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coopering...making wooden buckets

 
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This is a skill I would love to learn



....and it is still being taught

As many homesteaders know, learning a craft can add satisfaction to one's life while adding diversity to one's income stream. I think woodworking, using hand tools especially, fits well into a permaculture plan. I'm hoping to help inspire others to explore traditional craft both by this topic and the 'making wooden pitchforks' thread. Some skills, like coopering, really need a hands on teacher...others maybe just practice and books and web info.
good luck!

EDIT: all of the above photos are taken at the Cooper Shop at the Ozark Folk Center except for the one of the piggin full of water.
 
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Very nice Work! I've always loved the look, feel and artistry of wood implements. I was fortunate to be born into a family that owned a cooperage. My first bed side lamp was made from a practice barrel I made. I love the craft and now do all the steps with nothing but hand tools, just like I was taught as a child. The Cooperage now has of course mechanized for practical reasons and to keep the profit margin up. I'm trying to get to the point where I can take Wolf, my wife up to Mountain Home for a day trip.
 
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Absolutely gorgeous.
 
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Is there good books about making wooden buckets? Or instructions or videos in some webpage?

After some googling I found this:
http://www.beaverbuckets.com/catalog/bookdvd/

Does anyone has experience how good that book is?



 
Judith Browning
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Toni Tanskanen wrote:Is there good books about making wooden buckets? Or instructions or videos in some webpage?

After some googling I found this:
http://www.beaverbuckets.com/catalog/bookdvd/

Does anyone has experience how good that book is?





Hi, Toni....sorry i am so slow getting back to this.......It looks like you found the cooper that my husband was going to recommend He thinks that Jim Gaster is an excellent cooper. I haven't looked at the site...are there videos also? Although my husband learned as an apprentice...he says he would still like to get a copy of that book one day.

... welcome to permies! ...and thanks for posting.
 
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What other material can be used for the hoops?

Here in the PNW I have lots of cedar, but not much Oak. I have Fir, Hemlock, Maple and Alder.

thanks in advance.
 
Judith Browning
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John Devitt wrote:What other material can be used for the hoops?

Here in the PNW I have lots of cedar, but not much Oak. I have Fir, Hemlock, Maple and Alder.

thanks in advance.



he says "I don't know the woods out there that well, but I suspect Big Leaf Maple is the rough equivalent. It is the very nature of this traditional green woodworking technology to be very local, to accumulate knowledge of the potential uses of the trees in ones own area.
From here (arkansas ozarks) EASTwards, I have heard of oak, hickory, ash and elm being used for hoops and willow and hazel for lighter use."


I can speak from observation of the frustration after cutting and splitting even a perfectly straight grained white oak and finding that it cracks and will not bend into hoops well. Both my husband and our white oak split basket maker friend are noticing this (maybe) more often lately....what is called "brash"...wood that is brittle, less limber than needed for the work that they do. Let us know what you try and how it works.

 
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Judith Browning
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this book/dvd tells how to make wooden buckets in the tradition of those I have pictured in this thread..........no power tools or glue needed....
I think, Jim G. uses a silicone in the joints of the bucket, which of course, isn't traditional, but is one of the down sides, I think, to trying to mass produce an item for the public. The buckets pictured in this thread have been carefully fitted so that when filled with a liquid the wood swells and holds tight without the help of a glue or silicone (although cattail fluff is sometimes used to seal the bucket bottom).....it can be done


http://www.beaverbuckets.com/

BB_DVD_Cover.jpg
[Thumbnail for BB_DVD_Cover.jpg]
 
Judith Browning
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...and here is Roy Underhill.............a short bit from one of his PBS shows on bucket coopering.

he also works in the tradition of the coopered buckets pictured in this thread ......people see my husband in his shop with all of his hand tools and his hat and suspenders and say he looks like Roy.....Roy is not aging, though



it is not the whole show, unfortunately, but a good peek at some fine coopered buckets.
 
Judith Browning
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a very short peek at the cooper shop at Williamsburg.....

 
Judith Browning
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and another............she is wonderful! this a much longer video and covers much of the processes and tools.



and a link to a podcast interview with Ramona.

http://podcast.history.org/2012/01/02/meet-the-cooper/
 
Judith Browning
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working with cedar...


 
Judith Browning
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This is a great video of Alex Stewart who taught my husband's teacher..........check out the bib overalls:)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTb2zVpQGg4&feature=player_detailpage


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