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Lashing the 'Eye' of an Egg Basket

Lashing the eye

The 'eye' of an Egg Basket or Rib Construction Basket is used to tie the hoops together and give the ribs a place to rest.

These instructions show an easy way to tie the 'eye' found on many white oak egg baskets from Hart County and the Mammoth Cave area of Kentucky.

Handle and Rim

Measure and mark the half-way points of both the handle and rim hoops. The handle and rim will cross each other at these points with the handle on the outside of the rim.

Make sure the joint area on the handle is at the bottom of the basket.

Indent with Awl

Make an indentation with your basket awl on the inside of both the handle and the rim at the marked half-way points.

Squeeze nail through rim

Place a #18 5/8" brass pin or nail in the indentation on the inside of the rim and, with a pair of pliers, squeeze the nail through the rim from the inside to the outside.

Notice that the head of the nail is being held by the 'jaws' of the pliers.

Tip of nail showing

Stop when you feel the point of the nail on the outside of the rim. Repeat this on the other side of the rim.

Line up handle and rim

Next, align the point of each nail with the indentation on the inside of the handle.

Squeeze nail through rim and handle

Squeeze the nail all the way through both rim and handle. Make sure you miss the pliers as the nail emerges. Do this for both nails.

Bend Nail

Position the pliers on your nail and with a good squeeze the nail will bend. Again do this for both nails.

Notice that both the head and the point of the nail are touching the flat part of the jaw tips.

Bent nail

Bent nail on the outside of the handle.

Head of nail on rim

Head of nail on the inside of the rim.

The following video shows lashing the 'eye' of an egg basket using a wet 4 foot piece of 1/2" flat reed.