Coopering and Making Barrel Staves

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Forum topic by flyingoak posted 07-04-2011 03:22 AM 12189 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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68 posts in 2532 days

07-04-2011 03:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: milling joining shaping

I have not been able to find anything on how to construct staves for a barrel. Any resources you know of that lay out and cut the staves for a barrel?

Thanks in advance,

-- where is the duct tape.....

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


8174 posts in 3072 days

#1 posted 07-04-2011 04:20 AM

I used to make conga drums. It’s real hard to get right.

Coopering is a traditional craft done by hand and eye and
experience. Machines that make barrel staves are highly

There are several alternative approaches. One is to pattern
cut the bevels and steam the staves as one unit held at one
end by a hoop and use other hoops and round clamps
to bend the staves and close the barrel.

Another method is to pre-bend the staves, then cut the
bevels on a big radial arm saw with a jig using linear
bearings to carry the stave through the angled blade.
This method was described to me by owner of
“Fat Congas”.

Some guys pattern-cut the stave bevels, steam bend the
staves and put them in drying racks, then assemble without
using steam or heat in the assembly process as per method 1.

View Vicki's profile


1040 posts in 2768 days

#2 posted 07-04-2011 05:24 PM

I have something on my site that may help:

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View WayneC's profile


12642 posts in 3521 days

#3 posted 07-04-2011 05:34 PM

I would suggest looking through these blogs

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Jim Finn

2391 posts in 2346 days

#4 posted 07-06-2011 02:03 AM

Buckets are not barrels. Buckets are easy, I have made a few but not barrels! A search should find the info you require. Places like

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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