Intro: Birch Bark Flask
Create a Flask out of Paper Birch Bark
Step 1: Peel the Bark From Your Victim
Use a sharp Box cutter to score the bark in a long straight line down the stick.
Use a knife slowly separate the bark from the branch. then Scrape any left over material off the bark with the knife
Step 2: Make the Top and Bottom
use a Sawzall or hand saw to cut discs off of the end of the branch.
Cut 2 1/2 inch discs for the top and bottom of the flask
Cut 1 1 1/2 inch disk for the plug
I used a hatchet to break up the plug piece to larger than the finished size. I whittled the plug down to size using my knife (Be safe here and don't cut your hand). You could start with a dowel here and whittle it down to make it look "Hand Made"
Drill a hole in the top disc to hold the finished plug.
(You could dispense with the top and make a pen cup for your desk, or a drink holder, it would be a posh Starbucks caddy)
Step 3: Soften and Sew Up the Seam
Place the bark over a steaming sauce pot of water will soften it making it easier to bend.
Use a large needle (Glovers, sail etc) to stitch up the cut side.
I used a natural Hay Bailing twine and striped off a few fibers, softened them in the boiling water, twisted them and went to town sewing.
When Finished, insert the top and bottom (sand/file as necessary or apply some more steam to soften the bark)
Step 4: Make Your Own Nails to Attach the Top and Bottom
Take a piece of brass brazing wire that the thickness of a normal finishing nail
hold it securely in a pair of vise grips. Place the pliers somewhere firm and peen the end with a ball peen hammer. Use light taps to slowly mushroom the end into the head of your new nail.
Use side cutters to cut the wire at an angle creating a off center point in the tip of the nail to help it drive into the wood. I recommend inserting each nail as you make it, and make sure you make the nail long enough. (I kept dropping them)
Step 5: Attach Top and Bottom With Newly Made Nails
I used 5 nails on the top and bottom each, 1 next to each side of the seam, and 3 others evenly dispersed. Use your box knife to trim any bark that hangs over the top and bottom.
The bottom of the flask did split on me at the end so I would consider using a hard wood next time(I'll glue from the inside to "fix this problem"). I also don't think I'd use my own nails on a future version of this project. and I could have pre-drilled some of the finish nail holes to ensure a tight fit. Also I will be carrying this around in a leather pouch, so I might consider a oval shape that would more easily contour with the other bag contents.