The great Lumberjocks shoe challenge

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Blog series by Jordan updated 11-12-2010 07:29 AM 18 parts 91156 reads 373 comments total

Part 1: Introduction

09-22-2010 01:57 AM by Jordan | 72 comments »

As a former grade school and dance teacher, I think I was cut out for motivating people to recognize their strengths. And as a carver who lives on his own creations, I have had to motivate and challenge myself on a daily basis. Over the years, I have developed my skills by recreating everyday objects – in my case, shoes. Shoes and boots of every kind – skates, cowboy boots, winter boots, running shoes…and the list goes on. (in real life I also have a shoe fetish.) I carved e...

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Part 2: 20 hours later and the shoes are flying

09-22-2010 10:21 PM by Jordan | 27 comments »

Well, well, it’s only been twenty hours since I put this challenge to the Lumberjocks and who woulda thunk it but closet doors are open and the shoes are flying, trying to select the one most appropriate for this challenge. And in true form, the Lumberjocks are abuzz to each other, offering wood, links to tool websites and mustering up all the courage they can to be included in a task that might seem beyond their capabilities. Well done friends, you are not alone. At this fine ho...

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Part 3: The Curriculum

09-25-2010 05:34 PM by Jordan | 15 comments »

As I’ve never taught by correspondence before, I’m having to figure out guidelines as how best to do this to suit everyone involved. With 5 different countries and many different time zones (ain’t that amazing in itself?!) questions and such could get quite overwhelming if this isn’t systematic. So I thought it would be most appropriate to break down all of the sections into separate blogs, even if that section only requires a short time to complete. Therefore, 1, 2...

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Part 4: Please email me your shoe image

09-26-2010 02:24 AM by Jordan | 7 comments »

Just so I am able to know what you mean when you have a specific problem, I would ask that each of you email me an image of the shoe you will be working on – some time this week. That way I can address your questions appropriately and help you adjust from the shoe I will be working on. Please include your screen name. I will catalogue each for quick reference.

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Part 5: Get ready, get set

09-29-2010 05:51 PM by Jordan | 19 comments »

Just two days left until the Great Lumberjocks Shoe Challenge 2010 begins. Laura and I have been working and reworking the blogs for understandability and thoroughness. I’ll let you know now that you all have Martin’s blessing and I appreciate his acknowledgement and positive support for the journey you are all about to embark on. He wanted you to know that he will be selecting 3 random completed shoe artists to receive a Lumberjocks t-shirt. I’m going to hit some of the ...

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Part 6: Class is in session - Creating a template

10-01-2010 06:00 AM by Jordan | 26 comments »

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 s...

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Part 7: Measuring and cutting your block

10-01-2010 06:07 AM by Jordan | 42 comments »

Part A.1. You may now cut your wood into the proper dimensions, labelling the TOP and the INSIDE. After cutting, I sand mine lightly for a good drawing surface. 2. Scissor cut the outside of the template but do not contour the inside line. 3. Lay the template on the TOP of your block, matching the inside line with the inside edge of your block.With a square, mark your centre register line on both front and back of the block. 4.Draw around the template. 5. You may n...

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Part 8: Sole food

10-02-2010 11:09 PM by Jordan | 26 comments »

Part A. 1. Before we start to power carve, I must remind you to wear a dust mask and glasses or safety goggles. Also, at 35,000 rpm, a rough burr caught in your sweater for even a second will snap your flex shaft cable immediately! I have been unsuccessful in replacing just the cable because once snapped, they are hard to remove, so I’ve made many an unexpected trip to the store to buy a whole new shaft. Your rotary bits spin away from you so if it gets too close to a far edge,...

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Part 9: Heel only

10-04-2010 08:26 PM by Jordan | 19 comments »

In my opinion, the heel section is about the hardest thing to do AND teach. What I’m hoping you’ll grasp is that without shaping the achilles area, your shoe would surely fall off. And you do not want to leave the back of your heel flat either. Follow these steps to the best of your ability. Remember, at this point we are only concerned with shape, not detail. 1. Draw a line at the highest point at the back of your shoe/boot as well as a center line down the middle. 2. A...

