Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Vegetable Basket

Sunday was a a busy day.  In addition to mowing the lawn, I decided to tackle a project for the wife. She had seen a link on Pinterest of a vegetable basket made of wood and hardware cloth. So from the photo below it was time to reverse engineer our very own basket.

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Like any great project does, this one started out with breakfast at Parker’s Maple Barn  (Thanks to Billy) followed up with a visit to Lowe’s for some building materials. Much to my wife’s surprise this project involved no new tools!

The building materials consist of a single length of 1×10 pine, our Lowe’s had a 4′ length so I grabbed that for the ends, as well as a length of 1×2 pine for the handle and stretchers.  I used mostly power tools for this build with a few hand tools when needed.  The project could be entirely built with hand tools, but it would take more time.

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The first thing I did was to decide on an overall height of the sides, because I had a 4’, 1×10 board I went with 16”.  16″ would allow me to get the two ends I needed out of the board plus the waste could be used on another future basket side.  Once I had both sides cut to 16”, I screwed the two pieces together making sure to place the screws in areas that would be cut off as I made the basket.  This saved time and would guarantee that both ends are the same sizes.  With the boards together it was time to find a bucket or lid that I could trace on the boards to create the curve at the bottom of the basket.  From there I laid the rest of my pizza paddle type design out on one side of the boards.

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After the layout was complete now it was time to make some cuts!  My first cut was made on a table saw using a miter gauge with a sacrificial fence.  As you can see the blade only went up so high so I had to make a slight revision to my design making a slightly wider vertical post.  The next step was to make the 3/4” cuts for the stretchers similar to the 1st cut.  After these cuts were made it was time to lay the boards flat and run them through my table saw to remove the bulk of the waste next to the post. Despite the fact that I marked my stopping point with blue tape, I still managed to slide by where I wanted to stop and you can see the cut mark at the crotch of the vertical post.  Not that big of a deal, I will just make sure to put that face to the inside of the basket during assembly.  Because of the radius of the blade there is also a little nub of waste that I had to clean up with a sharp chisel.  Finally, the remaining cuts where made using a jigsaw.  I did have a little clean-up of the notch for the handle with a chisel.  I made sure not to take too much material out at this point, because we will do the final fit of the handle with a rasp.

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With all the square cuts complete it was time to cut the curve on the bottom.  The best tool for this was the jigsaw.  With the curve cut, it was time to cut the handle and stretcher to length.  For the length of the basket I was originally thinking of 24” long to match the width of my hardware cloth I had on hand.  However I wasn’t convinced that the proportions would work so I reduced the length to 18” for the stretchers.  For the handle I wanted to add a little subtle flair to the design and I made the handle 3/4” longer than the stretchers (18’3/4”).  I then made sure to let the handle sit proud of each face by 3/8”.  A quick test fit of the pieces, and a couple 1-1/4” deck screws for the stretchers, (remember to pre-drill) and some 1′-5/8” deck screws for the handle and my helper was off to find mommy for her approval of the prototype.

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Once approved, my trusty snips and needle-nose pliers made short work of the 1/2” hardware cloth, which I stapled to the outside of the basket.  A quick sand with some 150 grit sandpaper to knock down any sharp edges and this basket is ready for the paint booth.  I also took a few minutes to whip up a model with dimensions in Google Sketch-up so I would have plans for the next basket we build. Vegetable Planter Model

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May 28, 2012 - Posted by | Gardening, Woodworking | , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. I so admire your wood-working skills. Nicely done.

    Comment by Born To Organize | May 28, 2012 | Reply

  2. What a great project! Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by thebeadden | May 28, 2012 | Reply

  3. No new tools? Always a bonus… or a drawback – depending on your point of view, right?

    Comment by biggsis | June 6, 2012 | Reply

  4. The basket looks great by the way.

    Comment by biggsis | June 6, 2012 | Reply

  5. that is cool

    Comment by cohutt | June 28, 2012 | Reply

  6. Better than the original! It is lucky you had such a skilled helper…

    Comment by aquariumstarter | July 10, 2012 | Reply


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