The great Lumberjocks shoe challenge #6: Class is in session - Creating a template

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Blog entry by Jordan posted 10-01-2010 06:00 AM 15198 reads 3 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Get ready, get set Part 6 of The great Lumberjocks shoe challenge series Part 7: Measuring and cutting your block »

Good morning class and welcome to the Great Lumberjocks Shoe Challenge 2010!
When I teach, I abide by the philosophy that nobody knows nothin’ about nothin’. That way I am thorough. However, if you have the knowledge or experience, feel free to cut corners as you wish.

Let’s get started!

Just to make it difficult, I would like to include all of the aspects of a proper shoe carving, including the laces, so please tie a bow on your shoe and lightly tape it to the sides so there are no thin pieces jutting up or away from the shoe. Also, if the tongue drops into the shoe, stuff it with paper to retain it’s shape while handling.

1. Place your shoe on a piece of paper ( or a ream if you’re Grizzman.) Using a square, line up the front and back of the longest sections.

2.Draw around your shoe at the widest points.

Remember, there are areas that are wider than the sole, do not overlook these. Some shoe bodies extend well beyond the sole in various areas, use your ‘powers of observation’ to determine these. Mine extends only above the arch area.

You will end up with something like this:

3. Now draw specifically around the sole only so that you will see a definite difference between the size of the sole and the size of the shoe body.

Do not tip your shoe to draw around the toe because the bend in the shoe will lengthen your overall measurement. We will deal with the bend later.

4.Draw an approx 1/8” outline around your entire shape. This will decrease once we reduce your picture but will give you some extra boo-boo wood. Personally, I find it easier to free hand draw by using dashes but that’s up to you.

5. On the arch side of your shoe image, draw a solid line connecting the ball of the shoe to the heel – this line will be the edge of your wood block. – then 2” in, draw a second solid line – this will be a register line. (NOT a centre line.) – lastly, draw a third solid line on the widest part of the shoe image, parallel with the first line you drew.

The outside lines will be the width of your wood block guides.

6.You now have enough of a shape to manipulate with your computer, scanner, photocopier or freehand if you choose.
Reduce this image 50% using the outside lines as your measuring guide to see if you are accurate – ie. 4.50” =2.25”
You will now have an accurate overall template image.

7. Extend your lines to square it all and the inside of these lines will be the length and width of your wood block. Mine is 6” x 2.5”

8. You do not have to go through the whole process to determine the height of your image. Simply measure the highest point, divide by 2 and add about 1/16” for boo-boo wood.

My basswood block is now ready to be cut to 6”(L) x 2.5”(W) x 2.375”(H). (But don’t cut it yet!)
Note: I use the end grain pointed at the heel and toe, not side to side.


26 comments so far

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3068 days

#1 posted 10-01-2010 06:12 AM

Ha ha Jordan, I love the first picture! Very becoming, I think lots of guys will be proposing!!!! ;-) Great first steps.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View a1Jim's profile


117159 posts in 3627 days

#2 posted 10-01-2010 06:23 AM

very cool Jordon. great blog. can’t wait to see more. I’m going to try this technique on my pick up truck. where can I find some bass wood 10ft long and 6ft thick LOL
nice dress

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18309 posts in 3726 days

#3 posted 10-01-2010 06:32 AM

Wish I had time to work along, but I’ll get back to it :-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3157 days

#4 posted 10-01-2010 07:24 AM

Hey cutie, whatcha doing Saturday night? Just love those big busted teachers.

View Aaron McCain's profile

Aaron McCain

125 posts in 2889 days

#5 posted 10-01-2010 07:35 AM

One question on your last note, how critical is the grain alignment? The chunk of basswood I have was the end of a longer board, so the grain will run across the short axis of the shoe.

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3175 days

#6 posted 10-01-2010 07:46 AM

Aaron, it just means that you won’t be working with the grain for the better part of the shoe but I’ve had to do both ways before for various different pieces so it won’t make a whole lot of difference.


View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4211 days

#7 posted 10-01-2010 10:36 AM

you look like my second grade teacher!
I’m afraid.. very afraid!

Great tutorial. Makes me feel much more comfortable with this challenge—you are very thorough and this girl don’t know nothin’ about nothin’!

In a few hours I’ll be buying my piece of wood and then I guess I will definitely have to choose my shoe :) (Yes, still procrastinating).

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2970 days

#8 posted 10-01-2010 10:50 AM

I didn’t even have my morning coffee when I opened this email thread and I don’t think I need any this morning! I must say, your dress is almost a pretty as Grizzmans! I will tell you – you know how to get the student’s attention alright!

What excellent instructions! If this is any indication of what is to come, it really looks possible! I’m with MsDebbieP. I feel a lot better already! Thanks so much for doing this again. It’s going to be FUN!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3086 days

#9 posted 10-01-2010 11:50 AM

Did you know my Gran’ Jordan. You have her down to a tee in that picture!

p.s. I notice that you are using a left shoe. Sinister!

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3872 days

#10 posted 10-01-2010 11:58 AM

Great tutorial, Jordan. It is well written and your picture documentation is self explanatory. Despite having never done any carving I can easily follow what is going on in the tutorial.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3320 days

#11 posted 10-01-2010 06:03 PM

Geeze teach…you missed out on the cross dress challenge….the grizz woulda had a run for his money there.

Great start out….I already see where I have been going astray on setting up my blanks…..I’ve been working the steps backwards more or less….starting with the shortest spans and working towards the bigger…Your method makes it alot less measurement intensive….I will have to check my basswood when I get home from work and see which way the grain is aligned…since basswood has such tight grains….it is hard to tell on the clear stuff – even on the cut section…I’ve taken to rubbing a bit of pencil (alchohol works too) on mine to see the grain direction.

Wow…we have some early birds here….I just got to this blog a bit ago…yet Bearpie and Jim had their answers up 12 & 11 hours before mine….catch them worms earlybirds….LOL (I do have a bit of excuse – my dog ate my computer monitor?)

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Karson's profile


35128 posts in 4451 days

#12 posted 10-01-2010 07:05 PM

Jordon: This has been a hetic week. I’ve not picked my shoes or my wood.

First day and I’m already behing.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3175 days

#13 posted 10-01-2010 07:07 PM

Detention already for Karson!
I must not be tardy
I must not be tardy
I must not be tardy


View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4211 days

#14 posted 10-01-2010 07:51 PM

phew.. I’m so glad I got my picture in this morning!!

AND I got my wood this morning as well.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3165 days

#15 posted 10-01-2010 09:50 PM

Huu frau Straker it seems to bee more dangerus to bee in your classroom
than in the mad Proffessors from U.K. with his shittistick
not that I´m patisipate but if you allow I´ll gladly follow from the sideline

have a great weekend

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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