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Coiled Basket #2: Recycled Recycling Bin

This is the third post in a series about my journey making baskets from punctured bicycle inner tubes. To see them all, click here.

Goals

After my first coiled basket, I had a list of improvements for my next one. As a reminder, they were:

  • Don’t let the strips twist when wrapping
  • Cover the core inner tubes as much as possible
  • Pay a bit more attention to the shape and being even on both sides
  • A little bigger

To be honest that second point made me a little uncomfortable: I love featuring the characteristics of the tubes when using them in my products, and this method would completely cover up some wonderful details.

But that seemed to be the style of most coiled baskets I’ve seen, and the materials were still being saved from landfill and used for something useful, so I decided to go with it.

Construction

For something that looks very different, the construction method was very similar to my first coiled basket. I still used two inner tubes as my core material, the same strips, and a pair of pliers to grab and pull the material through the gaps when wrapping. I even went around the core twice before picking up the coil below in the 3rd wrap.

What I did do differently was take my time and make sure to cover that two-inner tube core as much as possible. It took a lot more time, too. Instead of doing it over two days, this took me about a week. To help me sort out the size I used our existing bathroom rubbish bin (though not as a form, just as something to hold it up to to get the proportions.

Oh! I also changed how I swapped between inner tube strips.

At first I tied knots with the ends, then tucked the tails around and under other strips – you can see a few loose tails here I haven’t neatened up.

But a few hours in I thought to try something different: I tucked the end of the new strip into that central core of two inner tubes for a few wraps of the old strip before starting to use it. Then I tucked the old end in for a few wraps to secure. It was a nearly seamless finish, something I’d been striving for after that initial woven basket attempt.

So how did my hard work turn out?

The Basket

Some Stats:

  • Size: 23 cm tall, 21 cm diameter at the rim
  • Materials: Just shy of 20 inner tubes
  • Weight: Just over 2 kg
  • Time: Not sure working hours, but I finished it in just over a week

More Photos and Family Shot

A phrase I will repeat so much when talking about baskets (and my products generally tbh): it took ages but I love how it turned out!

It’s a very different look than the first basket, but they both have their charms. I hate to call these improvements, but you can see how much I’ve progressed.

Here are closeups of the coiling (first then second):

The scale isn’t quite the same between the two photos (the strips are about the same width, though as you can see there is some variation).

Conclusions and Next Steps

Things I loved:

  • The look of this new coiling method – so neat!
  • How many inner tubes these baskets devoured – perfect as I’d been saving the narrow ones for ages while I looked for a good use
  • The sides were more even
  • Great useful size for my recycling

Some things to improve for the next one:

  • A bit more even – the basket has a bit of a waist (for lack of a better word) I didn’t notice until it would’ve been a pain to unravel
  • Change up the method I use to pull the strips through – the pliers I use have teeth and I damaged the coiling strips a few times. As they’re under pressure that might impact its longevity
  • Use a different size tube – I’d nearly run out of the size I was using, this basket used so many!

But I liked this basket so much I thought I’d make another for a similar one. My workspace needed a recycling basket, too.

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