my search for casting material.  They’re unreasonably pricey but isn’t that an interesting idea?  The plaster socks came with a plastic strip to stick to your leg.  Once the plaster is set they used bandage scissors to cut it off using the plastic strip as the guide.  Because the sock/plaster layer isn’t very thick it didn’t get as hot as sticking your foot in a plaster bucket.  That’s a plus.

There has to be a fairly simple method for making molds using socks and plaster of paris.  I wonder if it’s possible to rub dry plaster of paris into a sock and end up with something that could be used as a mold.  You know I’m gonna have to try it . . . I have a whole sack of cotton socks (white and tan) I don’t wear and a 3 gallon bucket of plaster of paris.  Perfect testing material.

What if I split a pair of socks down the back to the top of the heel and sewed in something that would allow me to . . . hmm . . .  I can see I have something here . . . I’m just not sure what.  I only need them to come up to the bottom of the ankle bone.  Maybe material flanges that I can clamp closed at the back of my foot.  I have plenty of socks to test on.  We’ll see how it goes.

At some point I’ve got to get started on this project.  I have the pattern, I have the material and tools for making shoes but before I can start I have to have lasts that resemble my feet.  I thought I was going to be able to get lasts made.  I contacted Bill at Global Footwear Solutions and had my feet scanned but never heard back from him.  I talked to him, sent emails . . . no joy, no lasts.  <sigh>  It was a bit frustrating but not a total waste of time.  I learned stuff.  That’s always good.

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