Pack Basket

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by OrienM, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. OrienM

    OrienM Scout

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    Hey All,

    Thought I'd show off the new pack basket I'm finishing up. I've been using a similar pack for a while, but my old one chafes my back a bit...this new model is a bit more refined, and I'm hoping it will be more comfortable to wear on long hikes.

    [​IMG]

    I've put a lot of work into this thing, glad it's finally just about finished! The only work left to do is sewing up a liner bag. The basket is made of hex-woven split bamboo and dogbane cordage, with shoulder straps of braided yucca leaves and some yucca-fiber rope. All local materials, with the exception of a little cotton cordage in the straps.

    (For those interested, I made a tutorial on this hex/triaxial weaving technique awhile back: http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/hex-or-triaxial-basket-weaving.153807/
    Try it, it's fun...:dblthumb:)

    [​IMG]

    The harness is based loosely on the Adirondack style, with both ends of the straps attached to a load-bearing bamboo hoop that goes around the body of the basket.

    [​IMG]

    These baskets need a 'foot' added so they can stand upright; to make this one more comfortable against my back I wove it out of flexible yucca strips.

    [​IMG]

    The upper strap-attachment points. I've never tried weaving large yucca straps like this before...they're quite stiff, but have conformed nicely to my body and seem pretty comfortable to wear. I'm very curious how much weight they can deal with, and how they'll hold up to use.

    [​IMG]

    Another view...it's just an 8-strand flat braid, done in two layers of peeled leaves.

    I will likely update the thread with more pics soon, once I get the liner bag made. (I need to pick out fabric next; I'm debating whether to use a waterproof, tarp-type fabric for this, or something more breathable...thoughts?)

    Thanks for looking!

    -Orien
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  2. Spotfire

    Spotfire Supporter Supporter

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    That is very cool. I really like the various materials - quite a twist on the traditional east coast ash baskets. Excellent work.
    For fabric it depends on your needs. I think waterproof would be heavier and only necessary if you're putting leaky/bloody stuff in the basket, unless you're doing a full lid that would keep the rain out. I'd be inclined to go with a lighter weight breathable canvas. You could always wax it later if you like.
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  3. GotTheCrohns

    GotTheCrohns Tracker

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    That's awesome.
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  4. J. Pierce

    J. Pierce Supporter Supporter

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    That is a whole great big pile of feakin awesomeness!
    Excellent man, just excellent.
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  5. RickS

    RickS Supporter Supporter

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    Very nice job!
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  6. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog Supporter Supporter Bushclass III

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    That is something special. Great mix of skills to make that piece of functioning art.
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  7. Youcantreadinthedark

    Youcantreadinthedark Chaotic Neutral. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Great post, as always. About how thick (diameter) was the bamboo you were working with?
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  8. snapper

    snapper Scout

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    Beautiful work! I've only ever made traditional Adirondack pack baskets out of black ash so your work is definitely a different breed of basket. Thanks for sharing your work.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time....be well.

    snapper
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  9. Myr1ad

    Myr1ad Scout

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    Can you soak dry bamboo enough to do this kind of work, or does it need to be green?
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  10. autodidact

    autodidact Semi-Pro Piddler Supporter

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    That is straight up awesome.

    I can't let my wife see this or it will go on my honey-do list. When I tell her that I don't know how, she will say "But he posted a tutorial!". Such is my life.
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  11. OrienM

    OrienM Scout

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    Thanks a lot for the nice words, everybody, much appreciated!

    The bamboo used was pretty small, about 1" diameter...each 7' culm was split in eighths to get 1/4" (or so) wide strips. Each strip was then painstakingly shaved down to about 1-2 mm thickness, using a specialized, long-handled knife. I often wish I had larger-diameter 'boo here, which would produce more strips per culm, and probably be easier to split and thin down, too.

    I haven't tried using fully dried material, but I've noticed it's much easier to split and carve fresh, green 'boo. Dry material should be usable, it will just probably take sharper tools, and more patience and effort to shape the strips. Prepared bamboo strips dry out quickly in any case, within a day or so, and have to be re-soaked for about 24 hours to make them flexible before beginning to weave.
  12. OrienM

    OrienM Scout

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    I first got interested in pack baskets when I lived in the Adirondacks, and the first couple that I owned were the classic black ash ADK style. Great baskets, hard to beat functionally! Over the years, I also became interested in Asian bamboo and rattan weaving techniques, hence the kind of odd "hybrid" style.

