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Project by Roman - THE BOOTMAN posted 12-12-2011 09:07 PM 2764 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few weeks back I was asked to pick up some angle iron for a window we were installing in an office building. This took me to a steel fabricating plant where I met Mr. Cooley. He had a large crew of men and was gracious enough to give me a tour of the plant. This company does some large steel fabrication work and while touring the plant I happened to see a piece of wood under some strap steel. I was informed that this piece of wood was a piece of ‘dunnage’ used in stacking steel during transport.
The piece was about 14 inches long and a rough 6 inch by 5 inch block. It was severely weathered, bruised with unknown liquid stains that made it difficult for me to identify the species. I asked if I could have the piece to carve a boot. It had a large knot at one end and some severe checking.
In my workshop I had cut one blank to incorporate the knot and soon found that I had a piece of red oak that was also severely spalted. For the wood, I had promised Mr. Cooley a boot patterned after his heavy work boots seen in picture 3. Since there was some extra wood left over I had enough to complete a pair. Picture 2 shows the boots as they came out of the wood. This was an interesting project as the wood had much variation in colour and texture and the carving had to be handled with much care to minimize splitting and over carving of the spalted areas.
The pair was power carved with a Foredom and sanded with sanding drums on a flex-shaft. I finished the wood with Shellawax a ‘U Beaut Polishes’ product from Australia. This polish is used by wood turners to get a fine finish on their pens.

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

9 comments so far

View peteg's profile


4299 posts in 2852 days

#1 posted 12-12-2011 10:14 PM

Great job Roman, you always get them to look “wearable” somehow, guess thats what you get when you know what you are doing :: ))
I also use a lot of U Beaut product & can also recommend

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View spud72's profile


324 posts in 3523 days

#2 posted 12-12-2011 11:58 PM

Lovely job!

-- Guy,PEI

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 2821 days

#3 posted 12-13-2011 01:22 AM

Nice boots, but to have them in that shop, I have to ask, Are they steel toed?
I know, I know, my jokes aren’t all that funny.
You do some great carving.
Thanks for sharing them with us.

-- Mel,

View chrisstef's profile


17429 posts in 3035 days

#4 posted 12-13-2011 02:27 AM

Roman, great project its a dead ringer and i really like the story that comes with the lumber. Ive got ask how is spalted oak to work with. Ive got a huge piece of red oak trunk thats been laying just off my yard in the woods where its always shady and typically damp. Maybe ive got somethin there ??

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View DaveGlx's profile


349 posts in 2473 days

#5 posted 12-13-2011 11:20 AM

Fantastic carving. The wood and shoes have lots of character. Well done mate.

-- Dave -

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


950 posts in 2715 days

#6 posted 12-13-2011 06:12 PM

Chris, What you need to watch out for in spalted wood is the different densities within the piece. How you cut and sand the piece for finish is tricky, but the effort is well worth it in the end. There will be a few surprises I am sure!

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

View chrisstef's profile


17429 posts in 3035 days

#7 posted 12-13-2011 10:39 PM

Thanks Roman … i might just cut a length of that old log and see whats goin on.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 2631 days

#8 posted 12-13-2011 10:53 PM

Great carving, terrific job on these. Thanks for sharing them.

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3107 days

#9 posted 12-14-2011 12:02 AM

Great job, Roman, as always!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

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