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To make a good patio broom, you will need about 50 stalks of raw broomcorn. The corn needs to be sorted so that all stalks are approximately 1/4 inch in diameter. Next , soak the corn in hot water until you can bend them without breaking. When corn is pliable, take your broom knife and slice about half the stalk away so that you can get a good full broom without having a bulky top.
For the handle, choose a good straight birch wood about 1 1/4 inch diameter and 42inches long. Secure the first layer of corn to the handle using broom nails and natural jute or nylon. Be sure to use a strong ply because the broom needs to be bound tight. Secure as many stalks on the first round as yor can, tying off each end of string with a broom nail.n Add several more nails because soaked corn will become loose when it drys out. This is why it is important that you bind the corn to the handle as secure as possible. Do not use a handle too small as this will reduce the size of your broom to that of a kitchen broom which is for another page. After you have secured as many stalks as possible without overlapping,add a second layer just like you did before only this time, you only need one nail to secure the string at the end. Next, cut both layers off about 3 " up the handle being careful to keep the cut as even as possible. This will come easy with practice. Now you are ready to add the final layer. This time, you need to have an odd number of stalks although there's no need to panic because you can always split one if necessary. Also, there is no need to use a nail at this point of construction. Simply begin to weave the string over and under until you are above the two cut off layers. Secure the final layer with about 4 broom nails and again cut off excess stalks, this time about 1/2 inch up the handle.
The weaving that you have just finished is called braiding by most broom makers. You will get fast and accurate with practice. I suggest you try to get a good rythum going as this will create a more uniform braid that will be attractive.
Stiching is next. Secure the broom on your vice, making sure that stalks are spread even but not too thin. Then, thread about 1 1/2 yards of string into your sewing needle. I try to use thke same string that I used for braiding because this makes a more attractive finish and also eliminates the need for so many different threads. You can stich any where from 2 to 5 times about 1" apart. I stich my brooms just like commercial brooms i.e. wrap two layers of string around the broom,then stich the needle through and back just like sewing cloth. I try to keep stiches about 1/2 inch apart. You will improve with practice. It is also a good idea to let brooms dry over night before stiching because need the stiches as tight as possible and as we discussed before, wet corn will shrink when it dries.
Final touches include cutting off straws to desired length. Usually the shorter the cut, the stiffer the broom. This is ,however, not usually a problem as most customers like a stiff patio broom. You do need to make sure all straws are even as best you can because this makes a fuller broom that will pick up dirt better. Beginning with good quality sorted broomcorn that is approximately the same length will alleviate most of this problem.
I like to drill a 1/4 inch hole and secure a rawhide hangin strap as a final touch. Brooms retain their shape and tend to last longer if they are stored in the hanging position. Also many customers like to hang brooms for decoration when not in use.