How to Make Ash Splints for Baskets

Post image for How to Make Ash Splints for Baskets

Native Americans have used the method of pounding ash logs for centuries to produce fine splints used in making baskets of all shapes and forms.  Once a suitable tree is located and felled the task of removing the outer bark is followed by a labor intensive period of pounding the cut log with a heavy mallet or hammer repeatedly.  This is done continuously over the entire body of log until the individual growth rings begin to separate from the main body.  The splints are then peeled away, cleaned on either side with a knife to smooth the surface.  Individual splints can be further reduced to produce finer workstuffs by starting a split with a jack knife and applying pulling apart from the split with even pressure on both of the new splints.  Completely splints can then be cut into narrow strips or be coiled and stored for later use.  Ash comes in a variety of species with the best splints coming from brown or black ash (known as the basket tree) but usable albeit coarser splints can also be attained from white ash.

Click once to view video.


ralph 'porcupine' bishop June 18, 2012 at 11:36 pm

njoyed the video..i am a 40 yr of porcupine quills on birch bark the old ways.good to seee outhers work.thanks..

james gregory jr August 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

wood love to learn how to do this.

Comments on this entry are closed.