Diver “boots” – production process

Maurizio Masucci,
HDSI member,
long-experienced artisan restorer.
Text: Alfonso Gangemi

Creation of the lead sole: The drawing is created as a faithful reproduction of the original, then with the aid of a CNC cutter the wooden MASTER (coloured red) necessary to make the mold for the subsequent sand casting is obtained.

The wooden sole is made of elm wood which has the characteristic of being incorruptible by sea water.

The lead and wooden parts are assembled together using hidden brass screws.
To create the upper we use templates, the eyelets on the “cuffs” are also made of brass.

The upper is secured by a 0.5mm thick copper clamp with copper nails, 50 to be precise. The work begins starting from the back of the shoe, up to its middle where we intervene to soften and shape the toe using a “false foot”.

After closing the tip, the “bronze tip” is installed using conical-head brass wood screws. This detail was also previously made using sand casting masters. The last job on the boot is the application of leather grease both inside and out.

The laces are made of hemp, singed to remove lint and also greased.

This ancient manufacturing process is possible thanks to the commitment of competent craftsmen.

Our thanks go to Maurizio Masucci, partner of HDSI, author of these works for having made his art available and shared.

Alfonso Gangemi, HDS Italia