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Part 10: ....and toe

10-06-2010 06:49 PM by Jordan | 15 comments »

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...

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Part 11: The va va voom!

10-07-2010 09:40 AM by Jordan | 6 comments »

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 o...

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Part 12: Pre-lace refining

10-07-2010 11:11 PM by Jordan | 10 comments »

Well, this weekend is when I have to ‘carve’ the turkey for Canadian Thanksgiving, but I didn’t want to abandon you with nothing to work on.So for this blog and periodically, I will be posting pictures and tips of how to trim your shoe a little finer prior to carving our laces. I will also be adding some details on my shoe.My rule of thumb is never undercut anything until your carving is to it’s proper proportions and the laces need some undercutting. I’m really ...

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Part 13: Tying up loose ends - the ...ugh...laces

10-12-2010 07:10 PM by Jordan | 13 comments »

Part A. The laces aren’t really so hard as there are many focal points to guide you. However, they do take more time as there are ins and outs and the knot in the bow.My problem as I learned how to do shoes, was leaving far to much thickness in my isolation block and always ended up with these big honkin’ globs of laces. If you measure your own and take 50% of them, you’ll see that they are not as wide as you would make them if you didn’t measure them. I am starting...

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Part 14: The hole and the sole - we're almost there!

10-15-2010 06:22 AM by Jordan | 3 comments »

Well well, 10 actual instructional blogs and 85 pictures later and you have reached the end of the major carving of your shoe! Well done!!!!!The final blog will be tips on texturing and painting/staining. The holeAlthough this is not hard, it can be tedious, especially at the heel and towards the tongue where you’re at the end grains. 1. Before I start, I remeasure my sides and top inside and out just to make sure I remove all of my boo-boo wood. 2. You can make it easy...

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Part 15: Reminder to challengees

10-18-2010 04:32 AM by Jordan | 5 comments »

Please remember to email me once you’ve gotten to the last blog so I know when to get the texturing and painting blog up. I’m doing final preparations for the woodworking show this week but I have a few hours to spare somewhere in there to provide some tips.I just need to know who is close to finishing and will be ready for the unveiling. ~ Hairy~ Theresa~ MsDeb~ Aaron~ Bill~ sticks4walking~ Reggiek

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Part 16: The end - tips on texturing and painting

10-19-2010 06:00 PM by Jordan | 16 comments »

Here we are – the final blog in the shoe challenge series. I know some of you are finished and some of you are nearing the end and some of you are half way through. That’s fine, there’s still lots of time. I wanted to give you some tips on finishing your shoe and because some of the details probably can’t be seen by camera until painted over, I’m going to draw some of my texture on my shoe just to shoe you what I mean. I will do this throughout today. If yo...

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Part 17: Time to finish up and get ready for the unveiling

10-27-2010 10:04 AM by Jordan | 27 comments »

Well wouldn’t ya know it – just when I need it most, my camera died so I had to try it with the Ipod – not so great.At any rate, this is not about me, it is about YOU and your SHOE. I have decided that the unveiling will be on Friday, Nov. 12th. so it’s time to finish your masterpiece.Considering the time zones are different, I will contact Martin about how you will post your photos ahead of that day so that they can be shown to your LJ buddies together. As f...

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Part 18: Shoe Challengers Unveiled!

11-12-2010 07:29 AM by Jordan | 25 comments »

Hello fellow Lumberjocks.Over the course of the next few hours, I will be posting the finished footwear of the survivors of The Great Lumberjocks Shoe Challenge 2010 to the projects page.Although there were 22 people who decided to take the challenge, for various reasons only 7 were left standing. However, it was so worthwhile as I saw talent emerge from those who thought they had none, and some who decided that carving would be a great asset to their present wood working skills. I felt t...

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