Wood Snowshoe Maintenance
Taking care of your wood snowshoes will let you enjoy them for many years to come. After a good season of snowshoeing you should inspect them for any cracks in the wood frame and check the rawhide for broken or worn strips.
Maintaining Your Wood Snowshoes
Start by lightly sanding the snowshoes with a 120 grit sandpaper, doing both the frames as well as the rawhide on both sides. After you have sanded the snowshoes, dust them off and apply the spar varnish with a natural bristle brush. Apply 2 coats of varnish to each side, allowing the varnish to dry 24 hours between coats. We recommend Minwax Helmsman Spar Varnish, it has excellent water and UV protection. This can be purchased at your local Home Hardware stores.
Repairing Your Wood Snowshoes
If you find any open cracks in the wood frames get a good outdoor water resistant wood glue and squeeze some glue into the cracks and clamp it together with some small wood working clamps or C clamps. Wipe off any excess glue with a damp cloth and let it dry for 4 hours. After you remove the clamps lightly sand the area with a 120 grit sandpaper and put at least 2 coats of a good Spar Varnish on the area. We recommend Titeond lll Ultimate wood glue. You can purchase it at Home Hardware stores or at Lee Valley Tools.
Follow the directions for preparing your rawhide and tie it to the snowshoe frame and lace it to the good rawhide and tie a knot there. After you are done coat it with at least 2 generous coats of Spar Varnish.
I have not found a decent video on repairing the rawhide lacing, when I do it will be added.