Programs At Hanford Mills Museum

Coopering Workshop

Saturday, August 26 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday, August 27 10 am to 3 pm

The Coopering Workshop is full.  If you are interested in being on a waiting list please contact Brendan Pronteau via email or by calling 607.278.5744 ext. 205.

Coopering Workshop 2016

Come to Hanford Mills the weekend of August 26th and 27th to make a bucket with traditional cooper Bob Allers. Materials will be provided and participants will have access to tools and training in order to complete a reproduction early 19th century household bucket. Direction, guidance, and experience will be shared to accomplish the following activities:

  • Forming the staves on a Cooper’s Plane to bevel the edges and taper the staves.
  • Shaping the staves at the Cooper’s Horse using straight and curved drawknives.
  • Raising the staves with a standard hoop, forming, shaping, and fastening custom hoops.
  • Using a scorp and down shave to smooth the inside and outside of the bucket.
  • Measuring, scribing, cutting, and shaping the head (base) for the bucket.
  • Cutting the groove for the head with a croze.
  • Fitting the bucket together, driving hoops, and attaching a rope handle.
  • Finishing and sealing the bucket.

The first day will be spent making the staves, making hoops, and measuring the head. The second day will cover shaping the head, creating the groove for the head, and finishing the bucket.

The cost for the workshop is $125 for members, $150 for non-members. Price of the workshop includes the materials costs for the bucket. Register for the workshop online, by calling 607-278-5744, or by emailing brendanp@hanfordmills.org. The workshop will be limited to a maximum of 5 attendees and is intended for ages 18+, or 16+ with parent participation.  Participants should bring a bag lunch.

Bob Allers began to learn the trade of coopering (making buckets, barrels, and casks) while part of the Artisans Program at Fort Stanwix National Monument. He has trained under the master cooper at Genesee Country Village in Mumford, NY, and he has also taken workshops with the cooper at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts.

For his presentations he sets up his traveling cooperage and demonstrates the tools used by the cooper to construct buckets or casks by hand in the manner of an eighteenth century craftsman. Bob exhibits and uses an extensive collection of period and reproduction hand tools in his interactive programs with visitors.