Because of the bourbon industry in Kentucky, oak barrels are pretty much everywhere – even in the home centers where they are sold as planters or rain barrels. I use a used barrel as my garbage can in my shop.
Cooperage is one of the things I hope to study in my next life, when I get this furniture thing mastered in about 50 more years.
So I love to read about the craft, and the tools fascinate me – particularly the unusual compasses used for fitting the lid.
Today I’ve pulled two 1960s-era articles from The Woodworker on coopering for you to check out. One of the great things about the magazine was its dedication to documenting the traditional crafts as they were disappearing in England in the 20th century. Download the articles here:
— Christopher Schwarz