Who are they and what do they do? The task of the crate maker/cooper is to make, repair and brace wooden containers, mainly box crates and barrels. The cooper is more concerned with barrels, and an alternative title is barrel repairer. Crate makers may also be known as box makers, box repairers or case makers.
What are the activities of the job? Processing timber from hardwood trees or conifers, using boards and planks to produce barrels and boxes - shaping and assembling barrels, vats and crates - making metal bracing for crates and hoops for barrels - making packing according to technical drawings for the transport of heavy or large size products (mainly heavy machinery, i.e. lathes, presses etc.) which may have to have the packing built around them - repairing box crates and their metal bracing.
Where is it done and under what conditions? In cooperage workshops, in manufacturing or business enterprises, most often in a noisy and dusty environment. Work is always done standing up.
What tools/equipment do they use? Wood working machines like lathes and milling cutters, power saws, power staplers and tools. Hand tools such as wooden mallets, saws, and rulers are also used.
What do you need to succeed? You need an apprenticeship, physical fitness, spatial ability, ability to organise one's work, patience, precision.