MAKING A TALL STAVE CONTAINER #1: Preparing the staves and the bottom.

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by stefang posted 04-06-2016 05:10 PM 3061 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of MAKING A TALL STAVE CONTAINER series Part 2: Making the Dados for the Bottom »

My son asked me to make him a stave container for his basement hobby shop where he builds custom bicycles. It will serve a dual purpose as a waste basket and a leg for one corner of a wall mounted fold away work bench. The dimensions are 101cm or 39ยด1/2” tall and 30cm or 12” inside diameter.

It will be made from some cheap pine sold to be used for construction on cement forms. The wood dimensions are 15mm or slightly over 1/2” and a finished width of 7.77cm or about 3”. Here are the materials before cutting to length and width. I bought 16 meters or about 52-1/2’, enough to include a glued up bottom. see below

This could have been a real simple project. I could have just cut the required angles derived from simple coopering math, glued it together and left it at that, but not much fun, so I decided to hollow out the inside of the staves and round over the outsides so that it would be a smooth barrel once assembled. Not necessary for this project, but I was curious to see how close I could get it rounded and smooth on both sides.

Towards that end, I cut the staves to length and then decided to hollow them out using the coving technique on my table saw. This normally requires setting up a fence on an angle witch will give the sawblade the correct profile to cut the cove and then cutting it in 1/16” height increments, in my case two passes for each of the 13 staves needed. Here is the set-up. Normally the fence in photo 1 would be at a much less that 90 degree angle, but I had to go with 90 degrees because my saw blade diameter is so small (about 19cm or 7-1/4”). Photo 2 is shown with a workpiece see below

After much sawdust (on the table and on me) I got all 13 staves finished on the inside. I was pretty tired after this work and I’m glad it’s finished. see below

I also got the bottom glued up and ready to cut out on the bandsaw tomorrow. I still have to round the outside of the staves with a handplane and cut a dado near the bottom of each stave to hold the bottom piece. Lastly I will cut the edge angles on the staves which will allow gluing them into a circle. So still a fair share of work to go. I wouldn’t have minded just banding the staves together instead of gluing as it take a fair amount of glue to get the job done and it won’t be very easy to clamp either. see below

That is it for today. I blogged this just in case there is anybody out there who is thinking about making wooden stave buckets and is looking for an easy way to hollow out the staves on the inside. This work can also be done with a round bottomed hand plane, but with quite a bit more work involved. I will have to do the outside rounding with a hand plane. There would of course be much less work if a short bucket were being made.

Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

21 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5126 days

#1 posted 04-06-2016 06:23 PM

I would think that you’d rabbet, bevel, glue, and then round the outside with a plane. Seems like the progression that I would take.

Nice job with the coves,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4578 days

#2 posted 04-06-2016 07:19 PM

Thanks Steve, Yes I will have to bevel before rounding the outside. I haven’t yet decided about whether or not I will plane it before after glue-up. Either way it will probably be a little difficult. I would prefer to do it before if possible, but I will have to try it first.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5126 days

#3 posted 04-06-2016 07:29 PM

Just a thought…
Maybe use a bird’s mouth joint instead of a bevel. It will be a lot easier to hold together while the glue dries.

It can be cut with a router table or two passes on the table saw.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4821 days

#4 posted 04-06-2016 09:45 PM

Very interesting Mike you always come up with great projects,thanks for sharing.


View robscastle's profile


8270 posts in 3448 days

#5 posted 04-06-2016 10:11 PM

Hello Mike,

I made something similar and possibly just like your process did it for the practice with coopering maths.
However I never had much sucess with table saw coving, maybe I should fit up a smaller blade and try again.
What diameter is your saw blade please?

My eyesight must be getting worse as I spent an abnormal amount of time looking at your pictures trying to find the saw blade then realised you have a combo machine and I was looking at the planer section Doh!

The 90 approach in my mind is a better one for repeatabiliy so its worth a second visit/try.

I hope you did a close inspection for residual cement particles on the wood first up !

Overall a very well detailed and explained Blog, I will be looking forward to following it to completion.

