Maple - A Tough Carve and a Tough Finish!

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Project by Roman - THE BOOTMAN posted 05-01-2012 09:10 PM 1474 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had this piece of maple in my wood box for several years and decided to carve an old style boot. The piece of wood was not square and the dimensions were not generous to me. I took up the challenge and went for it. Into the carving I found the wood to be spalted, punky and split. The power carver and me behind it were not to be denied, and a boot with a funny shape evolved. It might have passed my scrutiny but I lost my direction and decided to play around with some dyes! Bad choice and it went from bad to disaster! Maple does not stain evenly and I had a mess on my hands. With a bit of spit and polish I was able to gain some ground but the end result was not to my liking.
This project showed what not to do in the next carving!
Regards to all, One frustrated boot Carver!!

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

11 comments so far

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3528 days

#1 posted 05-01-2012 09:38 PM

Yeah… I’m not quite with you on this one Roman. I rather like it. There is a shoe/boot color (I can’t think of the name) that this reminds me of. I have only messed with the dyes once or twice but it seem to help wetting the wood first and sanding before the dye. Just so you know… I have never carved any piece of maple and had the thought, “Hmm, that was an easy carve.”

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2795 days

#2 posted 05-01-2012 10:10 PM

I like the shoe design very much. The color kind of looks like cordovan.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View peteg's profile


4423 posts in 3021 days

#3 posted 05-01-2012 10:27 PM

Roman, we all have a bad day at the office now & then, for all that I quite like the “weathered” look of this old worn out looking boot :))

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

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


981 posts in 2884 days

#4 posted 05-01-2012 10:28 PM

My dye job just didn’t turn out like your blue spoon! But I appreciate your comments re wetting the wood first. Live and learn.
The boot is an odd shape because the wood was split leaving a triangular shape. That left me little room to make a proper blank.

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

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2504 days

#5 posted 05-01-2012 11:40 PM

I think it looks good, Maple is tricky to stain its a very dense hard wood, wetting it is a great idea, I did the same for my maple kitchen cabinets. I have done maple flooring with a method called water popping, works every time. The boot looks like a weathered boot, that’s what gives it all that character.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Northwest29's profile


1661 posts in 2688 days

#6 posted 05-02-2012 12:43 AM

Hi Roman- Another great job. I love the style and color of the boot.

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4021 days

#7 posted 05-02-2012 01:45 AM

Boot maker at it once again, hope you have a pair made for the rodeo can’t wait to see some cowboys get tossed…BC

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3920 days

#8 posted 05-02-2012 04:22 AM

I think it has a LOT of character! If it were “perfect” it would be boring.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View 489tad's profile


3469 posts in 3209 days

#9 posted 05-02-2012 11:27 AM

You know what, thats a cool looking boot!

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View DaveGlx's profile


349 posts in 2642 days

#10 posted 05-02-2012 12:00 PM

godonya mate.
The polish is superb. Even new boots are not as polish as this old one ;-)

-- Dave -

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3002 days

#11 posted 05-02-2012 10:30 PM

Wow! Pretty darn smooth.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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