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Construction begins with a wooden 'blank' upon which the required tapers and curves have been traced on each end from a template in pencil.

Once these guides are in place on ends of the wooden blank, it may be clamped into the shave horse where the inner curve may be shaped with a custom-made curved draw-knife.

 


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  Once the inner curve has been shaped, the blank may be repositioned in tension between the shave horse and a non-slip brace, which is hung from the neck. Once secured, a standard draw-knife is used to cut down the edges (tapered and the angled) of the blank as well as the exterior curve, frequently checking progress against the pencil traced guidelines on each end of the blank.  


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  Until now the curves and side angles of the stave have been only rough-shaped by hand. For final assembly, these hand-planed edges must be dressed with a jointer plane.  
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  Both the exterior curve of the stave and the adjoining edges must be dressed to ensure a smooth exterior finish to the bucket, as well as good seals. With a final check of the penciled guides on each end of the stave, this piece is ready for the next step.   g
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  The final step for individual staves is to smooth and dress their inner surface with a round bottom plane for the bucket to have a finished interior appearance. The plane is mounted into a larger box frame for ease of use in passing the staves over the curved knife blades, and to connect easily with the shave horse.  
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Once the required number of staves have been shaped, they are assembled in a temporary binding to cut the croze, which is the groove at the end of a bucket or barrel to receive the bottom. The groove, or croze, is made using a specialty tool known as a croze cutter and is designed to be passed around the inner rim of the bucket assembly in a circular fashion.

 

 
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Now the bucket may go to final assembly, where the finish choices are many. Buckets may be bound with steam-bent wooden or metal hoops. Appropriate stains and varnishes are selected and applied. Metal sleeves may be inserted as a lining for an ice bucket, or a paraffin seal may be applied to the inside to keep cookies fresh.

 
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Please visit our catalog section of the site to see projects with
varied functions and finishes. Specialty tools are also available for your workshop.

Explore the vintage art of cooperage by invitation.
Contact Henry 'Hank' Williams williams15554@bellsouth.net for information