    My apologies, lol :3:. I neglected to describe how to process the bamboo, though, so you might be safe for now...:4:

    Thanks again!
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  13. StxRadley

    StxRadley Tracker

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    That is beautiful! I am excited to learn how to harvest and weave grapevine baskets from a local lady here in Oklahoma. Maybe one day I will get to that skill level you show! Love it!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  14. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Just what I was thinking. Beautiful work!
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  15. WoodGnome

    WoodGnome Woodgnome Supporter

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    Looks great. I'm in. :p
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  16. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Fantastic work. That's Bush art!
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  17. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

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    Super awesome! Great job!
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  18. Tennessee

    Tennessee Guide Supporter Bushclass II

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    That is some fantastic artwork friend. Family heirloom work for sure. I bet the yucca straps will be plenty strong and last forever.
    Whole lot of work right there.
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  19. Fixedblade

    Fixedblade 3% Supporter

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    Looks outstanding! You are very skilled.
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  20. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Outstanding........
    Never thought of yucca straps....Thanks for the idea.

    I use canvas (tent left over pieces) liner bags with a draw string in my pack baskets......if I carrying or storing clothes and such.
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  21. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Ain't that the truth.....or "I saw them do that in 3 hours on HGTV......."
    Big difference form watch a you tube and "doin it"...especially for the first time......
    I gonna guess this wasn't the first basket by OrienM...and the experience, imagination and skill shows......
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  22. OrienM

    OrienM Scout

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    Thanks All!

    Very cool...have a good time, and I hope you learn a lot. Basket weaving is fun, and you can make some neat stuff...personally I find it very relaxing.


    Yeah, 3 hours would be awesome :9:. I bet I spent 3 hours just gathering the materials! Fiber crafts are definitely slow-paced, by modern' "am I done yet" standards :rolleyes:; takes patience, more than anything. Practice does help, too. Thanks for the nice words!
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  23. OrienM

    OrienM Scout

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    [​IMG]

    I've borrowed the bag out of my old pack basket to use temporarily, so I can try the pack out loaded...pleased so far! It creaked a little at first, but settled down after awhile; the yucca straps are quite comfy. I added a strap across the chest to hold the shoulder straps in a comfortable position; this is braided from yucca cordage, with an antler button on the left side for quick on/off.

    Also, I think I've decided on the fabric for the new bag...I'm going with breathable cotton, in a green plaid:dblthumb:. Light but plenty strong...as said above, I can always wax it later for more water resistance. I will be adding a drawstring top, to keep sticks, leaves, bugs etc out of the pack. Tarp fabric is probably overkill - I carry wet stuff at times, but usually have a plastic trash bag handy to keep the pack dry.
  24. sidmand

    sidmand Bacon is food duct tape

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    that is great stuff right there man, truly is. And a metric crapton of work to boot, but I'm betting that you will tote that guy in the woods enough to make it worth it.
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  25. CBK

    CBK Tracker

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    That is awesome!
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  26. MiddleWolf

    MiddleWolf Guide

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    If it wouldn't detract too much from the basket, a proper sized heavy trash bag (black or white) would work and provide rain cover as long as it's tall enough to be folded over at the top. Would work for now until a permanent one is made. I would opt for waterproof.
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  27. jcl-MD

    jcl-MD The Enigma Bushclass I

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    LOVE IT....
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  28. rlh2

    rlh2 Guide Bushclass I

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    Skills....you got 'em.
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  29. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    Wow!!!! amazing work. Those straps are great. Making a pack basket is going on my list. Really looks great
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  30. OrienM

    OrienM Scout

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    Thanks guys! :)

    Do it! They're very useful and versatile as packs, IMHO; fun to make, too (physically big though, which means lots of time weaving!). I've got a 'thing' for pack baskets, apparently :4:...I find them really interesting, a challenge to make one fit really well. I've made a half-dozen of them, in various sizes and materials, over the last few years.
  31. chris67

    chris67 Supporter Supporter

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    That's is very impressive. I think ive found a winter project!
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  32. Sealbilly

    Sealbilly Guide

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    That is a sexy do hicky ma bob.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
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  33. Wasp

    Wasp Scout

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    You should be really proud of that. That's not a common skill. I'm blown away.
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  34. WhisperInThePine

    WhisperInThePine Supporter Supporter

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    Out-freaking-standing!
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  35. OrienM

    OrienM Scout

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    Thanks all! Much appreciated. :)

    I've been using the heck out of the pack for awhile now...makes a great daypack, although it won't quite fit all my overnight gear. One strap needs repaired already, it got shut in the car door :eek:....while it's incredibly strong in tension, I'm finding the yucca is stiff enough to crack if folded. The damage is near one end, so it should be easy enough to splice in new material. I may attempt the repair today, and will try to get a pic or two of the process.
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