I started my first net. The wood is from an American Holly that is on one of our jobsites. I have been looking around for some suitable branches, and this holly had quite a few. I have worked with holly before, and it has a nice, almost white color to the wood. I have never worked with the branches so it will be interesting to see how they dry. I cut the branches and put them in a bucket until I had a chance to de-bark. When I start a green woodworking project I prefer to harvest the wood in the Spring as the bark slips off pretty easily. I had both de-barked in about 20 minutes. I usually like to put my green projects in a plastic bag to slow down the drying, but because of the size of the nets I couldn't do this. As a result I expect to get some checking. We'll see... I did coat all the cut ends with wood glue which helps with checking.
I also built a couple of forms to help the nets keep their form. I made the circles a bit less than 24cm, because you always get a bit of spring back when bending wood.
I then put the limbs over a pot of boiling water to help limber up the wood.
Once they were good and heated, I bent them around the forms.
When I was satisfied, I used zip ties to keep them on the forms. ( I need my clamps for work!)
After a couple of days there is a bit of checking going on. I expected this, so I left the handles and the stem sections long. Hopefully there will be enough wood to keep the splits at a reasonable point. You can also use super glue to fill the splits. It helps hold the sections together while the wood drys out at different rates. Anyway, this is a first time experiment. I am keeping an eye out for more wood on my fishing trips and forays into the woods. I put in an order for a net bag from TenkaraUsa, and I will use it on the best specimen. So far a fun project. I will give them a month or so to dry then re-post once I start up again. Here is a final picture of the nets hanging in my shop.