Forked branch boot jack

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

A boot jack is a device that allows a person to pull off muddy or tight fitting boots without having to sit down and fight a wrestling match with them.

forked-branch boot pullerThere was a time when no farm yard, let alone stables, did not have at least one boot jack of sorts. Some were made simply of wood while others were of wrought or cast iron.

They also came in different designs as to the boot removal “slot”. Some where simple V-shape notches cut into a board, while others were much more cut out and such. The V-shape notch, in my view, however, is probably the best version as it allows for more than just one size of boot to be removed.

Today those handy devices are seldom seen and found, with the exception at riding equipment stores and in catalogs of Amish-type mail-order companies and the odd general hardware store in the boonies.

But if you happen to work in muddy conditions, or mucking out stables or, generally wear boots such as Wellingtons, aka rubber boots, then having one of those boot puller conveniently sited by your back door (or the door that you would generally come in via with such boots) might be one of the best things that you ever do.

In lieu of going to the stores and spending good money on such a device or even spending some time in the workshop making some from board wood we shall be knocking up a fully serviceable boot jack from a bit of a branch.

First, find a stout green hardwood branch with a fork that's just a little bigger than one you would use to make a slingshot. Try the notch out for size by fitting it around the heel of your boot; the "V" should grab the back of the foot gear snugly.

After you have found the correct tree limb, cut the two prongs of the "wishbone", by means of a saw, to a length of about seven inches each.

Then make a diagonal cut across the other end of the stick, at a point nine or so inches from the crotch.

Now, find a scrap block of 2 X 2 hardwood (a short, sturdy piece of another branch would work, too) to use as a brace, which will be attached underneath the Y-shaped piece of tree limb.

Fasten the "step" to the tail of the limb slightly below the fork, using a screw or a nail (it's best to make a pilot hole to avoid splitting the wood) or by lashing the components securely together. The riser should elevate the device just enough so that when the boot jack is placed on the floor you can get a boot heel into it easily.

Voila, one totally serviceable boot jack for virtually no money and made in little time.

In order to use your natural boot jack, stand with one foot on the tail of the jack, insert the other foot into the fork, lean back, and ease off that boot, without getting your hands dirty.

© 2017