Steam bending snowshoes

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  VinceColbert 1 year, 10 months ago.

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  • #148332

    Rancid Crabtree

    Ive wanted to learn to make snowshoes for some time but never got around to it. Now is the time I guess. Before I make actual sized and wearable shoes I will start by making half scale versions. Here is the process Im using as I learn about steam bending wood. Im using oak since Ash is hard to come by. I shape and thin the oak stick in the areas where the bends are otherwise it will break and I have broken many until I got a pattern that works.

    The form I made.

    The high tech steam creator (since one cant buy steam, premade)

    The steam chamber is PVC

    After a hour of steam It can be coaxed around the form.

    and the nose bent

    After a day or two its dry enough to hold the shape and crossbars are added and its sanded because the steam raises hell with the wood

    Then I lace the heel and toe with deer skin and varnish everything.

    Since the prototypes are half scale and cant be worn I will turn them into art pieces. The first batch will have deerskin leather enters with artwork.

    Again, these are half scale.

    Then I thought, since this is the 21st century I would make electric snowshoes so I bought a small light and cordset and fashioned up a lamp but I wanted a lamp that I could customize or change with the seasons. For the lampshade I printed oak and birch skin on legal sized paper on my printer. For the frame I steam bent small strips of oak.

    Then I thought about adding a background that appears only when the light is on. (with oak)

    Then birch

    Then I went kind of nuts because its easy to change the skins.

    The sky is the limit for options in regards to silhouettes but then I had another thought on how to customize behind the bark only when the light is on.

    Then I went kind of nuts.

    Now Im thinking 2 snowshoes side by side to create a shelf or other ideas for how to use these half sized shoes.

  • #148334

    Rancid Crabtree

    Each time I cut a piece of wood to make a snowshoe I have a piece of drop/scrap that I had been setting aside. Then I had a thought and placed the drop in the steamer box with the snowshoe wood and bent that piece of drop around a 25 pound plate from my weight set to form a wooden hoop. Since I am filling the center section of some of the snowshoes with leather and artwork I ink onto the leather (like this)

    I thought, why not cut some tanned deerskin leather into circles and lace them onto the wooden hoops. So I did.

    Then while attending one of the many gun shows I attend each year, I ran into a NA businessman who had a booth where he was selling all manner of native crafts. We spoke and I told him about the snowshoe wall art and lamps and the hoops. He was interested. He said he was also in the market for scale versions of birchbark canoes and stone point arrows so I spent last week in the shop and yesterday made my initial delivery of 2 lamps, 2 snowshoes and leather wall art,, a bunch of leather hoops, arrows and canoes.

  • #149921


    This is definitely very informative. Thanks for sharing!

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