Picnic Basket

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Weave in new woodworking skills as you make this wood carryall.

Consultant: Dennis Chilcote

While it may not have occurred to you, weaving a basket presents a whole different way to work with wood. As you build from the base up, you’ll learn how to integrate the special materials used in basketmaking into the design. This includes soaking and bending weavers (the horizontal bands of wood), reeds (the rim material), and other wood parts around a mold or form (Figure 1). It’s this process that ensures consistent basket and handle shapes, respectively. Making the remaining parts comes down to simple woodworking. Once you complete the basket, organize its contents by cutting out and adding the simple dividers.

As shown above, I used cherry for the base, lid parts, and handles, and maple for the weavers. You could, however, choose another wood combination. Instead of the maple used here, you can go with ash weavers and contrast it with walnut. To get started, purchase the maple weaver material (called splints), reed, sea grass, and sinew—shown in the Convenience-Plus Buying Guide.

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