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SawDust Maker
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Posted on May 31, 2013
by Greg Cater
There are a lot of reasons it doesn’t hurt to live just a few short miles from the heart of the California wine country. In our area you can find wine barrels widely available on craigslist and a variety of other places. I however didn’t need to go that route because even luckier for me, I have a shirt-tail relative who is the general manager of a Napa Valley winery and he lets me get barrels anytime. The downside to this it that usually the barrels were just drained of their wine and quite wet.
They not only make my garage smell like a winery (not a bad thing), but weigh more than your mother-in-law. In Northern Cal you rarely pay more than $35-$45 for a quality barrel, which isn’t a bad price considering that the winemakers often pay in excess of $1,000 for that barrel, depending on where the oak came from and where the barrel was made, French oak barrels being the most expensive.
This table project used two barrel heads, five staves and one of the barrel bands. One barrel has approximately 27 staves, so it left me with over 20 additional staves to use for other projects. (I will show some of those later.) I separated all the pieces of the barrel head and pulled out the reed that is between the pieces. (The reeds are used to keep the barrel heads from leaking through the joints.)



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