Yard waste #1 Shrink Pots

Ryan Mooney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,496
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
I followed the rather excellent tutorial here: http://johns-woodnstuff.blogspot.com/2013/11/shrink-pot-tutorial-pt-1.html which explains it better than I could!

The short version is that you core out the middle of a hunk of a green log/limb and then cut a groove around one end and snap a fitted piece of dry wood into the groove. The green wood shrinks and theoretically gives you a tight seal around the base (mine would hold pencils well enough but water not so much - I believe wood choice for the outer part would also play in here).

I admit to using a large forstner in the drill press to do the bulk of the removal. So far this is the one project I've done where I really wished I had a couple of in-cannel gouges. Its possible with out-cannel, but limits the possible height and it definitely awkward. I lost two while cleaning out the middles, partially from being to aggressive partially due to using the out-cannel gouges which puts more strain outward).

These are all done with some crap elm I got from a friends tree a few months back. I think they're probably close to as dry as they'll get at this point. Left them unfinished for now.

IMG_1746.jpg

IMG_1748.jpg

IMG_1747.jpg

Definitely a fun little project and they don't take super long to make, maybe an hour each if you're not in a hurry (not counting the time spent cutting down the tree :D)
 
Soda can holders, beer glass holders, milk glass holders for kids, etc.

There is probably a market for those. You notice in my examples that the wood does not have to hold the liquid, it only has to hold the liquid holder. (I thought about dragging that out further but decided against it.)

You do manage to have fun.

Enjoy,
JimB
 

Ryan Mooney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,496
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
Soda can holders, beer glass holders, milk glass holders for kids, etc.

There is probably a market for those. You notice in my examples that the wood does not have to hold the liquid, it only has to hold the liquid holder. (I thought about dragging that out further but decided against it.)

You do manage to have fun.

We do try :D Glad you're enjoying some of these Jim.

I saw someone say they'd sealed one with shellac and had used it for water and I reckon you could do the inside with epoxy for some uses. Based on how they leak (a few small holes here and there) I believe it is theoretically possible to make one that would be ~mostly water tight. The best one I did here you could get a drink out of but you'd have to move reasonably fast to do it.

Not sure what the heck I'm actually going to USE these for :huh: but they were to interesting looking to pass up trying to make :D

If I can get ahold of a big hunk of wood I'd like to make an ice bucket, will probably seal the bottom of that with epoxy on the inside. I know a fellow with some cotton woods that should probably come down so .. maybe..
 

Al Launier

Member
Messages
1,683
Location
Bedford, NH
Great idea for pots! :thumb: Alternatively, as a pot for plantings, why not make holes in the bottom to drain excess water, and dead end the bore w/o having to add a fitted piece at the bottom??
 

Ryan Mooney

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
6,496
Location
The Gorge Area, Oregon
Great idea for pots! :thumb: Alternatively, as a pot for plantings, why not make holes in the bottom to drain excess water, and dead end the bore w/o having to add a fitted piece at the bottom??

Well its a lot easier to cleanup the inside with a through bore. I only did the bulk of the material with the drill and then did the final cleanup (which actually removed a fair bit of material on the bigger ones maybe 1/2 of what I took out) with a gouge following the growth rings (mostly). Being able to get at both sides made that not tooo bad. I'm not positive, but I think having the end grain bottom would be fairly likely to split as well. Honestly adding the fitted bottom was pretty easy.

can you please tell me what size fortsner bit and what brand you are using. Im having no luck with bits over 2.5 inches.

None of these were that big, I think my biggest center bore was around 2" and then I just split the rest of the material out with a gouge (and yes split - if you're careful you can split wood off of the inside mostly following the grain down - if you're not careful you split the pot). These weren't anything special, some grizzly on sale specials - they work "ok" but aren't anything to write home about. A gouge with a curve just a bit tighter than the curve of the wall you're working on helps to make sure you don't split the outside wall.
 
Top