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Messages - KM

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Classifieds / Re: Raber Boot Linters: Large (2) and Medium (1)
« on: November 23, 2017, 01:17:02 pm »
The liners are 1 layer of frieze wool about 1/4'' thick. When I get around to it i'll repost the pics

Classifieds / Re: Raber Boot Linters: Large (2) and Medium (1)
« on: November 17, 2017, 09:46:22 pm »
Price update, offers welcome. Haven't seen these for sale in a long time so don't know what they are worth.

Classifieds / Raber Boot Linters: Large (2) and Medium (1)
« on: November 11, 2017, 10:26:35 pm »
Raber boot liners. Ruler for scale, not sure what shoe sizes these go with, all depends on sock thickness. Mediums shown on top of larges

Have 2 pair of large, 1 pair medium

Shipped conus, at cost to Canada/Alaska:

$30 each

$55 for larges

$70 for all

My ebay is millner45 - 100% positive feedback.

Wore these almost constantly for about three months - just washed them periodically. Great product held up very well, did not stretch, pucker, rip, etc. After about a month the crotch seam stitching started to fray slightly. I put down a close, snug blanket stitch along the whole crotch with some cotton thread and that stopped any further fraying. Impressed with how these held up while walking and skiing. They were worn inside a pair of heavy, coarse woven wool pants or tight fitting jeans. The fabric shows little sign of abrasion or wear - not even the little nits that my smartwool gets.

Fairly happy with the warmth, comfort range. Could be a little thicker for the coldest temps, 35 and below while stationary. Guess they are only made for 33.

Great product and among the most affordable expedition weight merino out there.

The snowmobile is russian manufacture - Буран

mono ski, twin track

Snowshoeing Discussion / Article on Snowshoes from the Beaver 1941
« on: December 08, 2011, 03:59:56 pm »
Thought this would be of interest.

The Beaver was published by HBC starting in 1920 and apparently the Canadian Historical Society acquired the rights to it in 1994.

Lots of info on construction, design, improvised shoes (no mortised joints or holes) and other good stuff.


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Classifieds / Woolrich Coat
« on: November 25, 2011, 04:55:10 pm »
Heavy wool coat in great shape.

The coat is missing one button on the collar. No bloodstains. Lining and pockets in great shape.

Coat - Sz 42, game pocket in back - access from either side, 4 patch pockets in front and two hand warmer pockets

$70 obo for the coat

Shipping at cost.

Other Homemade Gear / Re: Moccasin Sewing Questions
« on: January 20, 2011, 07:45:02 pm »
Looks like it should work great! In fact, like some Inuit boots except the vamp would come farther up towards the shin and the seam would be in back, no gusset.

If the latex coating is on the grain side you can just take a sharp knife or piece of glass scrape it off.

Excellent craftsmanship too. There are two changes you might consider. 1. Reduce your seam allowance (place the holes a bit closer to the edge of the leather - it's plenty thick and strong - experiment with the minimum distance from the edge on some scrap). 2. Place the seam for the leg portion in the back. Since you are using a boot liner, rather than many layers of socks or other insulation you don't really need a lot of extra room around the ankle. Sew up the seam, with the felt liner I doubt there is a need for the canvas gusset.

Back Country Skiing Discussion / Re: new wooden skis
« on: January 14, 2011, 06:57:38 pm »
Awesome skis!

Re: skin material

Synthetic ski skin material is a lot like some velour car upholstery. The fibers are all oriented in one direction.

might sell you fabric in the size you want.

Other Homemade Gear / Re: Moccasin Sewing Questions
« on: January 07, 2011, 10:02:32 am »
Center seam mocs are good for summer use with a layer or two but from what I've been told the seam creates a pressure point directly atop the foot when used with snowshoe harnesses.

Unless very creatively cut this design has a pointed toe that might result in a flap of unusable  insulation hanging off the end of the foot; unlike a Saami style boot this would have no purpose.

George White (see above) documents moccasin patterns over North America. Subarctic mocs tend to have very rounded toes.

Mocs are disposable footwear and I doubt subarctic folks would pick a design that is significantly more difficult to make if it did not have useful features.

It maybe possible to make this pattern work but it would not be my first choice. If someone can, then by all means go for it.

For use in the the deep cold fat liqueured leathers are less than ideal because they don't breath enough, if at all.

Mark Baker knows his stuff but he is in an entirely different geo-climatic element, quite different from boreal and arctic regions.

Sleddawg - are you making a center seam moc or a shoe pack

Other Homemade Gear / Re: Moccasin Sewing Questions
« on: January 05, 2011, 11:36:47 am »
James -

A few things  - some of which you may already know.

Do I understand correctly that you plan to punch holes in the sole and vamp and lace them together? In my experience with soft leathers doing so leaves gaps in the seam and the holes stretch out because the lace does not fill the hole. With deerskin, moosehide and other soft leathers you want to stretch a hole rather than cut one. Lacing is an appropriate technique with leathers with little stretch. The best way to construct mocs with soft leather in my experience is to use an awl, needle and thread. Don't use a triangular pointed glover's needle because that cuts a hole that is likely to rip out.

You can make a good awl very easily yourself. Take a darning or other large diameter strong/stiff needle and epoxy it into a handle. Use strong thread and blunt needle. I like a heavy cotton thread, waxed. Sewing machine thread is too fine. Some tatting thread is strong enough. Synthetic thread can work but I don't like it, tends to cut leather. Some people like fake sinew but it tends to cut and as it wears becomes fluffy as the resin dissipates and so the fibers separate. I use a back stitch. I am not sure if what the Conovers describe is a whip stitch or a back stitch. Whip stitch will leave your thread more exposed to wear and the seam will be more stretchy. You want the leather to stretch, not the seam. 

