Introduction: Toe Plow
Sometimes even I get an idea that can't be done with Legos.
(The high heels were meant to be funny, by the way. Aren't high heels always kind of funny?)
1- What did you make?
This is what I call a Toe Plow. It's a way of clearing snow, with your feet! The Toe Plow is convenient because Minnesota is known for how much snow it gets and I live there. You just buckle them on to your boots and shuffle. I learned that it is much easier to move snow with your feet than with your hands and arms.
Items needed include:
2 foot long 4" PVC tubing
P3" PVC cap
2 cheap dog collars.
2- How did you make it?
I got the idea for the project when I was at school and noticed how much is was snowing-- I knew there would be a lot of snow in the driveway when I got home, I knew I'd be responsible for clearing some of the snow away, so i drew a diagram on the back of a piece of paper. My dad helped me with some of the cutting and construction, but the idea was all mine! The plans did evolve and change- at first I thought the plows themselves wouldn't be angled, but after some experimentation I discovered they worked better at an angle.
3- Where did you make it?
I made the Toe Plow at my house, mostly in our garage, and I experimented in my driveway.
4- What did you learn?
I learned that it is much easier to move snow with your feet than with your hands and arms! The biggest challenge was figuring out how to angle to Toe Plow while allowing it to still stay on the boots, but then we figured out how to solve the issue. I am proudest that I took an idea that came to me and made it into an actual invention and I wouldn't change a thing about the way the Toe Plow ended up. It was fun, and I learned a lot!
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Step 1: "Shovel Shoes"? "Scoop Boots"? :Step by Step
Buy PVC tubing and a PVC cap. The tubing I bought came in a 2 foot section and was 4 inches in diameter. I only needed about 1 foot of it. The cap needs to be big enough to fit over the toe of your boot. They come in all the sizes you might need, even if you will also need purple primer and PVC cement.
Cut the cap in half
Cut the tube in half the long way. Cut the tube into the appropriate length and cut the ends at parallel angles. I used 15 degrees. Sharpen down the part of the tubing that will be the bottom. It needs to be sharp to get under the snow.
Flatten the cap on the side that will connect to the tube (plow) and the back of the plow (tube) so that the PVC cement will have surface area to adhere. Make sure they are smoothed so that the plow will be angled out to the sides.
Cut pieces of the tubing to fit the bottom of the cap, giving it a bottom so that it doesn't slip up your toe. That would make the plow lose contact with the pavement. I had to heat the cut out pieces in the oven so they would fit the toe caps exactly.
Just one more step.
Next, let's get sticky!
Step 2: Sticky
Once the cement is dry cut a vertical hole on either side of the toe caps and thread a buckled strap (or dollar store dog collar) through them.
Now you can paint them if you want. Paint doesn't make them work better but it looks good.
Step 3: Demonstration
The way they work is by shuffling your feet up and down a path like a sidewalk. Because of the curve of the plows the snow gets thrown forward and because they are angled out the snow is also thrown sideways. These photos demonstrate how the Toe Plow works.
Finalist in the
Fourth Prize in the
Make-to-Learn Youth Contest
Participated in the