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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Varnishing the Snowshoes

sealing wooden snowshoes

OK, so I've told one lie already. Who uses varnish anymore? It's polyurethane, but "polyurethaning the snowshoes" just doesn't sound appealing. It's like saying faux diamond or leatherette.

I'm a wooden snowshoes kind of girl. Not a big fan of metal and nylon ones. I think they are noisy. I grew up on wooden "shoes," and I'll die on them. (Maybe literally? There would be worse ways to go.)

So a few years ago I made this pair from a kit. I just love them! The kit had the wooden frame, and the nylon lacing. You follow the directions to weave the decking, then polyurethane it all, and this is what you end up with. But you have to recoat them every couple of years, because as the finish wears off it will expose the nylon, and then if that gets rubbed too much it will break. That would be REALLY bad.

So, I did the tops this morning, and I'll turn them over to do the bottoms before I head for bed tonight. And we are in the midst of our first real snowstorm, so there will be snow to shoe on once they are dry!

See First Snowshoeing
See Only a Few Miles, But O So Good!


RNSANE said...

Great job...how nice that you'll have fresh new show to try them on.

Joan, I read your library story...amazing that you could read at 4!!! I'm sure that librarian was shocked! But I did not see where to vote!

Jean said...

aww..i wich i could see snow

A smile from SJ =)

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Enjoyed reading your library story, I am still a regular visitor to our village library - I tell people if you don't use it you will lose it.
Plus I love browsing the very small amount that we have on the shelves, I reserve lots that are only at the main library which they send to the village library for me to pick up.

As for the snow shoes - I also love wood - I can never bring my self to varnish any - I am a linseed oil and beeswax person:)

Take Care

Secondary Roads said...

Looks like you're going to be ready for what ever winter deals. And it appears that we are about to be dealt with. If you can't keep warm, stay happy.

Ann said...

I'll go check your story out in a little bit. I agree varnish does sound better than polyurethane

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Carmen- Yes, and if I had gotten them coated sooner they would have been ready for today! I added the directions about voting in that sticky post.

SJ- It is very much worth seeing, although many people object to the cold that comes with it!

Duxbury- Wow, I never heard of treating them with linseed oil and beeswax. What are they laced with? That sounds like it would be good for hide lacing.

Chuck- Here it comes!

Ann- yes.. there's just no ring to the PolyU word!

Ratty said...

I've never tried snowshoes before. Do they work on steep hilly areas, or are they only good for flat land?

Anonymous said...

Just in time to welcome the snow! They look very pretty!

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Ratty- on steep hills you really need the newer kind with crampons, but for relatively level, I like wood. I have some articles about the topic on Associated Content.

Icy- A little earlier would have been better, but I did get them done just in time!

Rosie said...


I am ready to varnish or should I say polyurethane my snow shoes and now I am having trouble finding marine PU, which is what our instructor suggested in the hardware stores here in the Twin Cities.

Which PU did you use?

I bought some PU that says that it will expand with the weather and temp differences, but I don't know if it's the right stuff and we were hoping to seal it tomorrow.

Thanks so much!

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Rosie- I think Marine would last best, but it won't hurt to use regular. You may just need to re-coat them every year.

Do post pictures when they are all done!

Rosie said...

Thanks for your feedback!

What I have is spar PU, which from what I have meanwhile found out is either the same as marine or very similar, since it is also soft.

You comment on other varnish being ok too is reassuring. If the spar doesn't work, then for the next coating I'll make sure to order marine PU.

I really like the title of your blog!!!

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