You don’t have to purchase a lathe and search for wood from a hemlock tree to make lasts! Instead, use Peltex (a type of interfacing found at sewing stores such as Joanne’s Fabrics), home-made playdough, and some sand.
I made these patterns over the oblique-toe (big toe is the longest) size 6,7,8,9, and 10 women’s lasts that I use.
This book also includes instructions on how to make custom last patterns for any size and shape foot.
The playdough/sand mixture hardens inside the Peltex enclosure, making it possible for nails to be used to attach a sole to the bottom of the last when making a shoe using the “stitch-down” method.
The last needs to be in one piece when patterns are being made over it, or when making stitch-down shoes over it. However, the last needs to be in two parts when stretching out the completed shoe, so you can get the last into the shoe without tearing the top of the heel seam. Therefore, you need to make the last in two pieces, then duct tape it together when a one-piece last is needed.
I don’t recommend these lasts for making fully-lasted shoes.