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Description: The customary packing for these goods is a new wooden barrel, paraffined, with six iron hoops. The fruit is packed at the time of gathering and exportation may take place some months, perhaps a year, later. Some shippers do not pay much attention to the fact that during the time of storage the hoops have become some what slack, nor do they take care to replenish the S.O.2, with the result that the produce goes bad. The manner in which a barrel is made may be responsible for, or may contribute to leakage. Wood shrinks in the direction of the annual rings about twice as much as radial. Therefore it is customary in the coopering business to use only staves with vertical annual rings so that towards the circumference of the barrel there is less radial shrinkage, thus minimizing the shrinkage as far as the circumference of the barrel is concerned. If this system is departed from, the shrinkage of the timbers may be considerable and so cause not only leakage through shrinkage but loosening of the bands, which might even result in the collapse of the casks. In the making of barrels, the procedure is sometimes to put together the staves and bottom and lid boards so that they form the barrel, then to fit iron hoops or bands, the whole thereafter being placed in water so that the staves become swollen and the barrels thereby made tight, the barrels being waxed internally beforehand. In such cases, particularly if unsatisfactory staves have been used, shortage may be caused by the staves being too fresh and therefore having a high moisture content before being subjected to water immersion, resulting in the staves drying out too quickly, giving rise to rapid shrinkage which causes the hoops or bands to loose their grip and the commodity to be lost through the loosened staves.
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