Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Future Besom (Again)

Well, I've finally gotten around to choosing a handle for my soon-to-be besom (see "My Future Besom" August 13, 2009) and ironically enough, I didn't even need to leave my yard! I never quite found the time this summer to take a hike through the local woods to find an old oak branch and I'd been getting antsy about it. Then yesterday afternoon while out beneath my more than a century old apple tree, I happened to glance up through the branches and there it was: the perfect handle. As I said before, I've gathered all my birch twigs for the brush end of the besom over the last few seasons only from twigs my trees have dropped and I was planning on doing the same for the handle as I would never harm a tree for my own personal use. My apple tree had three good-sized sucker branches high up in a neat little row that were going to need to be removed before winter anyways and the middle of the three was exactly the right length and diameter for my besom. The ever-helpful Griffin got out a ladder and climbed up with a hand saw and moments later my handle was right there in my hands. I spent the next couple of hours cutting all the little branches off, pruning down the nubby bits and then peeling all the bark from the branch, exposing the lovely apple wood. It's now sitting in my kitchen beginning to dry out and when it's dry enough, I'll be able to make my besom. It's about four and half feet long, with a gentle curve as it thickens towards what will be the handle end. I haven't yet decided whether to sand the crap out of it when it dries or to leave just as they are all the bumpy bits from its former little branches for a more rustic look. Hopefully, despite my inability to make a firm decision on anything, I'll have decided by then which look I prefer for my handle.

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