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Wooden Bucket Plans
wood bucket
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How to make a decorative Wooden Bucket

 Page 1: Introduction, material requirements, instructions
 Page 2: Instructions continued
 Page 3: User Comments/Photos
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wood bucket plan click to enlarge Introduction

This wooden bucket is decorative in the sense that it can't be used for some of the tasks expected of a standard bucket, such as carrying water.
It does, however, have other practical uses and makes a very attractive planter.
The bucket is also ideal for the wishing well project.

This project is in both metric (mm) and imperial (ft and inch) dimensions.
The measurements are given first in millimeters followed by inches in brackets ().

Materials you will need

[a] Twelve 65mm x 18mm (3/4"x 2 1/2") wood slats that are 300mm (12") long.

[b] Two thin strips of wood approximately 1000mm (40") long.

wood bucket pieces [c] One piece of 15mm (5/8") plywood approximately 300mm x 300mm (12" x 12") square.

[d] Two lengths of copper strap approximately 22mm (7/8") wide by 1000mm (40") long.

[e] One length of metal rod approximately 6mm (1/4") thick by 700mm (28") long. Can be steel, aluminum etc.

[f] Fifty 18mm (3/4") long nails with flat heads. Copper or galvanized.

[g] Six 18mm (3/4") long staples.

[h] Twenty-four 25mm (1") long nails to temporarily tack the strips of wood (marking sticks) to the slats.

About the wood

The slats are from 65mm x 18mm (3/4"x 2 1/2") stock which is dressed 75x50 (2x3). If the wood that you use is slightly different in width and thickness, it does not matter. The concept will still work, however, make sure that the wood you choose is suitable for exterior use.

About the copper strap

Most sheet metal stockists and some plumbing firms have off-cuts of copper sheet lying around that you can usually obtain inexpensively. Some will even cut straps for you to the required width, whereas others will only sell bigger off-cut pieces that you will have to cut yourself, using a pair of tin snips.

If you are unable to get copper then any metal strap will suffice, as long as it is suitable for exterior use.


Step one: Cut the pieces

Cut all the pieces required for the project to the sizes as shown in the plan and the materials list above.

mark the wooden bucket slats Step two: Mark square lines on the slats

Measure in 25mm (1") from each end of each wood slat and make a pencil line parallel with the ends, as shown in fig.2.

The lines mark where the copper strap will go.

Step three: Make the marking sticks marking stick

On two thin strips of wood [b] 1000mm (40") long, measure and mark for slat placement, as shown in fig.3 below. These strips of wood are the 'marking sticks' or 'templates'.

The gap between the slats should be half of the slat's thickness. See The Gap Equation below.

The marking sticks can be made out of any thin strips of wood as they will later be discarded.
Example size: approximately 10mm (3/8") thick x approximately 25mm (1") wide x approximately 1000mm (40") long.

Step four: Lay out the slats

Lay out the slats in line with the marks on the marking sticks [b] and temporarily hold in place with small nails (fig.4).

The marking sticks are tacked (temporarily nailed) to the slats (fig.4 below) to ensure the spacings (gaps between the slats) are held correctly until such time as the copper strap is fixed in place.

bucket marking template

The Gap Equation

bucket slat gap equation The distance of the gap between the slats is crucial to forming a good circle. The gap, or spacing between the slats, should be half of the thickness of the slat.

For example: The thickness of the slats in this project are 18mm (3/4").

Therefore: 18mm (3/4") divided by 2 = 9mm (3/8"), which is half of the thickness. Hence the gap or spacings between the slats in this project will be 9mm (3/8").

Note: The width of the slat has no bearing on the size of the gap, only the thickness and the total number of slats matter. In this case, 12 slats are used to form the bucket sides.

tick Also important:
Ensure that the slats have square corners. Wood with rounded corners would require a different equation.

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