How to Build a Boot Jack

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Things You'll Need

  • 1-by-8-by-18-inch oak, 1 piece
  • Combination square
  • Band saw
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Leather strip, 3/4-by-18 inches
  • Variable speed drill
  • 3/16-inch drill bit
  • 3/8-inch countersink bit
  • Wood glue
  • 1-by-3-by-7 1/2-inch oak, 1 piece
  • Phillips screw tip
  • Two 1 1/2-inch drywall screws
  • Damp cloth
  • Leather glue
  • Polyurethane, small can
  • Small paintbrush

As people grow older, it becomes more difficult to remove shoes properly -- especially if they are cowboy boots. It can be helpful to use a boot jack, and you can build your own. This do-it-yourself project is one that almost anyone with a little woodworking experience can do confidently. Choose hardwood such as oak or maple because they are unlikely to break during the job. The length and width of the boot jack is up to the creator.

Mark the lumber for the semicircle cut. Measure from one end of the lumber and make a mark at 7 and 10 inches. Put the combination square on the marks and draw lines across the lumber.

Trace the boot pattern on the lumber. Center one of your boots on the lumber with the back of the heel on the line. Trace the shape of the boot onto the lumber.

Cut the pattern. Cut the line in the shape of your boot with a band saw. Sand the cut with 100-grit sandpaper until it is smooth. Hold the leather strip against the 3/4-inch edge of the cut to determine the length needed to cover the cut edge and cut the strip.

Drill pilot holes for the support. Make marks on the line at 10 inches that are 1 1/2 inches from the 18-inch sides of the lumber. Drill 3/16-inch pilot holes on the marks. Drill countersink holes 3/8-inch deep in the same place as the pilot holes to hide the screw heads when assembling the support.

Attach the support block. Apply glue to one of the long edges of the 1-by-3-by-7 1/2-inch oak. Secure it to the 18-inch piece through the pilot holes with the drywall screws. Clean up the excess glue immediately with a damp cloth.

Apply a finish and secure the leather. Apply leather glue to the cut edge of the boot jack and stick the leather strip to it. Once the glue is dry, apply a clear-coat finish to the boot jack with a paintbrush and allow it to dry.


  • Glue screw hole buttons in the countersink holes to hide the screws if desired.


  • Do not leave power tools within the reach of small children.



About the Author

Michael Straessle has written professionally about the construction industry since 1988. He authored “What a Strange Little Man,” among other books, and his work has appeared in various online publications. Straessle earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in professional/technical writing.

Photo Credits

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