Projects – Boot jack – Part 2

It’s been a while since my eldest daughter and I have done anything in the workshop together, but as this week is half term I promised we’d make a bit more progress on the boot jack project.

We re-thought our decision to use the pine we prepared last time (partially because I’ve lost it in the workshop!) and decided to recycle the side of an Ikea RAST bedside table which has been lying around for a while.

Recycled Ikea RAST bedside table

The cats had sharpened their claws on the uprights, particularly this one, but we figured there was enough wood left to make at least one boot jack.

Scratched Ikea RAST bedside table

I cut the scratched section off on the bandsaw

Cutting off scratched section

Looking at the various size wellies we realised we could get enough for two boot jacks out of the wood,

Various welly sizes

The panels are made of 7 strips of wood, so with the scratched one gone I was able to split the remainder in half down the glue line, using the bandsaw again.

One piece has 2 holes in the central section and the other has 2 holes in each outer section, which will have to be worked around.

Ikea RAST bedside table split in half

We decided that we’d make one with a straight V cut and the other with a round cut for the heel and after a bit of thinking we decided that the piece with 4 holes was best suited to the V.

(I had thought we might be able to reuse the piece with the central holes and use one of the holes at the end of the V to prevent splitting, but it wasn’t really in the right place and would have meant cutting through a knot).

We messed about with various offcuts to get the right height and slope:

Slope mock up 1 Slope mock up 2

My daughter marked out the 3 points to make up the V, but at this point she got a bit bored and wandered off to do something else.

I was graciously permitted to continue, so I continued with the V version, as I think she’ll want to cut the curved hole herself with a coping saw.

I drilled a central hole with a forstner bit in the drill point for the point of the V and cut along the lines to meet it.

As the V extends beyond the two holes, a batten wouldn’t be suitable so I looked at my dowelling collection for potential feet.

The thickest length I had was originally used in my Army cadet days as a tent pole, to turn a poncho into a rudimentary tent, so it’s of sentimental value, but unlikely to be reused as my camping days are over!

I drilled out the two existing holes to half depth with another forstner bit and tapped the dowel in as a mock up:

Boot jack 1 mock up

It doesn’t look too bad, but something about the square end doesn’t really work for me and I think I’ll end up reshaping it, hopefully losing the two holes at the corners in the process.

Boot jack 1 mock up

I had been considering blind wedging the dowels in their holes, but I think I’ll drill all the way through and do a normal wedged tenon, as that will get rid of the holes in the top which don’t look very good.

Hopefully we’ll pick this up again soon. In the mean time I’d appreciate your thoughts on what we should use to finish the wood.

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