Earlier in the day I split some logs for a bowl and spoon. That was so fun to split I jumped onto a couple other project just so I could carve with the axe again. I had previously made a leather canteen, but never finished the bung. I took a branch of the pear tree that I used for the bowl and spoon and used an axe to rough out the shape that would fit into the canteen top.
Here is the roughed out shape that fit into the opening.
The piece below was carved only with axe. Lots of fun!
After I got a rough fit I took a couple smaller carving knives to smooth out the shape and get a good seal. I then roughed out a flat top to allow for ease in opening. I can use the flat-head style screw driver end to help when I twist the bung out of the canteen. I anticipate that the wax on the canteen will soften in the heat and perhaps stick to the bung. I wanted more than a simple round cork to plug the mouth.
After I got a nice seal I smoothed out the bung even more and then burnished it with the back side of the knife to smooth out the grain as much as possible. No sanding needed!
You can see in the image below the bung looks wet. Yup, it is. I corked the canteen and left it upside down for a while to see how much would leak. Had a little leak, but I don't intend to leave my canteen upsidedown very often.
I then drilled a hole to put a lash to the rope so that I wouldn't drop the bung when unplugged.
Not a 100% seal, but it will do. I am very happy with the overall project and it remains on my top 5 favorite projects of all time... so far.