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How to Build a Bender
- about 20 nice bendy hazel branches, at least 6' long
(trim them down so you have poles, but leave some little bits
of branch on cos you can use them as hooks to hang things up
inside your bender)
- strong string or thin, pliable rope (& something to
cut it with!)
- tarpaulin and groundsheet / something waterproof to put
under your bed
- metal / wooden stake and mallet or hammer (metal is easier
to get into hard ground)
(you can make a wooden stake by sharpening the end of a thick
piece of hazel)
- lots of nice things to put inside (plenty of bedding if
Stick Chick shows you how!
||Find a flat area of ground about 10ft square
where you want to build your bender. Make a hole (about a
foot deep and as wide as one of your bender poles) with the
stake and hammer in one corner of the area. Push the thickest
end of one of your bender poles firmly into the hole.
||Repeat this about 6ft away (further if you have
nice long poles and want a spacious bender), so you now have
two bender poles waving in the air opposite each other.
||Now bend the two lengths of hazel over and wind
them around each other in the middle so that they form an
arch. (I like to make my bender tall enough to stand up in,
but this depends on personal preference and length of poles
available). Wind string / thin rope around the interwoven
poles so they are held together firmly. You should now have
an archway (don't worry too much if it falls over, but it's
best if it doesn't!)
||Repeat steps 1-3 to make a circular shape by
bending at least 2 more arches across the first (think of
the bender poles as the metal bits in an open umbrella).
- Now you need to strengthen the structure by weaving and
tying more bender poles horizontally / diagonally around the
circle of arches. But remember to leave a gap big enough to
use as a door!
- Once you are satisfied that your bender is as sturdy as
you can make it, cover it with a big tarp (or a few smaller
ones if that's all you have) and weigh it down with stones /
branches around the edges.
- Put down a groundsheet or something waterproof to put
your bedding on (bubble-wrap is good for extra comfort and warmth).
If the groundsheet reaches the edges of your bender, bend the
sides up inside the tarp 'roof' so that water doesn't run down
on top of your waterproof floor!
- Now you can add all your homely comforts, snuggle up inside,
and wait to be evicted!!
make your own mallet
You will need
- An unseasoned log : about 12 inches long and five inches in
- Some tools : A saw, billhook or hand axe and perhaps a sharp
- A hard surface to work on is essential.
What you do
- About half way along the log, cut around the circumference
to a depth of just under 2 inches.
- Now working at the narrowest end of the log, use an axe or
billhook to remove the wood down to the cut. Leave the center
of the log, this is your handle.
- Tidy it up a bit making the handle as round and smooth as
you can. You can use a billhook or a sharp knife for this.
- Some people split off one side of the head to provide a flat
surface to hit things with.
own mallet' blatantly stolen from affinity (but they're so cool we
know they won't mind!) see their website for how to make a two-piece
wooden mallet and loads of other really useful info (including
different ways to build a bender).
PO Box 2600, Brighton, BN2 0EF, England
Phone/Fax: +44 (0)1273 685913
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