Well it’s time to once again reveal my ignorance about ancient bucket making. Today I went out to the shop armed with some new knowledge about splitting willow branches, thanks to a link on willow splitting posted to me by Debbie.
I managed to almost perfectly split a willow branch with the new found info. If at first you don’t succeed…....... In spite of this new found skill I still had mishaps that prevented me from making a good binding, but…..I did learn how to correctly cut the joints where the bindings hook together. A major learning point and another step towards success and mastering this archaic skill.
Today’s subject is how to cut the band joints. Our forefathers were very clever and cunning in coming up with this joint. Not only does it work well, it is also a little hard to figure out, thereby eliminating competitors. However, having the advantage of various unclear drawings, several failed joints and a lot of luck, I have finally figured out how to do it. Those of you who are more gifted (have brains) won’t have any problems with this joint.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so the photo below shows the joint on one end. What the photo cannot convey is that the we are looking at the inside of the band. I have thinned out behind the cutout (to the left) and cut a shallow diagonal in toward the hook. The tip of the hook on the edge is slanted slightly towards the cut. It is cut this way in order to retain strength in the band while giving a positive and strong joint. Think of the diagonal cut as thinning the inside of the band from the top inside of the band and down to the bottom of the cut out hook.
The next photo shows both ends of the band each with their own hook, how they will be engaged, and how the ends of the band will be tucked away behind the outside of the band.
Here you see how the hooks go together. The ends beyond the hooks have to be thinned out so they fit snugly behind the main band and are invisible. I found that for me it easy to thin out the ends after hooking them together while the pieces to be thinned are supported by the main band.
This is how they look from the inside with everything in place. the end on left is carved too short. They should both be like the end on the right.
The next picture show what the joint should look like on the outside when finished.
Clear a mud? This is difficult to explain, but if you don’t understand my description please let me know and I will try to come up with a better explanation. I managed to learn this through pictures in my book and some trial and error.
It’s probably a good idea to make a practice band and try making the joints a number of times. Just cut off the failed ones and keep trying until you get it right or run out of band.
Some of you asked to see the band lever being used. the first photo is the bucket with the first band installed. I thought I did it wrong to start with, but it seems really good now. It dried up a bit overnight and shrank, and it is now so tight I can’t move it at all. So I decided to just keep it.
And lastly using the band lever. This worked perfect, How ever the band I’m putting on was already botched at the joint, so this was just to show the lever in action.
I hope the above will
I won’t be in the shop for a day or two, so I will have to continue with the banding as soon as I am able. Meanwhile I hope this will give you enough to think about for now. I am aiming at two bands at the top and two at the bottom.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.