From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space


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Klompenmaker
plane, old tools, woodwork, galoot
gmcdavid
The Making of Wooden Shoes

For shaping the outside, I was particularly impressed by what looked like a large drawknife anchored at one end, thus providing leverage for working on the surface.

On the inside, he drilled the first holes with what looked like a spoon bit on a T-handle.

According the video, an experienced craftman could make three pairs in a 14 hour day by these techniques.

Also see Sabot-Breton.com, about which Ken Baddley commented on the OldTools list
You may need to scroll down the page to see the picture of the chap using the knife to trim the toe of a Sabot billet.

The hook on the end of the knife links with the ring hammered into the log. The log (and clogs) were poplar (cf. Tulipwood in the USA?) and the Sabotier used the billet as a fulcrum for the action of the knife on the billet. It was a very skilful and surprisingly rapid process.

The initial drilling for the toe and heel was done with a Jennings pattern awl in a brace. They only drilled a very short hole; the rest was done (again with great skill, but with huge effort) with a large spoon bit, used in a brace. Though it's hard enough (I'd have needed a breast drill) the wood used is only just beginning to season; the Sabot are left to dry out for several weeks before being sold.

This page shows the stacks of finished clogs drying, and (in the picture on the left of the screen) shows the timber. It's hard to tell, but there may be a hint of the 'buttressing' characteristic of Populus Alba on the large log at the front of the stack. It all looks a big large-scale for Willow, which is one of the other species used.

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How sad is it that my first thought was "Oh, it's not MY Klompenmaker." I got some pictures of him working at the Heritage Festival earlier this year.

Really neat video and if you start making them I want a pair. I was SOOO happy to run into "My Klompenmaker" again so I could get a new pair. They were the only ones that really fit right.


What AMAZES me, besides the obviously amazing skill with such large, crude instruments, is that he treats the wood as if it was made of butter. It must take incredible _strength_ to make these, too.

Someone on the Oldtools list commented: "I wouldn't want to arm wrestle with that guy."

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