Using Slotted Bases

Slotted Bases

Overview: Slotted Wooden Bases are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some are made of solid wood and others are laminated. The size of the slot can vary as well.

Illustrated below: 8” x 8” Square Slotted Base, 1/2” Flat Reed Stakes

Example Pattern/Basket: Shelly’s Basket by Beth Hester

Choose a base size then choose your stake material. The space between stakes may run from 1/4” to 3/8”, depending on the base and the design of your basket. For stakes you may want to choose one of the following: Flat Reed, Flat Oval Reed, Cane, Ash or Hickory Bark.

Find Center

Getting Started: Sand your base and apply the finish of your choice, allowing finish to dry. Place the inside of the base upward and mark the center, just above the slot, on each side of your base, dividing the base into quarters.

If using a round or oval-shaped base, trace the base onto a piece of paper, cut out the shape, and fold the pattern in half and in half again—creasing at each fold. Open the pattern and mark your base at the fold lines.

Check the fit of a few stakes into the slot. If the stakes are too thick to be easily inserted here are a couple of suggestions: sand the inside of the slot, use pliers to pinch and flatten the end of the thicker stakes, or carve some of the thickness from the rough side of the stake. You want the stakes to fit snugly.

For this basket I sorted through some 1/2” Flat Reed and chose the heavier-weight material for my stakes. I cut the stakes to length, soaked them for just a minute, then laid them on a towel to drain and mellow. As my stakes were a bit thick for the slot, I sanded the slot & flattened the end of each stake by pinching it with pliers.

Start Twining

With rough side up, I inserted a stake at each center mark then added 4 more stakes on each side of the center stake (for a total of 9 stakes per side). Stakes were positioned about 3/8” apart and spread out like the spokes of a wheel. After all stakes were in place I double-checked my count.

The first few rows of this basket were twined with #2 Round Reed. To assist my start, I used pliers, to flatten the end of both pieces of #2 Round then inserted each piece into the slot before twining.

Finish Twining

After twining 3 rows, I secured the ends of the #2 under the previous row before trimming. I ‘reseated’ the stakes by pushing each one as deep into the slot as possible before re-wetting the stakes and creasing them upward.

apply glue to the edge

Once the basket is completed, you may want to run a bead of clear-drying glue around the inside and outside edge of the base.

Shelly's Basket with Slotted Wooden Base

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