How to Cut Stays for Wooden Buckets

Cowboy With A Bucket Full Of Fruit image by caraman from

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Marker or chalk
  • Tin snips

Coopers are craftsmen who specialize in making wooden buckets, barrels and tubs. When making a bucket, the stays, or hoops, are the strips of metal that brace the bucket staves, which are the wooden sections comprising the walls of the bucket. There are generally two stays, one at the top and one at the bottom. The stays for a wooden bucket may be made of any metal the cooper desires, but tin or copper are popular due to their workability.

Lay out the staves for the bucket according to your pattern.

Measure the length from one end to the other to determine how long your stay needs to be. Allow for overlap at either end.


Mark your metal sheet along a long edge with a marker or some chalk to indicate the length of the stay.


Use large tin snips to make long smooth cuts, holding and bending the cut strip of metal out of the way of your hand to prevent it from interfering with the shears or cutting your hands or arms.


Cut the strip to your pre-measured length.


  • The stay may be any width you desire.