The Snowshoe Project, Part 1
The snow has arrived! Just last week a blizzard covered the green grass with more than a foot of snow. Looks like it is going to be a white Christmas afterall. Now that the snow is here, I have been more motivated to begin the snowshoe project. As I began to research this project it was a little overwelming. I had no idea that there were so many different styles and techniques of making snowshoes. After doing some searching on the internet, I determined that the first series of questions I had to answer were the following:
What is my skill level and how much time do I have to dedicate to this project? These questions are important to ask to assess your timeframe for finishing the project and how long it will take you. I work a full-time job, so that limits my available time greatly. Given that I would like to be able to use these snowshoes this winter, I would like to get them done by the end of January at the latest. This is a brand new project for me, so my skill level is on the lower end. That means I need to choose an easier project that I could finish with several weekends of dedication.
What is my access to resources? If you have your own work shop with plenty of space and tools, you will, more than likely, take on a larger project than if you only have limited space with limited tools. I have the latter. However, another thing to consider is who you know that can help you with this project. If you know someone with access to tools, supplies, and space, that may be just as good as having your own shop (that is assuming they are willing to let you borrow them). In my case, I currently do not have enough resources for the job, but I know my Dad does. So pretty soon, he’ll be getting a call from me to see when I can come over next to get this project started (thanks Dad!).
What style of snowshoe will I make? As much as I would love to make a set of big wooden snowshoes that are woven and cool looking, I realize that a project like that doesn’t really coinside with my answers above. So I decided to take on a lighterweight project and go with some PVC snowshoes. Theses will still require quite a bit of work, but the skill level required is a better match for my beginning status and timeframe.
What’s the next step? After reviewing several different plans for PVC snowshoes, I have found a website that gives more detailed information which will be very helpful for my first time. With most plans for PVC snowshoes, it appears the first step is to make a mold out of wood. So that will be the first thing I will be working on.
As this project starts to take shape, I will post some more updates, including detailed information pertaining to how the building process goes and the quality of the shoes once I am done. If you have ever tried to make snowshoes and have any tips or resources that may be helpful, please feel free to post them in the comments section.