steve folkers wrote:
David, thank you for pictures of a good bucket class. Some of his horses and tools look just like mine! And I covet his bick iron. And thank you especially for the link at the end to a 26 minute video (a 1981 episode of a BBC show on handmaking things) on an Irish cooper making churns in regional styles. (Ireland has at least five styles.) I recognized Ned Gavin right off from an article I have, a chapter out of the book Irish Traditional Crafts. At first I thought the pictures in the article might even be stills from the show, because he's making the same County Mayo type churn, but no, he has his coat off throughout, and instead of white cats, there's a little white dog. A note I put in the margin reminds me of an Irishman I met who grew up in County Clare, who remembered tinkers coming around in the spring and fall to do repairs, including replacing damaged hazel hoops on churns with tin, probably in the 1950s.
Judith Browning wrote: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
Mike Patterson wrote:Thank you, Steve, for the information. I'd love to come down and visit your workshop sometime this year. We're just up in Northeast Missouri.
Do you also make casks by any chance?
Oaken Sage wrote:
Judith Browning wrote: 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
Does anyone know how the cattail fluff is used to seal the bucket?
The head (bottom) is fitted by measurement, then trial and error, until it fits snugly all the way around, without holding the staves apart once the hoops are driven up.
Then it's removed (the 'head') and short pieces of roving are twisted up out of the cattail fluff and poked into the bottom of the croze (groove) with a chince ( I used a short standard screwdriver) until a continuous layer lines it. Then the head is set again and hoops driven up. Once when I told a visitor I sealed the bottoms with cattails, a little girl said "Oh, poor kitty!"
Barrels and sometimes buckets were also "flagged" with the leaves of cattail (US) or rush (UK), slit to dimension with the thumbnail, but fluff was common homemade usage. Both are just meant to swell up, until the wood does.
denise ra wrote:Are you coopers making a living at this craft?
Arron-- I learned bucket coopering from Keith Bowman, who was Alex Stewart's last apprentice. Alex died halfway through, and Keith finished under his son Milton. By this time the Stewarts had been to Japan demonstrating, and been converted to using dozuki saws, which Keith used. (I used my father's, grandfather's, and one I suspect was my great-grandfather's Western-style handsaws, out of both respect for the tradition I was demonstrating, and general do-what-you-can-with-what-you-got.) Keith brought the craft back to north Arkansas, where it had died out, when he took the job at the Ozark Folk Center. But it was the same Southern Highlands craft, which we knew not only from books, but also from several local pieces from the late 1800s. We had a churn the same as those Alex made, except for the simpler (but finely done) half lap joints on the hoops, and the wear on the bottom from scooting around on floors for decades. I met the 96 year old man who had donated it, and he told me where he had accepted it in payment for milk and eggs in the 30s, not far out of town, when the bottom was already worn out.
Aj Hendershott wrote:Thanks for sharing what you do. I am aspiring to make some buckets and piggins and have make a croze and hoop driver. Mainly just for fun gifts. I have successfully made a coopered dipper, and enjoyed that build.
I read a book on Alex Stewart (I suspect you might recognize him from the butter churn chapter n Firefox 3) and he mentioned honey buckets and that there were certain woods appropriate for making them. No more detail was included. I am curious, do you know much about these and could you share what kind of woods would be appropriate? Also what dimensions were these buckets? Do they look like the lidded bucket shared on your website.
Thanks for the education work you do. Oh and your shop is well organized!!