Cooper

Replace staves, heads, and hoops.

What does a Cooper do?

Replaces staves, heads, and hoops, using windlass and handtools to repair barrels: Loops cable of windlass around top of barrel and turns handle to compress staves and loosen hoops. Removes defective stave and inserts and aligns new stave, using wooden mallet. Shapes top edge of stave to conform with others, using saw to trim and spokeshave to bevel inside and outside edges. Cuts croze, using hand crozer. Replaces and tightens hoops. Removes head hoop, using cooper’s hammer, and pries out head, using prybar. Inserts edge of new head in croze of staves and forces head into place by hand or using mallet. Replaces head hoop. May rebuild entire barrel. May loosen hoops and force caulking between staves to repair leaking stave joints. May plug knotholes and wormholes with wooden plugs. May tend machine that compresses barrel shell to facilitate removal of forming rings and placement of temporary truss hoops. May build new barrels, buckets, casks, kegs, and tubs, using handtools, and be designated according to type built as Slack Cooper; Tight Cooper.