Tightening the Hoops
OH NO – the hoops fell off.
If the bucket is ever used to carry water, please remember to store the bucket upside down afterwards for about a week. Storing the bucket upside will dry it out and keep the hoops in place so they do not fall off. After a week check to see the hoops are still tight and the staves are not loose. You can tighten the hoops by turning the bucket upside down (so the narrow part of the taper is on top) and hammering the flat blade of a screw driver against the hoop until it is tight again.
If your bucket ever comes apart – take a breath. Don’t be alarmed. It can be reassembled with a little time and patience. The staves joints are unique to each other which is why I number the staves from 1 to 14/16 when they are assembled. Start with stave No 1 and assemble them in a clockwise fashion with the number side upright. Once the staves are assembled, set the largest hoop on first and tighten it by tapping the flat blade of a standard screw driver with a hammer. Turn the bucket upright again and the bucket bottom can be dropped in from the top and “snapped” in place. Turn the bucket over again and place the next two hoops back on the bucket.
If your staves were not numbered, re-assembly is much like a jigsaw puzzle trying to get the staves joints to match each other. I have reassembled washtubs this way but it takes time to get them right. Make sure the handle staves (the one which holds a rope) are directly opposite each other. Otherwise you’ll have a self dumping bucket or tub.