Crafting clogs

The original craftsmanship

The Craft:



Blocks are shaped into wooden shoes

              oblong knifeBefore the wooden shoe maker starts to work on the blocks with an oblong knife (fig 9), this knife is sharpened.

The wooden honeThis is done with a wooden hone, made of a tough sort of wood like willow. It is about 24 inches long, 2.5 inches wide and tapers off at the ends.

In chapter 10 "In-between sharpening of the tools" it is shown that the wooden shoe maker uses a sun baked whetstone on the wooden hone (photo 38). In doing so, powder like dust remains on the blade which polishes it whilst sharpening and thus becomes extremely sharp.
The wooden shoe maker now places one of the blocks against his hip, with the nose of the wooden shoe as close as possible to the hook by which the oblong knife is anchored. The result is a leverage which enables the wooden shoe maker to apply a large force during cutting without having to apply too much effort.

Next, in about 7 cuts, the wooden shoe's nose is shaped into the desired model. To make the right cut, one should not only move the hand that wields the knife correctly. Also the hand that holds the wooden shoe should make the right moves and turns. Shaping the
                hoodIn that case both arms do part of the work and the wooden shoe maker also doesn't need to make peculiar moves with the rest of his body.

Then, as shown on photo 15, the right shape of the hood is made. This needs to be done broadside because that way the wood is easier to cut. This is also the easiest way to achieve a good result.

Creating the beak
After the heel has been shaped, the beak is made with the oblong knife in the right spot and with the right depth (photo 16).

The beak of the wooden shoe starts for a pair of high wooden shoes at a position a little less than half the total length. Rough
              measuresIn fig. 10 again, the measures of the heel and the beak are illustrated. The space in the tread starts about 1/3 from the front and stops at 1/3 from the rear. The beak starts about halfway from the front.

Touching up the treadAfter the beak is finished, the space in the tread is touched up with the oblong knife. Photo 17 shows how the wooden shoe is held. What isn't shown, but is very important, is that the wooden shoe maker leads the moves of the wooden shoe during cutting with his left hand. As mentioned before, this is a way of working that requires the least effort and enables cuts that would hardly be possible without movement of the left hand.

Perpendicular to the
                grain of the woodPhoto 18 shows perfectly how sharp the knife should be to be able to cut perpendicular to the grain of the wood.

The first wooden shoe is created so to speak "out of the hand". The wooden shoe maker can and should measure things like the length, width and height, but at this stage he is following no other fixed measurements.

A pair under constructionPhoto 19 shows a pair of wooden shoes under construction with a width of 6 inches and a height of 4 inches. One can expect that they will shrink about 2/5 to 3/5 of an inch in width. In height they shrink very little and in length close to nothing. The thickness of the sole should be such that a life span, the wearing time, of 3 to 4 months is guaranteed. In practice that means a thickness of 1 to 1.4 inch.

Comparing the beaksWhilst shaping the second wooden shoe, among other things, the beaks are compared. They must be equal and large enough because soon the hole will be bored that should allow the foot to slip in (photo 20).
Comparing the beak and the

Also the beak and the hood are mutually compared (photo 21). These are almost equal in size but identical for both wooden shoes.
Comparing the treads

Important whilst comparing the treads is that when the wooden shoe maker removes both heels from each other, by making an outward and upwards curved movement, such that the treads keep in touch, the points of the noses should eventually meet.