For bespoke shoemakers or aspiring ones, there’s a constant hunt for good tools. The fact that many of the best quality ones were made decades ago makes this even more difficult. Luckily, there’s a few good places to turn to, one of them is the online shop Shoemaker’s Toolmakers which sell vintage tools and shoemaking materials.
Back four-five decades and further, the quality of the tools for making shoes by hand were incredible, with great metal and wood used and loads of types and versions were made. The reason of course was that there were many more using them, so it was a much bigger business, hence more companies put in more effort in it. You can still get great new tools made today, but there’s much fewer who do them, and selection is more sparse.
One place that shoemakers can find these old tools and also things like threads, waxes etc. is from the site Shoemaker’s Toolmakers. The man behind is the British bespoke shoemaker William Efe Laborde, who is a vintage enthusiast in general and who turned his gathering of vintage tools into a small business on the side of the shoemaking. The webshop is very basic, with all currently available products listed on the start page.
The old used tools are all refurbished, there’s also some new old stock ones. You can also find an archive of what has been offered previously but already sold, but which gives an idea of the wide range that passes through here. A great thing is that all things have good descriptions and photos, so much easier to know what one is looking at than what often is the case browsing Ebay or similar. Prices are from what I can judge reasonable even if not cheap. This is a site that those looking for shoemaking tools and equipment should keep coming back to regularly to not miss when the best stuff one is after turn up on the site.