Attaching Bone Knobs

8mm, 10mm or 12mm Knobs and Washers
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6 inch Nantucket Lightship Basket with Bone Knobs

Nantucket Lightship Baskets are very fun and rewarding to make. They do take a little time and you may need a few extra tools, such as drills, hammers, molds, etc. But once you start making Nantucket Lightship Baskets, be careful, you might not be able to stop.

Pictured to left: 6 inch Nantucket Lightship Basket with White Oak Outside Handle and 10 mm Bone Knobs.


Use your awl to make an indention

Drill into a 'test' scrap of wood or rim material and check that the hole is the correct size for your pins.

Use 5/64’’ drill bit with 14 gauge brass pins. Use your awl to make a small indention at the position of your hole.


Drill your handle

Drill the ends of your handle.

Hold the handle tight against a scrap piece of wood to minimize tear out.


Drill your rims

Drill your rims.


Assembly and insert into the rims of your basket

Assemble the knob, handle and bone washer onto the brass pin.

Insert the pin into the rims (or ear) of your basket.


Place brass washer on masking tape

Stick the brass washer on a piece of masking tape.


Hold washer in place with masking tape

Place the brass washer on the pin and use the masking tape to hold it in place.


Cut pin leaving 1/16

Cut off the end of your pin with wire cutters, leaving about 1/16" of the pin extending beyond the brass washer.


1/16 inch of the pin is extending beyond the brass washer.

1/16" of the pin is extending beyond the brass washer.


Tap the edges of the pin with a ball peen hammer

Place the head of the pin on a solid surface (an anvil would be ideal) and using a ball peen hammer, tap the edges of the pin around and around until it "mushrooms" and the washer will not slide off. Keep pin at a 90 degree angle to the anvil.

This will take about 2 to 5 minutes. Each tap will deform the thin edge of the pin and after many many taps you will get the desired results.


The mushroomed pin

The pin after tapping the end until it "mushrooms".


Remove the Masking Tape

Remove the masking tape.


Bone Knob and Rims

The bone knob and handle are now held securely in place by the pin and brass washer.

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The Basket Maker's Catalog

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