The Cooperage at Mystic Seaport: A Woodworking Craft

The Cooperage at Mystic Seaport: A Woodworking Craft


A cooper is a guy who makes containers that that consist of a number of individual staves that are held together by hoops. Most people think there is some caulk or something in the joints of what we make and I think that that’s a thing that’s most surprising to them is that there isn’t Where the edges of the staves meet, pretty much perfectly, it can hold water. Driving the hoops down from the narrow point to the wide point forces those staves together with better than 4,000 pounds per square inch per hoop. For a port city and particularly a whaling city the cooper is very important because, of course, he is making the barrels that are used to transport transport whatever the cargo is There is no home that doesn’t have a lot of coopered articles. for the kitchen you need buckets of water from the well and you need to milk the cow and you need to slop the hogs and you need butter churns and wash tubs just endless number of things all of which are made by a cooper.”

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