Bending packbasket handles

Steam bent packbasket handles

The top handle of my pack baskets is a steam piece of ash which is fun to make and surprisingly quick once you’ve got used to them. It’s all small scale with the centre section just 6mm thick so care is needed to make it even so it will bend sweetly. The jig has been through a few iterations as I’ve refined the shape over the years. The curves were good but I wanted to adjust the width so simply inserted different pieces between the two halves to get what I wanted. Twenty minutes in the steam and they’re ready to go. They set almost straight away and can come off the former ready to do the next.

Ash splint basketry requires slow grown timber whereas these need to be faster grown stock for strength.

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