• Introduction    
  • Tools and Supplies    
  • Sewing Notes    
  • Safety Notes    
  • Material Selection    
  • Getting the Pattern    
  • From Duct Tape 
    to Cardboard
  • Pattern Adjustments   
  • Cutting out the Pieces   
  • Preparing the Sole   
  • Starting Construction   
  • Assembling The Back   
  • Applying The Lacing Blocks   
  • Making Buttons   
  • Attaching the back to 
    the front
  • Cementing the Upper 
    to the Sole
  • Sewing the Upper 
    to the Sole
  • Attaching the Rubber Sole   
  • Sewing on the Buttons   
  • Lacing Up   
  • Glossary 
  • Design Home   
  • Don't Try This At Home

    Kidding...where else are you going to do it?

    Working with Barge® Cement

    Before you get started, open a window and start a fan blowing across your work area. Get some air circulating.

    I ignore almost every safety warning. I rarely wear safety glasses, a respirator has never touched my face. Chemical gloves? Hot, sticky; no thanks. But now, we're working wtih Barge cement, and a wonderful solvent called Toluene. Ignoring the obvious reproductive side-effects (if there is a pregnant woman within sniffing range of this product, go somewhere else), if you breathe this stuff you will find yourself with a solvent headache similar to what some people get working around fireworks, called a 'nitro headache'. Aspirin, ibuprofen, acetomeniphine won't dent one of these headaches. Only fresh air and a good night's sleep. You don't want one, and you're about to spend the next several hours working with a really good source. Ventilate, and wear a respirator.

    Another reason for air circulation: the vapors from Barge Cement are heavier than air. That means that if they are allowed to collect, they'll sit like a flammable little cloud until something either disperses them, or ignites them. Amazing, huh? Oh, and by extension, just in case you missed the point: don't smoke around the stuff either.

    All kidding aside: a reader rightly pointed out to me that if I was working in concentrations high enough to give me a headache I was also exposing myself to all of the dangerous effects that Toluene could produce. Since my shop is in my house, I was also doing the same for my wife and two young children. Ventilation, and a respirator, at a minimum.

    Go to the next page: Material Selection  


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