Reply by Loren

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Posted on If I were Making a Whisky Barrel....

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10477 posts in 3794 days

#1 posted 01-23-2015 06:06 PM

I’ve done some coopering making conga drums. It’s
real tricky.

The most straightforward way I’ve heard of is to pre-bend
the staves, rip the bevels on a 14” radial arm saw with
a linear bearing carriage to carry the stave, then assemble.

Staves can be pattern-cut on the table saw before bending.
With care this is okay for dry coopering or a conga drum
but probably not good for wet coopering.

Traditionally the staves were profiled freehand by the cooper
prior to bending. The cooper had a sense for the angles
and I’ll note that there is a subtle change in the bevel
at different points in the curve. The staves were bent
by hooping them together over a steam source and then
hooping the ends to draw them into the barrel shape.

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