What are you planning to coat the soles with? Any particular reason you don't want to use over boots?

Barge cement the cowhide soles and use a running stitch along the edge. Stitching will keep the edge from coming up and glue will help to keep 'blistering' between the layers to a minimum.

-Patterns for sole and vamp

You're right, the way to get around this problem is to use puckers of different sizes. I've never laid out my patterns mathematically, just by measuring and folding. Do you have the Conover's book? They have good tips on puckering and general construction.

-Semicircular or fitted pattern
With all the layers of insulation around the foot is unnecessary to fit mocs to left or right. With tighter fitting shoes there are advantages to doing so. The main thing is to have mocs that fit snug - not tight - around your insulating layers. Deerskin will stretch enough to conform to any slight irregularities in the shape of the insulated foot.

Also, I find that placing the vamp equidistant from the sides and the toe makes the toe seam comparatively closer to the edge of the toe. Perhaps mathematically it shouldn't come out that way. It may be a problem with how I pucker or something. For me, placing the vamp 3/8 or 1/2 farther back in the sole makes a good result, with the seam equidistant around the foot.

When sewing, don't bother with counting and marking stitches, just concentrate on making small, even puckers. Tack one stitch through the center of the vamp, welt and sole, two more on either side of the foot where the seam starts and stops. You can put two more stitches at the halfway points between the toe and each side if you like. These stitches will help you properly size your puckers. As you sew if it seems that you will have too much left over at the next tack stitch, make bigger puckers, and the reverse if you are coming up short. The result should be functional and not look too bad. Sewing and puckering is a matter of practice.

If you have a whole hide and are only making soles and vamps you should be able to get at least two pair out of the hide.

-Cutting and piecing
Presuming you have a whole hide, the spine, neck and high on the shoulders are the best places from which to cut soles. The flanks and belly are thinner and more stretchy.  Cut pieces that are perpendicular or parallel to the orientation of the hide, not diagonal. For the cowhide, cut it such that it is only on the part of the sole that is contacting the ground - not up the sides of the sole, or at least not much.

Use a welt in between the vamp and the sole.

Here are some books you may want to look up:

Gary and Alexandra Conover, Winter Wilderness Companion, Snow Walker's Companion (same book, essentially, different printings).
-Has patterns and sewing instructions

George White, Craft Manual of North American Indian Footwear
-Has 5 or 6 patterns that are suitable for winter footwear, beyond the big vamp that everyone here seems to use. Good sewing, measuring, fitting and pattern making instructions.

Betty Issenman, Sinews of survival
-Look at this after you can sew

Jill Oakes, Alaskan Eskimo Footwear
-Look at this after you can sew

Good luck!

Winter Camping Safety / Re: Backup Shelter
« on: December 08, 2010, 10:30:06 pm »
Having a spare shelter is a good idea, but what if you wake up in the middle of the night to a flaming tent and run out in your long johns? All or most of your clothing might be gone...

How helpful would a tarp be?

In that case it might do to leave a spare set of clothes outside where it would not burn.

Having the toboggan go under the ice or your person is a different problem. Perhaps by having a minimum kit on person and doing your darndest start a fire quick.

Re: article on parka ruffs
Jill Oaks has published a lot on circumpolar clothing - great resources for anyone looking to go real traditional and step up from cotton and wool or just interested; her photos and stories are great.

Back Country Skiing Discussion / Swiss Military Skis - Bindings
« on: November 21, 2010, 02:24:33 pm »
Can anyone tell if the bindings on these skis ( are 75mm/3pin or something else? They are evidently cable bindings that lock at the heel.

Seems like a good deal if they work with normal tele boots.

Back Country Skiing Discussion / Re: wide short siberian skis
« on: November 18, 2010, 05:01:34 pm »
Some random notes on this type of skis:

When I was skiing in the north Lake Baikal region I borrowed a set of skis that was about 6-8'' by 50''. Wood laminate with a kind of slippery plastic on the bottom. They had a bit of glide on the flat but being furless would slide back and get stuck at about 45 degrees in deep powder, when we caved in the snow on top of the creek bed we were traveling over.

The Ski: Its History and Historiography
LeRoy J. Dresbeck
Technology and Culture, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Oct., 1967), pp. 467-479
(its on as a pdf - you might need access to a university library. This has some good info and pictures of short/wide skis from Scandinavia)

I've researched Siberian skis at my university and in some Russian publications. Here is the short and sweet:

-hockskin sole (rawhide or worked dry, ungulate): these were usually glued on with hide glue from what I remember, sometimes sewn into a sheet and wood-pegged or nailed on the top edge of the ski
-larch, spruce, pine for the ski itself
-the foot bed is made from  birch bark - packed snow/ice will not stick to it
-the foot harness is just thong, same idea as a snowshoe harness but may need to be modified because there is no toe hole
-Just like snowshoes in North America vary in length to width ratio and overall surface area in a fashion that corresponds to use and the type of snow encountered in different regions, so do Siberian ski types vary.

I think the skis some of the other folks are mentioning are really central asian telemark-type skis, these are used with a steering pole held between the legs. There is some youtube footage of this.

Check out the Pathfinder (1987, Nils Gaup -Director, Saami, english subtitles) for great ski ideas - in regard to Scandinavia and the equip/techniques that gave birth to modern nordic skiing - its an awesome film in artistic terms too.

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