Profession cooper

Coopers build barrels and related products made of segments of wood, like wooden buckets. They shape the wood, fit hoops around them, and shape the barrel to hold the product, which contemporarily is usually premium alcoholic beverages.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional
  • Realistic / Artistic
  • Realistic / Investigative


  • Manufacture of wooden barrels

    The processes involved in the production of wooden barrels such as material selection, shaping, toasting, fitting, planing and sanding.

  • Woodworking tools

    The various tools used to process wood, such as planers, chisels and lathes.

  • Types of wood

    Types of wood, such as birch, pine, poplar, mahogany, maple and tulipwood.

  • Wood cuts

    Different ways of cutting wood, across the grain or parallel with it, and radial or tangential to the core. The behaviour of cuts of wood under different circumstances and the optimal cut for a given purpose. Influence of special attributes of the wood, like knots or defects.

  • Wood moisture content

    The amount of water contained in wood materials. The effect of wood moisture on the size and physical characteristics of the wood. Suitable moisture contents for different uses.


  • Char barrels

    Place the barrels in the gas burner where a flame is blasted inside each of them to scorch the interior.

  • Manipulate wood

    Manipulate the properties, shape and size of wood.

  • Bend staves

    Use various techniques to give the wooden planks the desired curve, such as softening the wood in steam tunnels and then replacing the working hoops with stronger hoops.

  • Adjust properties of cut

    Adjust cut sizes and depths of cutting tools. Adjust heights of worktables and machine-arms.

  • Clean wood surface

    Use a variety of techniques on a wood surface to ensure it is free of dust, sawdust, grease, stains, and other contaminants.

  • Finish barrels

    Pour water into the barrel to let it cool, replace working hoops with permanent iron hoops using manual techniques and machines, drill a hole on the side and plug it. Fix fittings such as taps and valves if required.

  • Sand wood

    Use sanding machines or hand tools to remove paint or other substances from the surface of the wood, or to smoothen and finish the wood.

  • Make barrel heads

    Use a machine to punch holes in the staves, insert dowel pins into the holes, place the staves on a guide and press them together. Place the assembled staves in the rounder to obtain a circular shape. Finally, coat the edges with liquid wax.

  • Assemble barrels

    Select the shaped wooden planks, place them inside the working iron hoop and put a loose hoop at the top to hold the planks together.

Optional knowledge and skills

maintain barrels metalworking tools apply wood finishes types of containers airtight storage inspect quality of products recognise signs of corrosion operate wood sawing equipment tend boring machine design objects to be crafted operate thickness planer machine store products perform machine maintenance order supplies answer requests for quotation ensure correct goods labelling perform minor repairs to equipment recognise signs of wood rot check quality of raw materials manipulate metal operate drilling equipment sharpen edged tools