Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 5
May 2008
From the Collection

Cobbler's Nail Cups

Cobbler's nail cups

A cobbler was the person who mended and refurbished the work of the shoemaker and, in some cases, this proved to be a more profitable business enterprise than the actual fabrication of footwear. Most cobblers had the ability to manufacture, but the emergence of factory-made assembly-line shoes at consumer-driven prices diverted many from the bespoke trade.

The shoe and leather repair shop owner had to have the ability to fix anything and everything that came through the door. This required specialized stocks of items and parts to fit the varied styles of footwear that needed rehabilitation. A small capital investment was all that was required to start such a repair shop, and business was almost guaranteed if the work was of good quality. These types of shoe-repair businesses are starting to disappear, as some of the man-made materials used in modern footwear do not lend themselves to repair.

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