I wanted to make this blog in order to show the process I use to make the woven basket that is shown in my projects. This will be my first blog, so bar with me, please!
I didn’t come up with this concept of making these baskets, but after making 30 or so I feel I can make them better than the directions the author provided. These plans are available from Scroller Ltd. These are awesome baskets to make. And I sell them for a nice profit considering you are only using two pieces of wood.
Select the wood. The patterns suggest what thickness to use and I usually go by that, although I have played around and made some of the smaller ones out of thicker wood and they turn out really nice. On the pattern I am using it suggest to use 5/8”. I did use a piece a little bit thicker than that. It was walnut.
Next I apply a layer of packaging tape to the top side of the wood. This helps lubricate the blade and prevents a lot of burning. It also helps in removing the pattern after the cutting is complete. After applying the tape I use spray glue and spray the back side of the pattern. You want a good coat of glue on there so there isn’t any pattern lifting during the cutting process. You will notice that on the pattern the right side is missing a line. That’s easy enough to fix with a ruler and a pencil!
These patterns do not require any interior cuts! But, be careful, you might become dizzy looking at all these patter lines so close together! :-) The first cuts are to follow along the outer line only. After you have that done cut along the handle lines and free them. Do NOT remove the pattern at this point. I number the handle and corresponding side on the rim so I know which one goes where.
You might have noticed on the pattern it tells you an angle to tilt your saw too. This is where that comes into play. On this basket, the knitting basket, it requires an 11 degree angle. Tilt your saw to 11 degrees. I have an excalibur and I tilt the head to the left. On any saw that has the table that tilts, you will tilt it to the right. (I do not consider either tilting to the left or right to matter much on these. You will just have to flip the piece over if you tilt in the opposite direction). The pattern has a Rim starting point listed. Start your cut there and follow along till you have completed the cut. I used a size number 7 blade. After you have finished the rim, place it off to the side and continue to make the cuts on the weavers till you have completed the process.
Ta da, all finished!
Next is the glueing process. I use tacky glue for this. Along with a few small spring clamps.
Fairly simple glue ups. Glue the parts you cut to make them a solid piece again. This is when the dryer comes in handy, at least in my basement shop!
Now that the glue is dry, gather the rim and the handles. I use an 1/8” dowels for attaching my handles. This is a good size for me and I sell these as a decor item so people will not be toting these around. Line up the lines for the drilling according to the pattern. Take time to and line these up correctly and I hold these in place with spring clamps. Drill the hole the depth shown. I used blue painters tape to show me when I had reached that depth. Do this to all four sides of the basket.
Next insert the dowel into the hole. I then take the piece over to the scroll saw and cut the dowel off. The pattern directions call for the dowel to go out past the handle, which would be fine if you liked the way it looked. I don’t. Like I said I sell these and make these for decor, not ‘real world’ use. After you have cut off the dowels on all four sides, I glue the dowel into the rim.
Now we can remove the patterns! And sand! I put the pieces all back together and sand them as one piece. I use 120 and 220 grit paper, just be sure the fuzzies are removed!
Next is when we make the sticks to weave thru the weavers. You must show your table saw RESPECT when making these! They are only 1/16” thick, and 1/2” wide. Refer to the pattern for the width and amount needed. we need to make 26 for the knitting basket. I find that the length listed on the pattern for the sticks is way to long. I use the the trusty green school ruler to figure out how long I will make these. in this case, I will make these 5 1/4” long. After sitting the table saw up to cut these to 1/16” thick, cut all of these out. I sometimes cut the pieces long enough to make two or three sticks out of one piece you cut. It is much safer! Now that we have all 26 sticks cut to width and length, its time to weave!
This for some reason usually un-stresses me! Some baskets are really tight to weave and that makes it more relieving to me. The knitting baskets come out on the loose side of weaving, which makes it really easy, until the gluing. Now we begin. First you put the weavers on top of each other, making sure you rotate every other one 180 degrees. by doing this you are creating the spots for the stick to weave thru. This is where the angle comes into play. You will need to have the angle going outward, if that makes sense. Now We start weaving. I start off in the middle on one side, then work a few in, and then do the same thing on the opposite side then put two on each end.
Work your way around the whole basket. You will notice that some stick up further in the picture above. This is from the sticks sitting on the base of the baskets. The others go all the way down to the bottom of the base on the out side. The reason is that the ones that go to the bottom of the base will be glued and hold the weavers together. The ones that are sitting on the bottom will be holding the rim and handle on once glued.
Now I use a pair of clippers or nippers, whatever they are called, and clip off the sticks, the ones that go to the bottom of the base, and make them even to the tops of the weavers. Nothing is glued together yet.
Now I put the rim on and cut the rest of the sticks to the top of the rim. Remove the rim and now we are ready to glue!
Turn the basket on its side and I use the same glue that I glued the weavers together with. Start by raising up the sticks to just below the start of the other weaver. After these have been raised, apply the glue. be careful and do not apply to much glue. You will have a lot of clean up if you do! after you have the glued applied you slowly put the sticks back to their original place.
Now once you have the whole basket glued clamp the sticks to the top weavers with spring clamps. I also use rubber bands to hold some pressure on them.
After the glued is dry, you need to be sure the weavers that are cut to the size of the top of the weavers, are even with them. I use sandpaper to even anything up that is not.
Now we can attach the rim! Apply the glue to the weavers and then gently place the rim over the top of the sticks. Use the spring clamps to apply the pressure needed to hold them in place.
Once the glue is dry, remove the clamps and sand the sticks even with the top. The basket is now complete! I use mineral oil or danish oil for the finish on my baskets. This is the knitting basket before any finish is applied. I am in the process now of letting the mineral oil dry on this one and will put the finished piece in my projects when the oil is dry!
I hope you have all enjoyed this. I really liked doing this and I will hopefully do it again soon! If you have any questions, just ask!