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Thread: steam bending snowshoes

  1. #1
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    Default steam bending snowshoes

    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.

  2. #2
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    You Sir, are inspirational and a man of many talents.

  3. #3
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    Very impressive. Looks like a lot of fun to pass the winter months and keep the shop warm.

  4. #4
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Absolutely awesome work.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

    Edwin Hubble

  5. #5
    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Small shelves on them for nicknacks?
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  6. #6
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    Ranc,

    Very very nice!!

    #2 son is planning to make a set of carbon fiber snow shoes. If I may, I'll show him your pattern and give him some ideas from your layout.

    Nicely done!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  7. #7
    Member Rancid Crabtree's Avatar
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    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.

    [img]http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...psqcxbvtb2.jpg[/img]


























  8. #8
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    This is some beautiful work.

  9. #9

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    Absolutely mind blowing!!! At the risk of seeming ignorant here, are you also doing all the drawing and painting artwork?

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