Making Shrink Pots – Green Woodworking

In “Shrink Pots,” Mitch Peacock takes viewers through the process of creating traditional wooden storage containers, known as shrink pots.

These pots are carved from a single piece of wood and are ideal for holding a variety of items.

Mitch starts the project by drilling a series of holes through the wood with a brace and bit, then expands these holes into one large cavity using a gouge.

He suggests that using an in-cannel gouge makes the task easier.

Next, Mitch focuses on creating an even wall thickness from the outside of the pot, continuing until the center of the wood is fully hollowed out.

His aim is to pare down the interior until it’s smooth to the touch.

Once the hollowing out is completed, he marks where the base of the pot will sit, scribing a pair of parallel lines around the lower part of the pot with a mortise gauge.

He then creates a groove between these lines using a V-chisel and a knife. Mitch notes that while there are special tools for this step, they’re not necessary unless one plans to make many pots.

After cutting the groove, the base of the pot is inserted. It fits loosely at first but will tighten as the wood naturally shrinks around it.

For those in a hurry, Mitch mentions alternatives like using a large sawtooth Forstner bit for drilling the hollow and a router with a dovetail bit for cutting the groove. He also suggests using a bandsaw for cutting out the base.

Mitch explains that as the wood dries out, the bases will secure firmly within their grooves, completing the pots.

For finishing touches, one can remove the bark for a smoother look or even carve patterns into it.

By the end of the video, viewers learn how to make functional and attractive shrink pots using traditional woodworking techniques and a few simple tools.

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