Ash splint baskets

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Ash splint baskets

Postby Kirby » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:59 pm

Hello

I went on the course that was mentioned in the gazett, it was great! I quizzed Jamin as much as I could about how to pound out splints, came home and tried it out on some British ash. I can't upload pictures to this forum but have a look at www.kirbywoodworks.co.uk for more info and some photos.
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby SeanHellman » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:50 pm

Very nice baskets, good to see people using ash splint in the UK.
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby gavin » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:26 am

How do you prepare the billet before you pound it?
Do you cleave first? If so, what sort of size?
Then do you whittle with drawknife to your splint's width which seems to be 20 mm or so?
Are you using UK-grown ash here?

Shame you are not able to upload pictures here, and thanks for links to your work.
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby gavin » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:43 am

Kirby wrote:I can't upload pictures to this forum but have a look at http://www.kirbywoodworks.co.uk for more info and some photos.

Try the steps outlined here how to post pictures in this forum
If those steps are not clear or could be improved, please advise publicly. You won't be the only one struggling to get this right, and I am not an instruction manual professional.
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby Kirby » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:13 am

Hello again,
I pound the log whole, theres no cleaving required, I have seen people split out billets and then pound out the splints from them but that sounds like a lot of extra work, and also quite wasteful.

The photos I have are too large to upload and I have no way to make them smaller, need to find and download a program for my tablet.
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby Kirby » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:18 am

All the ash I'm using is British grown common ash, Fraxinus excelsior.
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby Robin Fawcett » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:28 am

Great stuff Kirby - keep it up. I think you can upload photos when you have made a certain number of posts - is it 10?
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby ToneWood » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:42 pm

Love the baskets, very similar to a very large one I saw used by a Californian fungi collector as backpack (presumably made of birch?) and similar one on Robin Wood's Heritage Crafts Society stand at Art in Action last year. I had wondered if ash could be used in this way but I'd only come across birch & oak being used like this before. Would like to learn more about this.
Kirby wrote:The photos I have are too large to upload and I have no way to make them smaller, need to find and download a program for my tablet.

If you have Microsoft Windows, at no extra cost, you can use the Paint program (mspaint.exe) to crop & resize your images - the capabilities are quite crude but also simple to use. If you are feeling more ambitious, Microsoft also offer a free "batch processing" program that you can download for free, if you want/need to process dozens or hundreds of pictures in one go.

Some forums downsize pictures automatically for you when you upload them - nice feature. It can put a strain on the servers though, so some sites download code to do it on your machine before the image is transferred up (usually these require you to accept a downloaded program/component - which is v. risky from a security perspective).
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby Kirby » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:34 pm

Hello
all the Internet access I have is through an ipad, will try and find an app to downsize images.

At the moment I'm writing the full process up with photos for the web site, will let you know when it's up, any specific questions just ask.
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby Darrell » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:19 am

Interesting...

I have long heard that Black Ash was the wood used by basket makers who pound the timber to make splints. Is Peter using white ash? Based on his description of what is happening, the crushing of the porous rings, leaving the sold portions to separate, it sounds like any ring-porous hardwood would do.

Or not...

I went down to the shop and picked a piece of riven red oak from the scrap pile. Dragged out the bench anvil (3 inch thick, 8 inch diameter chunk of mild steel) and commenced pounding the wood with a 3 lb hammer. After a few minutes, the wood did indeed begin to separate along the growth rings. But the wood also began to separate along the medullary rays. This is what I would call "not good". So not just ring-porous hardwoods, but those lacking medullary rays as well. Which describes the white ash I have access to in reasonable detail.

So now I have another new project to add to my ever-growing list. And a sore hand, the wood really stings when you hit it the wrong way...
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby Kirby » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:13 am

Hello,

That's good to know, I had plans to try more ring porous woods, it makes sense that the rays would interfere with producing the splint. Thanks


Another reason to pound the whole log rather than a billet, you're not holding on to it and taking all that shock up your arm.
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby Kirby » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:09 pm

For those interested I have put a page on my website explaining with pictures the process of pounding out the splints.

www.kirbywoodworks.co.uk
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby jarrod stonedahl » Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:38 pm

Kirby, sorry for the late response. I think it's great that you are doing this in the UK. My wife weaves black ash,I don't weave much anymore, but still process the whole log for her. We pound out about 3-4 10-12" diameter logs a year. You are correct the billet method is wasteful. I've tried that as well. Are you splitting down your splints again? I'm guessing that the English ash has pretty thick rings.Good stuff.
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby gavin » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:17 pm

Kirby wrote:For those interested I have put a page on my website explaining with pictures the process of pounding out the splints.

http://www.kirbywoodworks.co.uk

Here is the link
Could you use a blacksmiths power hammer to delaminate?
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Re: Ash splint baskets

Postby Kirby » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:20 am

Hello again,

Hi jarrod, Good to meet another ash splinter, yeah I'm splitting down the splints again if they are too thick, I find its easiest to do when freshly pounded, it would be good to learn more about how and when you harvest your splints, the info might be of use with the different type of ash we have in the uk, I'm not really sure how they differ. How long are those logs your pounding and how many baskets do you make roughly a year? I don't know how many trees to take to give my self enough ash the weave with in a year.

I've talked about pounding splints with a power hammer with a couple blacksmiths, will definately need to try it out at some point.
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