June 4, 2015
Herb Basket from scrap Red Cedar and Canvas
We were going to a saturday afternoon party at my work friend Branden's house, and I planned on bringing along some spring garden stuff as a little gift. But what to bring it in? An old plastic bag? Hmm... I've got all those scraps of clear red cedar in the basement which I'm generating by building our fence...
I doodled up a design in Inkscape one day while I was eating my lunch. You can find the vector file here, with scale of 1 pixel = 1mm.
To make cutting out the patterned pieces easier, I made a full scale version of these pieces.
I printed this and cut out the pieces with scissors, then traced around them with pencil on the wood. The bandsaw made quick work of the cutting out, and my block plane, spokeshave, and sander smoothed out the saw marks.
I knocked it together with minimal work mostly on Friday night using the stainless torx drive wood screws I favor for nearly every purpose fit into predrilled holes.
The width looked a bit much, so I redid the handle to fit in a different way and thus make the basket narrower by 38mm. Also, using 19mm thick wood for the two bottom pieces looked chunky, so I used a scrap of about 12mm thick spanish cedar.
During sanding I accidentally knocked the frame off the table and the handle broke, so I redid the handle to make it stronger, and put a bit of epoxy in the joint before screwing it together. Probably this basket is still too fragile and it could use epoxy in the other joints and an even stronger handle design. Red cedar does split relatively easily, so maybe next time I'll use a piece of cherry or beech for the handle. A stretcher piece running longitudinally between the two bottom cross pieces would also help with strength and wouldn't add much weight. A few coats of waterlox wouldn't go amiss. Eh, maybe next time!
After sanding, I took the frame upstairs and made up a quick lining with some pre-washed cotton canvas I had in my fabric stash.
Running short on time, I didn't do the best job and did not even take the time to wind a bobbin and change the thread on my sewing machine. But it was soon finished and secured to the frame with stainless screws (not torx unfortunately; those were too long) and stainless countersunk washers.
I left one end of the canvas liner open, to allow long items like green onions, to stick out.
Buster and I went outside to cut some green onions, sorrell, mustard greens, tatsoi, and tokyo bekana.
These were bunched up with rubber bands.
Violet made some labels with her calligraphy pens,
which I soon learned were loaded with water soluble ink :(
Ready to go, only an hour late to the party!