Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition

Coopered Cabinets


Coopered Cabinets



The technique that gives barrels, boats, and bongos their interesting curved shapes is essentially coopering, joining together individual staves or planks. It's an efficient way to create simple to complex curved forms, and one we'll explore to build a small hanging cabinet.

What makes this a fun project is the variety of the curves we can create by how we shape our staves, taper them, or detail them with beads or shallow coves, Beyond the interesting curved facade of our cabinets, we have the practical concerns of supporting a shelf or two, building a curved door, and cutting some curved moldings.

 As with every HACK class, we will work a lot with hand tools to shape and join the staves, smooth the flat backboards and shelves, adjust joints, and shape the curved door and moldings. Design is going to be a part of our discussions as we look at where this useful technique of coopering can lead. 


If you are planning to bring your own tools, which we recommend, please review  Garrett's Tool List.

You are welcome to use the School's tools. Each workbench is equipped with a set of Lee Valley / Veritas tools and had a good selection of teaching hand tools. However, you will learn a lot more if you bring your own tools and learn to tune them under Garrett's watchful eye.

Garrett's Build a Round Bottom Molding Plane class will take place the two days prior Coopered Cabinets. Students who choose to take the plane class can use their newly fashioned planes to smooth the interior curves of the cabinet.

Prerequisites & MATERIALS

This is a class for woodworkers with significant hand tool and machine experience. You are expected to prepare your stock prior to the class.

Garrett will contact students with a materials and cut list prior to the class. 

Class Information and Registration

Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.
Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
Please also read our Registration Policy.

Class size: 10
Cost: $1,250

When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.