The great Lumberjocks shoe challenge #10: ....and toe

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Blog entry by Jordan posted 10-06-2010 06:49 PM 2617 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Heel only Part 10 of The great Lumberjocks shoe challenge series Part 11: The va va voom! »

The toe blog starts today step by step. I will be working on refining the videoing too.

While the top of your shoe is still flat, I’d like you to isolate your laces area so you don’t carve into it while shaping the toe/instep/body.

1.Position or reposition a nice bow where you’d like it to be – remember, you’re going to be carving this so the less complicated, the better.

2. Measure your shoe from the finished heel section to just above the first eyelets and draw a matching line on your wood.

3. Now measure to the bottom of your laces (not eyelets) and draw a line. Mine ended almost where I cut the rise but I know that Manilaboys are close to the toe and anyone doing a wingtip will have a shorter lace length.

4. If you notice, the first eyelet is generally above and parallel to the inside arch, so draw a line where your laces meet that eyelet to the bottom one – and using any curves that may take – meaning, some bottom laces extend far beyond the top lace (right to left) depending on the shoe style and how wide your foot is compared to how tight you tie them up.

5. Using that line, measure to where the outside of the lace area follows. If you eyeball it from the top, you should see that there is more shoe left towards the baby toes than the big toe.
At this point you may also draw where your bow will be – of course it will round later but this is just to isolate the area that you will NOT carve into while you are shaping your shoe body and believe me – we will definitely learn more about laces later!!!!

6. Before I carve I pay close attention to the angles of the toe – which slants in similarly to the heel… well as the sides…

...and the angle from inside to outside looking from the front. In my opinion, angling this area is what makes a shoe look like a shoe. I’ve seen many a carved foot item where the outside and inside are too close to the same height. Remember, the outside toes are thinner than the big toe and the instep bone is generally closer to the big toe.

I’m going to take a video now of how I carve this area. There are bends and dips in the top of the toes area but I won’t worry about them yet until I have a nice shape. Refresh your page if need be to see the video.

Thanks to a suggestion from MsDebbieP, I used a fan to keep the dust away from the lens. The lighting, however is what I put up with everyday!!!
Anyways, just as with the heel, I was more concerned with my shape than detail. One thing to pay attention to here is whether or not your toe area extends past the sole – probably not but in some cases it does. I did carve the shoe a bit more than the end of the video but I hope you get the idea.

end of blog


15 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3086 days

#1 posted 10-06-2010 09:52 PM


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

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3175 days

#2 posted 10-06-2010 10:23 PM

It’s not as difficult as it looks in preparation, Martyn, you know me, just want to let you guys observe before you cut!


View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3086 days

#3 posted 10-06-2010 10:25 PM

OK then.

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

View hairy's profile


2724 posts in 3582 days

#4 posted 10-07-2010 12:04 AM

My powers of observation are showing me how different one side of a shoe is from the other.

-- My reality check bounced...

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3985 days

#5 posted 10-07-2010 02:22 AM

And my power of observation is going to be tested… It is getting trickier :-)


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View Hix's profile


161 posts in 3328 days

#6 posted 10-07-2010 03:02 AM

OK, Ok, OK! I give in…..I have been following this since you started it. Bought the wood, will pick up the bits Thursday or Friday, I have the template reduced. This looks like too much fun to pass up. Do I get detention for being tarday?

-- ---call me---- Mark

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3175 days

#7 posted 10-07-2010 04:06 AM

No you don’t Mark – as a matter of fact you get a C…for Congratulations!!!! Good luck, I’m here!


View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3100 days

#8 posted 10-07-2010 07:17 AM

Ok Jordan, you remember how I told you that I inadvertently kicked started the carving passion in a 90 year old. Well I told her about this tutorial of yours and showed her what I had done on the shoe so far. She thought it was a grand idea and wanted in on it. (However she is STILL waiting for the arrival of her dremel from a tardy supplier) Anyway I have just sent off an email to her daughter with the address of the first set of instructions (#6) that I am assumiing she will then print off so Joan (the 90 year old lady) will be able to follow along without having to use the computer. will be interesting, she has the idea of a 3D object but not the ability to easily get the wood off as she is using blunt chisels. Hopefully when she gets the dremel it will be a lot easier for her to do, and not quite as dangerous.

-- Theresa,

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3175 days

#9 posted 10-07-2010 07:32 AM

Wow Theresa, isn’t that amazing?! Wouldn’t it be lovely to have her show her finished piece on the unveiling day. I’m sure there will be loads of time as if she’s using chisels, she’ll be a wiz with power!


View Eli Adamit's profile

Eli Adamit

724 posts in 3339 days

#10 posted 10-07-2010 12:47 PM

jordan, what kind of Rotary Tool Accessory do you use in this video? can you write the name/ cat. No ond the company (dremel?)

-- Eli Adamit, Israel

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4210 days

#11 posted 10-07-2010 04:56 PM

I was a little confused with the lines in this lesson… but I just telling myself “isolate the laces”... “isolate the laces” so hopefully I did that correctly. Maybe I’ll have a sandal when I’m finished! ha.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3175 days

#12 posted 10-07-2010 06:39 PM

Eli, yes, it is the Dremel 100 rotary tool, with a flexible hand shaft.


View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3175 days

#13 posted 10-07-2010 06:40 PM

Deb, you’re right to say that and hopefully today it will make more sense.


View Aaron McCain's profile

Aaron McCain

125 posts in 2889 days

#14 posted 10-19-2010 07:33 AM

Done! The toe has emerged from my block of basswood. The transition to the laces area is still a bit rough, but I think that is okay. We will see how it goes from here.

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3175 days

#15 posted 10-19-2010 07:36 AM

Good for you, Aaron, glad you’re still with us! I know your laces are a tad higher so pretend they’re not there until you get there and give the beginning of your instep lots of attention, then it’ll be fine.


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