It’s a skill that was critical wherever people lived. Coopering, the craft of building barrels, was in demand for a wide variety of daily functions. Carrying dry goods, liquids, construction materials … whatever needed to be contained.
Today, plastics and metals tend to fill the need that barrels once filled. Now, the greatest demand for barrels is with distillers, brewers and vintners. This site, run by Maryland woodworker Tom Crowl, shows the step-by-step process of how to make a wooden barrel, helps define the specialized parts of the barrel and offers numerous links to additional barrel-making websites.
If you ever wondered how these beautifully-crafted workhorses were made, this is a good place to start your exploration.