Take Down Pot Hanger

In this blog we are going to have a look at a little craft project to aid in the suspension of our cooking pot over a camp fire. The difference between this one though is that it will be designed to come apart and be stored nicely inside your own cooking pot.
Take down pot hanger

This project dispenses with the use of any cordage to suspend your pot and instead utilises the natural growth pattern of trees like hazel, lime and to some extent sycamore. These trees side branches grow to form a natural tick shape from the main leader, which is ideal for our purpose. Each of the previously mentioned (but not limited to) trees varies in the gradient of the tick, but they are all suited to the task in hand. This project is improved with the use of tight tolerances and will help in honing your knife skills to achieve the desired result.
Now there are a few different designs out there for a takedown pot hanger, I will be illustrating the one I have had greater success with. Firstly locate some suitable material. Ideally for our purpose we will be selecting material between 25mm and 35mm thick. You will need two sections as straight as possible and as close to the same thickness as you can find. Leave a good couple on inches past the
bottom of the tick of one of the hangers as this will be used to make the wedge.
The material for the project
The design we will concern ourselves with utilises both hangers on the same side, as opposed to opposite each other which some of you may of seen elsewhere. The reason for this is that when you place your pot with a reasonable amount of weight on it onto the hanger it will then in turn pull down on the hanger to lock the top tick even more securely onto the suspension system you decide to choose.
Showing the position of the ticks
Cut below both ticks and ensure you do not cut into the collar around it in order to maintain its strength. Now measure the internal height of your cooking pot and use this measurement to determine the height of each the hangers. The cut at the opposite end of each of the hooks needs to be cut at 45 degrees. Notice each one will be opposite to the other. One is in the same direction of the hook and the second is the reverse.
Square cut made at base and 45 degree at top
Halfway down the hanger we need to make a second 45 degree stopcut. The one on the same side as the hook and then one on the opposite side of the hook. Notice that the one on the same side of the hook also has the top cut at the same angle as the hook, check twice, cut once.
Second 45 degree cut halfway in 
Employ your knife to cut and split along the first year of growth line to meet the stopcut halfway down the hanger and remove the surplus wood. Place the two parts together to ensure you have a snug fit and remove any excess a little at a time to achieve this. Bear in mind that any material removed from one surface will have a direct impact in relation to its opposite.
Using the knife to chase the split
Trim any excess so fit is snug
Once you are happy with the results from the previous stage it is time to make the recess for the wedge. This needs to be located centrally between the two joins. Make it no longer than your round is wide to ensure you have a snug fit. As a guide something around 5mm-8mm thick is fine. With the offcut you can now make a wedge by splitting down the line of the grain to your desired size.
Recess cut in
Using the excess to make the wedge
Try and exclude the first year of growth ring if you can to avoid it splitting over time. Tailor your wedge to fit tightly so it locks everything together nicely. You can help this by tapering the wedge slightly from one end to the other.
Finished hanger ready to use
There you go. One takedown pot hanger. It doesn’t have to be limited to your pots either. Use it to hang your bag, lantern, jacket or whatever you like from the branch of a tree on the trail or a guideline around camp.
Jay Jenner