-- Regards Rob

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4048 days

#6 posted 04-06-2016 11:14 PM

Very interesting Mike. Don’t know if I’ll ever make one, but, it’s nice to see, and know how to do it.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

522 posts in 4374 days

#7 posted 04-07-2016 01:43 AM

Nice job so far can’t wait for more progress. You have some very interesting projects Miker.

-- Dale, Ohio

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3911 days

#8 posted 04-07-2016 01:50 AM

Thanks for the blog Mike as I am still wanting to make a bucket like the one you posted a while ago and this may just get me of the pot and get going .


-- Kiefer

View stevo_wis's profile


128 posts in 4271 days

#9 posted 04-07-2016 03:10 AM

Stefan, I agree that you always come up with interesting projects. Great job. It would seem if you knock off the corners with a saw on the outside before handplaning, it would save some hand work. It might help clamping if you made a couple of wooden circles to fit inside while clamping.
Please keep us posted.

-- Stevo

View Dutchy's profile


4194 posts in 3413 days

#10 posted 04-07-2016 07:02 AM

Interesting what you are doing. It is like a snare drum I have build in the past.

Maybe your lathe is to short but perhaps nice to see is THIS

How will you make your bevels. A deviation of 0.1 degree per bevel is already leading to a gap ioint. I,m not that good as you but I had a lot of trouble to make a correct round piece. Thereby noted that my snare drum had 20 staves.

I have seen also seen a convex/concave glue like HERE (Scroll down to see)


View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4578 days

#11 posted 04-07-2016 09:31 AM

Thanks everybody for showing an interest in this little project. It will be fun to see how it comes out. It would have been easier with 12 staves instead of 13 because two halves can be glued up and then the glue edges sanded on a flat sanding platter for a perfect fit before joining them. Unfortunately the thinness of my materials, the width and the shallow cove needed forced me go with 13 staves. The last stave will have to be adjusted a little to compensate for angle deviations. The finished thickness of the container will be a little less than 3/8” making it easy to move around.

Steve I don’t want to plane after the glue-up due partly due to the large size being clumsy to work with and also the likelihood that I will experience tear-out while planing two boards at one time due to the crazy grain of pine.

Robert I would have preferred a diagonal on the fence if it had been possible, but due to smallness of my blade and the relatively flat curve of the cove, only 90 degrees was possible for this job. Deeper coves are pretty easy and usually a diagonally set fence works. No cement on this wood as I bought it new.

Stevo Not much has to be removed on the outside corners. I’m not sure yet if I will use a hand plane or a spokeshave.

Dutchy Love what you did there with the router jig and you got a perfect result too. I doubt mine will turn out half as good. I would not want to take the time and expense of making the jigs necessary for this simple one time project though. If it had been just a little shorter I could have turned the outside smooth on my lathe and that would have made life a little easier.

I would have like to do the glue-up in one go using the tape and band method shown in your link. I have used this method quite a lot in the past and it works well, but with such long staves I’m worried that I might not be able to get all the glue on before it begins to set. I will just have to decide when the time comes.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dutchy's profile


4194 posts in 3413 days

#12 posted 04-07-2016 11:01 AM

I would have like to do the glue-up in one go using the tape and band method shown in your link. I have used this method quite a lot in the past and it works well, but with such long staves I m worried that I might not be able to get all the glue on before it begins to set. I will just have to decide when the time comes.

- stefang

Mike you can put glue on half the pieces, so that 2 pieces will stick to each other. Than you do the tape and band method exactly the same as always. Let it dry over night. The next day you remove the band and start glueing the rest and than again start the tape and band method.


View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17533 posts in 3862 days

#13 posted 04-07-2016 12:01 PM

Cool project Mike, I’m following along!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4578 days

#14 posted 04-07-2016 01:12 PM

Yes Jan. I have considered that and I might have to do it that way. After cutting the edge angles I plan to tape it all together first so I can angle the edges of the 13th stave to compensate for the angle error in the other pieces, then after everything is fitted, decide if I will only glue a few staves at a tie as you suggest or all at once.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View doubleDD's profile


10706 posts in 3287 days

#15 posted 04-07-2016 02:16 PM

Mike, I built a wishing well some time ago and wanted to make a wooden bucket but didn’t. This will be an interesting follow. Can’t wait for part 2.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics