View Full Version : Mast Hoops - Grain Orientation

03-21-2018, 05:40 PM

Is there a particular grain orientation that is preferred for mast hoop stock ?

I am thinking that vertical grain ripped to the required width and then sliced to thickness would be the best.


Ian McColgin
03-21-2018, 06:57 PM
My mast hoops are plain sawn, the annular rings parallel to the wide dimentsion. Makes them easier to bend and the bevel where the hoop is joined is stronger, less prone to split. Serious steaming.

03-21-2018, 08:16 PM
I've never made one. But if I were to, I'd cut some wood both of the mentioned ways and try both. Then I'd know just how and why which was the better way.


Gib Etheridge
03-21-2018, 09:13 PM
Flat grain will take the bend much more readily.

I have a friend who is a well known basket weaver. She uses a lot of as, which she separates from the green logs by hammering until the log delaminates at the annual rings. Simmered green the ribbons can be bent at 90 degrees.

willin woodworks
03-22-2018, 07:15 AM
Start by splitting out your blanks as opposed to sawing them. Then surface the splints with a drawknife, spokeshave or plane. Green white oqk will split easily, steams well and can be bent into anyi shape you can think of

03-22-2018, 07:18 AM
I’ve got a nice chunk of Osage I’d like to use to make some new hoops for Catnapper. Thanks for the post.

Ian McColgin
03-22-2018, 08:29 AM
Usually hoops are made of oak which is easily steamed and bent. The strongest approach is thin laths that are wound to make at least three layers. Once cooled and riveted, the ends (one inside and one outside) can be tapered down so it's a smooth ring.

03-24-2018, 08:30 AM
Thanks for the replies. I've got an "order" in with a local guy that has some white oak logs. I've asked for some 3" cuts at the center (he doesn't quarter saw his logs), so I'll have the vertical grain bits on either side of the pith. I figure I can then orient the grain either way when I cut up the stock.


Gib Etheridge
03-24-2018, 12:15 PM
The center of the log will most likely have lots of knots. The best lumber will come from just inside of the sapwood.

03-24-2018, 03:35 PM
I think he means the center cuts from a log sawn through and through...so close to quartersawn

I’ve seen both oak and ash used. I prefer oak.
With oak I would avoid having the wide dimension anything close to quarter sawn. The rays running across the face act as failure planes during the bend.

I would also taper the tips before bending. It easier todo then and the thinning will ease in and out of the bend, avoiding a hard spot

When we were doing bunches, we would make plywood discs matching the id,
piece comes out of box gets laid flat on bench. Then roll it up on the disc . Keeping pressure down tight on bench. drill the outer top and lock the rings with a small pan head screw...latter will be a rivet
If you keep screw short you can slide hoop off disc and reuse. Size the hole to avoid the screw splitting end

03-24-2018, 07:07 PM
I think I'm going to try to do mine out of my favourite wood, Black Locust. It will likely need to be cut very thin and made up of 3 layers coiled over one another on a form but it should work. BL does bend well.

03-24-2018, 09:26 PM
I think he means the center cuts from a log sawn through and through...so close to quartersawn
Exactly, this section of a flitch sawn log yields vertical grain on either side of the pith.

With oak I would avoid having the wide dimension anything close to quarter sawn
So the preference is the wide dimension parallel with the growth rings.