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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to learn how to make oak barrels for use in furniture designs like bars and tables. Anyone made one? Is there a good book on the subject?
Thanks.
 

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You don't mind a challenge do ya. I'd rather buy one that go through all the trouble of making one. Do you have a source for staves? There is alot of work that goes into making a barrel. Not trying to discourage ya but I'd look for a source to just purchase new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Really I want to know

Seriously. And yes, I love a challenge. I want to learn how to make barrels. How do I go about it? In addition to using them as furniture components I found out yesterday that there are over 50 wineries in Michigan that use oak barrels. Some of them do sell their barrels but there is a waiting list of 30 people at one of the wineries. So there is a huge market, both through the wineries and on a retail level.

I do have some of the tools alredy like a scorp and draw knife that I use for making furniture. Aged oak is easy to get around here too. We also have an excellent blacksmith in town. Yep a real blacksmith.

So first I need a good book and next a good teacher. Any ideas?

And thanks for the replies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. I'll see what I can find.
 

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And you can always buy a barrel and take it apart....that, combined with the learning curve, will give you an idea. Reverse engineering is a pretty good way to see how it is down. I built a roll top desk long ago after finding one in a chicken house...beyond any hope of repair...but the pieces made great patterns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Reverse engineer it. Why didn't I think of that? Dah. I must have sawdust on the brain this week. I spent 27 years as a design engineer before starting my woodworking business. Time to dust off those old skills and find a barrel. Thanks, joasis
 

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Bullhart! You stole my reply :laughing::thumbsup::yes:. Bob There are lots of reasons why barrelmaking isnt common!! I swear building a house is way way easier, if you get to watch either Dirty Jobs or Norman did a show on a california winery which had a tour of a barrel making factory, fascinating but man oh man the work and complexity will blow your mind.

Jack
:laughing:
 

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I do buis with a company that makes barrel stave material.
The staves are usually made from qtr. sawn with 90-75deg grain (none of that 90-45deg rule),, they use white oak (the material goes to Spain).
Staves will vary in width 2-5".
They are tapered each end.
Only 1 way to make a tapered barrel -experience.

Reverse engineering is for determining how something is done.
We know how barrels are made.

Only way to make barrels (without hurting yourself) is to have a pro show you.

And I wonder if you cut a new made barrel, will the staves spring back,, vs. an old barrels staves will have relaxed more?

jim
 

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Also consider straight sided barrel concepts.
You can t/g the staves. I use a shaper with hss insert blades.
Also once you purchase a cutter and master straight side barrels you have a wooden hot tub ,raised bed etc.

For the other barrel - Since your using them to be chopped/worked into a furniture piece, you could use thinner material and support it on the inside of the barrel (if applicable).
jim
 

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Just so happens I have been on the look out for a barrel for me and my friends to make rum in. If by chance you make one and it is usuable but may have some beginners errors I maybe interested in purchasing it from you for a reasonable price???
 
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