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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/146

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130

��Popular Science Monthly

��Fig. 4. This frame may be roughly put together from any lumber found about a home. Complete dimensions are shown in the figure. Leave the frame on the form for two weeks, when it will have a per- manent set in the desired shape.

The exact position for the two center cross-braces is best determined by experi- ment. Spring them in the frame about 15 in. apart, and balance the frame across the clasped hands between the braces. The shoe should almost balance at this point. Shift the braces so that the heel is about 1 3^ oz. heavier. This insures the heel of the snow-shoe cutting down, and keeps the toe nearer the surface. The crossbars are i in. wide, and ^ in. thick. Make them of ash to the shape shown in Fig. 5. Each end of the brace is mortised or let in the sides of the frame. A sharp 3/^-in. chisel will come in handy for cutting the mortise, which must be 14 i". deep. Take pains to make the ends of the braces a nice snug fit in the mortises, so that the spring of the frame will keep them solidly in position.

The small upper cross-brace shown in Fig. 2, is only necessary when the toe is much up-curved. In the straight or only slightly up-curved model we are making, this brace may be omitted.

After finishing the frame, smooth all surfaces with sandpaper, and slightly round off the top and bottom edges of the frame and the edges of the braces so that

����FIG.3 _ FIG.4

Dimensions of the snow-shoe frame and the drying mold over which the sides are shaped

the filling may not chafe across the sharp corners. To preserve the wood, a coat of common linseed oil may be wiped on the wood, but do not put anything else on the frame. Some cheap factory-made snow- shoes are varnished, but no Indian or woodsman would make or use a snow-shoe

��thus finished, because the frame would prove slippery and treacherous when cross- ing logs and ice, causing accidents.

���FI&.S

The crossbars are of ash fastened with tenons to the ends to fit in mortises of the frame

The Indians and woodsmen still fill their frames with deer, moose or caribon hide, but the white man substitutes cowhide for the center and calfskin for filling the ends.

Lacing in the Pattern

Regular rawhide or cowhide belt-lacing is very satisfactory, and this may be pur- chased in long strips in suitable widths. For the center, use ^-in. lacing, and for the toe, heel and lanyards use the 3^-in. width. This may appear a bit wide, but as the thongs are soaked and stretched before use, this will make them very much smaller.

As the leather cannot be well joined with knots, the end of each thong is joined to another by slitting the end of each to form an eye, and the two thongs are joined as shown in Fig. 6. For weaving the strands a lacing needle or bodkin is used. This is simply a piece of birch or maple whittled shuttle-shape about 2 in. long, ^ in. wide and 14 in. thick. The bottom side is flat, and the top is convexed and rounded as shown. In the center is an oval hole for the threaded end of the thong. By turning the shuttle slightly, the thong is nipped securely while it is woven and stretched in place.

Cotton cord may also be used for filling the frame. It answers very well where a cheap snow-shoe is desired for occasional use. However, as the labor is the same, it is better to make a hide-filled shoe in the first place, as cord will not stand much hard use. For cord, pick out a heavy twisted or cable-laid fishline for the center, and use a smaller size line for the ends.

As shown in Figs, i and 2, the center of the shoe is filled with woven hide laced over the sides of the frame. The ends — toe and heel sections — are not laced around the frame but are woven through a strip of

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