Peter Lutz demonstrates the jigs he uses to make stackable trays that are handsome, light, and strong.
Synopsis: Light and graceful but quite strong, coopered containers combine elegance with approachable construction. Whether you make a design with vertical sides or sides that angle outward, one of the challenges is figuring out how best to cut, joint, and rout the small parts. Here, Peter Lutz demonstrates the jigs he uses so that he can work safely and accurately. The technique is for a group of three stackable trays with vertical sides.
Recently I’ve been exploring coopered forms. I find the shapes elegant, yet the woodworking involved is very approachable. Because all the coopered parts are edge-joined, the whole vessel goes together without mechanical joinery or hardware. And though coopered work is light and graceful, it’s quite strong.
In the first half of this article, I’ll explain the techniques I use for making coopered trays with vertical sides. You could make a set of three, as I…