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Duct Tape Snowshoes from Scratch

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Picture of Duct Tape Snowshoes from Scratch
            I live in the mountains of Colorado, and often find myself having to wade through feet of snow just to get anywhere around town.  Unfortunately, I also do not have the necessary funds to buy a nice set of quality snowshoes that would help me traverse the snowy streets each winter, and am thus forced to look for an alternative means of "walking on snow."  The recent Duct Tape Design contest provided the perfect opportunity for me to try something new, and I decided to design and make a pair of snowshoes using easily acquired household objects and of course, Duct tape.  The following is the instructable for this project.


 
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Step 1:

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Materials: The first step is to collect the necessary materials to have on hand throughout the project. Also, this project took me two days and roughly three hours of actual to complete, so make sure you set aside the necessary time.

Needed:

-Duct Tape (Two entire rolls)

-Hot Glue

-Exacto Knife or other cutting implement

-Tree Boughs 6-7 ft long (2-2.5 meters) and 1/2" - 1" in diameter (I personally used Willow boughs which are springy, yet when soaked in water will dry into the shape they are positioned at. Serviceberry is also good, but the material is at your discretion)

-Small Brads (Not necessary, but helpful once it comes to positioning braces)

-String or twine-Ruler

-Scisors-Hammer

-Large bowl and means of heating water to near boiling point
canida3 years ago
Wow. These are awesome!
Foxtrot702 years ago
AH!!! Red Green is right. "Duct Tape... The Handyman's secret weapon!" and "If the women don't fine you handsome...they should at least find you handy."
Tigertame43 years ago
I wonder if one could use thin PVC pipe in place of the wood?
I have made a very good snowshoe frame from electrical conduit. I was experimenting with various coverings when I got a pair of MSR snowshoes for xmas. A six foot section works great. It can be bent with a conduit bending tool.
GREAT DESIGN!! i like how you can use something as simplistic as duct tape and boughs to make an effective way of transport for the winter
danny61143 years ago
Securing the tail with zip ties would also lend strength.
Excellent suggestion.
renejeddore3 years ago
Have you tried them out yet? My experience with Duct Tape and snow has been poor at best. I went on a snowmobile ride a few weeks ago and taped a machete holder to my leg. As the duct tape got cold (only around -2 C, or 30 F) and encountered minimal snow the stickiness started failing. By the time we got home I had probably retaped the holder a half dozen times. Next time I'd probably use Tuck Tape... except for the awful red colour.
Or try a different/better duct tape? With pressure(weight) being consistently applied to the sole of the snow shoe AND all of the adhesive bonded together onto itself, that sucker isn't going to come undone.
GREAT!!! I'd wear them!!!
rabidsquire2 (author) 3 years ago
In regards to whether or not the snowshoes actually work, I have personally had no issues with either the temperature causing the tape to lack stickiness or with grip. My success potentially arises from the fact that I actually used Gorilla tape in my final pair, and was very careful to re-cover areas of exposed adhesive. A friend of mine made a pair using duct tape and has also not had any difficulties involving stickiness, though neither of us has really used them in exceptionally cold temperatures (i.e. sub 5 degree temperatures). Additionally, I have not had to add any form of crampon because I primarily use them in deep snow, and thus rely primarily on their ability to keep me above the snow. However, one option is to use a series of thumbtacks stuck through tape on the portion of the shoe that rotates forwards and back that would provide additional grip for anyone having issues with slippage. Let me know if you have any more questions, thanks for the feedback guys!!!

Rabidsquire2
mpino3 years ago
I work in a park in Brooklyn and could definitely use these! It's a snowy year! Great job!
Drumbum83 years ago
now i have yet another thing to use my hot tub for!!! awesome project!
StickMaker3 years ago
VERY cool; thanks! I made a pair from long willow sticks and instead of Duct Tape, used long pieces of green bark off Diamond Willow. These snowshoes are for decorative purposes only, hanging on the wall. I also made a pair from thin plywood and a 5-gallon pail. I AM going to make yours too; will show all of them on one of my websites; probably at http://www.sticksite.com/cottage/ . Being into (Diamond) Willow *big time* I appreciate your comment re bending them; not something I've been able to do. If you are ever up my way, look me up and we'll have a willow-bending session. ;-)
One twist on a project like this is to start in the Spring time when the Willows are just growing. Bend the branches on the tree to the required shape of the shoe. Than carefully splice the braces to grow across the bow, you could intertwine the small branches for the weave.
Culturespy3 years ago
This is great! I love the creative use of the hot tub. Can't wait for winter weather test shots.
for anyone trying snowshoes like these in the north east, this snowshoe rabbit style will not normally work, since you need crampons built into the foot binding.
you need the bear claws style
great instructable
knex dog3 years ago
do they work
5zaba53 years ago
While making twig furniture, I found it quite helpful to use a bicycle rim for bending the willow. The nice even bend seems to make for a lot less breakage.
SlimJim3 years ago
I have built a lot of willow furniture (search my profile for 'ible) and here's my advice:
You can make willow take a pretty extreme bend, if you do it slowly, and flex the willow back and forth. lay it on the floor, stand on one end, and grab the other end. Flex it around slowly, and work the bent willow sapling back and forth. Make the bend a little tighter, and "roll" the bend through the willow, working on any stiff spots as you go.

Gee, this is really hard to describe with words! Anyway, you can totally work willows w/o steam or hot water. In fact, having tried both methods, I prefer to work them green, w/o steam because I have a lower percentage of breaking. With steamed willows, I always worked to quickly to limber up the stick, and thus broke more of them.

SJ
rabidsquire2 (author)  SlimJim3 years ago
Thanks for the heads up SJ, I'll try that in the future!!
Nice!!
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