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Re-lacing Wood and Rawhide Snowshoes

Back when I was young, we called 'em Indian webs, snowshoes were skis!

from a 1976 interview with Frank Black, a Northern California buckaroo, logger and Forest Service ranger.

My wife bought me these Indian webs right after we got married, about 13 years ago. The rawhide lacing has seen better days, several laces are broken and I should've varnished them last year. Last year for Christmas I got Gil Gilpatrick's book on snowshoe making.

Here I've got the foot cut out.

Now I've started the lacing. I used 1/8 inch thick braided nylon cord, it's cheap, 10 cents a foot!

The main cord wrapped and the lacing is finished, for the foot, that is. It took me about 3 hours to get to this point and after I got done I discovered I made a mistake in the lacing. Oh, well, next shoe should be better!

Now I need to go buy some mason's line so I can do the toe and heel, something that I hadn't planned, but will do so the shoes will be done entirely with nylon cord.

Since this took so long, I had no chance to work on any guitars, I want my webs to be ready for the first good snow which should be in about 2 months!


  1. What a sweet shape they are, Wilson. Some pretty tight curves - do they use steam to bend them?
    There must be a special skill to walking with those on your feet!

  2. Yes, they do use steam to bend the ash used to make the shoes. And, no, it doesn't take any special skill to use Indian webs, all you do is put one foot in front of the other! Indian webs are even easier to use when you run with them, of course, you need to be a good runner!


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