How To Make Greenwood Shrink Pots
Explore the magic of wet-dry joinery by making shrink pots with Maine woodworker Danielle Rose Byrd.
Synopsis: Explore the magic of wet-dry joinery by making shrink pots with Maine woodworker Danielle Rose Byrd. Shrink pots are a straightforward way to try green woodworking while making something useful and decorative for your home. First, the pot is roughed out from a wet log, then, once it has been hollowed out, the bottom is added. The dry bottom fits in a groove in the wet wood, and as the pot dries out, it shrinks for a tight fit.
Making shrink pots is a great, straightforward green woodworking project that relies on the magic of wet-dry joinery. After hollowing a wet round, you let it shrink as it loses moisture, trapping a dry solid-wood bottom within. I love the intersection of utility and beauty, so the limitless options that shrink pots present are very appealing to me. They’re commonly used to hold dry goods, pencils, candy, cat treats (at least for me), and other knickknacks. Also, once dry, they’re great vessels for exploring design options such as colors, textures, and chip carving. Shrink pots are part of a home, and I think they should reflect some of that personality. But I’ll let you explore that on your own, as this article covers only the fundamentals of making one.Cut the blank and mark the diameter. Byrd uses a V-sled at the bandsaw to cut the wet rounds to length. Then she scribes the inner and outer diameters using a compass. Aim for the shrink pot’s walls to be an even 3⁄8-in. thickness. Uniformly thick walls allow the pot to release moisture evenly as it dries, reducing the chances of cracking.
Choose the right wood
Birch is my favorite wood to use for shrink pots, though maple, alder, and aspen can be used, too. Stay away from…