A few years ago I posted a blog on making an ancient style stave bucket using only hand tools. Unfortunately, while I was cleaning up my Photobucket albums I accidentally deleted all the photos from the blog and I also lost them on my computer’s gallery earlier when my computer crashed. All I have left are more recent photos of the finished product. When the photos were deleted from Photobucket they also disappeared from the blog. Thankfully we can now post our photos directly from our computer’s photo galleries. This will ensure that they stay put even if deleted from the computer.
These buckets like the one above are not glued. The loose staves are held together with bands made from willow tree branches (or numerous other types of trees). There are also other types of bands that can be made from wood strips. These are not held with any fasteners, only opposing hidden notches. I tested this bucket and it does hold water. the wood swells a bit and expands the staves to make it water tight, although as you can see, my wife had other ideas about it’s use!
If enough folks are interested and would like to participate
I’m now thinking about posting a new and I hope better blog on how to make these and I’m wondering if any of you might be interested in learning these techniques and also how to make some simple shop made tools that are needed.
Buckets with this type of construction have been found near were I live on the south west coast of Norway that are 2,000 years old. However, the alternative methods and hand tools used have changed somewhat over time, but not really all that much. I chose to make mine with hand tools generally used during the 1800’s, even though earlier methods and tools were still being used even then.
Wide range of possibilities
I particularly like the Norwegian style buckets because they are thin walled and more elegant looking than others I have seen from other countries. I also like that there are no nails involved. Also a wide range of containers can be made using the same techniques and tools including oval shaped containers, wooden canteens, butter churns, beer mugs, teapots, etc.
The hand tools
Picture below are 3 tools; a shoulder knife for cutting the bottom datos, a round bottom handplane to hollow out the staves inside, and a lever to force the bands onto the bucket. Strictly speaking, the only really necessary tool is the last one for the bands. The other work can be done with modern methods and/or other hand tools if one wishes.
Please let me know if you would like to participate. It would be nice if others would build this along with me and blog their progress. I did this with Mafe with the first blog and we had a lot of fun. His bucket was styled a little differently than mine, so we both wound up with similar but still unique projects. If you don’t want to bother making all the tools I will show you how to do the work with a regular handplane and the tablesaw, a knife and a chisel. You will need the band lever though, which is cut out from a flat board with a bandsaw or scrollsaw.
Thanks for reading.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.