What do you do when your shoe tree breaks inside the shoe?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Seth Byrnes, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Seth Byrnes

    Seth Byrnes One of the Regulars

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    I received a great pair of Mle 47 French army boots which I haven’t been able to try on (at least not the right boot) because when I went to remove the shoe trees inside, the wood lip that serves as the “handle” cracked off.

    Uhoh!
    Now I have a 50+ year old boot in nice shape with a sharp piece of wood inside that needs to be prised out.

    My first inclinations are to (A) cut the dowel and separate the tree into two halves or (B) wedge something between the heel and the tree to facilitate dragging it out of the boot without damaging the inside.

    Occam’s razor wants option (A), but I would be a bit sad to just destroy the tree as I would love to reuse it and fix it too.

    Anybody have any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2020
  2. Seth Byrnes

    Seth Byrnes One of the Regulars

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  3. Seth Byrnes

    Seth Byrnes One of the Regulars

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    To clarify, I HAVE the handle piece and feel confident I can bond it well if I can get the tree out in one piece.
     
  4. Turnip

    Turnip One Too Many

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    Couldn’t you just compress the spring of the tree moving the rear part forwards using a water pump plier or similar?
    There appears to be enough space left and right of the rear block the closer you come to the spring shaft.
     
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  5. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Bartender

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    If you have the proper tools, you could drill a hole in the tree, then tap threads into the hole with a coarse threaded tap. Screw the proper size bolt into the tree and pull the tree out. Just like metal work, except you are putting threads into a wooden object.

    If you are close to me, I would be glad to do it for you. Your location is listed as Septentrionales Patrium, and I have no idea where that is. Don't think it is close to Middle Tennessee, though.
     
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  6. johnnycanuck

    johnnycanuck Call Me a Cab

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    If there is enough of the tree there just put a screw into it (or two) and pull it out. Then you could glue the tree back together with some wood gorilla glue.
    Let us know how it goes.
    Johnny
     
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  7. M Brown

    M Brown One of the Regulars

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    spatula !

    seriously though...I have an old screwdriver that I heated with a propane torch and bent the tip, about an inch up, into an L shape. I use it just for oddball challenges like the one you have. That 'tool' has come in handy many times over the years.

    with something like that you could just slip it down into the shoe, tip forward, then turn the tip to nudge under the wood, and pull it out. If it breaks so what, it's already broken.
     
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  8. Flanderian

    Flanderian Practically Family

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    There is a hardware item known generically as a screw hook which comes in many configurations from the delicate to large industrial size. The name describes the item as there's a screw on one end, and a hook of some form on the other. I would think the correct variety could simply be screwed into what remains of the heel of the tree, and the tree extracted normally.

    There are many images on line, including this one which appears to feature a wood screw of roughly the right size and a padded hook that would allow good purchase for leverage.


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  9. Woodtroll

    Woodtroll Practically Family

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    Mtns. of SW Virginia
    Do you have a shoe horn that you could work down between the heel cup and the heel of the tree, then pull it out?
     
  10. Seth Byrnes

    Seth Byrnes One of the Regulars

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    This! This was the one that worked. I simply screwed a standard screw into the tree and used a pair of pliers to tug it upwards. Worked like a charm!! Now I can repair the tree and wear the shoes.

    Thank you all for your suggestions, I am sure that all of them can be used to good effect for something of this nature and I hope they help someone else with a similar problem down the road.
     
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  11. Flanderian

    Flanderian Practically Family

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    Location:
    Flanders, NJ, USA
    I'd simply buy new trees.

    I use an old, no longer available model of tree that I prefer, but were I to try any new trees, I'd try a pair of these. Look to be the right shape, and come in a good range of sizes.

    https://www.shoecaresupplies.com/Cedar_Shoe_Trees_p/mens-st-paul.htm


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    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
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