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Bender Heaven

16 17 traditional design simple pole layout If your poles are unset and straight from the hedgerow they will ideally first need to be stressed, the butt ends should have a point and the side branches trimmed off unless they look like they will weave into the structure. The whole length of the pole may be useful for weaving so dont cut the top off. When youve chosen a site imagine the bender in situ, how large it is depending on tarp size, and where the doorway is situated. First of all, select your thickest poles and, bearing in mind where the doorway will be, position them an equal distance apart round the circumference. If the ground is soft, drive the butt end in as far as it will go 8 inches minimum, more for unset poles. If the ground is hard, use a hard wood or metal stake to make a pilot hole for your poles with a 6 inch minimum depth and more again for unset poles. Depending on your choice of wood the poles may weave together and wrap around each other easily, or you may need an amount of string to keep the poles in place. When adding more poles, the more they can be woven into the structure rather than tied, the stronger your bender is likely to become. Dont worry if your bender seems a bit flimsy at first, each new pole adds more strength to the structure and it will not attain total stability until the tarps and ropes are in place. Two basic forms of bender On the left the ridge bender, with its central spine. On the right the centred bender, with its central gathering of poles. Both these forms evolve on the next two pages.
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