The great Lumberjocks shoe challenge #11: The va va voom!

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Blog entry by Jordan posted 10-07-2010 09:40 AM 2328 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: ....and toe Part 11 of The great Lumberjocks shoe challenge series Part 12: Pre-lace refining »

In todays blog, I will be connecting the toe and heel with the body of the shoe. This is where more wood than you’ve carved this far will come off and the proper angle of the way a shoe really looks will be attained.

For those of you who are just starting your shoe or not at this point yet, don’t worry, my purpose is to get the blogs completed and then add a special section with different details that are not on my shoe but that are on shoes I know certain people are working on. That will give everyone time to catch up and get ready for our unveiling.

I’m not really sure who is still on board but near the end, I will ask you to confirm your projects so I can work on the correct amount of awards!!!! A teacher’s work is never done!

So, I’m off to bed now, but see you in a few hours….

.....Good morning – today your shoe will take on a shoe shape!!! Yeehaw!

1. Let’s deal firstly with the height of your foot insert. I usually measure and mark the lowest point of the curve first and various points forward and back. Remember, in the last blog, you already drew a line to just above your eyelets which is usually where the insert ends or begins. Do this on both sides – I hope you notice that the outside is slightly lower than the inside.

2. Grind along the edge about .5 inch in. As long as you don’t slice into the tongue area, don’t worry about taking too much because the leftovers will be a hole later.

3. Once again, isolate your lace area, but this time with a ground line. Remember, you only measured an extra 1/8” lace height when you originally cut your block so don’t be too aggressive with this cut.

4. I measure and mark the true width of the top of my shoe at the eyelets area so when I start to round the shoe, I don’t grind too narrow.

5. Place strategic points along the rise (instep) of the inside of your shoe.

6. If you have a nice instep line and the gouge around the laces, you can trim the sharp edges from the inside of your shoe and you ‘should’ end up with something like this. While carving this area, the images to keep clear are how wide your shoe extends from your sole. My problem in the past has been leaving my shoe too fat. The inside of a shoe is relatively straight up and down compared to the outside.

You may round your square looking bow at this point and then draw it on again so you can slightly grind around it.

7. And now for the outside. It’s a little hard to draw your curve on this side as most will not be able to see the difference between the rise and the run. The run is what I consider the middle of the shoe to your baby toe – do you see on mine that if I put my foot into it, my instep would be higher than the bones of my smaller toes. At this point, your laces will be straight across, but in the lace section, you will also see that they slant more towards the outside.
I can’t tell you enough to keep turning your shoe back and forth to make sure the shape is starting to look less square and perpendicular. Think of your foot inside of it.

end of blog


6 comments so far

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1092 posts in 3389 days

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

I haven’t started yet, except to cut my butternut blank, but I will sit down soon and try to catch up.
Having a Jordan Straker original would be great, but I would do this challenge without it. That’s the way I’m wired. Challenge me and I respond.
That’s not always good, but in this case it will help me to advance as a carver.
Thanks for your industriousness!


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

View Billinmich's profile


244 posts in 3726 days

#2 posted 10-07-2010 01:08 PM

Hey Jordan,Mine is started have blades roughed,heel roughed out and toe coming along,amazing it looks like a skate.Sure is dusty grinding away on the Dremmel

-- Bill in Mich

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3264 days

#3 posted 10-07-2010 09:00 PM

I’m only up to the sole so far….will have some time this weekend to try to catch up the heel/toe….then perhaps some on the body…haven’t had any shop time this week…too much work to do.

Jordan whips these out fast (that dremel video was very helpful)...whereas I am slower than molasses running down an ice block – but nice to know the next set of instructions is waiting for me to get there.

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

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3119 days

#4 posted 10-07-2010 09:14 PM

Reg, I’d rather have you take less off than more. We’ll be trimming it all later with finer tools so if you leave a lot, that’s okay.


View Aaron McCain's profile

Aaron McCain

125 posts in 2833 days

#5 posted 10-21-2010 07:21 AM

Done, I think I am ready to start laces.

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3119 days

#6 posted 10-21-2010 10:24 PM

Hooray Aaron!!!!


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