Vicki's Wood 'n Things


When the barrel holding my "hens & chicks" started falling apart last summer I started thinking about making my own bucket.  I searched the web and was able to find some helpful articles that explained how to go  about it.





I bought 1X4X8 red cedar at Lowes.  I needed 1 1/2 boards  to make my 12" diameter bucket.  I ran them through the planer and then put a 15 degree angle on each edge with my table saw.  Be sure to attach a piece of straight scrap as an auxiliary fence so that when you  run the board through the second time the first angled edge doesn't get stuck under the saw's fence.  Look closely and you can see I've clamped a piece of OSB to mine.  I used my Zag/Stanley 2-Way Adjustable Folding Sawhorse with adjustable height to "catch" the long boards as they came off the saw.  



Next, I cut 10 - 9" long pieces using my miter saw with a stop block clamped to the factory stop to give me the proper length without measuring each piece.  After that I measured and marked 2 pieces to be cut 11" long for the rope handle to be attached to later.  

Before I went any further I did a dry-fit, using a strap clamp to help the staves line up.  I was lucky and everything fit nicely.




Next I routed dados which would give a nice groove for the black banding  that would later be applied to "sit" in .  I used a 3/4" straight bit in my router table.  I adjusted the fence so that the top of the dado would be 1 1/2" from the top, or bottom when the stave is flipped.  I set the depth to 1/8".  The inside of the bucket has a 1/4" deep dado, 1 1/2" from the bottom to receive a plywood circle (mine was cut with a 11 1/4" diameter) for the flower pot to sit on.  Be sure to drill a 1" hole in the plywood base for drainage.    



Trim the corners off the two 11" staves.  I marked my diagonal line 1" in from each side and 1" down from the top.  That gave me a little triangle shape I snipped off with the miter saw.  Drill a centered hole 1" from the top of each 11" stave with a bit of appropriate size to accommodate the size of rope you will use for the handle.

Glue up needs to move quickly and is rather nerve racking with so many pieces.  I laid down the staves in a straight line after lining everything up in a "standing" position.  I applied glue to 2 staves, joined them, stood them up and kept adding staves to this structure.  After 5 or 6 staves, apply glue to the circle base and insert it in the inside dado.  Add remaining staves.  I placed wax paper around the bucket held together with some masking tape to keep glue off my band clamps and keep the clamps from getting stuck to the bucket.  I applied the clamps, then ripped the middle section of wax paper out to check stave alignment.  I turned the bucket upside down and added some clamps to aid in alignment.  

Jim Barry, at gave me this tip: Lay out a width of wax paper longer than the bucket is round. Lay down 2 or 3 strips of masking tape sticky side up, on the wax paper. Lay the staves on the tape, the outside of the stave facing down. Apply glue to all edges required. Start to "roll up" the staves. When you have 3-4 rolled up, add the bottom (if one is required in the plan) and continue to roll up. When done, add your web clamps and let dry.

Another tip comes from John H. of PA: clamp a straightedge on the bench to align the pieces.

I left the bucket to dry overnight.  The next day when I removed the clamps and paper this is what I had after sanding off a few glue drips.

I got black banding from Lowes lumberyard.  It was free as it was what they cut off bundles of lumber and throw out.  Cut the banding to approximate length.  Longer would be better.  Clamp it in one of the dados in the center of the back, making sure to have 2 to 2 1/2" on the "flat" portion of the stave.  I started wrapping the banding around the bucket.  It was rather stiff so I held it to the bucket with a spring clamp on each stave.  When I got to the "back" I overlapped the end a good 2" and ran 2 screws through the banding, making sure to secure the "start" and "finish" end of the banding.  I had 1 1/4" screws and the wood is 3/4" so I snipped off some of what poked through.

Here's the finished product in its' new home.  Unfortunately, due to the drought we had this year the flowers I planted for it a couple months earlier didn't last very well.

In all honesty I have to offer a word of caution.  The FREE banding had one drawback.  It was a little rusty in places.  I considered staining it and wish I had.  After being exposed to the weather for  few weeks the banding "bled" a dark stain down the sides of the bucket.  My hope is that by next year as the cedar "weathers" the "bleeding" will not be noticeable.  An alternative to the metal banding could be a used bike inner tube.

I was fortunate enough to find an article at WOOD Online called "Staves & Segments".  It explained how to calculate the angle I needed for my staves and how to calculate the diameter of my bucket.  

Click the icon above to view this article, courtesy of Wood Online.




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