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Woodshop Library

HOW TO MAKE A COOPERED WOODEN BUCKET, by James D. Gaster, is a step-by-step guide for making vintage-style coopered buckets. Coopering involves the binding of long, thin boards into useful wooden containers. Adequate woodworking experience is ideal for many of the tasks, such as beveling the edge joints of the staves and checking them with hand-made angle guides. To work with gravity, Gaster first places the staves upside down around a form spacer. Photos then show him securing the staves with a rope before flipping over the bucket to add the steel banding. Gaster is the owner and proprietor of Beaver Buckets, a cooperage in rural Nebraska that specializes in creating wooden buckets, butter churns, washbasins and similar items. He is considered a white cooper, a name that comes from the containers' contents, such as milk, flour and sugar. Gaster's handcrafted items can be seen in the Smithsonian Institution, the White House Visitor's Museum, and in the films "Seabiscuit," "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" and "The Alamo." The 90-page softcover sells for $16.99. Contact: Beaver Buckets Publications, 71663 Road 397, Indianola, NE 69034. Tel: 308-364-2528.

THE CARPENTER'S NOTEBOOK, by Mark Clement, is a novel about a carpenter who found meaning in his life after learning to apply the same efforts in his trade to his family life. The main character, Brendan Herlihy, leaves his failing marriage to remodel his deceased father's dilapidated shop into an art studio for his mother. At the shop, Brendan finds his father's clipboard labeled "Gideon Herlihy's Carpenter's Notebook," where Gideon discussed using his jobsite lessons to make sense of his own existence as a young father and husband. Brendan continues to read the notebook while remodeling, which eventually helps him realize that building is both a physical and mental test. He then proceeds to rebuild his family's life. The notebook clippings are actually handwritten throughout the narrated parts of the text. The chapter "Rise and Run" covers Gideon's struggle with a complicated deck stair project, in which he constantly reminds himself that he has the skills and that anything can be figured out with strategic thinking. Clement is a carpenter and executive editor of Tools of the Trade magazine. The 291-page softcover sells for $16.95. Contact: CenterLine Media, 7 N. Main St., Suite 7B, Ambler, PA 19002. Tel: 215-646-4591.

JIGS & FIXTURES FOR CURVILINEAR WOODWORKING, a DVD hosted by professional woodworker David Marks, offers secrets for creating curved work using jigs and fixtures, and discusses techniques for bentwood lamination, clamping curved forms, leveling large or uneven surfaces, and the layout and joinery of curvilinear design. Marks is a furniture maker, turner and sculptor who has hosted more than 90 episodes of the "Woodworks" television show on DIY and the How-to channel in Australia. The 40-minute DVD, in which Marks takes viewers through the step-by-step process of building a dining room table, sells for $29.95. Contact: Videobrite Professional Video Services, 959 West College Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401.Tel: 800-332-3877.

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