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Coopering

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:15 pm
by Clarenceboy
Just a question about coopered items like buckets, barrells, butter churns etc
How should they be bound in the 15th century in the UK

I know hazel it correct but I was wondering about brasss hoops as well?
From what I have heard steel or iron hoops don't appear till a bit later and are more of a 16th thing but I wondered if brass hoops were at all common?

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:12 pm
by Brother Ranulf
Steven J Allen, MA, of Reading University's Dept of Archaeology, wrote a paper for the Finds Research Group back in 1995 entitled "Medieval Coopered Vessels". He had studied all types of preserved vessels and fragments thereof from across the whole of England, including vats, tubs, barrels, buckets, casks and so on from the 12th to the 15th centuries.

He says that later medieval casks were raised around a small iron brazier burning oak shavings; this allowed the sides of the cask to be given a more pronounced curve - 12th century examples have only a very shallow curve, like Roman barrels.

Hoops were most often of wood such as ash, hazel and willow - more rarely of rivetted iron bands (no 16th century examples were involved in these studies). No mention of brass fittings of any kind.

Re: Coopering

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:32 pm
by Karen Larsdatter
For buckets - http://larsdatter.com/buckets.htm
For butter-churns - http://larsdatter.com/churns.htm
(In the middle of a bit of a redesign, sorry about the inconsistent look between those two pages!)

There are a few examples of oak buckets with iron bands on that first link, including at least one from the 15th century.

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:42 pm
by Clarenceboy
Thanks for the information Brother Ranulf have to see if it can find the paper.
Karen, the pics are interesting but hard to tell if the bands are metal or wood however the find in the well in York seems to suggest that they did use metal to hoop coopered items as well as wood.

Thank you both very much I can do a bit more digging now!

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:53 pm
by guthrie
The problem as always is in finding a cooperage who will do authenti-buckets.

And now I have even more studies to look up and purchase.

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:29 pm
by Brother Ranulf
We managed to get some extremely good handmade buckets from a Polish trader a couple of years ago, with proper split withies. I think the staves are alder, but I could be wrong.

The only problem was that the withies were not pegged through into the staves and so slipped after a while - a simple repair job.

Another point about handles - English buckets almost always had rope or curved iron handles; many European repros today have a wooden handle which doesn't seem to be correct for this part of the world.

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:57 pm
by Clarenceboy
Check out these guys www.matuls.pl took a while for them to deliver (7 months) but then I did put in a big order.
Otherwise we recently picked up a pair of nice barrells from the ILHF so worth a go there too.
Both polish companies, I have a feeling there is a little old polish chap working away at them the same as he has been doing for the last 50 years or so. At least thats what I'd like to think ;-)

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:56 am
by bourbon
Buy British I say, The Ferrers household got their Casks, (a barrel is a size) from Les Skinner bootle He has a Website that i can't find at the moment. but he is very good an interesting bloke to talk to and understands what we need. On a note, Casks take some looking after

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:48 pm
by Vermin
This one ?

http://barrels.org.uk/page.php?domain_n ... wpage=home

(Don't know him - just bored in work) :)

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:02 pm
by Type16
I got a really good bucket from the Polish trader --------- can't remember his name, but do a search for Polish Traders on this web site.

Got it at Hastings 2006. Approx £35. Made by 80+ yr old guy. Excellent.

Links off his web site lead to the cooperage pages.

Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:49 pm
by bourbon
Thanks for that Vermin that's the one

Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:49 pm
by guthrie
I tried e-mailing Skinners a few months ago, had nothing back. I'll phone them eventually.

Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:15 am
by bourbon
Having been to his workshop, he was lucky to find the kettle never mind a computer!