Thursday, October 13, 2011

shrink boxes

Fall time finds me doing all sorts of things.  We've been putting up apples and tomatoes, hunting and putting up waterfowl, processing our wild rice harvest and general getting ready for the long winters here in northern Wisconsin.  I've been generally inspired and excited about the up and coming months....Things to create new things to try.  I'm always looking for new and exciting ways of working with wood, and if you've seen my wife
April and my website Woodspirit you will notice I have a fair amount of woodworking diversity.  In the up and coming months I will be making some chairs out of riven Ash logs and also splitting and drying staves for a few wooden buckets.  The buckets are mostly just something that I'm curious about, but the chairs I believe have a real place in the local market.  In the past few weeks my mind has been focused on the local economic market/scene.  I'm really trying to promote the idea that we have plenty to offer each other in terms of local goods and food.  That it is important to spend a little more (not much) for a local hand made basket for farmer's market, or a pair of snowshoes for your winter travels, or buy a box of locally grown winter squash for your food, or even have your local blacksmith make you a hoe for you garden. I could go even further...locally sewn clothing, hand made boots. the list goes on.  We must create a demand for these locally produced items again....and it's really down the the folks who are buying the "stuff"  If we wait for the giant corporate retail stores to offer these things well.....good luck with that.
Enough of that.

These boxes are a old and fairly obscure thing....they most likely predate the coopered wooden bucket or barrel.  I have not found much history on these items. But I do know that they made some rather large ones out of very large diameter trees.  They could be made water tight and I've heard they were used to brew beer or store grain in in remote north eastern countries in more recent times.

Take a green/freash log or limb and bore a hole in it....carve it to a even thickness, carve a groove (rabbit) in the base, fit a dry piece of wood for the bottom, this is the cool part, let it dry.  They green fresh wood shrinks on the dry base.....you have a container with a bottom that cannot come out and could be water tight.....
green log shaped a bit with the axe
smooth outside with drawknife or knife




bore a hole through




chisel out most of the wood




carve the inside to uniform thickness




final thickness
ready for rabbit and base
using a marking gauge to set up the rabbit
tracing the shape on the base stock
the rabbit is a v-notch so bottom shaped to fit
base inserted
boxes drying
finished boxes painted and carved with fitted lids
finished boxes

2 comments:

  1. Hi Jarrold!

    Lovely pots and subtle colours.

    I quicken up the lid making proces by using a method where you don't need to rebate the lid. Instead you leave a couple of sections of the pot higher than the rest and then make a flat lid with cut-outs to match the high sections. Easier to see than explain- see here: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2452/5740135108_33a1949463_z.jpg

    Kind regards,

    Richard Law

    ReplyDelete