Picture of Dog Leash Hook from Tree Branches
Here's a useful hook you can make from left-over tree branches.  Use them for dog leashes, coats, hats, keys, smelly gym shoes, calendars, and many other things.

They are fun to make and give as gifts.
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
Table saw
Dremel tool
Chisel (be sure to buy chisels pre-sharpened)
1/8 inch drill bit
5/16 inch drill bit

Hat pins

Step 2: Find a good starting branch with "crotch"

Picture of Find a good starting branch with
This is a good piece of a branch; it is substantial, has a good crotch, and can be split so that it can lay flat against a wall (more on that in a bit).

Step 3: Strip the bark

Picture of Strip the bark
Use a chisel to strip off the bark.

Beware of sharp chisels and klutzy hands.

Step 4: Cut off excess appendages

Picture of Cut off excess appendages
If there are branchettes sprouting out of the branch other than the main hook, trim them off.

Step 5: Mark wall side for rip cut

Picture of Mark wall side for rip cut
Place the branch down on its side (the hook facing to the left or right) and mark a rough line down the side of the wall-side of the branch.

Position the branch roughly in line with the blade.

Step 6: Rip cut the wall side

Picture of Rip cut the wall side
Start with the saw blade at a low height (about a centimetre into the branch).
Place the table saw's fence lightly along the right part of the branch.
Use a rip stick to help to guide the branch back through the blade, and use a regular push stick to guide the branch from its end.

Complete one pass, turn off the saw, raise the saw blade another centimetre or so, and repeat.

Step 7: After finishing rip cut...

Picture of After finishing rip cut...
Now it's starting to look like a hook that will sit flush against a wall.

Step 8: Cut to length

Picture of Cut to length
Cross-cut the branch to your desired hook size.  Leave the wall-side of the hook a little longer than the hook, we'll see why in a bit.

Step 9: Round off the hook

Picture of Round off the hook
Round off the hook with a chisel or Dremel tool.
kludge771 year ago
You need to stop using your tablesaw until you've learned how to operate it. You are going to hurt yourself!

Never cut round stock on the table saw. Ever...
bgunville1 year ago
You need to get yourself a wood bandsaw a14" would split most of your stuff and a lot safer.
cobinrox (author)  bgunville1 year ago
Great idea-- that *wood* be a lot easier; thanks for the tip. Time to go shopping!