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Thread: Yard waste #2 branch buttons

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon

    Yard waste #2 branch buttons

    Loml got half a sheeps wool (another one anyway! ) and is in process of combing it out and is planning to spin it and then weave it to make a jacket. I figure that'll be done sometime before 2020 if we're lucky. Anyway she was looking at buttons for it and saw some "branch buttons" which are just rounds cut off of a branch and then have a few holes drilled into them. Commercially they go for $15-20 a set (where a set is between 4 and 8 depending on the size) or about $2-4 EACH. Well they didn't look to hard to make.. and they aren't!

    Front to back:
    1. rosemary - sanded, rattle can spray lacquer. Our old rosemary plant bit the biscuit during the cold last year, this is what I salvaged from it. Nicer than I'd expected.
    2. mystery tree in the back yard - dried, sanded, walnut oil
    3. lilac branch - unsanded, BLO+turpentine, wait three weeks, rattle can spray lacquer. These are definitely my favorite so far.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ended up with a bit over 30 of each kind (around 100 total). I think I have maybe 5 hours total in all of them and that was with hand cutting them (japanese razor saw - left a nice clean surface so I didn't even sand some which left an interesting "rustic" surface). If you bandsawed them off with a clean blade it would be zip zip. To drill the holes I made a V block and clamped it to the drill press so that you could press the button up into the V drill one side, rotate 180 and drill the other (I cut the branched by hand so.. hybrid woodworking ).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I suspect that these could be a decent seller for you folks that do the craft shows and farmers markets (based on what I've seen you'd occasionally just sell them all to someone who was into buttons).

    I've seen ones people have made from redbud branches and those look really sharp with lots of nice color in them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    How are branches different than a log? What I mean, if you cut a "cookie" off of a log it is destined to split. Why won't the branch buttons?

    Yep, they are on my to do list, they are expensive, you did a fabulous job on them. Did you drill them first?

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    I've wondered why they didn't split myself and I don't have a solid answer but none of them did (at least none of the ones I cut green, the rosemary was dry and parts of it had pre-split and had to be tossed).

    I drilled the holes while they were green - which might have helped by giving the wood a place to move maybe?

    I've also noticed that cookies off of a log sometimes won't split if they're thin enough but will warp. I suspect that there just isn't enough room for movement in that small of a piece to make them split most of the time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    You keep managing to impress me. You come up with the darnedest things to do or make. I don't dare miss your threads.

    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

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