Basket carriers like this have a long history in the gardens of colonial America; different variations can be discovered at auctions and antiques stores in many regions. They are great for harvesting a almost any fruit and vegetable for a meal. This one is designed to hold six quart-size containers, but you can alter this blueprint for the number and size of boxes that you choose.

The plan gives details for the carrier with both the traditional curved handle (quite easy to accomplish) and a straight one.

MATERIALS LIST Base-Basswood or pine:

Two 2 1/2" x 1/8" x 11 1/4" - for ends

Two 2 1/2" x 1/8" x 18" - for sides

Three 2 1/4" x 3/I6" x 18" -for bottom slats

Handle-Ash, hickory or other bendable wood:

One 1 3/8" x 1/4"x36" - after bending will trim to about 32"

Alternate Handle:

Two 1 1/2" x 3/8" x 9" - for uprights

One 5/8" dowel (18" long) - for handle

Bentwood handle:

There are different ways to bend wood into a curved shape, but the following is easiest to achieve unless you have specialized tools.

Basket Carrier Picture
1. Soak 36" piece of bendable wood in hot water for about forty-eight hours. Bind the ends of the wood with twine and tighten every few hours until the wood bends into an arc approximately the right shape.

2. While the wood is soaking make a form for drying it to shape. Draw a circle on a heavy plywood board (W' or more thick) with a diameter of 18". Then hammer large nails (21;2" or larger) every inch along one of the resulting semicircles.

3. When the wood is flexible from soaking, place on outside of nails and force into place. Starting at center top, nail in place with another row of nails. (Do not nail into the wood handle.) Tie ends of wood handle together to help hold in place. (See sketch.)

4. Let dry for several days until completely dry.

5. Make the base of the carrier according to the illustration.

6. Nail handle to base. Be sure to use large enough nails to deaden well on inside of carrier.

Due to the soaking of the wood and subsequent drying, it will be necessary to sand and varnish with a clear colorless varnish several times before the carrier will be ready to use.

Source: Adapted from an article by Gloria Saberin

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