Posted on 8 Comments


Swedish coopered pot and shrink pots

A friend who came to use my workshop to cut out some wooden parts for puppets, bought along this coopered pot. This is a lovely little pot held together with willow bindings. He bought it second hand in Sweden. I especially like the way the lid is held in with a fixed peg on one side of the handle and a removable peg on the other side. The loose peg has defiantly been sawn out with a band saw, and then whittled.

 and with the lid off

I have not done any coopering and I use a different method to make small boxes. I take a log and hollow it out. A groove is made around the bottom and a disc of wood is cut to the size of the hole and fitted into the groove. As the pot dries it shrinks around the disc, holding it firmly.

and again with the lids off

My lids are tight fitting and so need a gentle pull to take them off. I will use the two peg technique on a few shrink boxes, especially those that go travelling in bags, to picnics etc. This way the contents will not be able to spill.
I would be very interested to find out more about shrink pots, in history or links to modern makers. If you have any information then do please let me know.

Above, made from birch.

 Above, willow

8 thoughts on “Pots

  1. Nice post Sean and great tip about email address in the photo, that would never have crossed my mind and now definitely will, thanks.

  2. Hi Sean,

    May I ask how you hollow your logs out please?



  3. A search for krympburkar results in a lot of swedish links and a lot of pictures.

    /Harry aka HeinrichH on some forums

  4. Harry, thank you for the Swedish word for shrink pots. I have had a look and there is lots of inspiration.

    Stewart, drill a hole through the log and chisel out all the wood you do not need. I will be posting more about shrink pots in the future. I also hope to do a stop motion animation on making one some time, but you may have to wait a bit for it.

  5. Hey Monsieur Wooden Teeth!

    Beut pots.

    I find a crooked knife with a long handle (like I was using on the bowls at APF) really good for the residual hollowing on shrink pots. I really need to make more pots and get the fitting of the bottom sorted out. Ah so much to do and so little time.

    Kind regards,


  6. Hey mister perfect teeth, Yep that's what I use, but a slightly different style. I made mine out of 6mm round bar and it has a long handle, half bar half wooden. I also have jigs to cut the groove and for holding the log whilst using the hook knife. Maybe I will unveil my method at the Bodgers Ball in May.

  7. Hmmm, worth coming along then, may bring a keg of beer in that case for baksheesh.

  8. Hi Shaun

    Beautiful pots.

    I've made a couple of these now and was wondering if there was an easier way to cut the groove. I notice you mention jigs? Unfortunately I can't make the bodger's ball. Any chance of a hint!


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